Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Raft Across the Pacific

Earlier this blog reviewed Marcus Eriksen's book My River Home, a book how Erikensen made a raft out of soda pop bottles and then took it down the whole way of the Mississippi from its source in Minnesota to the Gulf Coast. I heard Marcus speak April 15 at the Santa Monica College Reading Series and then had lunch with him, members of the English Department, Erikesen's fiancee Anna Cummins; her father Paul Cummins, founder of Crossroads and New Roads Schools; members of the English Department; and students. Marcus was fascinating,
and at lunch he told us about his plans to cross the Pacific in a raft he made.

Now he has made another bigger raft out of 15,000 "junked" plastic bottles called the Junk. He and fellow crew member Joel Paschal left Hermosa Beach on "Junk" (the raft's name) on June 1, 2008 heading across 3,000 miles of open ocean for Hawaii. The purpose of the trip is to call attention to the huge amount of plastics in the north Pacific which is killing large parts of ocean fish and birds. Plastics occupy thousands of miles of the Pacific in an area called the Pacific Gyre and when fish or birds eat bits of plastics, they die.

The raft is now three days past Guadalupe Island (at 1-2 knots per hour) off Baja California and headed into the open Pacific Ocean. They should reach Hawaii in the next one to two months. They are posting ship's journal entries, photographs, and their current position via satellite link on the blog.

Anna Cummin's is keeping a blog documenting Marcus's and Paschal's journey across the Pacific:


In the next month we can all tune in to see how the Junk is faring with the Pacific and all the
plastic waste in the Pacific. So check out Anna's blog and rethink how you use plastics.

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