Communications Officer, Steve Irwin
I cannot believe it has already been eight days since I said goodbye to my beautiful tolerant wife and two beautiful boys in Hobart. I’ve been working for many months to be able to join this wonderful group of dedicated volunteers on this campaign. From helping out last campaign, to doing a short tour in the Mediterranean in July, then working on the Bob Barker every weekend since to get her ready (I have another job during the week), and now here I am at sea on the Steve Irwin.
First job was to sort out our network and connect us into the new satellite communications. Then service and upgrade radios on both boats for small boat communications and trackers. Then reprogram and configure all the UHF radios kindly donated by Graham Payne from Sydney. Setting up campaign e-mail accounts, testing Satellite phones, distributing media contact info, reinstalling our navigation computer, assisting the Bob Barker with their systems, fixing the air band antenna so we can communicate with the helicopter, and even working on the new helicopter itself so our pilot can talk to the small boats and track them. All of this, and a couple of days of seasickness thrown in as well! They sure are keeping me busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is still a lot to do, but technologically I think we are the best setup we have ever been, all the key systems are now setup, which allows me to play with a few experimental systems that will enhance our campaign.
Some of the most memorable highlights so far have included seeing the whales (fin or possible sei) we had following us yesterday, the support we have received from the public, helping with the helicopter, and briefly working on Gojira and witnessing the sheer dedication and professionalism of this talented crew getting on with the job, ready to put their lives on hold, and on the line to defend the whales in an Australian whale sanctuary. The ships are ready, the crew is ready, and the whalers will meet their strongest opposition yet. Here’s hoping we can shut them down from the start. I feel honored to be a part of this campaign.