Few weeks ago, I went to a lake called Jezioro Ciecz in western Poland close to the German border for scuba diving. I had never been to the area before so I was looking forward to checking it out. The weather was in hot late twenties, which actually makes it pleasant to dive in the normally cold waters of Poland. As we were heading towards the lake, we found out that the diving center that existed there 7 years ago was no longer operating. Thankfully we had at least one full tank each, so we decided to head there anyway.
As soon as I caught the first glimpse of the lake, I fell in love with its beauty. We were at the very end of the lake which was narrow and with a lot of turns (which I interestingly found out later). The water was a beautiful shade of green, perhaps the most beautiful I’ve ever seen on a natural lake. We started unloading at what would be our campsite for the night, and started getting our gear ready. We had a cranky wooden boat hired for the day, so we were all good to go.
I was about to dive after almost a year long hiatus, so I didn’t do too well on the first dive. I had problems with equalizing pressure on the ears, my mask was flooding, and I felt that the gear was too heavy on me. So we stuck to the edges (around 8 meters depth) and still continued the dive. We saw some plants and fish, but the underwater despite its gorgeous color on the surface wasn’t clear. We were told that it was quite clear after 15 meters, but we didn’t go that deep.
After the dive ended, we came back to the shore to our campsite by boat, and chilled for the rest of the day. It was really quite beautiful, I was very impressed. As is always with these dive trips, plans were made for exploring the area. There was a beautiful forest in the area with no one around where we went exploring.
There were several small ponds in the forest. Beautiful summer colors and the lack of people made it really look like it was from a fantasy book. The guys had plans of rowing on the lake for a while during sunset before we would go on a night dive, and I happily agreed.
So when we got back from the forest, we all went on the boat. There was a funny, (very) chatty fisherman who was sitting among the trees trying his luck with the fish, and he asked if we could get him some beers from the shop at the other end of the lake before we got on the boat. The guys already pumped with some vodka happily obliged, my job as the only woman in the team (with not much to contribute in the rowing) was to just sit and enjoy the lake. Sounded perfect.
I was in my normal beach cover-up with swimsuit underneath, and remembered to pack a bottle of water and some bug spray. The boat journey on the water was absolutely beautiful and so serene, as you can tell from the photos. The water color was just mesmerizing and the thick woods on either sides just added to the charm. After passing the first turn which from our campsite looked like the end of the lake, we realized that the lake was probably bigger than we thought. My husband checked on google maps that it was indeed quite big! But the trip to the shop was still happening.
So the guys took turns rowing, and the turns would just never end, one after other, on a manual boat. It was starting to get chilly. My husband checked again and verified that we were barely halfway there and the lake was actually 6 kms long! But I didn’t mind too much as the scenery was beautiful, the only problem was that it was starting to get a bit cold for me. After about 2 hours of rowing, we finally reached the end of the lake, which was a relief. I was desperate for some warmth which a nearby burger shop provided for the time being. It was time to return.
As we crossed the first turn, it felt as if we were far from civilization again. I was shivering at this point from the cold. It must have been about 10:30 in the evening. This time it was dark and there wasn’t much to see except the clear sky. I was thinking that I probably wouldn’t manage the night diving due to cold. I just wanted to reach the campsite, sit by the fire and put on my warm clothes. When that finally happened, it was such a relief. I ended up not going on the night dive, but it was probably for good that I called it off as I was just too cold from the spontaneous 4 hour long adventure.
The next day was better in terms of diving as we went to a new lake. The beaches were absolutely crammed with people but our dive center’s beach was quite empty. Its operators were friendly and nice, and I was happy to be able to charge my phone and use a normal toilet again. The diving went alright although the temperature of water beyond 10 meters depth suddenly dropped to about 6 degrees. As usual we saw some installed things like cars, funny sculptures, and wooden platforms. One of the platforms had a mirror so it was fun checking whether I was able to properly control my buoyancy from breathing.
Although the previous day’s diving was bad, I was glad that we visited what for me now is the most beautiful lake in Poland. Maybe I’ll remember to carry a light jacket for the evenings (despite summer) next time, a lesson which I never seem to learn despite living in Europe for so many years! 😀