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Biography of Captain Zbigniew Puchalski

Born in Warsaw on March 28th, 1933.

His mother- Aleksandra Puchalska, nee Gellert, father: Bolesław Montwit Puchalski. On September 1st, 1939 entire family escapes to Pruszków, from bombarded Warsaw. Father- officer of 14th regiment becomes evacuated along with Pruszków Armoury towards eastern borders of Poland. Heavily wounded stays in Lviv, Ukraine. Arrested by Russians (NKVD) escapes during transport going to Katyn. He returns on foot to Warsaw, where he dies due to wounds and exhaustion. Apartment of Puchalski family in Pruszków, from first days of German occupation is a communication centre of Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and secret factory of dressing and first air materials for the 'underground'.

In 1946, Zbigniew Puchalski settles on recovered lands in Koszalin. This year also he begins his sailing part of life in Sea League Club. In 1948, completes course in National Centre of Sea Education in Gdynia.

He moves to Silesia, where he completes Metallurgical Industry High School in Chorzów. He studies during the day, and workes at night in "Kleofas", "Barbara", "Wyzwolenie" coal mines, and on Saturdays and Sundays workes in metallurgical workshop Batory deconstructing and renovating open-heart furnaces.

He spends his summers in the home yacht club "Tramp". Sails on Jamno Lake or Balic Sea, and works as a lifeguard at sea beaches.

During 1952-53, works in Non-ferrous Metal Mill Scale "Dziedzice", later begins education on Metallurgy Department at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracov. In 1961 he earns his Masters Engineer Diploma.

In 1965, begins work in Shipyard in Gdynia as a senior technician, and later after a short break in Programming and Development Department of Shipyard.

Later that year Zbigniew Puchalski patented his invention "Method of protection isolators for transistors from corrosion". Gratification he received for his intention was  assigned for construction of sea yacht.

His return to the Seacoast gave him an opportunity to rise his sailing qualifications:

1964- degree of yacht sea cox

1967- degree of yacht captain Baltic sailing

1969- patent of yacht captain of master sailing

While representing "Stal" Yacht Club, he won Polish Championship twice in a STAR class. During that period he also earns additional certificates usefully in yachting-  referee, yacht surveyor, diver and lifeguard.

Earned knowledge and large sea practice, and also the fact that he owns a yacht open many doors for Puchalski. He undertakes preparations for solitary transatlantic regattas OSTAR-72.

For his achievements in sports and in his professional career Zbigniew Puchalski has received numerous distinctions and medals: Deserved of Gdańsk Land, Deserved Sea Worked /gold badge/, Deserved Supporter of Polish Sailing /gold badge/, medal for Outstanding Athletic Achievements /silver/ and Voyage of the Year Award.

In 1973, publishes a book-"Cross Atlantic with Miranda" (Mirandą przez Atlantyk"). Further scripts were never published because of 'paper shortage" (1980).

In 1971, a sailor brought to Poland an invitation around the world regattas, "WHITBREAD 1973". Puchalski is organizing money and patronage of Gdynia Shipyard, for construction of a new yacht and becomes part of its crew in 1973.

When he returns from the WITBREAD-73 regattas, Puchalski joins forces and organizes "OPERATION SAIL-74" ("OPERACJA ZAGIEL-74") as a Capitan of Yacht Port in Gdynia. Immediately after completion of this big international event, he sails solitarily to Tallinn to meet members of Estonian sailing community. In 1975 he becomes a member of Sea Yacht Club "GRYF" in Gdynia and later takes part in solitary transatlantic regattas- AZAB-75 on British yacht "ORZEŁ" under polish flag. He finishes 13th on 56 competing yachts.

On captain Puchalski request administration of SYC "GRYF" accepts another invitation for participation of "MIRANDA" in transatlantic regattas "OSTAR-76", to celebrate establishment of City of Gdynia and jubilee of Sea Yacht Club "GRYF". Regattas were the first stage of big cruise around the world.

On June 5th, 1976, along with 124 contestants captain Zbigniew Puchalski starts from roads of Plymouth on yacht "MIRANDA" in "OSTAR-76" regattas, beginning first stage of cruise around the world.

'MIRANDA' , against intentions of its constructors from the 1930's, became an oceanic yacht and causes some problems and insufficiencies, that sailors fixed with their own work and using self acquired means.

Fellow-countrymen and polish boats spread around the world were often taking care of captain Zbigniew Puchalski. Especially in England and USA- /GAL/, in Panama- /Consulate of Republic of Poland/, in Australia- /Consulate of Republic of Poland, TEXTYLIMOEX/ and PLO, which served with help and supplies in ports all over the world.

Alone during the cruise- captain Zbigniew Puchalski, was surrounded with great care of Mother- Aleksandra and wife Stefania, who patiently were awaiting his return.


Extensive professional contacts in the world, high qualifications, supported with great experience in many branches of the industry, caused that in 1981 Zbigniew Puchalski leaves Poland and moves to Australia, where he begins working in CRA-Comalco concern in Sydney.

After many years in new environment, on the foreign land, he celebrates new professional success. He created first in Australia, best supplied industrial-examining laboratory (of that time) with modern computer system designated for analytic and microscopic examinations.

In 1997, he retires. Settles in north-eastern part of Australia- Queensland. He sails for fun, always staying close to home.

"-.I grow orchids, read a lot, listen to the music, take photos, cook, write memories from past years spent on the oceans, with thoughts and heart I'm always with my MIRANDA- now SHE is safe."

captain Zbignniew Puchalski