(all photo credits: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd)
An update on the current Antarctic campaign, from Sea Shepherd crew member Andrea Gordon.
This message was transmitted to New York from the Bob Barker vessel via satellite.
So lots went on here yesterday – everything has been a really intense emotional rollercoaster. In the morning, we were told the campaign was over and we had to go back to port. I took the news really hard. Every day we were with the Nisshin Maru, I was just so happy knowing the whales were protected and safe. We had such an amazing and successful campaign, but going back to port knowing the whalers were still down here with the whales isn’t easy. I didn’t have much time to dwell on it though, because 30 minutes after that, we saw the Yushin Maru #3 on the horizon. We hadn’t seen that ship since it rammed us at the beginning of the month. Everyone jumped back into gear, we sent the small boat after the Yushin, packed with butyric acid, paint, and some angry Sea Shepherds ;) The small boat chased the Yushin through the ice at 15 knots, and the Yushin just slammed into a lot of the ice, risking damaging their ship to get away from our boat.
On the way to catch up with the Yushin, though, we had passed a set of five buoys together that was attached to a line. We speculated it was either a longline or from the whalers. We marked the GPS for the buoy location, and after showering the Yushin with butyric acid, we went back to the buoys. Ironically, this was the one day that we were able to take the time to pull in the illegal buoys and line since we had stopped chasing the Nisshin. They were going after Patagonian toothfish, aka Chilean sea bass. Turns out it wasn’t a longline, though; it was an illegal gillnet – the net was five. miles long or so and about 1500 feet deep, set across three different sets of buoys, each two and a half miles apart. It took about six hours to pull in all the line and get all the buoys – and that didn’t even include the net! And now we have a nice collection of buoys and about $3k worth of new line – something we hadn’t been able to get in Africa before the campaign! I don’t think the net had been out that long, but don’t really know. The ship’s name was Draco I. I don’t know where it was from because they didn’t have their port name on the side of the ship.
There was also some crazy orca/seal drama yesterday too. We passed a very scared seal on a small flat piece of ice with four adult orcas and one baby orca circling it and spyhopping – poking just their heads up to look at the seal. The seal’s head was only about ten feet from the orcas. Then they started nudging the ice to knock the seal off. Apparently, the orcas had chased the seal underwater, and then the seal landed on an unfortunately small piece of ice. Then, after the ship passed, the seal tried to make a run for it and there was blood in the water, so I guess he didn’t make it :( At least he was orca food and not people food!
It was a seriously long day. Luckily, Darius made his seriously awesome Antarctic Mac ‘n Cheese to keep us going and was kind enough to share the recipe for future action packed animal saving days! Or just yummy comfort food ;)
1 lb of macaroni
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
8 teaspoons of yellow mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
8oz canned tomato sauce
3 teaspoons of salt
3 cups soy milk
In a saucepan, heat oil and saute garlic over medium to high heat for two minutes. Add flour, yeast, mustard, lemon juice, salt, tomato sauce and one cup soy milk. Mix thoroughly. When bubbles form, add one cup soy milk and continue stirring. When the sauce starts bubbling again, add the last cup of soy milk. Cook for an additional five minutes while stirring. After cooking the macaroni, drain and stir in sauce.