Operation Migaloo
2007-08

Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign
Captain & Crew Blog 07-08


The Steve Irwin Chronical

Friday, March 07, 2008

by David Page, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

No sooner do I transmit an update that life has been boring than Captain Paul Watson decided to have a last fling at the Nisshin Maru. He intended to then head south towards where the fleet almost certainly is, to scatter them before us. Once out of radar range of the Nisshin Maru, we would leave the ships to speculate on our position and turn towards Melbourne. We had warned the Nisshin Maru earlier that they had left Australian Territorial waters and entered French territorial waters. They responded by turning around 180 degrees. T ... Read More


The Great Southern Ocean Whaling Ship Chase - Day Thirteen - The Chase Continues

Thursday, March 06, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

West then East then West then East we go, The Steve Irwin is fast, the Nisshin Maru is slow, Five Hundred whales remain uncaught, Worth all the weather and whalers we have fought. - Sea Shepherd thoughts. As the Steve Irwin sticks like crazy glue to the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru the two vessels are now back where they both started five days ago. What is the Japanese whaling fleet doing? First they run at full speed 750 nautical miles to the west and then turn around and run full speed back to the place they started runni ... Read More


Crew Blog

Monday, March 03, 2008

by Jeff Hansen, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

March 2, 2008 We continued to head east on our suspected course of the fleet. The conditions were getting worse as the Southern Ocean threw everything it could at us. Looking at the charts the next bay was called Porpoise Bay, a very likely place to kill some whales. We continued to head east, planning on dropping into Porpoise bay from directly above the fleet. Coming from above would catch the Fukuyoshi Maru No 68 and the fleet unaware, as they would expect us to be coming in from the west. However, as we approached Porpoise Bay ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Eight: Pouncing on the Japanese Slaughterhouse in the Frozen Southern Mist

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

Penetrating deep into the Southern Ocean, we passed the 65 degree south line and continued onwards. All of the ships officers and crew were very much aware of the danger we were moving towards. The weather has been getting increasingly nasty, each day nastier than the day before. The ice floes filling most of Porpoise Bay are fast, solid, and steadily sending out assaults of bergs and growlers. At the speed we need to maintain to pursue the whalers, hitting one of those solid cobalt blue chunks of iron hard ice could punch a hole in ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Seven

Friday, February 29, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

For a week this large Japanese stern trawler the Fukuyoshi Maru No. 68 has been on our tail, never saying anything, just following, and relaying our position constantly to the Japanese whaling fleet. The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin has been able to keep on the tail of the whaling ships but we have been unable to close in because of the real time updates from the Fukuyoshi Maru No. 68. They have not been able to kill any whales however because they are continuously on the move. If they stop we can catch up with them. Now, however ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Six

Thursday, February 28, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

February 23rd to February 29th Leap year gave us an extra day this month, but despite that it looks like we have made it to the end of February without any whales killed for last six days. We are chasing the Japanese in circles and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason as to what the Japanese whalers are doing. What we do know is that they are wasting fuel and not catching any whales. We had two Humpback whales breach beside the ship today. The weather is getting colder and we are getting many hours of darkness now. The  ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Five

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

February 23rd to February 28th The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin almost caught up with the Japanese fleet in Vincennes Bay where they were attempting hunt whales. They did not make much progress. We were almost on them when they took off again - this time due north and after a hundred miles they headed east again. The weather has turned nasty and heavy fog has surrounded us for hours. Mammoth icebergs slip by seen only as large masses on our radar. The spray crashing over the bow and splashing onto the windows of the wheelhouse tu ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Four

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

"Crikey, danger, danger, you whalers, the Shepherds are coming"- What Steve would say if he were with us We've been on the tail of the Japanese whaling fleet for 96 hours since finding them near the Shackleton Glacier on the Queen Mary Coast of Wilkes Land. As we pursue the Japanese whalers, the Japanese Coast Guard on the Fukuyoshi MaruNo. 68 continues to tail our ship the Steve Irwin. The weather has broken temporarily and treated us to calm seas and sunny skies but another storm is sneaking up on our stern with the promise of a ... Read More


