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Operation Waltzing Matilda Crew Blog

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Dream Come True

Chad Halstead
Deckhand
- M/Y Steve Irwin

Chad HalsteadI can remember being a young kid when I first came across an article in a magazine about the ramming of the infamous pirate whaling vessel, the Sierra, and about the one man, Paul Watson, who had since organized one of the most effective and successful direct action conservation organizations in recent times. I followed the campaigns and events over the years, as well as the tactics and strategies Sea Shepherd used, and immediately realized this was where I hoped to be some day. I applied for crew aboard the ship as soon as I knew I could dedicate weeks, months, and years of my time without any obstacles or anything holding me back. I wanted to be one of the 45 people brave enough to risk whatever it took to make a change, instead of standing on shore talking about how I wished things were different.

Since arriving on the Steve Irwin, I have learned a great amount about what it takes to maintain a ship and how significant the work in port is to a campaign at sea. Working on a ship that is almost 35-years-old, there is constant refitting, modifying, and painting throughout various departments. The days of a deckhand are long and hard, but highly rewarding. People often ask what its like working for a unpaid volunteer organization and my usual answer is “It’s been better than any job I have gotten paid for.” I can’t find a better reason to work, but to know that every day and hour of labour, is going directly into changing something I feel so strongly about: the unnecessary, unlawful and ungoverned slaughter that is taking place throughout the oceans of our planet. It feels great to be a part of this small group of such strong-minded people from all over the world who believe in actions over words, the future world instead of the present moment, and the respect of the environment over the greedy and selfish destruction of whatever is within their arms reach, or in this case; whatever is within their harpoons, hooks, nets and guns reach. It’s amazing how far this organization have come in 30 years and to think how far we will go in 30 more. Our determination is the key to our success, and if one thing is to be expected, it is that we will win this battle. You can never fail if you never give up and that is exactly our stance.

 

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