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Plastiki, 20x60ft boat from 12,500 plastic bottles, sails 130 days & 8,000 nautical miles across Pacific Ocean, reaches Sydney

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 01 August 2010

the Plastiki crew were met by a welcome flotilla of boats and hellicopters as they sailed through Sydney habour

Plastiki crew

Epic Voyage
The Plastiki and crew have reached the end of their epic voyage which has taken them through the Pacific Ocean on an 8,000 nautical mile adventure lasting over 130 days. On Jul 26, 2010, 'plastiki' reached its final destination, sailing its way into Sydney Harbour, bringing with it a warning on pollution & on plastic waste in the oceans.


The Plastiki is a distinctive, one-of-a-kind 60-foot (20m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products.The craft was built using cradle to cradle design philosophies and features many renewable energy systems, including solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, and bicycle generators.

On March 20, 2010, the sailing vessel set off from San Francisco, California with a six-man crew, including David de Rothschild, to sail across the Pacific Ocean. The expedition projected landfall in Sydney, Australia and included plans to visit several sites en route of ecological importance or which were susceptible to environmental issues caused by global warming, for instance the current sea level rise, ocean acidification and marine pollution.

Prominent British ocean sailor Jo Royle skippered the unique vessel and carried six artists, adventurers and scientists at various stages of the journey. The crew from San Francisco to Sydney consisted of Co-skipper David Thompson, expedition diver Olav Heyerdahl, filmmakers Max Jourdan and Vern Moen, and expedition leader David de Rothschild.

Plastiki arrived in Sydney Harbour at 11.10 am (Sydney time) on Monday 26 July 2010.

July 26, 2010. The Plastiki has now reached its final destination, Sydney

As the Plastiki has now reached its final destination, Sydney, we thought we’d have look back over some of the fantastic and inspiring comments we’ve received over the last 4 months. The Plastiki crew has been overwhelmed with the level of support they have received throughout the journey. As David said in his recent phone message: “I really want to thank everybody that was behind this expedition, supporting and following us during the voyage. The connectivity between the boat and you, the supporter, has been extraordinary, and a huge boost to the crew throughout the last 130 days of the expedition...
So once again a huge THANKS to everyone who have been following and supporting us – you rock! And stay tuned for what happens after Sydney…we won’t be fading away any time soon!”

Plastiki completes journey across Pacific Ocean

The Plastiki Has Arrived In Sydney!

The Plastiki and crew have reached the end of their epic voyage which has taken them through the Pacific Ocean on an 8,000 nautical mile adventure lasting over 130 days! The team arrived midday today at Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour to an excited crowd of friends, family and supporters.

The Plastiki cabin has been home to 10 members of crew over the 4 month journey; Skipper Jo Royle, Co-Skipper David Thomson, Expedition leader David de Rothschild, Olav Heyerdahl, Graham Hill, Luca Babini, Matthew Grey, Max Jourdan, Singeli Agnew and Vern Moen. All of whom have witnessed the polluted waters of the Pacific, affirming their mission to share their experience with the watching world and most importantly highlight solutions to protect our oceans and beat waste.

During the voyage we have received an unprecedented amount of support from our sponsors, networks and followers. We’ve been inundated with fantastic messages and comments that have spurred the crew on and provided a wealth of inspiration through your stories on beating plastic pollution. So, from the Plastiki crew and the shore team we’re sending you a huge THANK YOU, and a reminder that the Plastiki journey doesn’t end here, we will be continuing to share our message to beat waste. So stay tuned for more updates on what happens next!

The Plastiki will be moored at Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour for a month and will be open to visitors on Sunday August 1st, so if you weren’t able to make it down today then you’ve still got a chance to explore this one of a kind plastic bottle boat. Keep an eye out for the more information by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Introducing The Plastiki Cabin And Systems Designs

The Plastiki was nothing if not ambitious. We wanted bicycles that would generate electricity, a hydroponic garden, water stills, vacuum de-salinators, a composting toilet, solar panels, wind turbines, regenerative electric propulsion, satellite communications and pretty much anything else that constituted an innovative sustainable “system”. She was to be a floating showroom of non-emitting futurist ideas that were simple, elegant and wholly attainable.

Our concept architect, Michael Pawlyn, had set us firmly on this road, seeding a whole range of ideas in his iconic white pen on brown paper sketches. Like so many other things with this boat all we had to do now was figure out how to make them and ergonomically integrate them into the structure.

Hand in hand with the systems ran the cabin. The jewel in the Plastiki crown; suspended in mid air between the two hulls and typically referred to as “the pod”. For the design of the cabin we turned to Architecture for Humanity and Nathaniel Corum. The brief ran a little like this: a replicable structure that can be dismounted and “re-used” in a disaster situation in order to provide timely shelter. One idea was that the cabin panels could be made from recycled plastic and fashioned with a commonality in mind that would allow them to be re-assembled into a geodesic self supporting structure no matter where they might be found in the world. A kind of relief Lego utilising ubiquitous world wide waste.

The design morphed wonderfully from egg into angular triangular stealth dome. Dimensions were carefully pushed and pulled to accommodate heads and shoulders, feet and toes. Consideration was given to water catchment, port holes, ventilation, solar panels and all kinds of other life enhancing additions. It was like the Ferrari with all the extras.

