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Icebergs and Updates

Nicola Paris
Galley, Steve Irwin

Nicola ParisSunday 9th January

Today I made lemon poppy seed cake, which flew all over the oven in the waves… somewhat lopsided but still reasonably tasty.

Dinner: spaghetti; red sauce; ‘meatballs’ and a vegan-ized Caesar style salad.

We just passed a beautiful iceberg…the color where the water meets the ice as it slowly wastes it away is a turquoise color, like you would expect to see the water near a tropical island.

Monday 10th January

Great news from home: an impromptu action yesterday at the Japanese consulate in Melbourne, organized by dear friend and past sea shepherd crew member, Zin, along with a bunch of other crew and supporters got a good turnout, and excellent media coverage.

It is great to hear about the support and actions occurring all over the world.  With much of the world on our side now just want to get on with the job…we are all feeling a bit itchy for action and wondering when we’ll meet the fleet next…

Took advantage of the relatively calm weather (yeehar…real sleep… several nights in a row…inconceeeeivable!)… and sorted a bunch of food out in the dry store.

Humpback whales…icebergs…. and more whales: breaching just off the side of the ship, showing off and playing - I can’t say anything new about beautiful, remarkable, breathtaking whales that hasn’t been said already - other than to say thanks to them for stopping by to say hi and reminding us why we are here.

Tuesday 12th January

Laura watched a DVD about healthy eating in the morning, which inspired lunch: a yummy yet healthy brown rice, tofu and abundant vegetable: ‘A diet for a new Steve Irwin’

Dinner: Stuffed mushrooms and peppers; red sauce and white wine sauce

Are we there yet? Can I have a soy ice cream?

Wednesday 13th January

Lunch: split pea soup, fresh herb garlic rolls, salad with one of my random improvised dressings (orange juice and wholegrain mustard).

A bunch of crew took up the garlic challenge and spent the afternoon in the mess chatting and peeling garlic for us. It only landed on the floor once.

From the ships loudspeaker came a message… "An iceberg has just collapsed off our port side; run up and have a look." I got there in time to see large chunks of ice making whirlpools in the waves; it seems sad and strange that we are witness to such beauty amidst the very real damage of climate change. We saw icebergs at latitudes so close to Australia where we simply should not see them. Our Australian government is an embarrassment on so many levels: elected on promises of action on climate change; action against whaling…action to right the wrongs against our indigenous peoples; action on human rights, on so many things, yet all we have is the spinelessness of Peter Garret and the docile banality of PM Rudd... blanding us out of existence.  The environmental destruction happening now, and in our future is real- we are burning and the fire is being fanned by an army of beige bearing platitudes.

Thursday 14th January

Dear Sandy Holloway and the Australian government,

As a full time volunteer with Sea Shepherd I really appreciate Minister Penny Wong pointing out the 'cost of diplomacy' coming in at the bargain basement price of only $1800 per day (retainer only). As someone who has forgone any income and worked as a fulltime volunteer for well over twelve months with this organization, one that has actually saved oh...well...over a thousand whales... that does seem completely reasonable.   Just one of your days retainer would cover my health expenses for a year; It would purchase enough flour for us to bake bread for a couple of years with a bit of money left over for special treats like vegemite and jam. $1800 would purchase some much needed new galley equipment, it could purchase oil, power tools. Hell, you could even sponsor us a few stink bombs... We could call them "eau de diplomacy.”

Getting nearly $120 000 for only 57 days work is pretty sweet deal for absolutely no tangible outcome. Nice work! You deserve it! Go diplomacy!  Next time I am doing a 12 hour day on no sleep because the waves are so huge I am being thrown around my bunk, and alternating between being up on deck in the freezing cold, and cooking and cleaning up dishes for 40 people, suffering serious back pain, and avoiding being killed by psychotic whaling captains who ram and sink boats in pristine marine environments, and being away from my friends and family for another Christmas...doing the job the Australian government should be doing, I will think of you, with thanks, for your very best diplomatic efforts.

I'd buy you a beer to say cheers but I have no money. Though if you'd like to spend the equivalent of about 2 minutes work on buying me one, I'd love to chat diplomacy. In a diplomatic manner.





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