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A Polish training ship sails around the world to celebrate 100 years of Poland Independence Day

Text: Tara Marchelin; Photos: Courtesy of Embassy of Poland; Additional photos: Suhadi

Under the big blue sky of Tanjung Priok, a Polish training sail ship, Dar Mlodziezy, entered Jakarta International Container Terminal II on Oct. 2. As the ship anchored, dozens of Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Pelayaran (STIP) students welcomed the ship with a full marching band performance. Dar Mlodziezy has been circumventing the world to celebrate 100th Polish Independence Restauration in an event named The Independence Sail.

The Independence sail is one of the biggest and most unique Polish Independence Day celebrations. Over 1000 maritime students and volunteers were invited to be part of a voyage to visit 22 ports and 18 countries. “This year, we decided to celebrate the Independence Day in a bit unusual way. We decided to invite young people, who quite in love with maritime and sea, to go for a cruise and to stop over 22 ports to promote youth potential and maritime economy,” said Madam Anna Moskwa, Deputy Minister for Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation of Poland.

During the cruise, maritime students and volunteers, divided into 6 batches under the command of Captain Ireneusz Lewandowski. Since May. 20th, the ship has been sailing to lots of ports. They started from Gdynia to Tallin, Copenhagen, Stavanger, Szczecin, Bremerhaven, Bordeaux, Tenerife, Dakar, Cape Town, Mauritius and Jakarta. After that, Dar Mlodzeizy will be sailing to Singapore, Shanghai, Osaka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Acapulco. The ship also will be participating in the 34th World Youth Day that will be held in Panama in January 2019 and will continue the voyage to Miami, Ponta Delgada, and London, before it returns to Gdynia, on Mar. 28th.

Dar Mlodzeizy, which owned by Gdynia Maritime University, was the first sailing ship built from scratch in the Gdańsk Shipyard in 1981. Design by Zygmunt Choren, a young designer of Gdańsk Shipyard who was also a sailor, it replaced the former training sail ship, Dar Pomorza. Dar Mlodzeizy partly funded by contributions of the Polish society and diaspora. Even, the maritime students collected their money to support the building of the ship. It was also explained why the ship named Dar Mlodzeizy, which in English means The Gift of Youth.

“The students collected their money, our sailors also shared something to make it possible because at that time Poland was a communist country and the government was not very friendly to such idea. So, they tried to do it with force of the people,” said Piotr Dyka, Chief Officer Assistant of Dar Mlodzeizy.

By the visit of Dar Mlodzeizy, Madam Anna Moskwa wishes that there will be a lot of cooperation between Poland and Indonesia in the future, especially in maritime education.

“We also came here for maritime education because Indonesia has quite strong maritime education. In the past time, there was a lot of cooperation between Poland and Indonesia. We would like to restore this cooperation, not only on the based on declarations and talks but would also like to have re-contract, re-projects, re-cooperation between our campus,” she said.

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