Farewell to Krystyna Chojnowska – Liskiewicz (1936-2021)

Ocean-going Yachtmaster, Gdańsk University of Technology graduate, naval engineer. She became the first woman to have sailed single-handed around the World (1976-1978). 

The voyage lead from Las Palmas crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and passing the Cape of Good Hope. It was a spectacular achievement which contributed to the development and popularization of sailing in Poland. 

Captain Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz was well-known for her struggle for the right position of women in the sailing community. As an expression of this, she organized cruiser for women. She was a part of the jury of the Cruise of the Year („Rejs Roku”) and the “Kolos” awards. She was a member of the Sea Sailing Commission of the Polish Sailing Association. For her activity, she was honored the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Gold Medal for Sports Achievements as well as the Silver Medal of Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of France. For her 1978 voyage, she received the highest Polish sailing award – Silver Sextant and for a lifetime of sailing achievements – Super Kolos of 2008.  Her achievement was also entered in the Guinness Book of Records. Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz was one of the founders of the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club in 1993.

Personally, I remember Mrs. Captain as a person who was kind to young sailors, who was breaking stereotypes, was young at heart. She supported expeditions organized by my team many times. It was at time when support for 20-year-olds going on a cruise around the Cape Horn or into the distant Canadian Arctic was not obvious. For my generation, Mrs. Krystyna’s cruises were and will remain an important inspiration. The person of Mrs. Captain with a huge contribution to the development and popularization of sailing, openness to the world, will remain in our memory forever.

On behalf of the members of the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club

Jacek Wacławski, MD, sailor, FI’07

The 40th anniversary of the "Canoandes" Canoe Expedition 1981-2021

In 1981, members of the Canoandes expedition climbed to the heights of world exploration, conquering the world's deepest Colca canyon in Peru as the first group ever.

For the next four decades, by initiating and implementing a number of exploratory, scientific and educational activities, they contributed to the development of the Colca Valley region, which has now become the country's second tourist attraction after Machu Picchu.

The Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club, whose members are the participants of the expedition, and the Academic Kayak Tourism Club "Bystrze" from Krakow, from where the expedition set out to conquer the mountain rivers of the Americas, decided to jointly organize the celebration of this anniversary. (Link>>)

In the fall of 2021, we are planning popular science symposiums, screenings of the documentary Godspeed, Los Polacos !, photo exhibitions in Poland, the United States and Peru, and the publication of a jubilee album.

For the Polish Branch The Explorers Club For the Management Board A.K.T.K. "BYSTRZE" ("Swift current")
Prof. dr hab. Mariusz Ziółkowski
Izabela Brzeźna
Colca 1981
Photo: Jacek Bogucki
From left to right:
Andrzej Piętowski - leader of a discovery expedition, kayak, raft
Piotr Chmieliński - leading kayaker
Jacek Bogucki - filmmaker, raft crew
Jerzy Majcherczyk - the captain of the raft
Stefan Danielski - the crew of the raft
Krzysztof Kraśniewski - the crew of the raft
(Zbigniew BZDAK is missing - photographer, securing the expedition in Lima)
Extension of the Polish Avenue in Chivay to the hot springs of La Calera.
Photo: Francisco Portugal, 2006

Alexander "Olo" Doba (1946-2021)

On February 22, departed a great traveler and kayaker who sailed three times across The Atlantic rowing alone in a kayak. He was a volcano of energy. With his accomplishments borders of the impossible were shifted.
Olo died in Tanzania while conquering Africa's highest peak, Kilimanjaro fulfilling another travel dream.
We extend our deep sympathy to Olek's Family.

