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Plastic Odyssey Launches its Expedition Vessel

Today is a great day for the members of Plastic Odyssey. After a year and a half of work, including three months of dry-docking in the port of Dunkirk, the vessel has finally launched this morning. The crew got up at 6 a.m. so as not to miss anything.

“I have tears in my eyes,” says Bob. “We wanted to launch the vessel before the New Year, but each time we discovered a new problem: a piece of rusty hull, a problem with the rudder, a valve that needed to be changed… Every step forward, we would take two steps backward! And we couldn’t speed things up at the risk of sinking it! But after two weeks, the boiler works are finished and the ship is even repainted in the colors of Plastic Odyssey. It wasn’t the most problematic but it feels great to see it almost finished!”

Love at First Sight for the Ship

“It’s a shock for me too, it looks so much like our 3D visuals,” adds Zoé Lemonnier, Social Sciences Research Manager. “Many of us work in Marseille and I hadn’t seen the ship since it was bought in 2019 when it was still orange and all rusty. Seeing all these changes is crazy, it’s super beautiful! The workers have done a huge job!”

While the sailors are busy preparing the moorings, the water gradually rises around the boat, freeing it from the massive beams that were blocking it in the dry dock. The lock finally opens, like a door to the open sea and a future full of promise.

Simon Bernard

Manouvering with the Sailors

Three more months of work await the future explorers. Bob is already orchestrating all the participants to prepare for the final stretch. “I was doing a site visit with the plumbers when they removed the gangplank because the vessel was leaning to one side. I found myself the only member of Plastic Odyssey on board with all the others stuck on the dock,” says, Bob. “I had to pull on the mooring lines and maneuver the winches with the sailors. It was a bit stressful because I didn’t want the boat to rub on one of the docks but I loved it!”

While the two tugs are taking the boat out to sea, Simon is doing interviews in front of the cameras on the quay. “I’m so happy to finally be able to show something real, after having imagined this project on paper for so many years,”, enthuses the president of Plastic Odyssey.

Preparing for Departure

“Now the vessel is asbestos-free, the hull is sound and repainted,” he explains. “We can say that it has passed the technical control, so to speak. But we’re not letting up the pressure. We still have a small mountain to climb with all the interior work. And we are obliged to make arbitrations because our budget is limited. We need more partners… But good news, there is still space on the hull for more logos!”, notes the young man pointing out the ship.

“For us the next step is the installation of the machinery. There are ten of them currently being tested in Marseille and they weigh at least 500kg each. It’s going to be a big job to get them here next month. We’ve drawn up plans and can imagine what it will look like. But for me, it won’t be real until I see it with my own eyes,”, concludes Simon.

You will soon find the history of our machines on this blog, from the design to the installation on the deck of the ship!

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