Finally. After four years spent designing, re-designing and building a ship like no other, Eco-adventurer David de Rothschild, his crew, and 12,000 plastic bottles set sail on March 20, bound for Sydney, by way of the Eastern Garbage Patch and its vortex of plastic crap. The swirling mass of garbage (everything from bottles to toxic bits of polystyrene) is believed to be twice the size of Texas.
They are undertaking the trip, which should last about three months, to bring attention to the sorry state of our oceans. They'll spend their time aboard the Plastiki--a seriously pimped out eco-vessel--collecting and sharing (through heavy web documentation) evidence of our failure to properly recycle or dispose of waste, and of the damage this in inflicting on ocean life.
Four days into the journey, the boat is now more than 300 nautical miles from its San Francisco launch point and has endured some heavy seas and strong winds, as well as a tangle with a crab pot. You can follow all the action from the Plastiki site and de Rothschild's twitter feed.
--Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.