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.