Adventure on the Sea
Easter on a sailing junk
A girl from Grosseto in love with the Ocean since 5 months is sailing around the world.
Colombo (Sri Lanka).
It will be a different Easter day the one that Federica Chimenti, a girl from aGrosseto, 31 years old is going to celebrate, she’s arrived some days ago in Sri Lanka on a 25meters Research Vessel with a suggestive name, Heraclitus.
Since 5 months Federica is onboard of this Chinese Junk for an expedition called “From Coral Sea to Aegean Sea” that starting from Cairns – Australia – it will arrive in Volos – Greece – via Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Brasil, probably in a couple of years, in practice, after sailing around the whole World.
<In August – Federica Chimenti says – I will decide if getting out from the ship or keep it going. I’m missing my family, my friends of Grosseto and Berlin, where I live since 3 years – she underlines – but it will be the best Easter day of my life, for sure.>
Besides to be the first girl from Grosseto to be onboard of the Heraclitus, Federica is in absolute the second Italian that is taking part of the crew composed by about fourteen people. The others 13 people are from California, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Australia, Solomon Island. <My role onboard – Federica says – include expediting, managing, and organizing of all the food supplies, for that they called me Synesthesia manager.
Is my job to buy food for all the crew, going to the market and for the long voyage to prepair the shopping list planning our futures meals and managing the food during the voyage. In fact Synesthsia is also the primary food storage area, which includes the vegetable storing crates, baskets, and stainless steel storage bins. So, I’ve discovered that if you wrap green beans, carrots and spring onions in newspapers they least longer and if you cover the eggs with some Vaseline they can least until 5 weeks out of the refrigerator, etc..
It’s a very important role on board and , for the moment, it seems that everyone are happy of my job.
Then, like each member of the crew, I take part of the watches, where everybody participate in all aspects of the ship’s operation such as raising the sails, plotting the courses, operating and maintaining the ship’s engines, handling small boats, and overall repair and maintenance of the hull and ship.
How did you get to the Heraclitus’s crew?
It was everything so quick and unexpected. I cannot believe yet. I knew about Heraclitus, just an year ago, in Berlin, when I’ve met Christine Handte, a very special woman that lived on the ship for 15yrs. At the moment she’s the Expedition Chief. She was talking to me about the time on the Ocean and listening to her I’ve starting to dream.
We became friends very soon (we had also a nice band called “Die Vitamine”!) and, when she asked me to take part of this new adventure, my dreams lighting my mind like a Christmas tree. Still now, after 5 months on board of the mythic Heraclitus, I find it hard to believe that I’m really here.
What induced you to accept the proposal of Christine?
I’m a lover of adventure and travel, I definitely assent who said that “Is not necessary to live but is necessary to travel”.
Even if I lived for long time close to the sea, I’ve never sailed before the last September and I was captured to the idea to live the sea that, for me is very faraway to staying on the beach and take a tan. I prefer a lot waiting the sunset time and enjoy when it let down to the seawaters .
Now I can say that life on the sea is a such intense experience, deep and marvellious that the life on land, in somehow, denies to you.
Are you going to reach Greece with the heraclitus?
Sincerely, I don’t know yet. It depends a lot of my economical situation and for this reason, I’m searching sponsors but, as you can image, is not the easier things to do. I will finish for sure the nine months program and then I will decide.
However, every decision I will take, it will be an experience that is going to change my life in a positive way.
You have a Zenit, What do you like to photograph?
I prefer to photograph people instead object or standing horizon and, I love to observe in them the change of the expression and the features when the number of nautical miles ,slowly slowly, are increasing.
I hope to have the possibility to organize a nice photograph show when I’m back to Grosseto for tell to everybody what I’ve see sailing around the World.
A ship as home
Running thousand of miles
The habitation on voyage of Federica, the Heraclitus, it’s a marvellous chinese junk, a 25m three masted junk rigged sailing ship
R/V Heraclitus was projected and builded by the Institute of Ecotechnics, a UK registered charity, that owns the R/V Heraclitus through the management company Tropic Seas Research, Inc and, the ongoing expedition is managed by The planet Water Expedition, LLC that worked for the TSR.
The Institute designed the Heraclitus, in the ‘70ies, for deep ocean sailing, coral reef and marsh research, and river exploration of tropical forest.
Since its launch in 1975 from Oakland, California, the Heraclitus has sailed over 250000nautical miles through six oceans (all exept the Artic) included a 2000nm voyage up the Amazon River (1980-82) studing and collecting ethnobotanical plants, the Around the Tropic World Expedition (1983-86).