In late August, early September my husband and I took a short flight from Wroclaw, Poland (where we currently live) to the Tri-City up along the Baltic Sea. We had always heard great things about the region however after living in Poland for a year and a half we somehow still hadn’t made it up there. With Santi as one of the equipment sponsors for an upcoming expedition to the Arctic, and with their headquarters so close by in Gdynia, we decided to make our way north to personally place our dry suit orders. Flying in on Saturday afternoon and leaving Monday evening we had roughly 48 hours to see the highlights of the three cities (Sopot, Gdansk, & Gdynia) and get fitted for our first drysuits. It was a hectic but exciting trip!
We had a hotel booked in Sopot since it is situated between Gdansk and Gdynia, and quickly realised it is the heart and soul of the Tri-City. The salty air, long expanse of the sandy shore and wide array of seaside restaurants provided a nice break from landlocked Wroclaw. With Europe’s longest boardwalk just outside of our hotel, I must admit it felt as if I was back at home along the Eastern Seaboard. The three cities were definitely worth the visit and from what we learned there are some really cool wreck dives along the coast. Since the Baltic isn’t known for its warm temperatures we would first need some drysuits before getting involved with any cold water diving.
Monday morning, once inside Santi’s headquarters we were immediately impressed with both the hospitality and layout of the office/workshop. The atmosphere was very welcoming and also visually pleasing. Highly saturated diving images and graffiti art were splashed across the white walls while a large assortment of dive gear seemed to be calling out to us.
The first order of business was the measurements and there were many. This was our first time ordering dry suits and we were probably a bit too particular but they are really too expensive to have mistakes made. It was an interesting and rather warm experience as we layered ourselves in to thermals, heated vests, under suits and then the outer shells. Surely I would be warm in the Arctic but once everything was on I struggled to understand how exactly I was supposed to move; let alone dive and photograph in such an alien environment. If you’d like to learn more about the upcoming expedition, Artists for the Arctic; click here: http://www.elysiumepic.underwaterartists.com