The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin arrived in Newcastle, New South Wales on December 6th for a brief visit to take on fuel and oil.
Daryl Hannah left the ship here to fly out to do a project with Oceanographer Sylvia Earle. She will be returning at a later date to rejoin the crew. While onboard she was a very enthusiastic crewmember and a natural helmsman.
Another celebrity greeted us on our arrival in Newcastle. Teen model Skye Bortoli of Teens Against Whaling came by with her mother, grandmother and sister to welcome us to their home town. Skye also may be joining the crew at a later date. Skye has attended the last two International Whaling Commission meetings, in Anchorage, Alaska in 2007 and in Santiago, Chile in 2008. At ages 14, 15 and 16 as of next week, Skye has demonstrated that age is not a barrier to becoming an effective activist.
The people of Newcastle were very supportive. One bar opened up a $500 bar tab for anyone wearing a Sea Shepherd crew shirt. Taxi cabs offered free rides to the crew and everyone wanted their pictures taken with crewmembers. The harbor officials were very friendly and it was a very pleasant but brief visit.
The Steve Irwin departed from Newcastle at 1400 Hours on December 7th southward bound.
Somewhere in this vast ocean the Japanese whaling fleet is steaming towards the Ross Sea to begin their horrific task of slaughtering a thousand whales. The task of the Steve Irwin is to search them out and interfere with their illegal operations as soon as possible before the killing begins.
Paul Watson with Skye Bortoli of "Teens Against Whaling"