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Plastiki: Unscheduled stop in Samoa

  • Plastiki arrived at the Pacific island of Samoa on May 25
  • Strong winds meant Samoa rather than Fiji became second stop on the journey
  • Crew expect more unpredictable weather as they sail further into southern hemisphere's winter

(CNN) -- Wayward winds pushed Plastiki off course this week forcing the crew to make an unscheduled stop in Samoa instead of the intended destination of Fiji.

After 69 days the crew now traveled 5,483 nautical miles and made landfall on the Pacific island nation on May 25, just two weeks after leaving Christmas Island.

The crew are now restocking and checking the vessel before their final journey to Sydney. The last leg is expected to take around 35 days.

Plastiki encountered some unpredictable weather as they traveled further into the southern hemisphere's winter. Expectations are that the weather won't improve when they get under sail again towards the east coast of Australia.

On their approach to Samoa on May 25, David de Rothschild described the situation from the boat:

"We're all very excited to be getting back on land again. This was a much shorter leg than anticipated. It seems the Plastiki had a calling for Samoa, she wanted to come straight here, and we obliged.

"We will be re-supplying and getting all of our bits and pieces ready for the final leg which will be very, very soon. All of the crew are well and looking forward to a real bed and shower again as well as spending some time with the Samoan community; finding out what it is that they do to beat waste. Apparently one cool thing is that they use plastic bottles as rugby balls!"

The Plastiki is a sailing catamaran built from plastic. The crew left San Francisco in mid-March with the aim of reaching Sydney, Australia.

The expedition's goal is to spread the word about the rapid growth of non-recyclable plastics across the planet, and how pervasive the problem of plastic waste has become.