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Piasnica River Poland - Poland

Piasnica River Poland is a fresh water dive site, located in Poland.

L akes - large and deep, small and shallow. Long, oval, beautiful and interesting, forgotten and popular, clean and "less transparent." How many have you seen?
F ive, ten, maybe forty. How many have you dived in? Well... Have you ever asked yourself this question?
W hether you have or you haven’t, one thing is certain - everybody can name all the rivers (s)he dived in because river diving is a rare entry on the diving curriculum of most divers. Or maybe I’m wrong? Anyway, let me offer a few details on one of the most beautiful Polish rivers to all the less experienced in diving in current waters. I strongly believe that my short report about Piaœnica diving will inspire quite a few divers to plan a river-diving trip instead of heading for yet another lake as usual.
P iaœnica is a small river that takes its beginning from the artificial ¯arnów receptacle in the Kaszubian Pomerania. The upper run was shaped by bulldozers - the bed was straightened and the river lost a bit of its natural appeal and advantages. Around the town of Dêbki the river starts weaving and beautiful meanders create such wonderful underwater landscapes that you never think of getting out of the water. My first dive in Piaœnica was in August 1999. I entered the water around Dêbki and swam all the way down to the sea, which took me about two hours. I had just returned from a two-week yacht cruising and diving in the Tyrrhenian Sea around the islands of Elba and Capraia. I was absolutely stunned with what I saw in Piaœnica. Instead of feeling rather unimpressed after diving in the Mediterranean, I was so amazed with the abundance of plants and animals in the river that I immediately thought of coming there for another stay in the future. I traveled to dive in Piaœnica again in October 2001. I would certainly come there more often if not for the distance from my home city. And you certainly know that planning a trip to the Baltic, you think mostly of wreck diving. Every diver keeps in memory a few dives, the greatest ones of all that (s)he’s done over years of diving. Some remember diving at wrecks or in caves. Others remember reef diving or an encounter with a shark. I had one of my most memorable dives in Piaœnica. Dubious? Pack your equipment and go there. I recommend hitting Piaœnica in summer. The water has eight-meter transparency. The river is rather small, so you can see the entire riverbed just looking around. The river isn’t the type of Vistula or Odra, it has the characteristics of a large mountain stream but is a little less rapid and has a less stony bottom. On a sunny day you can surely expect excellent diving. The depth is five, at most six meters on the outside of meanders.
A s any river, Piaœnica is worth diving in provided that it hasn’t rained. In case of rain you should think of driving to dive at the wrecks in the nearby Gdañska Bay or in one of numerous Kaszubian lakes.
In summer Piaœnica offers typical river-diving characteristics. You can see meters-long trails of pond weed and moss that settled on branches and tree roots encroaching on the riverbed. Here and there a fallen tree serves as a hiding place for predators of Polish waters. You can admire the ubiquitous canadian waterweed and long threads of green algae. Fresh-water sponges - green, yellow and brown - testify to the exceptional clearness of the water. To my great surprise I also spotted liverwort in Piaœnica. Liverwort is a popular plant with home aquarists in Poland. I felt like coming across a palm tree in a Polish forest. I suppose that the plant somehow got into the river with aquarium water at the beginning of the summer and during the summer spread over a few kilometres of the river’s run. Liverwort needs warm water, I don’t believe it could endure the winter.
D iving in Piaœnica two years later, I saw no trace of the liverwort. I was so amazed with the abundance of fish in the summer that I thought of exploring the river with a camera. What can you see in a shallow river whose average depth is ninety centimeters? I got the impression that I saw there all the species of fish that live in Polish waters. Let me name them: perches - not the typical small specimens, but large twenty- or thirty- centimeter individuals grouping in herds of half a dozen, roaches, silver breams, ides, gudgeons, weather loaches, bleaks, chubs, pike-perches, pikes, multitudes of flounder. You can spy spinycheek crayfish sitting in every nook and cranny and also large numbers of swam mussels that have been more and more difficult to find in lakes due to the rising pollution of water.
R emember, the least attractive part of the river is the run between ¯arnowieckie Lake and Dêbki. Floating with the current from Dêbki to the sea, you never experience monotony, though. Every few hundred meters you can see something that catches your attention.
T he river weaves its narrow and picturesque meanders in sandy soil. The banks are reinforced with a strip of reeds and tree root systems. Then the river flows into a sand-dune wilderness with unusual turf subsoil. The banks of Piaœnica acquire a very intriguing characteristic there. What you see is sand on the bottom and on the sides various holes and openings carved in brown turf by the river’s current. The water is almost perfectly clear until about thirty minutes before reaching the sea. Then it’s fed by a stream, which collects water from around a dozen of drainage ditches flowing from the nearby Turf Reserve. Far from clean, the drainage water is brown due to the fact that it runs through swampy and turfy areas. Nevertheless, the visibility stays at the level of about four meters so you can dive along. If you’re feeling tired or uncomfortable, you can get out of the water by a bridge about two hundred meters further down the river. But if you have enough stamina, you will see something I have never seen in any river or lake across the entire Poland. When I had gone past the forest and the dunes and was going with the current along the beaches, I came across such masses of perches, roaches and bleaks that I felt like diving in the Red Sea rather than in a Polish river. Here you can end your dive, though I don’t believe you will. After all, the sea is close at hand. In this way you can boast of making two dives at once: in the river and in the sea. This is not the end of fun. About five hundred meters from the shore, vis-a-vis the river’s estuary you can find a sunken fishing boat resting at five to seven meters. Reportedly, when the waves are high, you can see the water breaking against the boat’s masts. So, if you want to dive a little longer and have some air left in your cylinder, you can with a bit of luck finish your dive at a wreck! The fall is a less diving-friendly season in Piaœnica. The vegetation becomes much poorer. The water transparency stays at around four meters and from the place where Piaœnica is fed by the drainage stream of the nearby reserve diving is no longer a pleasure. In this period it’s crucial to have lots of sunlight when diving. Otherwise, the water visibility may be unsatisfactory.
A nd to all those who would like to take photographs when diving in Piaœnica: this is a river, so the current will be strong all throughout the dive. Remember about the rapid flow of large numbers of organic wastes and grains of sand that will try to enter every little slit and opening in your camera. So don’t plan to take only part of your photos in the river and leave the rest of the film for another dive later in a lake. I was really amazed and surprised at the amount of sand I found in the o-rings of my camera’s case and very happy that the case kept the camera waterproof. How to get to Piaœnica? Well, it’s quite a long drive from Warsaw. Making for Gdañsk, when you go along the road between Reda and S³upsk, you have to turn to Dêbki in Wejherowo (road 217). In Dêbki you drive past a restaurant to your right and after about fifty meters turn left where the asphalt road turns right. You’re now driving down a sandy road used mainly by the tourists. Along both sides of the road you will see various resorts, bars, pubs and caffes teeming with people in the summertime. After a kilometer the road forks. If you turn left, driving on slabs of concrete you will reach a barred entrance to the sand dunes with a board saying "Nadmorski Park Krajobrazowy" (the Seaside Landscape Park), convincing you that this is the place. Turning right, you will encounter a small bridge with a stream flowing underneath. You can stop there to take a look at the water. This is not Piaœnica yet but the drainage-ditch stream I described above. Driving a little further, you will see the picturesque bends of Piaœnica. Entering the river there, you will reach the Baltic in about two hours.
Thus, let me state it once again: you don’t have to go deep down to have a fantastic dive. Go to Piaœnica and see it for yourself.

Text and photos: Rudi Stankiewicz



Bestdivers - 7/11/2010 6:29 PM

I you want to dive in Poland or make same experience in this field we invite you.