Sailing away

At 9:30 a.m. on March 20, 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 in Sausalito, Calif., just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, on its way to Australia.

The Plastiki was not just the world's first boat made buoyant by discarded soda bottles. It was also a statement about the world's garbage problem, and the fact that most plastic bottles are thrown away rather than recycled. The goal was to sail 11,000 nautical miles to Sydney, Australia.

Among the inspirations for the project was the Kon Tiki expedition, Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 trip across the Pacific in a boat that was a reproduction of an Inca raft.

And in keeping with tradition, the Plastiki paid even more homage to Heyerdahl. Among the six crew members was Olav Heyerdahl, Thor's grandson.

The Plastiki boat did eventually complete the journey, arriving in Sydney on July 26, 2010.

Now, de Rothschild has published "Plastiki--Across the Pacific on Plastic: An Adventure to Save our Oceans," his memoir of the project from beginning to end.

Complete with stories of the inspirations for the project, as well as memories of the construction of the boat, and of course, the journey itself, "Plastiki" is the definitive tome about a project that captured imaginations across the globe.

Here, in this photograph from the book, the Plastiki is seen sailing in open waters.

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Photo by: Matthew Grey / Caption by:

David on Plastiki

In this photo from the book, David de Rothschild is seen aboard the boat, having just sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on the date of departure.
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Photo by: Plastiki / Caption by:

The whole world in his hand

In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen standing on the Plastiki, balancing a globe in his hand.
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Photo by: Plastiki / Caption by:

Nearing Fiji

In this image from the book, the Plastiki is seen approaching Fiji.
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Photo by: Plastiki / Caption by:

In the waters off Fiji

In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen snorkeling just off Fiji.
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Photo by: Plastiki / Caption by:

On board Plastiki

In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen having a good time aboard the Plastiki.
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Photo by: Plastiki / Caption by:

During the journey

In this image from the book, de Rothschild (left) is seen talking to a fellow crew member while the Plastiki was at sea.
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Photo by: Matthew Grey / Caption by:

Waving good-bye

Here, Plastiki crew members wave good-bye from the boat just as it begins its four-month journey from Sausalito, Calif., to Sydney, Australia.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Sailing away

Just a minute after launch, Plastiki is already fading into the horizon.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Plastiki at Golden Gate Bridge

Here, we see the Plastiki just after it passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Its journey to Australia would take just over four months.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Away from the dock

Plastiki, an all-plastic boat made with more than 12,000 plastic bottles, set sail from Sausalito, Calif., for Sydney, Australia, on March 20, 2010. Here, it is seen just as it begins to move away from the dock in Sausalito.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Vertical garden

The Plastiki featured what de Rothschild called a "vertical garden," which grew up the mast and allowed the crew to have fresh herbs and other veggies. Also seen here is the boat's Inmarsat communications system.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Many bottles

The Plastiki is made entirely out of plastic, including more than 12,000 bottles like these.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Smiling

Plastiki expedition leader David de Rothschild (left) talked to another crew member just minutes before the all-plastic boat set sail from Sausalito, Calif.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Three crew smiling

From the left, expedition leader David de Rothschild, co-skipper Jo Royle, and co-skipper David Thompson smiled for cameras just before departure.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

The boat

Fans of the Plastiki expedition can read all about the project at ThePlastiki.com. And now, they can read expedition leader David de Rothschild's official account of the project in his new book, "Plastiki--Across the Ocean on Plastic: An Adventure to Save our Oceans."
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Solar panels

These solar panels helped power Plastiki on its journey across the sea.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Shoving off

At 9:30 a.m. Pacific time on March 20, 2010, the shore crew pushed the boat away from the dock, and its 11,000 nautical mile journey was under way.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

At dock

The Plastiki as seen from shore as it and its crew prepared for launch from Sausalito, Calif.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Bottles joined

The thousands of bottles were fused at the top and the bottom, and together, they kept the boat afloat.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Barking over bottles

The dog wanted everyone to know just how much it wanted to go on the expedition. It didn't get to go.
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Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Releasing the bottle

One side project that Plastiki expedition leader David de Rothschild helped out with during the journey was to help artist Jay Little track a message in a bottle across the ocean. Here, de Rothschild prepared to release the bottle into t the Pacific Ocean last April. The bottle has a special satellite tag inside that allows it to be tracked on a daily basis. It currently is somewhere near The Philippines.
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Photo by: The Plastiki Expedition / Caption by:

The bottle

The bottle, including its satellite tag.
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Photo by: The Plastiki Expedition / Caption by:
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