Friends from the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club

Aleksander Doba was the Laureate of the Special Mention awarded to him in 2015 by the Jury of the Prize Benedykt the Pole - read more on:

Professor Jerzy Gąssowski (1926 – 2021)

Professor Jerzy Gąssowski (1926 – 2021) during the Benedykt the Pole award ceremony in Arch Collegiate of Tum near Łęczyca,
June 9, 2017
(photo from https://leczyca.info.pl/kultura/)

With deep regret we inform that Professor Jerzy Gąssowski passed away on 1 st of February, 2021. He was an outstanding archaeologist who searched for and discovered the tomb of Nicolaus Copernicus in the Frombork Cathedral and laureate of the Benedict the Pole Award in 2017.

Funeral ceremonies will take place on February 11 at 11.00 A.M. (Holy Mass) in Warsaw at the Northern Cemetery - Wólka Węglowa (Funeral Home, room A).

We ask the family of the Deceased to accept our sincere condolences.

  • The Board of the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club
  • Jury of the Benedict the Pole Award

Basic information about the achievements of Professor Jerzy Gąssowski:


Wacław Sieroszewski and Polish explorers of Siberia: yesterday and today

Virtual Exhibition
Maciej Besta

The project is part of the Grant Perfect Science – Independence Engraved in DNA. Wacław Sieroszewski – Polish friend at the farthest ends of the world no. DNK / SP / 481115/2020 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Wacław Sieroszewski was a 19th-century Polish exile, who in Yakutia undertook scientific and exploratory activities, the culmination of which was the creation of one of the most important monographs on the life and customs of the Yakut “12 years in the country of the Yakut”.  Currently, he is recognized by this Siberian Nation as a hero who discovered them for the world and contributed to the preservation of their culture, tradition and history. On April 20, 2021 75 years will have passed since the death of this outstanding researcher and independence activist, who, after returning from exile to Russian Siberia, served as both a PM and senator of the Second Polish Republic. In connection with this anniversary, a series of scientific events will be organized, during which the latest results of research on the figure and achievements of W. Sieroszewski will be presented.
The first part of the project will be the Warsaw-Yakutsk online conference on October 20, 2020. The following conference is scheduled for March 2021 and will have an innovative seminar character resulting from its combination with scientific expeditions, the results of which will be presented at the end of the conference.

2021 – the second part of the project will take place in Yakutia.

a/ Polish scientists and researchers in a conference / seminar in Yakutsk will present and remind the figure of Wacław Sieroszewski, then work out a plan to commemorate this extraordinary discoverer.

b/ a scientific journey will be carried out in the terrains related to  Wacław Sieroszewskis’ scientific activities

c/ the third part will end with a seminar presenting the results of the journey, which will be a step towards further scientific cooperation and will contribute to a better mutual perception of both nations Polish and Russian Federation. At the same time, the conference conducted in this way will be an internationally understandable signal of goodwill that science and passion for exploration the world create a universal language that connects across divisions


Program (English version) PDF >

Программа (pycckaя bepcия) PDF>

Virtual Exhibition

Part I

Part II


Part I – The beginning

Part II – Conference proceedings

Maciej Besta

Exploration of these remote areas, still very rarely visited, is in progress and some Poles are involved in it. Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club congratulates Maciej Besta on his recent achievements in this field. As soon as the epidemic situation allows, we will listen to lectures on his explorations in our Warsaw headquarters. For the moment, with the Author’s consent, we provide a link to his website, where his expeditions and achievements are presented.


Two prestigious awards for a member of the Polish Chapter

Krzysztof Wielicki FI’1997 (Lowell Thomas Award’2001) received Piolet d’Or Carriere - Golden Ice Axe Lifetime Achievement Award, considered the highest honor in mountaineering. Wielicki is a fifth man who climbed all 14 eight-thousanders (The Crown of the Himalayas and Karakoram) and the first who summitted three of them in winter, including Mt Everest. He is still active, he led two winter expeditions to K2, the last unconquered in winter eight-thousander. Krzysztof Wielicki also received (with Reinhold Messner - Honorary Member’1989 of The Explorers Club) The Princess of Asturias Awards. It is given for achievements in the sciences, humanities and public affairs. The ceremony was held in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias. The Awards were presented by HM King Felipe VI of Spain. Wielicki and Messner are among the most outstanding Himalayan climbers in history. (MR)