The Chase Continues - Day Three

Monday, February 25, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

Today we are plowing through the roughest seas we have experienced in the almost three months we have been down in the Southern Ocean. The weather will be getting worse as the continent of Antarctica braces itself for the long dark and bitterly cold winter ahead of it. As one storm races over us, another is creeping up behind us from the West. We love this weather! A combination of these windy seas and our pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet translates into no whales killed. This is the third day that the whales have been spared th ... Read More


The Great Southern Ocean Chase - Day Two

Sunday, February 24, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

It's hard to kill whales when you're running with your tail between your legs and the Japanese whaling fleet is running, north then west, then east, then west, then east again trying to throw the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin off their rear-ends. But our electronic teeth are firmly embedded in their rear stern ends and they are not shaking us loose. When they turn, we turn, and where they flee to, we pursue. If they stop we will be on their backs like fleas on a dog. The seas down here are constantly changing from calm to whitecaps,  ... Read More


Crew Blog

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

by Nicola Paris, 3rd Cook

I can’t sleep so I venture out to watch the lights of Australia recede from view.  It’s been very still up until now, but as we leave the bay we start to feel a tiny bit of the ocean swell.  As I head up onto the deck I see the boat come up alongside to take the pilot home.  After guiding us safely out of the bay he smoothly hops onto the boat alongside, suit and tie intact. It’s wonderful to be finally moving - after a couple of claustrophobic nights in port in my top bunk I am relieved to have some ... Read More


Rolling Down To the Coast of Antarctica

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin is making good time as we head towards the coast of Antarctica. Since departing Melbourne on the 14th of February, the weather has been incredibly pleasant. Looking at the weather charts it appears as if divine providence was parting the storms to let us have safe and quick passage through the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties. Calm seas with the constant company of albatross and petrels and the occasional visit by whales have the crew happy, motivated and inspired. Of ou ... Read More


Greenpeace’s Broken Record - a response to Karli onboard the Esperanza.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

by 2nd Officer Peter Hammarstedt

But a day ago, Karli Thomas onboard the Esperanza took another call from me and another attempt at extending the olive branch of cooperation was slapped away. Through the bureaucratic static came the sound of her broken record that keeps playing the same tune – ‘we differ on our views on non-violent direct action’.  I asked Karli if she was aware of our thirty year history of never causing an injury, certainly not a death, on either side of the whaling wars. She was. But the broken record kept on turn ... Read More


The Australian Navy may just have to wade in to keep the peace.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson, On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin

The dark waters of the deep Southern Ocean may be icy cold but tensions are heating up under increasing pressures as the ships of the Japanese whaling fleet experience more and more aggravation from the whale defending groups Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The morning of January 17th, 2008 witnessed the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin in hot pursuit of five vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet. In front of the Sea Shepherd ship is the supply vessel Oriental Bluebird being escorted by the whaling vessels Kaiko M ... Read More


Crew Blog

Thursday, January 10, 2008

by Kim McCoy (Executive Director)

Being on board the Steve Irwin during this pivotal moment in time on our planet, hunting for the ruthless killers of innocent whales in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary, is nothing short of life altering. As we prepare for an imminent encounter with the Japanese whaling fleet, I draw tremendous inspiration from the passionate leadership of Captain Watson and the bravery and dedication of our volunteer crew. We pass the days by keeping ourselves occupied conducting safety drills, reviewing emergency protocol, di ... Read More


The Impossible Mission Continues

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

by Captain Paul Watson

On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam And the home of the whale shall be my home And saving seals on the remote ice and snows The end of my voyage... who knows, who knows? The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is in the middle of what is rapidly becoming an impossible mission. The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin is presently off the coast of Antarctic searching for the Japanese whaling fleet. The cards are stacked against us in this pursuit but we will continue on for as long as our fuel reserves allow us to do so. Support in t ... Read More


Crew Blog

Saturday, January 05, 2008

by Sean Willmore

As the ship rocks back and forwards in a Southern ocean's schizophrenic swell, I've gotta ask myself "What am I doing here?" I nearly didn't come on board for various reasons, but something kept nagging at me and here I am. The answer is I suppose is easy - I'm here to help prevent the slaughter of whales in an international sanctuary. But there's more to it than that. Here we are heading south with a group of dedicated volunteers, some experienced and many not. We're in a ship that's doing its best and the resources are limited.  ... Read More


Crew Blog

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

by Brad Axiak (Helicopter Technician) and Carly McDermott (Quartermaster)

