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.