HELP CAPT. KITTY HERRESHOFF AND HIS CREW ABOARD THE VACILANDA SAFELY SAIL TO PANAMA!
The crew of the sailing vessel Vacilanda was formed in the summer of 2012 while working together to help build the Boatel project in Rockaway Beach, NY. Formed by some of the members of Brooklyn's Swimming Cities collective, the Boatel was a collection of motor-less motor boats reconstructed into habitable installations using mostly found materials, each by a different artist. For Herre, Pete, and Tory, it became increasingly apparent that their next project would be to rebuild a boat that was not stationary, but could sail around the world. Trading Pete's small vessel, Mariah, for the much larger Vacilanda meant accepting months of restoration, but if they are able to restore the Vacilanda, she could safely carry them and others almost anywhere. Their first sail is from Rockaway Beach, NY, to Isla Bestimentos Bocas del Toro, Panama. The destination is Yemanja Caribe, a hostel and restaurant recently opened by fellow artists of the Boatel, but native to Panama.
Sailing vessels have long outlived other popular forms of transportation for both people and cargo. Wind power is free energy that is available to anyone, and as transportation becomes more dependent on fuels that we destroy our earth to extract, the ability to travel mostly with just wind becomes increasingly valuable to our collective futures. The crew of Vacilanda, while only one vessel, wishes to join the fleet of sailboats currently living by the philosophy of free non-harmful energy. In addition to sail power, the boat uses a diesel engine to motor in and out of ports and difficult areas. The engine that came with the boat, a Perkins 4-108 diesel, needs a complete rebuild, but when finished will have the potential to run on vegetable oil. They will store additional power using solar panels hooked up to batteries which is the source of all of their electronics for navigation lights, water pumps, cabin light, and charging devices. The goal is to live and travel untethered to any local grid.
The crew will be producing a catalog of their travels, beginning with building the boat, that outlines their route, port stops, local facts, pictures, difficulties, weather, changes to the plan, and cartographic images for each leg of the journey, beginning with Rockaway to Bocas del Toro. This book will be designed for any impassioned sailor or traveller to those coastal regions. Additionally, the Vacilanda will be taking on additional crew throughout the journey as well as those visiting or local to the regions we travel through for day trips and sailing lessons.
CREW, S/V VACILANDA
Individual: Captain Kitty Herreshoff
Born: March 29th, 2012
Location: Boatel at Marina 59, 59th St and Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Beach, NY
Breed: American White Tabby
Born on: Sweet Anissa (Boatel Vessel), artist Catherine Yeager
Adopted to: S/V Mariah; skipper Peter Elwell
First cruise: M/V Sundown; skipper Orien Mcniell
Cruises: M/V Cuddles; skipper Martina Mrongovius, S/V Christina; skipper Sean Rice,S/V Fat Bottom Girl; skipper Peter Elwell, S/V Trouble No More; skipper Christian Gutierrez
Post Hurricane Sandy: S/V Mariah sold, Herreshoff becomes part owner of S/V Vacilanda with Peter Elwell and Victoria Censits with the goal of circumnavigating the earth.
First Destination Goal Point: Yemanja Caribe, Hostel and Restaurant, Bocas del Toro, Panama; founded by Lamar Iposa Bailey Karamañites and Pascale Boucicaut at Isla Bastimentos
Bio: Kitty Herreshoff has always been a boat cat. Named after naval architect, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, partially known for his catboat designs, Kitty Herreshoff was raised at Marina 59, home of the underground Boatel in Rockaway Beach, NY. Shortly after his birth, Herreshoff moved into his first sailboat, S/V Mariah and began his life with his new crew, Peter Elwell and Victoria Censits. Thus began his love for sailing. After a three-day sailing trip transporting the 34 foot sailboat, S/V Trouble No More, through the Long Island Sound, Herreshoff's dreams of further sailing adventures were born.
ADDITIONAL CREW MEMBERS
Individual: Peter Elwell
From: New Bedford, Massachusetts, Whaling town.
Bio: Peter grew up around boats and has worked on and sailed various vessels, from Alaskan Cod boats, to Gulf Oyster boats. Since early childhood, he has dreamed of circumnavigating the earth.
Individual: Victoria Censits
From: Princeton, NJ
Bio: Victoria has been involved in various collaborative art projects with the focus in construction of spaces using found objects. With a background in graphic design and economics she has a profound interest in mapping, both of geographies and ideas and hopes to create a book of her findings throughout the adventures aboard Vacilanda.
The plan was to take S/V Mariah, a 25 footer, the distance to Panama, but when the offer for a 38 foot sailing vessel was made to Herreshoff and his crew they shifted their plans in favor of investing in their new portable home, S/V Vacilanda. Despite the inexpensive cost of the boat in its current condition, the timing and work needed to prepare the boat have made a drastic impact on their plans. Hurricane Sandy hit a couple days after acquiring the new vessel Vacilanda, destroying their home in Rockaway, and leaving the marina with a pile of boats stacked in the parking lot. The crew postponed their plans to leave and began working daily in their neighborhood of Rockaway bringing generators and pumps to houses with water-filled basements and distribution centers in need of power. Additionally, two other potential members of the original crew planning to sail the distance to Panama chose to remain in Rockaway over the winter where they were greatly needed. Herreshoff, Peter, and Victoria have now taken on the life-changing task of outfitting their new sailing home to begin the long, initial trip from New York City to Bocas del Toro, Panama. Sandy was a huge setback for many individuals, families, and businesses, as it was for the Vacilanda crew, but they continue to invest in their goal to make it to their friends in Panama, having already left a job, an apartment, and other opportunities in their wake. The giant diesel engine is now in the process of being completely disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled. The water system is getting new pipes and the electrical is being re-wired. Reinforcements are being made to parts of the hull, deck, and rigging. The crew is doing all of the work on their own to remain within their budget with help only from knowledgable local friends. In preparation for the trip, the Vacilanda crew has been compiling lists of contacts and suggestions, where the wealth of knowledge is mostly found. The three of them plan to catalog their findings, route, ports, destinations, and difficulties along the way, opening up the possibility for others to access valuable information for personal interest of for the purpose of making the same trip. To safely make Herreshoff and his crew's dream of sailing to Panama a reality, they will need the following items:
Solar Panel $400
Deep Cycle Batteries $140 x 3 = $420
EPIRB- Emergency locating device ($500-1000)
GPS Antennae and Navigation Program $100
Various construction materials $500
Fuel: Diesel/Propane/Gas $1000
Kitty food/litter $100
= $2520 (+ cost of EPIRB)