Spain | Rebuilding a Historic Vessel

Role: video documentary and oral histories

The Heraclitus is a 25 meter ferrocement Chinese junk, designed and built by volunteers of the Institute of Ecotechnics. Since its launch in 1975, the legendary ship has continuously sailed the world, logging over 270,000 nautical miles through six oceans (all except the Arctic). The multi-cultural crew aims to live a present-day embodiment of the millennia-old tradition of Sea People.

Its many voyages have included ethnobotanical investigations, coral reef research, meteorological measurements, oceanic exploration, cultural interchanges, theatrical performances, and adventure.

The ship has a unique history of continuous sailing expeditions: voyages across oceans alternate with detailed visits to island, coastal and estuary systems. Opportunities abound to understand Planet Water and cultures comprising the Ethnosphere, to directly experience forces of nature that drive our rapidly-changing planetary weather systems, and to understand the intricate interaction of the technosphere with aquatic life systems.

After sailing to Corsica and Tunisia in 2012, the Captain took the ship to Roses, Spain, to undergo an extensive re-build. Mark Abouzeid participated in the Dry Dock, documenting the rebirth of this historic vessel and the cultures that came together in this context.  His work featured all aspects of the effort and communal life surrounding the work.

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