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Plastic Bottle Catamaran Crosses The Pacific Ocean 56

The Plastiki, a catamaran made with plastic bottles, has completed a 8,000 mile trip between San Francisco and Sydney. Captain David de Rothschild said, "The Plastiki is literally a metaphorical message in a bottle about beating waste and reducing our human fingerprints on our natural environment." The boat will go on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum for the next month.
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Plastic Bottle Catamaran Crosses The Pacific Ocean

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  • by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <> on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:21PM (#33047590) Homepage
    assuming the plastic bottles are free, how much does it cost to make a boat out of them?
    • I didn't even know Rothschild sold Wine in plastic bottles. Must have been one hell of a party.
    • by Isaac-1 ( 233099 )

      Probably nothing if you do get enough people to donate money to your "cause". I am not saying this is what this guy did, but this sort of thing is a great way for someone that has no money to support their dream to sail across an ocean. The same scheme works for getting a free 50 state U.S. vacation in an electric car, etc..

      • I am sure he's not short of a few quid. Maybe he got sponsorship as well (hey, the rich are rich because they are good with making money, right?) but he's hardly an inner city kid raising pennies to live a once in a life time dream. Fair play to the bloke for making a good ecological point, and definitely a good one for using his wealth well, but his dad is a multi-billionaire [] so I think the cost is irrelevant to him. He's not in it for the free holiday, he could buy any boat he wanted.

  • Nyaargh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:22PM (#33047594)

    literally a metaphorical message in a bottle

    story 1542227, line 2, Error: Parse failure, non-literal use of literally
    story 1542227, line 2, Error: literal and metaphorical declarations are incompatible

    • I guess the good captain recycled a bit of intelligence for enthusiasm.
    • I was literally beside myself when I read that. It was an out-of-body experience.
    • What makes it even worse is that it's neither a literal nor metaphorical message in a bottle.

    • Sadly, reading slashdot is more interpretive as opposed to a compiled language, so really that "Nyaaargh" is probably a runtime error.

      To people who are replying to me: If you use interpretive and metaphor in your post to make a clever pun on programming, I'll give you my Perl Textbook from College.

  • by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:23PM (#33047610)

    The name "Plastiki" is also a reference to how the craft resembles Norwegian amateur explorer/archeologist Thor Heyerdahl's raft/catamaran Kon-Tiki which had done a similar journey across the Pacific.

    Thor Heyerdahl's son is also one of the people behind the project, and on board.

    • by Muad'Dave ( 255648 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:36PM (#33047920) Homepage

      If you've never read it, the account of Thor Heyerdahl's trip [] is a fascinating read. How little they knew about the oceans (didn't know about the zooplankton coming to the surface to feed at night [], etc) and how much fortitude was required and how many hardships would be endured to make such a journey.

      Sadly, I'm not too sure we know an awful lot more about the oceans now, except that we're killing them.

      • Sadly, I'm not too sure we know an awful lot more about the oceans now, except that we're killing them.

        We know a lot more about the oceans than our ancestors did, incredibly so. The real problem is that, during that same period, human beings haven't changed all that much. We're just as avaricious as we were then, only now we have the power to do more damage.

      • Sadly, I'm not too sure we know an awful lot more about the oceans now, except that we're killing them.

        Good news, everyone: There is less and less about the ocean that we don't know!

  • Until they start selling "Plastiki" boats to people who will pay lots of money for other people's trash?
  • That's impressive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Niris ( 1443675 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:34PM (#33047882)
    Sailing out of the San Francisco bay in and of itself is a feat. Add crossing the pacific and it's utterly amazing. Great job to him.
    • Not really. Sailing out of San Francisco Bay isn't all that impressive. And crossing the Pacific... that's a feat, but is commonly done. If it hadn't been that the boat was made out of unusual materials.... people have crossed oceans in rowboats. I've ran the entire West Coast from Seattle to San Diego, and given the choice again, I'd rather cross an ocean. It's safer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by IANAAC ( 692242 )

        Sailing out of San Francisco Bay isn't all that impressive.

        When I lived in the bay area, I used to take a 17 ft Bayliner up the delta on weekends. After finishing a 12 pack a beer with a friend, we decided that, instead of heading up to Sacramento, we would just take the boat out on the bay.

        It happened to be a very windy day, albeit warm.

        I thought we were gonna die. By the time we got back to the marina in Suisun, the boat had well over a foot of water inside.

      • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:16PM (#33048560) Journal

        Clearly you've never been attacked by one of the Giant Squids that swallow ocean liners. The Pacific is not as safe as it seems. Why do you think people are dumping all their trash in there? Too lazy to get to China? No! They're too scared to stay on the ocean any longer! And it's a new attack technique to polute their habitat to kill them off!

        • Giant squids that swallow ocean liners?
                Some people with mod points need a whoosh. Ocean liners are some of the biggest ships that cruise the oceans (and due to the very importance of their cargo, tend to be some of the toughest). Also, they are very seaworthy, as their draft don't vary much depending on their load levels (unlike a tanker, cargo ship and so on).

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      i wouldn't congratulate him on anything. he's not a philanthropist he's a propagandist. multinational corps(ie old money) buy the local water companies, etc. bottle the water, mark it up then tell you how you're killing gaia, and brainwash you into accepting taxes/rationing, etc. on the air and/or water you need to live, and use the revenues to further solidify their stranglehold. all while we applaud their benevolence.

  • Perfect ad placement for this story... []
  • Must be really convenient to have all those empty plastic bottles for a long trip. No need for frequent delays at the rest stops.

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @01:46PM (#33048086) Homepage Journal
    This type of plastic photodegrades-- it breaks down physically, not chemically, into plastic dust. Very dangerous to leave sailing around; chemical recycling is better.
  • Good job, but still not as good as chainmail made out of coke tabs! [] Its a wonderful gift and a great way to let other warriors on the battlefield know, "Hey, I might kill you, but I won't kill the environment."
  • or it didn't happen.

    Sure one plastic bottle boat floating across the Pacific is kinda newsworthy, but if they published the plans perhaps they could make this more grassroots and less publicity stunt.

  • by wiggles ( 30088 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:04PM (#33048328)

    Hola, trust funder!

    • "Hello. It's me. Death. I'll be seeing you real soon, OK? Listen, I know you can't hear me, but try to feel what I'm saying, deep down in your soul. Don't. Eat. The Gazpacho.

  • The government of Cuba has banned the import, use and possession of plastic bottles.
  • Did anyone else picture Cartmanland built on a plastic bottle raft and floating across the Ocean?
  • Direct image links (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    To save work for anybody else who hates the stupid formatting on the website, here are direct links to the images:

  • It seems to me if they lose a few bottles during a storm, there will be plenty of spares as they cross the Pacific Trash Vortex.

  • Wow, did you see the picture of that thing ( Plastic bottles maybe, but looks like just for flotation--the mast and sails look built from stronger stuff, eh? I like the "oh sh*t" igloo for the cockpit. Bet that thing's watertight. Still, trust fund or no trust fund, it takes guts and probably a whole lotta patience to ride that sucka across the Pacific. Wonder what the support was like?

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger