Kiana Weltzien is recognized as a sailor, writer, and water-woman who embarked on her sailing journey as an adult, having not grown up with a strong connection to the ocean. She transitioned from a real estate career in Miami to a life at sea after meeting a real-life pirate, which significantly shifted her life’s trajectory1. Kiana, who is in her mid-20s, has become a seasoned solo female sailor, accumulating thousands of nautical miles and completing multiple transatlantic crossings aboard her 40-foot old Wharram catamaran named Mara.
Her sailing adventure began when she acquired a boat and aimed to sail it from Panama to the United States. This journey was not only a dream come true for Kiana but also a fundraiser project which she organized, as she sought to achieve her sailing dreams. She is noted for her bravery and competence, sailing solo across the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, while navigating through challenges such as avoiding hurricanes and dealing with microplastics.
Kiana shares her experiences and adventures through various platforms including social media and podcasts, and has been involved in discussions about the synergy between nature and humanity, the dream of sailing away, and her learning experiences on sailing, among other topics. Her story showcases a journey of courage, resilience, and the pursuit of one’s passions against the odds.
Her Wharram catamaran; Mara Noka was constructed in a shipyard in Whitby, England. It is 12,30 meters in length, 5 meters wide, with a draft of 80 centimeters. Made out of plywood with a vinyl covering and two masts, it splashed in 1974.