Setbacks. As you are all probably aware by now, we are back in Melbourne. Although frustrating, it will mean our ship will be operating at maximum efficiency when we head back down to Antarctica to achieve our objective. The general feeling amongst the crew is of a positive nature and has made us even more determined. When reflecting on our journey and preparation thus far, there have been many individuals who have helped and supported us in getting where we are today. Although we, the crew, are at the sharp end of direct action, th ... Read More


Christmas on the Steve Irwin

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

by Captain Paul Watson

It is Christmas day and I am not where I wish us to be. Where I wish to be is two thousand kilometers to the Southwest where the outlaw whaling fleet from Japan is savagely massacring endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. Unfortunately my ship is riding anchor just offshore of Williamstown , Victoria in Australia . We have picked up the spare parts that we ordered from Scotland and they are being installed in our damaged Port engine. By Boxing Day the ship will be restored to 100% efficiency. On the morning of Decembe ... Read More


Operation Migaloo is already a success

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

by Captain Paul Watson

Although the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin has not yet located the Japanese whaling fleet, it is obvious that Operation Migaloo is having an impact. The issue of illegal Japanese whaling is receiving international attention around the world. Most importantly for the first time ever, the story is being reported in the Japanese media and the Japanese people are becoming more aware of their government's illegal activities. The media in Australia and New Zealand are not just reporting the issue, they are also running scathing ... Read More


Aboard The Steve Irwin 1500hrs Sunday 16th of December 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

by Mihirangi

Up at 7:40am, my cabin is cold, ice circles the rim of my porthole, a blanket of fog surrounds the ship and finally I've acclimatized to the waves that either rock me to sleep or slap me silly against my bunk like Possidon's plaything. This morning I literally tumble out of bed and as we pitch and roll I focus on the pretence of having sea legs… toss, throw, fall, toss, roll, stagger, stagger and crawl just to put on my crew shirt and beanie. Bloody hilarious… minimum grooming with maximum effort achieved I step crisscr ... Read More


Crew Blog

Saturday, December 15, 2007

by Giles Lane (Engine Room)

Pirate greetings to all of you from the wild and beautiful Southern Ocean! This is my first time at sea, my first Sea Shepherd campaign, and my first blog entry. Now I've started to settle into the ships routine, the last day or so has given me a chance to think about the month or so since I left England to join the campaign. I joined the ship and crew in Tasmania , just in time for the voyage to the mainland, where the support shown to us by the people of Melbourne was quite incredible. The days leaving up to our departure saw a co ... Read More


Why I fight

Thursday, December 13, 2007

by Peter Hammarstedt (2nd Mate)

Being out at sea has always given me the opportunity to reflect on the twists and turns in my life that brought me to a stage where I could safely say that I would risk my life to save that of a whale. My expedition to Antarctica essentially began a decade ago. When I was 14, I met a dog named Marlboro through the chain-linked fencing of an animal shelter housing pen. No words were exchanged. But his deep brown eyes met mine and there was instantly nothing more important to me than finding this Akita/Cattle dog a loving home. Marlbo ... Read More


Crew Blog

Monday, December 10, 2007

by Joie Botkin (USA) Still Photographer

Well, it's our fifth day out at sea and the weather has finally calmed down, giving much of the crew a dearly needed reprieve from sea-sickness and the continuous lurching about. Our send-off in Melbourne was phenomenal, as was the generous support in donations and volunteers' time that we received up until our departure. Being new to Sea Shepherd, I was amazed to see the community support and encouragement that we received. It really seems that, despite our occasional critic, we are viewed as a beacon of light in the conservation mo ... Read More


Crew Blog

Sunday, December 09, 2007

by Heather Reid (Australia) Deckhand/Galley and Simon King (Australia) Deck/ Fire Team/ Medical Response Team

Hey! It's Heather and Simon It's the 9th of December, day 4 of sailing. Simon feels that he has conquered seasickness but he is still adjusting to sleeping at sea! Myself still rather sea sick but well enough to take on jobs for the people that are still unfortunately in bed. I've waited 8 months to get the ship down to Antarctica and pulled through the hard times sitting in dock doing tours and getting the ship ready for campaign. Putting seasickness behind I'm still able to giggle and joke around. I'm so happy to be sailing down t ... Read More




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