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Rich and Famous to sail plastic-bottle-boat across Pacific to Sydney

by Lisa Mylchreest on 1 Mar 2010
Lizzie Jagger - taking sailing lessons to prepare for sailing Plastiki across the Pacific SW
When the Rothschild heir David Rothschild leaves San Francisco for Sydney next month in a boat constructed of 12,000 plastic bottles, Mick Jagger's daughter Elizabeth(Lizzie) Jagger will coming be with him. The oldest daughter of the legendary rock bank Rolling Stones' lead singer and the scion of the famous English banking family will together sail Plastiki (see recent Sail-World!story) across the Pacific from San Francisco to Sydney.

Last week Lizzie Jagger was up in Brunei taking personal sailing lessons in preparation for the journey.

The expedition, hosted by environmental group Adventure Ecology, which is also headed by David Rothschild, is an organisation that has expeditions to far reaches of the globe to highlight such sensitive matters as global warming and inefficient waste disposal methods.

This Sydney-bound expedition is going to be a little different, as it is taking part on the 60ft engineless, rudderless sailing catamaran, crewed by a mix of six scientists, photographers and environmentalists. Lizzie is one of the photographers on the expedition, but does not know how to sail, thus the sailing lessons.

The main aim of the expedition is to highlight what amazing things people can achieve with recycled materials and what disastrous things can happen when people don’t recycle.

The Eastern Pacific Garbage Basin is a floating landfill between San Francisco and Hawaii about twice the size of Texas. There is another floating landfill occurring in the Western Pacific Basin. Both floating landfills are made by slow moving currents that suck up all the waste from around the world and collect it in two areas of the Pacific Ocean.
Researchers estimate that of the 90 million tonnes of plastic produced each year, 10 per cent ends up in the ocean.

The United Nations reported in 2006 that each square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic. Many of these are now so small that they are being ingested by birds and mammals, causing incalculable harm.

Lizzie's lessons on the Brunei River would have been overwhelming in the beauty of the river and its surroundings, but saddening by the amount of rubbish also floating up and down that river..

Plastiki, whose departure has been delayed again and again, is now expected to depart some time in April. Rothschild has commented that the craft cannot do more than around four knots, and cannot tack into wind, so they will be depending on the reliability of the trade winds to push the craft in the right direction.

To here across around 7,000 miles of ocean, Plastiki and her crew must brave two transits of the ITCZ or doldrums, situated around the equator, where periods of no wind are peppered with savage nightly storms.

In Sydney Harbour we will be waiting with bated breath...

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