Polar Star

Polar Star
Will She break some more ice?...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

This picture was taken by C/E Waclaw on September 29.
As you can see She is still white and red, rather than yellow and brown.
The view is heart breaking in the evening though, when it is so obvious she is abandoned.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still No Good News

It's been over 4 months since She was left in Las Palmas and over 6 months out of the water.
The gossips from July has become invalid - there has been no auction.
Obviously, the amount of work needed now to get Her running would be much greater than in May.
Also, see the latest news from the Chronicle Herald for more details from PWC.
I still have not given up the hope to see Her sailing, but I have given up the hope to see the crew paid.

Take care, wherever you are


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Polar Star's future

Dear All,

It has been almost a month since we left the ship.
Since then no news has been received, just a few rumors.
But as you can see our new header picture and recent news by The Chronicle Herald, looks like there is a great chance for a happy ending.
At least to the Ship.

Stay in touch,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back Home and...?

As far as I know we have all arrived safely and reunited with our families.

And now? ... of course - we will start looking for other jobs; I have heard a few have already found something.
But I was more wandering what will be the fate of the Polar Star?
Shall we keep this blog for some time to inform all those interested when she is back in service?
Which I think would be trully the happy end.

Otherwise, I think I will remove the blog from the cyberspace in a week or so...

Any suggestions welcomed.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thank you and good bye!

Dear Friends,

The last persons left the Polar Star today, on May 28 at Noon.
We all feel sorry for abandoning this ship, which has been like home to many of us.
We shall carry on with our lives, keeping only good memories and most of all everything you did for us.
Thanks to you this bad experience has received a new dimmension, which has made us all feeling part of the humankind we may believe in.

See you around
this Beautiful World,


Friday, May 27, 2011

Almost there!!!

Dear Friends,
It is Friday, 21:30 and it has been another very busy day.
But I shall start packing soon with the smile on my face, as most of the crew is travelling home now!

Last plane with Filipinos left Las Plamas an hour ago. It is still a long way home for them but the kind of that we seamen are used to.
Two Polish are stuck in Madrid thanks to... President Obama visiting Poland and thus airspace closed :-)

Five of us left on board are enjoying the very last gangway duties and are getting ready to go home tomorrow.

If you do not hear from me for the rest of the weekend now, it is beacuse I will be travelling too.

But for now, my huge respect to you, for all your help of whichever kind.
Without YOU we would not make it back home so fast.

I still hope our second home will become again a joy and shelter for many more seaman, expedition staff and passengers.
I dream we meet on Polar Star again. And just the idea of it makes me smile...

Thank you ALL!!!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update as of May 26, 19:00 GMT

Dear Friends,
Three officers are on their way home.
Two were refused at the airport this morning, but lets put it on account of rushed booking.

Tomorrow is The Day - we expect 20 crew members to be repatriated, all Filipinos amongst them.
Hopefully their visas arrive in time, as promissed by PwC and Policia Forntera.

Keep your fingers crossed!

El Capitan

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update as of May 26, 01:00 GMT

Dear All,

I am pleased to confirm that PwC kept the promise and arranged tickets for all of us.
First crew will be leaving in a few hours already and I shall depart during the weekend, leaving nobody behind.
The flight connections are as good as they could be on such a short notice.

All the donations received and not returned to you (please see separate page) were distributed among the crew in the following manner:
Crew with long/overnight stopovers - Euro 40
Crew with only 20 kg luggage allowance - Euro 80
(For those not aware - regular seafarer ticket allows 40 kg of luggage, so very few people on board can now squeze to 20 kg. Especially those serving on Polar Star for few years already.)

I am told we may expect some extra travelling pocket money from the PwC, too.
Yet, as I needed to "close the account" yesterday afternoon, we distributed the money available then in the most fair and yet simple way.

I will be updating this blog until I hear from everyone that they returned home safely.
However, please forgive me irregularity.
As you can imagine the busiest time for me has just come.

Thank you once again for all the support, whether financial or legal or moral or spiritual.

Forever thankful,

Jacek Lisiecki

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bank Account - updated

Dear Friends,

To avoid confusion we removed the account number from the web site.

At this moment we believe the PricewaterhouseCooper is going to take care of our repatriation.
Thank you for all donations so far.
Summary has been posted on separate page.
All the money not used by us, will be sent back to you.
We will post the breakdown of all the money used.
We appreciate any further suggestions from your side how we can handle this delicate matter.
We do not want to abuse your trust in us in any way.

Thank you,
Forever grateful,
Crew of the Polar Star

Help needed

Dear Friends and People of Goodwill,

My name is Jacek Lisiecki and I am the captain of the Polar Star, the expedition ship most of you have either recognized or loved.

As you may know by now all assets of our owner and operator, Karlsen Shipping Company Limited and Polar Star Expeditions, were ceased by the lenders SpareBank 1 SMN and Toronto Dominion Bank on May 12 and the receiver, Price Waterhouse Cooper was appointed on May 17 in the Courts of Nova Scotia, Canada.

At this moment it is not of my interest to study the reasons of this cease but I am to cry for help.

The crew on board was not paid for the last three months. Including some crew previous months outstanding balance as of today, May 18 the total claim for unpaid crew wages is already over a quarter million of USD and increasing over three thousands every day.

We are in process of undertaking all necessary steps to claim our money in the court with the assistance of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), as we have been covered by the Agreement between our Owners/Company and the Norwegian and Philippine Unions.

We realize this legal process may take some extensive time and the outcome may not be to our full satisfaction.

We are deeply disappointed that until now, neither lenders nor the receiver have contacted us with a proposal of either reimbursing the outstanding salaries or at least arranging our repatriation home.

Hence, I am forced to think the lenders and/or the receiver have chosen to secure their money without looking after the wellness and freedom of people they are abandoning in the foreign country, away from home, on the ship with no cash, little food supplies left and no agent to cooperate with.

Therefore, I would like to ask you to donate any smallest amount of money in order to raise funds for the repatriation of my twenty seven crew members still remaining on board of the Polar Star.

Understanding that the lenders and the receiver have no intention to operate the Polar Star in any way, this lovely ship is becoming to us nothing else but a bundle of steel quickly devaluating in value.

It is heart breaking that this moment came just after the ship has been fully repaired in Las Palmas shipyard, following her recent grounding in Antarctica last winter.

However, we all understand there is no room for sentiments in the nowadays business world.

And hence, as legally our contracts were broken already a month ago I feel no responsibility to protect the ship anymore but only its crew, even at the cost of letting the Polar Star to be completely abandoned and left unprotected.

Should raised money be over our needs, the crew decided to authorize the ITF to utilize it for repatriating other seafarers that have been or will be abandoned in the similar way. We think being blessed by your gesture of solidarity we must pass it onto other seafarers, who in the XXI century still become victims of piratical practices as often as of the real pirates.

Thank you for your consideration and/or taking your time to pass it onto other people of goodwill or institutions you may know.

Yours truly,

Jacek Lisiecki