News: My Adventure on the Plastiki
I went to the Plastiki press event in Sausalito last Friday. I was truly intrigued by their initiative to sail a boat made with recycled plastic bottles and how they would power their technology so we could track them on their journey to Sydney using HP products. The room was jam packed with media internationally plus local San Francisco press. Mayor Gavin Newsom walked on stage and introduced the crew lead by David de Rothschild's vision.
Below is a picture of the crew and the mayor of San Francisco getting recognized for their ecological/ environmental efforts.
Though we talk mostly about technology on cutegeek I wanted to highlight some ecological information learned from the press conference. As you all may know 72% of our planet is water but did you know that there is a Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is twice the size of Texas in our ocean (and approximately 1000 miles off the California coast). That is the size of almost a continent! Seriously?! Furthermore approximately 80% of the rubbish found in the ocean is plastic. My jaw dropped as I had no idea why we had done this to our planet (note: I recycle daily and since living in San Francisco I do not buy bottled water). Also for all those San Francisco tax payers, you should know that after not buying plastic bags and bottles over the past year we saved tax payers close to 1 million dollars.
At the press event I attended, adventure Ecology founder/ environmentalist David de Rothschild unvelied the Plastiki. It's a 60ft catamaran made from approximately 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and srPET: a fully recyclable material (quoted from the press kit). The crew is awaiting anxiously for their window of opportunity (due to poor weather in the Bay area) to embark on an adventure taking them 11,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney. They will also post daily (as long as they get signals) their adventure on the high seas on their website and also using their twitter plus other social media. Below is a picture of the crew taking a quick photo op with 2 kids (that will not be on the Plastiki). I also have a youtube of the Plastiki here; the sound quality is not so great due to the high winds and rain (you gotta love San Francisco winters).
I realize I need to elaborate on what HP technology the crew will be using while on their voyage to Sidney (San Francisco's sister city). The crew members will be using the HP Elitebook 2530p, HP Probook 5310m, HP Pocket and Personal Drive, and HP Ipaq 910c business messenger. My first question is how they will be able to post especially in areas when their is no coverage. They are using satellite technology from Fleetbroadband by Inmarsat which apparently is the first maritime communications service to provide broadband data and voice (through a compact antenna on a global basis). From what I understand they will be using solar panels and the windmill to keep the systems powered.
I actually had the chance to get on the Plastiki while in the bay. At first I thought I was pretty cool to experience this till several developments happened...It was raining (and hard), winds were high and I had to first take a zodiac (a little inflatable boat with a motor) out to the boat just to get onboard. What the heck did I sign myself up for?! While I sang to myself the Gilligan's island "A three hour tour," I was wondering seriously my life insurance should have been up'd. I was freaking out; besides the rain the winds were high and let's face it I had some girly flats that slipped all over the place. When we got to the boat I stood there in amazement but also scared (probably should've considered the weather...if I had known it was going to rain cats and dogs).
On the Plastiki I feared for my life as I am not so great on small boats (my jetski and I never got along). I actually started to look for an Ark and animals lining up 2 by 2 as the rain picked up. After getting onboard I had a nice gentleman (that realized I am no sailor) help me and let me grab on to him for dear life (lucky guy since he must have been 20 years older then I). When I first got on the boat I had the chance (again shaking in fear) to check out the 2 bikes onboard that they will use to power the boat through the pacific if there are low winds.
I had the opportunity to check out the cabin and I had my first question...um where is the bathroom for the crew? Since I was freaking out due to the weather I didn't ask much but I am still curious where is the bathroom for the crew? Per my photo's there are (obviously) limited beds and cabin space which makes me assume that they will be taking shifts to make this expedition happen. They had a nice mini navigation/technology desk with the HP notebooks and the kitchen though small was admiral as I know on this boat they have small storage. Below are some pictures from the cabin. For anyone who was on the Plastiki with me and also the crew thank you for dealing with a sea sick cutegeek. I admire the crew because after being on the boat in a storm their journey and passion is AMAZING (plus BOLD).