We stay alongside the Nisshin Maru to prevent the fleet from whaling.
This is the sixth blog post in the series documenting the February to March 2008 leg of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling Antarctic campaign. Previous posts in the series are here. The following post was an email I sent 20 days into the voyage. The next update will come Friday, July 18th.
From: Steve Irwin Vessel
Sent on: 3/5/08 06:34:53 +0000
We’ve been keeping up with the Nisshin Maru for a few days now. Yesterday, we were surrounded by a HUGE pod of dolphins, minke whales, pilot whales, and giant humpback whales, all swimming together! They swam alongside our boat to say hello, and we circled around them to keep them safe from the whaling factory ship. There were whales from horizon to horizon.
The Japanese fleet is unable to kill any whales while we’re in their midst. (photo taken by ship’s photographer Noah Hannibal)
It was such a good feeling to see all these whales, that would’ve otherwise been hunted, especially the minke whales which the Japanese whalers particularly targeted. As it was, the whalers couldn’t do anything while we were there. It seems that during this time, the whalers started to get frustrated. They even stopped their ship when all the whales surrounded both ships, even though the whalers couldn’t do anything or kill any of the whales.
Whales from all over the world converge in the Southern Oceans from December to March, which is why the Japanese whaling fleet hunts there during those months. Every day that we engaged the fleet, we also saw whales swimming alongside us.
The Japanese government has been spinning this week’s engagement with the Nisshin Maru to make us seem like bloodthirsty bar brawlers. We made sure that we only threw things onto unmanned whaling decks, so that no one would be hurt but they can’t do things on the whale processing areas. We threw two dozen bottles or so. However, the Japanese government (through newspapers like the Yomiuri Shinbun) is saying that we (33 of us crewmembers, none of whom were apparently driving or running the ship at the time) threw 2,000 bottles within a span of two hours, and that we also had a missile launcher, and that 4 of our missiles hit their Japanese crewmembers, causing them eye irritations. Furthermore, we apparently boarded their vessel and squirted acid into a crewmember’s face, and got into broken bottle fights with fully armed and armored Japanese marines and WON. We’re more macho than we thought!
One of the apparent unfortunate victims of the vegan death squad.
The factory ship has been trying to play cat and mouse games with us to get rid of us, but by now we’ve had so much constant experience with that game, dodging the Japanese military ship for so long, that they simply haven’t been able to shake us from their tail in any way. They’re also a gigantic ship that’s a huge blip on the radar and we moved away from all the ice berg fields, so it’s pretty futile for them to try and get rid of us.
I tried to explain The Dark Crystal movie to the captain, but he got fed up with it and left in the middle of the film. Sigh. We have Star Trek IV on board, though, so I may force the rest of the crew to watch it one of these days. Oh! Duty calls, be back later.