Photo: Reinhold Messner and Krzysztof Wielicki honored with The Princess of Asturias Awards Credit: FPA-Yeray Mene Hündez

Polish-Peruvian-Italian research at Machu Picchu Park, seasons 2016 – 2019

An exhibition at the University of Warsaw organized by the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxm-55XJWUY[/embed] [gallery size="medium" ids="887,888,889"] Preliminary information The research presented at the exhibition was carried out as part of a long-term cooperation program, initiated in 2008, between the University of Warsaw's Pre-Columbian Research Center and the Andean Research Center of the University of Warsaw in Cusco, and Peruvian partner Dirección Desconcertada de Cultura-Cusco, and the Parque Arquelógico Nacional de Machu Picchu [Machu Picchu National Archaeological Park]. A group of Polish experts led by prof. Jacek Kościuk from the Scanning and 3D Modeling Laboratory at the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology, as well as an Italian research group headed by prof. Nicola Masini, head of IBAM - CNR - ITACA (Italian scientific mission dealing with heritage protection and archeology). As part of the project, cooperation was also established with other experts: Dr. Adine Gavazzi, an architect from the University of Genoa and prof. Giuseppe Orefici, expert in rock art and director of the Italian Centro Italiano Studi e Ricerche Archeologiche Precolombiane (CISRAP). Laboratory (biochemical) analyzes were performed at the Center for Biological and Chemical Sciences of the University of Warsaw headed by prof. Ewe Bulska, Ph.D. Materials science was done at the Chemical Analysis Laboratory of the Ministry of Culture of Peru in Cusco. Radiocarbon dating was done by Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory (New Zealand) headed by prof. Alan Hogg and their final calibration and interpretation was elaborated by prof. Andrzej Rakowski and Jacek Pawlyta, Ph.D. from the Radioisotope Applications Department of the Institute of Physics of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. Logistic support, participation of Peruvian specialists and technical employees as well as ongoing documentation of field work was provided and financed by Dirección Desconcertada de Cultura-Cusco through the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park. The work and analysis of the Polish team and foreign specialists were financed under the projects "The function of satellite positions in the vicinity of Machu Picchu: Inkaraqay, Chachabamba positions and high mountain lakes near Nevado Salcantay (Peru)" NCN OPUS grant No. 2015/19 / B / HS3 / 03557 directed by prof. Mariusz Ziółkowski and "Armakuna: ritual functions of the Inca baths" on the example of the Chachabamba ceremonial complex (Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru)", NCN Preludium grant No. 2015/19 / N / HS3 / 03626 headed by Dominika Sieczkowska, M.A. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a significant contribution to the financing of the team of Italian remote sensing experts. The researchers also benefited from the infrastructure and logistical support of the Andean Research Center of the University of Warsaw in Cusco (CEAC), financed under the SPUB grant of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Main assumptions and goals of the work The goal set at this stage of work was to obtain data on the relationship between the center, or "city" (Llaqta) of Machu Picchu and the network of the remaining 60 stations. Three very different regions (and positions located on them) were selected for detailed research: Mirador de Inkaraqay located in the immediate vicinity of Llaqta, on the northern slopes of Huayna Picchu, Chachabamba (and neighboring Choquesuysuy) located 7 km from Llaqta on the shores of Vilcanota / Urubamba river and the farthest, located about several dozen kilometers from Llaqta around high-mountain lakes at the foot of Nevado Salcantay. Great importance was also attached to the issue of dating the studied positions in order to answer the main question: what was the time relation of the creation of Llaqta Machu Picchu and those positions which we define as satellite in relation to it? Was Llaqta created as the first or its construction was the culmination of the previously initiated Inca process of urbanization of this part of the Vilcanota / Urubamba valley? A separate goal, especially important for our Peruvian partners, was to draw up conservation recommendations regarding the archaeological sites studied. Applied techniques and research procedures In addition to traditional excavations carried out as part of the two-year research programs approved by the Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura-Cusco, for which the Polish side presented their specific proposals, it was possible to widely apply non-invasive research techniques, primarily GPR (so-called georadar) and LiDar, i.e. a scanner located on drone for recognizing the terrain and structures covered with dense vegetation as well as analyzing satellite images. Documentation of the examined positions was made using 3D laser scanning technique as well as ground and air photogrammetry. In the study of the lakes, a fishfinder and side sonar were used, as well as an underwater view made by archaeologists-divers. Due to the very high altitudes at which these reservoirs are located (4,200 - 4,500 m, e.g.), this part of the works, absolutely pioneering in this area, had to be particularly well prepared and controlled. The most important results and further research perspectives The following charts and the film present research procedures and their results in particular thematic groups. At this point, it is important to note the importance of radiocarbon dating obtained as a result of the Project, which significantly changes the current chronology of the creation of Llaqta Machu Picchu and several of its satellite positions. It seems that Llaqta and Chachabamba began to be built in the first half of the 15th century and not after 1450, as previously thought. However, probably even earlier, at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the construction of the site of Choquesuysuy neighboring with Chachabamba in the Vilcanota valley began. These results are so encouraging that a joint decision was made, with Peruvian and New Zealand partners, to prepare a comprehensive radiocarbon dating program for several positions from the Park. Excavation work will not cease: as part of the contract extended for the next years with the Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura, we were offered to study at the little-known Qantupata ceremonial site, which is located in a very hard-to-reach area, covered with tropical forests. It was already carried out in 2019 by D. Sieczkowska, M.A. for initial recognition of the position and the commencement of regular research is planned after the end of the rainy season, in the second quarter of 2020. Mariusz Ziółkowski FI’02 Head of the Project (translated from Polish by Andrew A. Piętowski)

