24 august 2022
KIANA and Mara Noka had
spent most of 2021 and
the first quarter of 2022
in a St. Augustine, Florida
boatyard, hauled out of the water (on the
hard) making significant repairs to the
twin plywood hulls, which had a nylon
and tar coating. It was a major restoration,
including stripping much of the boat
down to bare wood, replacing rot, rebuild-ing
a bulkhead, reglassing and painting
hulls and the bottom, and installing a new
Kiana had tackled the work herself.
Four months in she was joined by her
friend Lærke Heilmann, a surfer, sailor,
artist and environmentalist who arrived
from the Canary Islands to go sailing.
“We thought we were going sailing in
two weeks, and we kept thinking that
— two weeks, and we’d tell people, two
weeks,” Lærke says.
It would be closer to a year.
Kiana was not a stranger to historic
St. Augustine, having attended Flagler
College in 2013.
With no previous land or marine
construction skills, Kiana learned as she
went during the 14 months and 7 days the
boat was out of the water.
Top: Kiana Weltzien adjusts the angle on the boat sunshade. Above: Tom Hackler
helps Kiana load water for the voyage. Right: Tom, Kiana and Lærke Heilmann
examine the boat’s only motor.
ALLISON POTTER ALLISON POTTER