Plastiki completes first leg of voyage

Expedition leader David de Rothschild and his crew on Plastiki have successfully completed the first and most remote leg of their voyage from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia, landing at Christmas Island in the Republic of Kiribati and the Line Islands on April 28.

One of Plastiki’s goals is to raise awareness of the danger that plastic bottles, bags and Styrofoam pose to the world’s oceans. To highlight their goal of reducing the amount of human waste heading for the landfill and sea by 75 percent, Plastiki has been built entirely of recycled materials, including 12,000 sealed plastic beverage bottles. Plastiki was designed and built by conceptual architect Michael Pawlyn, Australian naval architect Andrew Dovell, cabin architect Nathaniel Croun, solar designer Jason Iftakhar and boat builder Mike Rose.

The crew for the first leg included full-time expedition leader David de Rothschild, Jo Royle and David Thomson. Now crewmembers Vern Moen (filmmaker), Olav Heyerdahl (grandson of explorer Thor Heyerdahl) and Max Jourdan will be replaced by Graham Hill (founder of, renowned photographer Luca Babini and National Geographic filmmaker Singeli Agnew.

After 39 days and 3,617 miles, Plastiki remained in virtually as good a shape as when the unique boat left San Francisco. On May 10 the relief crew departed Christmas Island for Fiji after re-provisioning and some very minor repairs. The voyage is expected to take 22 to 25 days.

Follow Plastiki’s progress at

By Ocean Navigator