Plastiki arrives in Sydney, Australia

The Crew’s Top Plastiki Memories
The Plastiki hitting Sydney marks the end of an epic 4 month journey for our intrepid crew of 10 who have called the 20 x 60 foot plastic boat home for anything from 17 to 130 days. Here’s what they have to say about their time travelling the Pacific Ocean…


How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
From start to finish.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
The dream coming to life. Sailing out of the Golden Gate with all the excitement of the unknown ahead. Strangest was watching Vern watch his baby be born on Skype while I tried to do an interview live to Al Jazeera on Earth Day! The most memorable will be the bond I have created with the crew.

Was the journey like you expected?
To be honest I never really knew what to expect or had expectations about sailing across the Pacific or the outcomes. However, what I have experienced has been profoundly humbling and left me feeling so very blessed to have been part of this epic journey. My experience and memories will be ingrained in me forever.

What did you miss the most while at sea, and what will you miss about the Plastiki experience?
I obviously missed my friends, family, loved ones and my dogs, Nesta and Smudge. But I also missed the smell of freshly cut grass, a cold pint of cider, a dry still bed and being able to walk outside of a 20×60 foot space.

If you were to go onboard the Plastiki again what would you do differently or bring with?
I would go and totally disconnect from the world + I would bring my dogs, a pig, a parrot and more chocolate!

What plastic pollution/human effects on the ocean and inhabitants did you witness while at sea?
I will never forget the feeling of my first open ocean swim! Right out in the middle of nowhere as far from humanity as almost possible and right there in front of my very eyes were flecks of red and white Plastic floating in the light layer of the Ocean.

Would you say the Plastiki expedition has changed your views and perceptions of our oceans and waste in general?
The experience has increased my respect and awe for just how magical, fragile and important our oceans are. I still can’t quite believe we continue to call this Planet Earth. Crazy! It so clearly Planet Ocean! Regarding the issue of waste, now more than ever I believe anything is possible and to that end I truly believe we can stop our crazy addiction to dumb single-use plastics.

Thank You
As the Plastiki has now reached its final destination, Sydney, we thought we’d have look back over some of the fantastic and inspiring comments we’ve received over the last 4 months. The Plastiki crew has been overwhelmed with the level of support they have received throughout the journey. As David said in his recent phone message: “I really want to thank everybody that was behind this expedition, supporting and following us during the voyage. The connectivity between the boat and you, the supporter, has been extraordinary, and a huge boost to the crew throughout the last 130 days of the expedition.”

So below is just a tiny selection of some of the amazing messages we’ve received. We’ve also created a word map using all the comments that have come through; showing the key words and diverse content we’ve received. We think this also demonstrates the part that one person’s actions (or comments!) can play in creating something big!

So once again a huge THANKS to everyone who have been following and supporting us – you rock! And stay tuned for what happens after Sydney…we won’t be fading away any time soon!

Pablo. G. Guys, I love your guts, your initiative and your drive!! Keep it up, will drink more tap water in the future…yes, our grandsons will call us eco-terrorists for driving fuel gulping SUVs, drinking tap water, reading newspapers (will they be called like that in the ipad era)…thanks sincerely.

Daniela. R Since I heard about your project and the environmental damage caused by plastic… I started to look for new ways to minimize the use of products made with plastic, this is not easy, it takes time to learn and to make habit, but we (all together) must to have more love and sense of responsibility to our environment… I also started to pay more attention to all the plastic I see around especially in the sea … its really sad! :/
… The suggestions you give are treasure to help us to understand how to take really care of our environment! Grazie davvero… e buonvento a Plastiki!!! :) )

Ryan C. ?University of Maine. I think sailing by the stars is one of the most awe-inspiring things one could ever do and especially when you’re in the middle of a huge expanse of ocean!! Being able to sail without the aid of technology and seeing stars that you can’t see on-land…SO cool and so rewarding. This journey is incredible and someday I hope (and wish!) to be involved in something like it.

?Tania. I lovvvvvvvvvve the blog! Since i found out about plastiki, i have to check the site out all the time! Such an inspiring and beautiful journey!!? Best luck,?Tania

Tonie R.o Our family will be following in your adventure and talking about it to our friends and community. ?Thanks for stepping out of comfort to bring awareness to the world.

Strat Man. Safe Journeys! Great way to raise global awareness of plastic debris that threatens our oceans! I see a TON of it as a scuba diver, it’s very disheartening!

Jan Edwards. W. We’re trying. Quit buying water bottles, but still buy juices and milk in plastics. Gave up plastic bags a long time ago. And we recycle as much as we can. Plastic seems to be everywhere. It’s going to take a lot to stop selling and buying it.

Rica. B. My senior project is all about the environment and recycling!! You guys are a great influence for me!! Last year for my project my partners and had our school buy plastic recycling cans and put them all around the school. This year i set up a date to have students at my school go on a field trip to several parks and volunteer to clean up parks and plant new trees!

This is only a tiny selection of the comments we’ve received. Thanks again to everyone for your continued support.


Photos courtesy of Plastiki

Those are great photos. But I like kids jumping high in nature photo because its awesome.
Looking at the kids jump in nature makes me happy not like the other one.

It's really a one of a kind journey and it's really for a good cause. I'll admit I was never really that much into pro-ecological organizations, but the way those guys show their point, I'd support it any time.

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news. Thank you very much for such an interesting post

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