Slow boat to Shanghai

10:13, September 17, 2010      

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An environmentally-conscious sailor named Xia Yu from Xiangtan, Hunan Province is sailing a homemade boat made from 2,010 used plastic bottles from his home in the Yangtze River Basin to the Shanghai Expo 1,500 kilometers away.

The boat is 7 meters long and uses seven sails, with a 5-meter-high mainsail. It can carry six people and designed to carry more than 700 kilograms. Yang, a teahouse owner, said he began building it in April this year using bottles discarded by customers that were tied together with more than 50 kilograms of wire. Dubbed "Noah's Ark" by admirers who followed his progress on the Internet, the low carbon craft cost him about 2,000 yuan ($296) to make.

"When the boat was launched, about 40 supporters came and helped lift the boat into the Xiangjiang River. There were hundreds of onlookers on the street," Xia said proudly.

One sail bears the slogan, "Low-carbon lifestyle, beautiful Expo" and is marked with his route and ports of call. Xia is also advocating environmental protection along the way and calling on people to protect the Xiangjiang and Yangtze rivers.

"We mainly sail during daytime for 30 to 40 kilometers on average. We have every kind of lifesaving gear, a GPS and so on," Xia said. "We go ashore to camp and sleep and the boat is moored to the bank with no worries of it being stolen."

After the voyage the boat will be auctioned off with money to donate to an anonymous supporter who is suffering from uremia.

Source: Global Times


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