Maciej Kuczyński

B. 15/04/1929 in Warsaw - d. 5/8/2019 in Warsaw. An architect, writer and journalist by profession, a polar explorer, a speleologist, mountaineer, researcher, explorer, a writer and journalist by passion. As a 15-year-old scout of the Gray Ranks, he joined under the pseudonym "Rosomak" to the Warsaw Uprising in the Śródmieście district. After the collapse of the Uprising and the banishment of the capital's inhabitants from the city, he relocated to Kraków, where he graduated from high school and the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow Polytechnic University. From the 1960s he lived again in Warsaw. 1949 Co-organized the Mountaineering Club reactivated after the WWII and co-founded its Tatra Cave Commission. 1950. He co-founded the Kraków Speleologist Club - the first group in Poland to use mountain-climbing and diving methods to explore caves. He participated, among others in the exploration of the Tatra caves: Miętusia, Zimna, Kasprowa Niżna, and Chochołowska Szczelina. 1956. Co-organizer and participant of the reconnaissance expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences to Spitsbergen. 1957. Organizational and technical manager and participant of the Polish International Expedition of the Geophysical Year to Spitsbergen. 1958 Head of the expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association to Cuba's caves, where he participated in the discovery and exploration of several unknown caves. 1958-1965 He led exploration expeditions to the caves of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. 1963-64-65,1967,1970,1971 Organizational and technical manager and participant in a series of paleontological expeditions of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Discovery the skeletons of unknown species of dinosaurs and primitive mammals dated millions of years ago. 1966 Head of the expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association. Achieved the fourth descent to the bottom of then the deepest known cave in the world Gouffre Berger (-1424m) in France. 1969. Led the expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association to the deepest cave in South America - San Agostin in Mexico and the exploration of several dozen virgin Lakandons caves in the jungle of Mexico, during 120 km march through the cloud forest to the holy Mayan lake - Miramar 1972. Head of a high-mountain expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association in Andes, Chile and Perú, incl. participated in the first ascent to the virgin peak of Cerro Sólo (6120 m) and in the first exploration of Perύ's deepest cave - Racasmarca. 1973. Participant of the "Glacier Pollution Study" expedition of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Polish Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in the Himalayas of Nepal - on the Langtang glaciers 1974. Organizational manager and participant of the geophysical expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences to Spitsbergen 1975. Participant of the "Glacier Pollution Study" expedition of the USA Environmental Protection Agency and the Polish Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection into the equatorial glacier mountains of the Ruwenzori range - the legendary Moon Mountains, at the source of the Nile in Uganda. 