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‘Junk’ boat completes crossing

Last Wednesday, two men made their way into the history books last Wednesday by sailing Junk, a raft kept afloat by 15,000 plastic bottles, from Long Beach, Calif., to Honolulu to raise awareness about the harmfulness of plastic debris floating around in the world’s oceans, according to a recent press release.

“As I watch the sun set on the final day at sea, I am overcome more with humility than excitement,” stated Marcus Eriksen, who set sail with volunteer Joel Paschal on June 1. “I am truly humbled by the efforts of so many people that have made this journey a reality.”

The duo was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of locals and journalists. Despite a top speed of 3.2 knots generated from their single mast and sail, steady progress brought the raft and crew to land safely. Pitfalls included the sail giving way and the galvanized wire securing the mast fraying.

Beyond their crusade to stop clean up the world’s oceans, the duo did a little cleaning on their own.

“We’ve collected 10 ocean surface samples using our marine debris trawl, managed to snatch a few large pieces of plastic debris that floated under us, and caught fish with stomachs filled with particles of plastic,” stated Eriksen online. “Plastic is forever, and it’s everywhere.”

For information and to watch videos of their arrival in Hawaii, visit

— Elizabeth Ellis