Update on Antarctic Whale Campaign 2006/2007
By Captain Paul Watson
Our new ship code named Leviathan is at sea and on the way south to the coast of Antarctica. Today they are battling a full gale but Captain Alex Cornelissen reports that the ship is extremely seaworthy and is pushing through the heavy swells and into the wind with ease.
In Melbourne, we have been delayed because of two things. (1) we need a replacement rotor blade for our helicopter and we are waiting for it to be shipped from the USA which we hope will arrive within a few days. (2) Because Canada suspended our registry due to pressure from the Canadian government, we have had to work quickly to re-register the ship under another flag which we are in the process of doing and hopefully this will not take more than a few more days.
It’s not unusual to fight our way out of obstacles posed by bureaucrats prior to departure on a campaign. The bureaucratic delays are just a part of the normal routine. This week even Homeland Security (USA) was making inquiries about our activities. It is amazing how governments are getting involved to try and stop interventions against illegal whaling activities.
The Farley Mowat is closer to the whaling fleet than the Leviathan so the delay should not delay the rendezvous between the two ships. Greenpeace announced that they would be sending two ships to the coast of Antarctica but we have heard nothing more. The Esperanza is in Baja and the Arctic Sunrise is in the Baltic so they are still quite some distance from the whalers.
As it looks we will be in a position to confront the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary during the last week of December or the first week in January. Last year we first confronted them on Christmas Day.
Evidence of climate change is certainly evident here in the State of Victoria where the Farley Mowat is presently berthed. This week one of our former helicopter pilots Gerry Nels dropped by the ship. He had just flown in to help fight one of the largest bush fires in Australian history. After years of drought the bush is erupting with hundreds of fires, mainly started by lighting strikes last week. The smell of smoke is everywhere today in Melbourne as over one hundred square miles of bush is ablaze not far from the city.
We have only two more days to give tours of the ship before we move to the fuel dock to take on the fuel for the campaign. The ship has had over 30,000 visitors since arriving in Melbourne and the support from Australias has been tremendous.
Follow Sea Shepherd’s progress at our website: www.Seashepherd.org
Check out our campaign with Bluetongue Beer and see the controversial commercial Bluetongue has produced: www.whalesafebeer.com.au
If you vist the whalesafe beer site be sure to leave a message in the bottle.