Thursday, December 31, 2009

plastiki expedition update

Happy New Years Eve, everyone!

The Plastiki is setting sail soon! Remember me posting about this back in June? The Plastiki is a 60-foot catamaran made out of 12,500 plastic bottles and recycled waste products, that is setting sail from San Francisco, California and traveling 10,000 nautical miles to Sydney, Australia.

In line at the grocery store last weekend, I spotted the Dec 2009 issue of Outside magazine , featuring a picture and article on David de Rothschild, head of Adventure Ecology - and the mastermind behind the Plastiki - which kicked a reminder into me to post an update on this impending adventure.

Here's a little model of the boat. It was built in a warehouse on Pier 31 in San Francisco, CA. The crew consists of a handful of people, who will be sharing some tight quarters over the next three months, while they set a course through places of environmental concern. This mission is quite an undertaking; not only is de Rothschild and crew attempting to "galvanize change" by making more of us aware of the damaging effects waste has on our environment, but their journey may be quite arduous, as the catamaran is essentially an experimental boat. Can you imagine: Sailing along in the big bad blue for a little over three months, in a boat that could potentially encounter some serious problems? The crew isn't going to be able to take many personal items with them, they'll be bunking in small beds in shifts, and they'll be eating dehydrated food and hanging out with each other in a close proximity for a quarter of a year!

This got me thinking - you've got to be a person really passionate and serious about creating change to attempt a feat such as this. How many of us would be able to give up the majority of our daily comforts and sail in an experimental boat to state a cause - waste - which if humankind listens and sets new rules, will eventually do us all some good? I'm guessing not many.... Not to mention, you've got to really like the people you're traveling with, considering you're stuck with them on a 60-foot boat. What essentials would you bring with you if you could only take a couple of things on a journey like this? I would pack sunscreen and lip balm, no doubt. I wonder what the crew will bring?

Here's just a section of the thousands of water bottles used, which are filled with a special reinforcement, and placed inside the pontoons. I read that the design was inspired by the pomegranate fruit. Design inspired by nature was a big factor in building the Plastiki.

Visit the website, to follow the crew's adventure. I'll also be posting updates occasionally...

Bon voyage and best of luck, Plastiki!

(pictures borrowed from The Plastiki Expedition page on Facebook).

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