Now that the Basura del Mar has passed its sea trials and there is not much more work to be done to get it ready for the race, it seemed like it might be a good time to lay the whole project out in one place, try to explain the logistics and the purpose of the whole idea.
When I heard about the Seventy48 race I thought that it might be a fun way to get the word out to people about marine plastic… building a kayak out of foam chunks that washed up on Tacoma’s Salmon Beach was done as kind of a nod to the Hyas yiém, the plastic bottle boat from a few years back. Where the first boat just had to float, however, this new one needed to be able to cover the 70 miles of the race course in less than 48 hours. (There’s no way the Hyas yiém would have been able to do that. Not even close.)
From what I’ve seen so far, the Basura seems to be up to the task. It will not be a particularly fast paddle and I am not anticipating a top three finish, but I do expect it will finish in time. It’s been a while since I looked at the currents for the 48 hours that the race will be underway, so I should probably check those again but I remember guessing that it would probably take me about 36 hours. That’s just a guess and it may well take longer, but I do expect to finish.
The idea was never to win, it was to get the word out about plastics in the water, single-use plastics and how people can use less on a daily basis. The Basura will be out and about at a few events prior to the race where people can take a pledge to use less plastic and then sign the boat. I am looking forward to paddling for all of those folks, and sending a message to others about the steps we need to take to clean up our lives and our oceans.
June 11 is race day. It will come quickly.