The Heraclitus is a symbol of hope. A moving ship, a moving platform of poets, artists, dreamers, scientists, exemplifying, by their own sincerity and intent, our own human quest, celebrating everything that we are.
~ Wade Davis, ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker
RESEARCH VESSEL HERACLITUS, the Chinese-junk research ship built by the Institute of Ecotechnics in 1975, has sailed the world’s oceans for over forty years, traveling more than 270,000 nautical miles in every sea except the Arctic.
Over the course of its twelve epic expeditions, the ship has been a nautical home to hundreds of seafarers from all walks of life, hailing from over fifty countries. The Heraclitus is a floating platform for arts, science, ecology and adventure. She conducts citizen science in marine ecologies, documents cultural oral history in coastal areas, and collects data documenting the quickening cycle of decline in our oceans from warming, acidification, and other impacts on the ocean ecosystems resulting from climate change impacts.
The expedition team is engaged in a long-term project to document and proliferate an oral history archive of the lives and legends of the coastal cultures along the ship’s route. The oral history recordings are part of a larger database which shares the mission to record and pass along the rich heritage and ancestral knowledge of sea-people. As part of the cultural exchange with the people met along the way, the crew of the Heraclitus puts on original theatrical productions about life at sea.
The ship is docked in Rosés, Spain where it is in the last phase of a major rebuild. The new ferroconcrete hull has been completed and ready to be painted. We are seeking committed and skilled volunteers, sponsor and potential allies. The crew will outfit the ship in entirety by end of 2024, to set sail on a five-year Atlantic Expedition in the North and South Atlantic to document practices and traditions of the Atlantic sea people. Relaunch slated for 2024!
We will set sail following traditional routes along the Atlantic currents, eventually making a ‘figure eight’ down the coast of West Africa, across to Brazil and Argentina in South America, back to the Southern Part of West Africa and across again to South America (including the Amazon River), the Caribbean, North American East Coast, Greenland, Iceland and Northern Europe.
On how to get involved please contact Expedition Chief Christine Handte, here.