THE CREW’S TOP PLASTIKI MEMORIES

July 29th, 2010, posted by Shore Crew Tags: Crew, David Thomson, David de Rothschild, Graham Hill, Jo Royle, Luca Babini, Matt Grey, Max Jourdan, Olav Heyerdahl, Plastiki, Singeli, Vern Moen

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…

DAVID

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.

What is your favourite photo that sums up the journey and your experience?

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.

LUCA BABINI
How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
17 days.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
Crossing the Equator

Do you have a favourite quote or anecdote?
The planet and the human body are made 70% by water. Let’s take good care of water if we want to survive.

What did you miss the most while at sea, and what will you miss about the Plastiki experience?
Being so far from land and so close to the big sky.

If you were to go onboard the Plastiki again what would you do differently or bring with?
A telescope to watch the stars.

What plastic pollution/human effects on the ocean and inhabitants did you witness while at sea?
Lack of fish, unusually high water temperature, hectic weather patterns.

SINGELI AGNEW

How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
I spent a month with the crew mid-Pacific. I met them on Christmas Island, and then we sailed 14 days to reach Western Samoa, where I filmed work being done on the boat and toured the islands with Jo. It was short and sweet, hot as hell, and utterly memorable.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
Jo had this constellation book that described the night sky on each particular night, as well as the myths behind the constellations. I loved sitting out with her on the helm in the middle of the night, reading the passages with a headlamp and then watching the drama emerging over the horizon or revolving above our heads.

Do you have a favourite quote or anecdote?
Some of the daily ‘problems’ still amuse me – people upset over too much honey consumption, mysteriously missing forks – these small issues took on big importance on the microcosm of the boat. I also laugh when I think of Luca scrubbing mold off the potatoes, laying them out to dry in the sun, and then storing them away again. He did this several times during our two weeks together on the boat: potato maintenance was just part of the daily chores on the boat that kept everything humming along smoothly.

What plastic pollution/human effects on the ocean and inhabitants did you witness whilst at sea?
I was struck by the lack of sea life while out on the boat…I had expected to see more sea creatures and am a bit haunted by the emptiness.

Would you say the Plastiki expedition has changed your views and perceptions of our oceans and waste in general?
I’m certainly more devoted to my metal water bottle and my ceramic travel mug…every time I have a choice to consume a plastic bottle I think of the boat…and that stops me. I think I also realize the importance of communicating the more subtle message – not about the garbage patch, but about the way plastic is breaking down and being absorbed all the way up the food chain.

GRAHAM HILL

How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
I spent 7 weeks on land waiting and helping with repairs, and then 4 weeks onboard the Plastiki.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
It’s so hard to choose…DDR, Max and I saw the craziest shooting star one night. A huge, wide, golden, arc. It was slow and sort of like a sparkler. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Most memorable are the many moments driving the boat with a crew member or two nearby, feeling like we were cruising along at only 5 knots. The equator ritual certainly ranks among the strangest. Yech.

Was the journey like you expected?
No, quite a bit different. It was a lot longer. And the boat, due to the design parameters forced by the 10,000 bottles in the hulls, was slower and more
tricky to sail than I had expected. The 24 hr watch system in 3 hr chunks was
easier than I expected. Food was way better than I expected.

What plastic pollution/human effects on the ocean and inhabitants did you witness while at sea?
The unfortunate part about plastic and pollution is that much of it is hard to see and therefore that much more difficult to get people concerned about it. I certainly saw a lot of trash on the various islands and some at sea but the larger concern are the broken down bits of plastic that are becoming part of the food chain every day and that inevitably end up inside us humans.

Would you say the Plastiki expedition has changed your views and perceptions of our oceans and waste in general?
I have come to understand on a fundamental level how huge the oceans are and therefore how easily we have been able to assume we could use them as our dumping grounds and not worry about the long term effects of this. The fact that we are truly damaging them on a global scale shows us to what extent we are able to pollute. And how critical it is that we move towards cradle-to-cradle design so that we can stop this madness.

MATT GREY

How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
One month.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
The big waves we had during the storm.

What did you miss the most while at sea, and what will you miss about the Plastiki experience?
Space and time to myself. The beauty of the sea and the funny banter with the boys.

If you were to go onboard the Plastiki again what would you do differently or bring with?
I’d bring a spare dagger board.

What plastic pollution/human effects on the ocean and inhabitants did you witness whilst at sea?
All the filth in Marinas.

Would you say the Plastiki expedition has changed your views and perceptions of our oceans and waste in general?
Yes. It has opened me up to a much more conscious evaluation of what I consume day to day.

VERN MOEN

How long did you spend onboard the Plastiki?
70 days, 7000 nautical miles.

What was your memorable part of the journey?
Our first swim in the middle of the Pacific. The first smell of Christmas Island after 40 days at sea. Lamb Ragu. 30 foot waves. Those 3 perfect days behind the helm. 11 novels. 90% of the sunsets. Finding cookies just when all hope was fading. The stars. The birth of my son. Swimming the sinkhole in Samoa.

Was the journey like you expected?
The journey was much different than I had expected. Expectations are a dangerous thing, especially for a documentary filmmaker! The journey was much slower. I expected to be back for the birth of my son. There wasn’t much action on board. The sleeping schedule was exhausting.

What will you miss the most?
The familiarity of myself and the horizon. The most prevalent view of my last 4 months is this horizontal line; between sea and sky, and then me, stuck in between. (I also like that it’s not perfectly horizontal, because that wouldn’t be accurate when you’re on a constantly rocking boat.)

What is your favourite photo that sums up the journey and your experience?

2 comments  | Comments are closed

 

 

  1. dbear says:

    Congratulations on the completion of your journey.
    How about a wrapup on the fishing from Plastiki.
    I have been a regular reader of your narrative and only recall two fish actually reported:
    the “first catch” by Max in April and the famous “Fish Free Friday Fish” later in April.

    Was this the extent of the fish caught?
    I did note that fishing gear was deployed in more than a few subsequent photos in the photostream.

    Thanks.

  2. Shore Crew says:

    Hi
    We only caught 3 fish in total – and your right we did have our gear out a lot of the time. It just goes to show that our oceans are scarily very empty!