1976. Head of the speleological expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association and Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleologia on the pristine Sarisarinama plateau in the Orinoco river basin in Venezuela. Participant of the speleological "discovery of the century" - exploration of an unknown kind of cave in quartzite rocks. Managed the pontoon expedition, which, flowing in the jungle upstream of the Caura river- tributary of the Orinoco, reached its waterfalls 1977. Participant of the "Glacier Pollution Study" expedition of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Polish Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection on the glaciers of Mount McKinley (presently: Denali) in Alaska. 1980. Managed the speleological expedition of the Polish Mountaineering Association, which was the second to reach a record-breaking depth of -640 m in America's deepest cave - Sótano de San Agostin 1982. Participated in the Finnish ecological research of the subpolar lakes of Lapland in Finland 1982. Invited and accepted to the Explorers Club (headquarters in New York). 1983. Participated in the nature and film yacht expedition to the Åland Islands in the Baltic 1985. He received the title of Honorary Member of the Polish Mountaineering Association 1992. Interpreted the meaning of the inscription on the Disk of Phaistos from Crete (around 1600 BC). Published his hypothesis in a book entitled "Atlantis Disk." 1993. Co-founder of the Polish Branch of the Explorers Club and served as its president for a decade 1998-2004 As a lecturer led the expeditions for tourists to Peru, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. For three decades he studied pre-Columbian cultures and shamanism in Mexico and Central America. Came to the sensational hypothesis about the biological and transcendental knowledge of ancient Mexicans and the sources of its origin (he included it in the books "Worshipers of the snake" and "Year 838, in which the Mistekas Indians (not Mystics) discovered the genetic code").   Author of novels and short stories: ALARM POD ANDAMI, 1961 GRANDMA-ROBOT AT THE FIREPLACE, 1963 Good BYE, SUN, 1963 WHITE PALMS, 1963 BOY FROM ORGAN MOUNTAINS, 1964 DRY STEP STARS, 1965 ATLANTIDA, ISLAND OF FIRE, 1967 (school reading) DISASTER, 1968 EXPEDITION FOR DINOSAURS, 1968 COLD RIVER BANK, 1969 KAYUM, 1970 ROBBERY, 1972 WINNER, 1976 GLOBETROTTER, 1976 GLOBETROTTER - NEW ADVENTURES, 1976 INVENTION, 1978 HELMET, 1978 YEAR OF THE RAM, 1989 LEGENDS ABOUT SAINTS, 1999 Co-author: EXCURSIONS TO THE END OF THE WORLD, 2004 BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, 2004 WORLD ON A PLATE, 2004, ADVENTUROUS DREAMS, ADVENTUROUS LIVES, 2007 Canada In addition, he is the author of press articles, expedition reports, film scripts, radio plays, director and cinematographer of seven documentary films about research expeditions, co-creator of several television programs (including the Transantarctica series about Marek Kamiński's expedition to the South Pole). Polish editions of books by Maciej Kuczyński have achieved circulation of about 1.6 million copies. He received the 1976 Scout Literary Award and the UNESCO IBBY Literary Award 1980 (International Board on Books for Young People).


The Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club
The headquarters:
69 Nowy Świat Street, Warsaw, klatka (stairs) B, pokoj (room)107

The correspondence:
Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warsaw Poland


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