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Blog of a Vegan Pirate, Post 9: Aurora Australis

Humpback whales wave their fins as we pass by.

Humpback whales wave their fins as we pass by.

This is the ninth 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 just under four weeks into the voyage. The next and final update will come Tuesday, July 29th.

(A donations page, if anyone wants to help me pay for plane tickets to my next Sea Shepherd campaign)

From: Steve Irwin Vessel
Sent on: 3/12/08 07:01:03 +0000

I’m on my way back to Australia now. The whaling season is coming to a close, and we’re running out of fuel, and the winter storms have been rocking us. A big reason whaling season is from December to March is because that’s the only time the weather here is calm enough for ships to exist here. As the season comes to a close, we’re seeing about five storms on the weather map battering the area.

Antarctic sunset. One of the rare days of good weather.

We constantly get hit by rogue waves, and I’ve been playing the zero g game, where we jump as the boat pitches and we hang in mid-air.

And you’re right, after a month of this lifestyle, all I want to do is figure out the fastest way to get back to it. If I learn Spanish, I can go to the Galapagos to stop poaching there too.

The waters get greener the closer we get to Australia.

At night, we saw the Aurora Australis, another phenomenon you can’t prepare yourself for. We had minor parties on the bridge at night while watching it. They often look like the silver lining of clouds that span the whole length of the sky, and suddenly the entire thing dances across the sky.

The Aurora Australis, perhaps the origin of Dust. (photo by ship’s official photographer Noah Hannibal)

There are only a few days left in the campaign, and we’ve seen live whales everywhere down here, even a rare Right Whale. Feels good having fought for them and seeing them alive in good numbers around us because of it.



  1. Comment by


    on #

    Very cool. Thanks for fighting the good fight along with all the other awesome crew.

  2. Comment by

    Andrea N.

    on #

    Awesome pictures!! Great work!