For the past week, the crew of the Steve Irwin had the pleasure of being docked in the heart of Sydney opposite the famous Opera House. Again our thanks to Sydney Ports and all the people involved in giving us this fantastic berthing!
On our daily tours, we had the opportunity to express our thanks to our supporters for backing us up these past several years in Australia. Many people came to see the ship and our tours were absolutely packed. On Saturday and Sunday we had over 1,000 visitors each day. People donated money, food, tools, and many other items. Our crew and onshore support team worked tirelessly to inform our supporters about the work Sea Shepherd does.
It is fantastic to see that support for Sea Shepherd is stronger than ever now that we are gearing up for our sixth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign against the illegal Japanese whaling fleet. All our visitors were outraged about the treatment Captain Watson and 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt are receiving from the Australian government, which continues to cause problems with their visa application. Clearly, the present administration is more interested in taking orders from Tokyo than in listening to the very voters that put them in office. We will continue to gather signatures petitioning to let them both back into Australia.
We can't even begin to list all the people that stocked our stores but nevertheless special thanks go to:
David, Kemi, Kevin and Connie from Zen Imports for their generous donation of Leatherman's and other crew gear; Pip from Hyper-Hyper for an industrial grade coffee maker and delicious organic fair trade coffee and Dutch cocoa; The Vegan Society for their support and a selection of vegan treats; Ben for a well needed donation of computer equipment; LUSH for making sure our crew keeps smelling extremely good; Fry's for more vegan burgers and sausages; Pacific Organic for a large selection of food; The owners of the Swan for taking our crew out on their tall ship;
and of course Vanessa and Aaron, our Sydney volunteers (we couldn't have done it without you!). No doubt our Sydney volunteer group will grow under their guidance.
All of us on board the Steve Irwin hope we can return to Sydney next year to visit the many friends we made during our short stay.
all photos credit: Barbara Veiga