Ship Manager, Bob Barker
Our epic journey eastward circumnavigating half of Antarctica came to an abrupt end this morning when the Nisshin Maru turned around and began heading due west. We were almost at the Drake Passage, which would have taken us around South America. I'm amazed at the distance the whalers have traveled in an attempt to lose us - halfway around Antarctica, and now back again. Now, our monumental chase continues westward.
This journey across Antarctica through the Amundsen Sea is unchartered territory for Sea Shepherd ships. The world here feels different somehow. While we were close to the coast, we saw icebergs everywhere that were amazingly different - white, turquoise, pointy, round, flat and layered. Nature put on her full display of ancient masterpieces here. I wonder if the whalers appreciate the incredible beauty as much as we do. Are they taking scenic photos? Do some of them see this as a place other than one to slaughter the last of the great whales? I have to think that some of the people onboard the whaling ships must. It seems impossible not be touched
by a place of such exquisite beauty.
Recently, we saw land for the first time in over 60 days! A sunny day gave way to a stunning, serene Antarctic night with the sky turning at its darkest a pink, purple, and blue twilight. In the distance, above the thick white ice shelf, rose Mt. Siple. Even though it had the gentle slope of a
hill, the mountain still towered 10,000 feet above the ice shelf. I've been in awe of the spectacular scenery, and its all the better with the Nisshin securely in front of us.
We are far from the nearest port, much closer to Chile than to Australia. We're almost directly south of San Francisco. With each passing mile we travel, it's another mile the whalers are not in their self-appointed killing grounds. Wherever the whalers go, we will follow.