(photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd)
An update on the current Antarctic campaign, from Sea Shepherd crew member Andrea Gordon.
This message was sent from the Bob Barker vessel via satellite, on:
Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 6:12 AM
Hey Tod!! I am soooo happy we found the whalers and got them running! I can’t even tell you what a relief it is to know the whales are safe for now. We hadn’t seen the Nisshin Maru since the Ady Gil was sunk a month ago. Then, three days ago, we knew we were getting close to finding them because there were whale guts in the water. Grim, but we were hot on their trail. Peter [Hammarstedt] asked for someone to go up on the mast to do watches up there for about four hours. One crewmember, Darius, was just at the end of a watch, and was taking his gloves off to come down, when he took one more look and spotted the NM! Wow! We were so lucky to find the factory ship before any of their other ships found us first. They must have been in the middle of processing too because there were more whale guts in the water and they weren’t moving. It took them a little while to get moving, so we caught right up to them.
There were four other ships with the NM- the three harpoon ships and the Shonan Maru #2- the ship that sunk the Ady Gil. They stayed a little bit back at first, and then when I was out on bow watch, they started moving in. They formed this tight circle around the ship, cutting in front of our bow, so they put themselves between us and the NM. That’s when the Yushin Maru #3 came in and rammed us. I was right out on the bow on the side of the collision, so that was pretty cool. I didn’t even realize there was any damage at all, because it didn’t feel very hard, but it was minor. So we were fine and the Yushin disappeared and hasn’t been seen since! Ha!
A little while after they rammed us, the Shonan came up and started making close passes to us. They were essentially doing drive by’s, blaring the LRAD and the water cannons. Neither of which bothered us, and they got hammered with butyric acid! Ok, and that stuff is so super stinky. Its really nauseating and we could totally smell it on their ship as they passed us.
Now, we’re just pursuing the NM through some ultra rough weather. I’m writing this from my cabin, which is on the lowest level of the ship and I’m still levitating. Yikes. Trying to catch up on some rest now because I hardly slept for 48 hours.