Ladies and gentleman, the Plastiki has landed.
One hundred and twenty-two days into its landmark voyage from San Francisco to Sydney on a quest to raise awareness of marine and plastic waste, the boat, composed of 12,500 plastic bottles and other recycled materials, has reached Australian waters. The crew touched ground in Mooloolaba, Queensland, which is north of Sydney.
However, it wasn't always smooth sailing.
While the original plan was to sail into Coffs Harbor, the team had to seek an escort vessel sooner than expected because of unforseen conditions. The boat met up with the vessel on Sunday afternoon just before it approached Australian waters. The team denies this was a rescue and explains that it was a planned charter mission, a routine measure for all of the boat's calls into port.
David de Rothschild, the team leader, released a statement:
We are thrilled by all the support that we’ve received from the local authorities as we were finding it hard to track down a suitable vessel to help us reach our pre-planned destination of Coffs Harbour. This has never been a rescue mission. Since successfully sailing into Australian waters on Saturday 17th July the crew has been in high spirits and is looking forward sharing its adventure and message of beating waste with the Australian public. To date we have made a number of routine and unplanned stops during the voyage and this tow and stop will be no different to those previously. Any exciting ocean adventure is always going to have to deal with many unknowns. I am confident that we should still be on course to arrive in Sydney for next weekend’s arrival celebrations.
The crew will set sail for Sydney within 24 hours and expects to reach their final destination on July 25.