In late March, 31 year-old billionaire David de Rothschild set off for a voyage on Plastiki catamaran made of plastic bottles from San Francisco to Sydney. The goal of the trip is to study the level of the ocean pollution. A few days ago, the first stage of the mission was completed, and the vessel received new crew members on board and crossed the equator.
Two months were a tough test for the sailors despite the preparedness of Rothschild and his crewmate Thor Olav Heyerdahl. First, the team suffered from brutal cold, and later, when the vessel neared the equator, heat. The most unpleasant thing, according to David’s Twitter post, was the lack of tasty food. You cannot last long on canned vegetables, and Rothschild, being a vegetarian, could not stand the others catching and cooking fish.
“I tried to save it but failed,” he said on Twitter.
His only joy was chocolate during his night shifts on the catamaran. He also launched an online campaign collecting pirate jokes and then reading them in front of a camera. He spent the rest of his spare time studying French. He slept four hours a day. Within the two months the crew turned into old sea dogs, got a nice tan and started resembling pirates, albeit peaceful ones despite all difficulties. One of the crew members found out during the trip that his wife gave birth.
Two weeks ago, the sailors went ashore on the Christmas Iceland, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, to replenish their reserves. Locals celebrated their arrival, and David and the crew ate all they wanted, danced and visited schools where they told students about their adventures. Some crew members were replaced by new adventure seekers. Now Rothschild, Jo Royle, and David Thomson are accompanied by Graham Hill, the founder of TreeHugger.com, photographer Luca Babini and director Singeli Agnew, who works for National Geographic. When the vessel neared the equator, the crew celebrated the Neptune Day with a costume performance. Rothschild, as the captain, put on a high hat and asked Neptune for a permission to cross the equator, and then performed a pantomime wearing a straw hat.
David Thomson showed the crew an old sea ritual where water is poured on all newbie, followed by spreading fish scales all over them. The sailors threw a message in a bottle into the ocean describing their mission. Luca turned out to be the most useful crew member, as it appeared he was a wonderful cook.
“Finally, he is cooking dinner! We’ll eat real pasta cooked in accordance with some secret recipe. I’ll be happy if he doesn’t fry bacon. I like pigs, you can’t eat them, they are smart!” David wrote in his blog.
The catamaran has not yet reached the trash “island,” the trip’s goal. The crew is diving and checking water pollution level. Ecologists are concerned that they are finding a great deal of trash like plastic in the bellies of the caught fish.