Quartermaster, The Bob Barker
When we found the harpoon ships during this year’s campaign on New Year’s Eve, I was very happy the Japanese whalers had not even had the time to take the covers off their harpoons, reassuring me that the whales were still safe. The captains devised a plan to give the whalers a New Year’s warning - if they were to hunt whales, it would come at a price!
As the navigator in the small 6-meter boat, the Hunter, when we came up next to the Yushin Maru No. 3, my heart was pounding faster then it ever had before. The harpoon ship hosed us down with water cannons and blasted us with loud speakers. We managed to chase them through the ice to let them know we were there, and that no whales would die on our watch.
Moving swiftly through ice is like being in a maze. At times, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate, and the way we came in, is not always the way we get back out! But with pilot Chris Aultman supervising in the sky, there is always a way out. He guided us through the ice to make the fastest possible route to the whalers. Without the helicopter, we would have been majorly hindered.
Once back at the ship, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the world knew about the fight to protect the whales that took place that day. I rang home and let my mum know that everything was ok. There is nothing scarier than making my mother worry! Not even being in the most hostile place on the planet…but I really appreciate being able to be here upholding international conservation laws.