Natalia acted as if nothing happened, as if these hard words never had been said. She was taking part in the ceremony to which she has been preparing herself for almost half a year, as well as the Szczecin Shipyard. She was convinced that is going to be a significant episode in the legend of Gałczyński — a ship with his name will sailing all over the world. And that was the only thing that really mattered. In the following years, everybody will remember that, rather than political speeches of the person that is hardly rememebered today. And she was absolutely right. So as if nothing happened, she said that magical words: “Sail the seas and oceans. Praise the name of Polish shipyard worker, Polish sailor and Polish flag. I give you the names: «Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński»” And then she hit the rope and released the shampagne bottle at its end and the bottle smashed against the ship's prow, spreading the shampagne all over the ship's side. That was always the crucial moment — bottle must have been broken and ship's side must have been overspread. Otherwise, there would be a bad luck for the ship. She was shown countless times how to properly hit the rope with the axe. And she made it!
The breaks were released now and the giant started slowly moving, drifted down on the water swinging from one side to the other and finally stood still. Natalia throw a bouquet of flowers towards the ship.…
At the moment when she cut the rope, the sirens in the shipyard and the port were started to welcome the new ship. This happened for the first time in the history of all the launching ceremonies. Natalia turned her eyes to the sky; they were full of tears…
Now, with the background voice of the sirens, Wojciech Siemion gave his performance.
For the memory of that moment, Natalia got the axe and the remains of the shampagne bottle.
The orchestra was playing, and there were endless ovations from the gathered people. And in the end — best wishes, gratulations, smiles. And great emotions.
All that happened on the 27th of May, 1964.
Natalia wrote in the letter sent two weeks later to the custodian of the Nieborow museum, dr Jan Wegner: “The launching was a wonderful ceremony. Can you imagine, that the idea came from the shipyard workers? That seems to me to be the most touching. The day was beautiful, sunny, big crowd in shipyard, children with flowers, Szczecin Philharmonic Hall was playing music, students choir, Siemion reciting poems, shipyard workers with their color outfits and helmets, sailors — all that had an atmosphere of a joyful carnival, so typical for Konstanty's poetry. I saw myself on the Polish Film Cronicle and I heard my own voice on the radio. Ship's Godmother tells the traditional words, so simple and self-contained: «I give you the names: Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński. Sail the seas and oceans. Praise the Polish flag and the name of Polish shipyard workers.». Isn't that beautiful? The ship will be sailing to the ports of South America. I was proposed one trip. I will take it next year. In the end this is three months' trip, I need to prepare myself for it. I need to have my house running while I'd be away. I wrote so much on the ship, but I know your feelings to Konstanty and I know you would not be angry at me. At the moment I have no plans to come to Nieborow, I need more quiet place, I have so much work…”.
Raising of the ship's flag took place in September and few weeks later “Gałczyński” started it's first journey to South America. Jerzy Sebastian Kalwasiński became her first captain.
From that moment close relations between Natalia and the captain started, which later turned into friendship. The journey, and later, the letters, Natalia's visits in Sopot (where captain Kalwasiński had his house), encounters in Warsaw, phone calls — all that lasted almost until Natalia's death. And all that made her not so very lonely; she had a group of friends sharing common interests; her lifestyle was enriched with new habits and passions. And soon she'd start writing books which tie her with the sea even more tightly. This will happen after her first trip. During that trip close relations between her and the crew of “Gałczyński”will develop.
But before Nataila will find in herself the necessity of tightening relationships with the sea, her feelings towards Szczecin were stronger and stronger, towards that city where indeed everything had started. After every return, when asked about her impressions, she used to cite the poet's words: “Everything here is marine…”.
She was grateful Szczecin people for their uncommon way of remembering Konstanty, for all the ideas that was born in that city, which were intended to fulfill his dream of saving from oblivion…
[KIRA GAŁCZYŃSKA, Srebrna Natalia]