Flying back to London, I could see the dazzling snows of the Arctic and then Greenland, sites of my previous adventures, slide past far below. Then came miles upon miles of blue ocean. My mind went back to Jeff's words. Where was the drama? I started to think about the big, game-changing expeditions of the past. When it comes to oceans, there is only one that comes to mind: the Kon-Tiki. Who doesn't know of Kon-Tiki, the legendary balsa raft that Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947? Heyerdahl and a crew of very game fellow Scandinavians lived out his theory of oceanic migration as they traveled the Pacific. I've always considered the voyage of the Kon-Tiki one of the most compelling and captivating adventures of modern times. Heyerdahl followed his dream, and the world has never forgotten.
"There it is," I practically shouted out on the plane. Kon-Tiki. Plastiki. If plastic was the main human fingerprint on the oceans, then why not use it as the basis for a craft, a boat that would highlight this mess. "Let's build a boat out of plastic bottles and sail across the Pacific." Now that would be dramatic. It would be more than a voyage across the ocean; the boat would prove the point that plastic didn't have to end up as waste, but that the material was misunderstood and misused. At Adventure Ecology, I operate on a philosophy called the Equation of Curiosity: D x AS = I. Simply put, dreams are the breeding grounds for adventures; adventures spawn stories; and stories produce the inspiration needed to seed more dreams. The whole equation is driven by curiosity. It's a perpetual-motion machine—a philosophy rooted in mankind's, especially children's, ability to ask questions and to dream. Plastiki would do homage to Heyerdahl and his brave team and, if we were lucky, bring ideas and ideals together much as Kon-Tiki did to create an epic adventure on the open sea. The adventure of Plastiki, from San Francisco to Sydney, would showcase a new way of thinking about waste, and it would generate the stories to inspire more new ways of thinking, more dreams, more adventures.