Deckhand, Steve Irwin
It's a great feeling being back onboard the Steve Irwin, being with familiar friends and faces, making new friends, and settling back into the routine of deckhand. Having our daily routine of maintenance, boat training, cleaning, etc. is great as we work like a well oiled machine, increasing trust in each other, and working great together so when it comes to deploying the small boats, we are ready, and it all goes very smoothly, and safely, which is extremely important especially in these freezing, rolling seas.
I’ve had to take a few deep breaths since being here on campaign. One, purely for the fact that it’s a privilege to be a part of this campaign and it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time…to be able to do that much more. Coming to Antarctica, seeing this amazing, wonderful part of the earth, growing up in Hobart, Tasmania, we see, hear, and learn a great deal about Antarctica and it’s somewhere I have always been drawn to and fascinated by. And thirdly, leaving my son, my 5-year-old Harrison, knowing I would be missing his first day of school.
He and I discuss marine conservation a great deal and he said he’ll miss me but wants me to help save the whales and everything down here, especially “Mumble Penguin” (from Happy Feet). So with his blessing and enthusiasm I have joined the crew for Operation No Compromise!
He is one of the reasons I am involved with Sea Shepherd. Obviously for the sanctity of life, to protect and preserve what cannot be replaced, but also for our future generations. I don’t want my son growing up knowing I did nothing to help protect not just this amazing eco-system we have here in Antarctica, but many that are at risk in our world.
Since setting sail from Wellington, we have been lucky enough to be followed by beautiful graceful and strong petrels, sleek albatrosses, and fast dolphins…and then I saw my first iceberg! I was quite overwhelmed by the majesty and pureness of it, then it really hit home, that yes I am here, on campaign and this is part of what we are fighting for. It’s all linked, if the whales become extinct, they play a crucial role in the oceanic ecosystem, it all starts to fall apart. As Captain Watson says, “If the oceans die...we die”.
What we are doing, I believe, is a step in the right direction for marine conservation and I am very proud to be a part of that. But something else I have also learned and observed is that Antarctica is such an amazing sanctuary and one of the last pure, amazing places on earth. Maybe once whaling comes to an end, we as a human race should leave it alone, leave Antarctica and all that lives here alone to just be.