A Spanish explorer from the Royal Academy of the Sea, who has spent the last two years navigating the high seas aboard a nine-foot-long jet ski, has stopped in Belize along his tour of the world before heading back to Spain where he began his journey. Alvaro de Marichalar (MA-RICH-A-LAR) has spent the last forty years campaigning against plastic pollution in the sea and has embarked on forty maritime expeditions. He has solo-navigated from Hong Kong to Tokyo, from Rome to New York transatlantic, and from Barcelona to Ukraine. News Five was present to speak with him upon his arrival in San Pedro today from Southern Mexico to bring the same message about plastic pollution.
Alvaro de Marichalar, Spanish Explorer
“I’m celebrating the fifth centennial of the first circumnavigation accomplished in 1522, five hundred years ago by Juan Sebastian Elcano – an expedition that (Ferdinand) Magellan started in 1519 with two hundred and sixty other sailors on board five vessels. Juan Sebastian Elcano made it with eighty survivors and one only floating boat, named Victoria, so I’m honouring them. And I’m filming to create awareness about what’s going on in the oceans, especially denouncing the plastic pollution and the over-fishing. So I’m using gasoline here in this engine, produced in Mexico with plastic debris, which is an amazing patent. And we’re looking for sustainable solutions, not only talking but really implementing them. This is an example here. This is all the equipment I have for three years, all my belongings, all my – everything I need and also equipment, radio and yeah, traveling very light.”
“When you meet inclement weather and you just can’t navigate through it, what do you do?”
Alvaro de Marichalar
“Well the problem is that the weather changes a lot. We started two hours and a half from Chetumal, it was quite good. Then it rained, then it was again good, then it changed. Of course if the forecast is very bad I avoid taking risks and avoid departing. I try to sleep onshore, I try to find a hotel or something but when this is not possible, I sleep on board my little vessel. Yesterday night I was about to cancel the lap. We had a main problem so we were working all night and I slept one hour and I’m very tired due to that but I had these Mexican friends that came to help me and they repair it very well.”