Thursday, August 28, 2008

JUNK makes front page in India!

News of JUNK's safe arrival in Honolulu travelled far and wide yesterday, including
a front page article on Hindu.com. Such are the wonders of the AP wire. How does if feel to set foot on land after 3 months on a plastic bottle raft, crossing the Pacific?

"We were surrounded by boats, blaring horns, waves and whistles, as JUNK was towed into Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu. The first thing I did was reach for my fiancee, Anna. Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation was there with a smile and a loud “Aloha”. Dr. Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium, presented us each with a handshake and a lei. There were perhaps 100 people there to greet us, including plenty of media representatives to cover our story, everyone asking, “Why did you do this,” or “Was it worth it?” If you've been following our blog, you know why. Yes, it was worth it. We would do it again.



I presented our last gyre sample from our marine debris trawl. In a glass peanut butter jar were hundreds of fragments of plastic and zooplankton floating around. “This is what you get when you skim the ocean surface. 2/3rds of the earth is ocean, and is now a plastic soup.” I also showed the shriveled stomach from the rainbow runner I caught a couple weeks ago, with 14 fragments of plastic in it's stomach. This is why we crossed this ocean. Then we talked about what we do about it.

Anna and I were soon strolling along busy streets to find a market and restaurant for fresh greens. Anything green, or a red tomato would do. As we walked I paid attention to my experience. I expected wobbly legs and quick exhaustion. What I experienced was unexpected. We found a restaurant and shared a spinach and tomato salad. We walked slowly. I was just taking it all in. The novelty of the open ocean is different from rush hour Waikiki, the noise, sights, smells, and concrete beneath my feet. The best analogy would be a monk walking through a burning building. I was used to the subtle novelty of an empty horizon and bottomless sea that shows you a unique world, especially when you travel at 1.5 miles per hour for 2600 miles. So much of our planet is ocean, so little of it belongs to us, and perhaps none of it does.


Today, one day later, I carry my cell phone. I wear shoes. I check email. Anna and I walked to Ala Wai Harbor to meet Joel. By the end of the day JUNK is gone. We've undone 3 months of work in 24 hours. We will rebuild the raft on the front lawn of the Waikiki Aquarium. Then we'll stuff JUNK in a shipping container and send it back to where it was built. It's been six months from the day I sketched the image of JUNK on a piece of paper, to the raft built, sailed, and dismantled in Hawaii. My dream for 4 years has come to a new beginning.

37 comments:

Karen Maleck-Whiteley said...

What an amazing thing to do. America needs to get on board and ban one use plastic bottles. Thanks' for your efforts.

Sarah said...

Amazing! I have been following your journey since before you left LA. Your story has influenced me in a multitude of ways. Thank you and congrats for such an accomplishing message.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the JUNK crew.

Now that is a way to make a splash!

Glad to see the media spotlight shinned on this global problem.

Cheers,

Richard Rios
RAMFLUX@AOL.COM
ΛΧΑ

Maki said...

Awww what a beautiful pics!!! You both look great with pretty leis.. I miss my home! I hope you guys are enjoying being in Hawaii. With that said, there are so many things that we have to do from this point to make a difference and hopefully stop damaging our ocean as plastic soup.

Teoh Yi Chie said...

I didn't know people can sail on junk bottles. This is fantastic.

Lyndsay or Rich said...

Congratulations! I think it is very timely that this trip was completed to raise awareness about "junk" in the oceans. I just got home from my own sailing trip from Vancouver to Hawaii and back this summer and was shocked by just how much plastic there is floating around out there in the Gyre. I had read about it, but to see it in person is a whole other experience (and very depressing). Keep up the good work!!!

Katharine Weber said...

This is so amazingly cool. I've got a couple of science classes at the school where I work watching you and Roz. Such an amazing journey with an incredible ability to raise awareness of this issue of plastics. Suddenly, I see plastic everywhere.

Quaver said...

Congratulations Gents, caught you on CNN - here's hoping it raises awareness of all the Gyre's on the planet collecting all our plastic waste.

CatHerder said...

omg..this is the first ive heard of your blog (saw it today)....i wish i had been following it on a daily basis during your adcenture. Wow...AMAZING!!!!!!

Jerry Critter said...

Well done JUNK! What an amazing voyage.

Death To Plastic!!!

KingdomWriter said...

Well done guys, what an amazing trip you had. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

Interview with Marcus at YachtPals.com News:
http://yachtpals.com/junk-raft-3045

pannie threads said...

glad you are making people aware of the damage plastic does to the environment! i'm going to put your link on my blog :) p.s i heard about you from the golden state clothing site

quasivoid said...

How do you think we could further inspire people to think in such a mode? I think a lot of people feel the same way, but then daily life makes many of us forget (or at least put it in the back of our minds).

Will said...

I watched your voyage from start to finish. Good job enlightening us about our careless use of plastics. I've started bringing re-usable bags to the grocery store. Congratulations on your great success. It was a wonderful adventure.

Will

Teri said...

Congratulations the the JUNK crew!

Beachwalker said...

I was fortunate to meet Joel and Roz, and a bunch of volunteers at the Kahuku Beach Cleanup.

Go here to see the photos

http://photosofaloha.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your amazing journeys to raise ocean debris awareness!

Jennifer cheers on Roz and the Junk guys said...

thank you for what you are doing to learn more about the trash in our oceans and how it is affecting marine life. hearing about a poor fish who's tummy had 16 bits of plastic in it...is just sad and awful. thank you for making me aware of it, and educating all of us of these enviromental dangers...it's bad enough when people "look like plastic", but it's cruel to make nature literally turn into plastic. lots to think and do--thank you for the eye opening experience!

Sexy pinay said...

very nice journal.. i love your writings very addicting!

Erika said...

that is so neat! congrats!

Pinay said...

Congrats to JUNK from a fan =)

:o)ivia said...

I have just learned of this incredible venture! It is a strange coincidence, perhaps the collective unconscious, because I recently built a boat of plastic bottles in Barcelona, Spain. It seems we were building the boats at the same time! Mine while it floated was not nearly as functional. For pictures please visit my website:
http://www.oliviakaufman.com/Pages/framesetartwork2.html

And Congratulations and Thank you for bringing awareness to the pollution of our waters!

L to the Aura said...

Wow, is this for real?

Anonymous said...

nice blog

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FDL4ALL.com

Anonymous said...

In the words of Princess Leia, "You came her in THAT? You're braver than I thought."

Allen Klosowski said...

This is amazing! I've done my fair share of sailing, and I get nervous even in a well-crafted boat on the open seas. That you guys are doing this on a flotilla of junk blows my mind. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

What a trip. I wonder how many plastic bottles you lost along the way to add to the mess we already have out there in no mans land. And what are you going to do with all that junk now? Leave it for the Hawiians to deal with. Great idea, ship it somewhere else for someone else to deal with.

Nathanael Rafferty said...

This mwas a very important mission - thank you for having the courage to undertake it!!!
Nathanael Rafferty
Author of the Zukunftsangst Series

Robot Nine said...

Cool!

Gina said...

amazing

webhosting said...

Wonderful~

SEO Company said...

Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

Parantar said...

wow. is this a junk boat?

Princess Haiku said...

What an incredible project and congratulations to you.

cambodia said...

nice blogs.

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Baoky said...

This is a great discovery, people could sail on junk bottle. Hahaha, thanks for the article