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Quizzing the crew: Jo Royle

Wiil Jo have time to study for her MA while skippering the Plastiki?
Wiil Jo have time to study for her MA while skippering the Plastiki?
  • CNN asked crew members about hopes and fears for the voyage
  • Skipper Jo Royle looking forward to communicating message of the mission
  • Will take journals for her MA research; believes mission is already a success

(CNN) -- CNN picked the brains of the Plastiki's crew members before they set off on the voyage. From the importance of the mission to a pint of Cornish cider, skipper Jo Royle tells CNN about her hopes and fears, how she plans to get through the voyage, and what she looks forward to most at the end of it.

CNN: What did you want to be when you were young?

Royle: I wanted to engineer a way to spend as much time on or by the ocean as possible.

CNN: What's the one characteristic that has led you to where you are today?

Royle: Thriving off the feeling of living just outside my comfort zone.

CNN: Who inspires you?

Royle: Everybody!

CNN: What's the most important lesson you've learned about yourself from the Plastiki project?

Royle: Put your energy into your beliefs, think outside the box and it will happen.

CNN: What's your biggest hope for the expedition?

Royle: To communicate to as many people as possible that our oceans are our umbilical cord to life, without healthy oceans we are not healthy, no matter where we are in the world we are directly connected to the ocean.

CNN: At what point would you define the Plastiki a success?

Royle: The Plastiki is already a success, it has proven that we need to think about the way we consume, the way we manufacture products, how we need to think about a products end life before it is created. Most importantly it has proven that no one is as smart as everyone; the Plastiki is a success because she has created a platform for many incredible minds to collaborate and engage in conversations on how we can ensure we leave this world in a better condition than we found it for our future generations. At the moment this feels like a tough ambition, but an exciting one!

CNN: What are your favorite sea creatures?

Royle: Jellyfish, as we know so little about them, but their increasing population is a direct indication of the health of our oceans. Dolphins, as they are our true companions when sailing across oceans. Seals, as they look so lazy and fat, but if you get on the wrong side of them they certainly show you who's boss.

CNN: When is the last time you personally used a plastic bottle?

Royle: I'm not sure, but we still get guests aboard the Plastiki who leave plastic water bottles behind! Have you tried to spend just one week without consuming anything plastic? I have, and it was impossible, I had to steal my flat mate's toothpaste when I ran out!

CNN: What do you most value about nature?

Royle: The way she makes your life feel like such a speck in the grand scale of things, your little worries feel so insignificant, the way she can make us feel like a visitor, but has her welcoming arms wide open. If we listen and open up she naturally teaches us how to live a sustainable, healthy life. She is always boss, we can choose to respect that, and live our lives as a caretaker, or not, but in the end she will always be here.

CNN: What's the one creature comfort you'll miss most when you're at sea?

Royle: Cycling my bike through the countryside. My buddies and a good pint of Cornish cider!

CNN: Name 3 books you will bring with you on the expedition.

Royle: I will be researching my Masters dissertation on populations displaced because of human influenced climate change, so lots of journals. If anyone has anything on this topic please send it to me! I'll be taking Sylvia Earle's latest book, which I am currently reading, but not finding the time to finish. I also might take a copy of Jim Dodge's "Stone Junction".

CNN: If you had to choose a theme song for the expedition, what would it be?

Royle: "Plastikians" by Jerry Zeiger (written just for the Plastiki).

CNN: What's your favorite adventure film?

Royle: "The Kon Tiki".

CNN: What's your green motto?

Royle: The more time you spend in the natural environment, the more you will naturally become a better caretaker of the planet.

CNN: What's the most important thing you've done to prepare for life at sea?

Royle: Lived in a city for a year, this is the longest time for over ten years that I have not been on an ocean adventure. As much as I love San Francisco I can't wait to get back to life on the ocean.

CNN: What's the main emotion you're feeling right now days before the launch?

Royle: My brain is running a million miles an hour to try to dot every "I" and cross every "t" in the preparations for the passage. Once we leave we can't pick up what we have forgotten, we just have to make do with what we have.

CNN: What's your biggest fear for the expedition?

Royle: I don't have big fears in my mind at the moment, we have spent a long time meticulously preparing the boat with an incredible team of talent. I am a sailor, so I have a huge respect for the ocean, and understand the path to take to minimize risk, I am in my element at sea.

CNN: What's the first thing you'll do when you reach Sydney?

Royle: Have a shower! I'll also enjoy the post-adventure feeling of mixed emotions; having achieved an awesome adventure, but also leaving a tight knit Plastiki family life behind! Oh, and maybe party a little!