Steel Sculptures On Ice & a Plastic Boat on the Pacific Ocean
Saturday 20 March 2010, the Plastiki, a boat made of 12000 plastic bottles and the brainchild of banking heir David de Rothschild, set sail from San Francisco Sydney to highlight the world’s garbage problem, while a Dutch artist Ap Verheggen has installed steel sculptures on icebergs off the coast of Greenland, which are expected to drift southwards on top of the ice and ultimately end up in the ocean as the ice melts.
SAUSALITO, California.–At 9:30 a.m. PDT Saturday 20 March 2010, precisely on time, the Plastiki, a “boat made of 12,000 plastic bottles” and the brainchild of banking heir David de Rothschild, set sail from a berth here in this town just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Plastiki is not just the world’s first boat made buoyant by discarded soda bottles. It’s also a statement about the world’s garbage problem, and the fact that most plastic bottles are thrown away rather than recycled.
The intent is to sail the boat 11,000 nautical miles from Sausalito to Sydney, Australia. It is carrying about 1,000 liters of water, meaning the crew will have to stop from time to time to resupply. But they have fishing rods onboard, so at least some of their food, in theory, will come from the sea.
Among the inspirations for the project, in addition to bring attention to the way humans are treating our environment, is the Kon-Tiki expedition, Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 trip across the Pacific in a boat that was a reproduction of an Inca raft.
In keeping with tradition, the Plastiki will pay even more homage to Heyerdahl. Among the six crew members is Olav Heyerdahl, Thor’s grandson.
Here, the Plastiki is seen as it has just sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and heads for the Pacific. Its journey has just begun.
Sausalito (Global Adventures): A group of adventurers and environmentalists set sail to cross the Pacific Ocean on a boat built out of 12,500 two-liter plastic bottles. During the three month trip from San Francisco to Sydney, the group hopes to draw attention to the health of the oceans. The 11,000-nautical mile journey will bring them close to Hawaii, the Bikini Atoll, and the Tarawa Islands. Its course will follow the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where swimming plastic covers an area twice the size of the US state of Texas.
The hull of the boat, called Plastiki, is made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles filled with carbon dioxide. Almost everything on the boat from the hull to the sails is made from recycled materials. Power is generated by solar panels, wind and sea turbines. The 60-foot long catamaran has an on-board exercise bike to provide extra power for electronics, including a laptop.
The ship is the brainchild of David de Rothschild, an environmental storyteller who crossed Antarctica and the Greenland Icecap. The British adventurer is head of Adventures Ecology, a venture trying to raise awareness about climate change.
David de Rothschild and a crew of 6 started planning to sail across the Pacific after being inspired Thor Heyerdahl’s epic expedition, the Kon-Tiki. Their goal is to show that plastic waste can be transformed into a valuable resource and reused again. “We’re needlessly losing millions of seabirds and hundreds of thousands of marine mammals from ingesting plastic every year,” de Rothschild told ABC News. “I decided to take this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem and build a boat out of the very items that we were seeing ending up in our natural environment.”
The Plastiki was built on the San Francisco waterfront in 2009 and has finished several trial voyages on the Bay. “And we are off. The expedition begins,” said its creator Rothschild on Twitter, as the boat set sail from the town of Sausalito, California.
(NECN/APTV) – A Dutch artist has installed steel sculptures on icebergs off the coast of Greenland, which are expected to drift southwards on top of the ice and ultimately end up in the ocean as the ice melts.
Sculptor Ap Verheggen, who is supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), hopes to raise awareness about climate change through the project, dubbed “coolEmotion,” after the non-profit foundation which is financing it.
The two sculptures, which Verheggen said were inspired by local art and culture, depict an Inuit directing a dog sled team, equipped with a traditional long whip.
Verheggen believes that global warming has affected Inuit culture, and that melting icebergs threaten its survival. “Normally the ice plains are filled with people, dog sledding, going to hunt , going to fish. Not this year. It never occurred before that the sea wasn’t frozen in the heart of the winter,” the sculptor said, speaking from the island of Uummannaq in western Greenland.
“It is not only a climate impact, but also a cultural impact. Climate change equals culture change,” he added.
Uummannaq is famous for its dog sledding and every year people ride their sledges across the ice.
But the foundation says that global warming has caused the winters to become shorter and prevented seawater from freezing and so traditional sledging across the ice cannot take place.
Locals from Uummannaq have been involved in the art project by painting flags which were attached to the sculptures.
“It’s a sort of symbol, an icon, for hope for the future,” Verheggen said.
To raise awareness for their cause globally, the sculptures will be fitted with monitors enabling a worldwide audience to follow their journey atop the iceberg through CoolEmotion’s web site.
CoolEmotion said it expects to place up to eight other sculptures in the Arctic over the course of five years, all of which will be traceable online.
Once the icebergs melt, the sculptures will symbolically sink with them.
CoolEmotion says it intends to salvage them from the ocean where possible.
Otherwise the sculptures are made of biodegradable materials, which will have a “negligible” impact on their environment.