Duo sails the Pacific Ocean on junk raft

Joel Paschal
Joel Paschal
Marcus Eriksen
Marcus Eriksen

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - When most people think about sailing 2,000 miles across the Pacific, it's on an ocean liner for vacation.

But three months ago Joel Paschal and Marcus Eriksen literally boarded a piece of junk and headed out to sea from the coast of California to the shores Waikiki.

This might look like trash, but these are actually 15,000 plastic bottles used to keep the junk raft afloat.  It took two months to build and includes the fuselage of a C10 Cessna for a cabin and ropes that are made from plastic bags.

"That's what guided us 2,600 miles across the Pacific from Long Beach California to Hawaii," said Marcus Eriksen, an eco-sailor.

The purpose of their journey was to bring to the surface the problem that's been plaguing the Pacific Ocean.

"Get rid of single used plastic items. We want to do that by educating people, so the consumers can make better choices, and not buy products with excessive plastic packaging."

Along the way they found plastic floating everywhere.

"We were dragging a net behind our raft and every time we pulled the net out of the water it would have hundred of plastic particles."

They ate peanut butter, did some fishing for their food, but discovered something disturbing with some of there catches.

"These pollutants are inside plastic that are getting eaten by fish that we eat, so now we have a human health issue now with plastic."

The two sailors were happy to be back on land, but were even more excited to share with people about what's going on in the middle of the pacific ocean.

The junk raft will be on display at the Waikiki Aquarium starting Sunday, up next for the duo, a documentary on their voyage.