Check out an excerpt of "Plastiki: Across the Pacific by Plastic: An Adventure to Save Our Oceans," documenting the journey of adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild and his five-person crew. embarked on an extraordinary journey aboard the Plastiki, a unique 60-ft. catamaran engineered from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and Seretex, a fully recyclable material.
Read an excerpt of the book below and then check out the "GMA" Library for more great reads.
I'm only thirty seconds into a three-hour tour of duty on watch, the tiller and beanbag chair still imprinted with our co-skipper Mr. T's warmth. Just over a week removed from a grand departure from San Francisco, and nothing yet about life at sea—the constant motion, the middle-of-the-night wake ups, the tiger-in-a-cage restlessness of living on a 20-by-60-foot platform with five other people—resembles comfortable routine.
"Did that one get you?" asks Mr. T with a grin. "Nice! Got off just in time." His silhouette dissolves quickly into the red glow of the cabin. Alone.
"Oh, yes! Wet again!" I yell into the night, the sound of my voice devoured by the blackness.
Really, Dave? Really? There isn't even a breath of wind or a ripple on the ocean, and you still find a way to get wet. I guess that's the true meaning of a rogue wave. A stream of phosphorescence pulsing and swirling on the port side catches my eye and distracts me from my situation.
And what a situation! What was I thinking in wanting to sail the entire Pacific Ocean? Can I legitimately use the word thinking in conjunction with building a boat from 12,500 plastic bottles and then attempting to sail from San Francisco to Sydney?
My eyes flicker back and forth trying to find some focus in the black void. Our boat is moving along at a speed of less than 2 knots, if you can call that moving. Bobbing is more like it. This is going to be a long journey, I fear.
"Hey, Mr. T! Do you think we'll make Sydney?"
"Not this year," comes the reply from out of the glowing cabin.
I'm sailing the dream: The Plastiki, after two years of hard work, is our best and most sincere expression of the fresh ideas necessary to create a better future. A future
that avoids the unsustainable waste and environmental damage of our current way of living. A future that sees waste as a resource—like the 12,500 reused plastic bottles I'm floating on right now.
Yet tonight I can't stop thinking I've bitten off more than I can chew. Maybe the doubters and naysayers were right. Surely, just sailing across San Francisco Bay would have proven my point. Be careful what you wish for, I always tell others. Maybe I need to start heeding my own advice. Salt does not course through my veins. I know a jib from a mizzen, and a cleat from a winch, but the extent of my nautical experience prior to Plastiki amounted mostly to sailing Hobie Cats while on family vacations as a kid.
It wasn't salt water but ice that was the medium for my first big adventures. On ski expeditions across Antarctica, Greenland, and the Arctic, I logged hundreds of days and nights on frozen surfaces. While brutally cold and rife with dangers, polar environments in my estimation offer a distinct advantage over the open ocean: They tend not to pitch and roll beneath you. They're also impossibly pristine and beautiful and, as we're discovering in a warming world, quite fragile.