Monday, February 09, 2009
Loss of the Whales
David, (3rd Engineer)
While the whale war happens outside, the engineer's job is to sit in the engine room during a confrontation. We have to keep a close eye on the gauges and engines whilst the rest of the crew is on deck and the bridge watching the action. If there is a collision, we have the added fear of a possible hull breach where icy cold water from the Ross Sea could shower down on us in the engine room.
I know I wasn't alone in losing sleep over this last week. We started the month with finding the fleet and confronting them over their illegal and immoral whaling. Our crew suffered minor injuries from objects thrown at them, powerful blasts from water cannons and unknown effects from the new weapons in the whaler's arsenal-the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).
We are in the most remote waters on Earth. We are here to do the job of unwilling governments to stop willful lawbreakers and it's not easy. Most of us are not professionals and some are first time sailors. We do our best and none of us regret a minute of our time defending the whales.
In a last note, I want to make special mention of the five Minke whales that were slaughtered on our watch. Usually the whalers run from us when we show up, but this time they didn't. We all feel deep sorrow for the loss of these gentle creatures. We tried our best and did everything we could, but we simply weren't fast enough to stop the cruel harpoon boats before they got to you. This failure will remain in our hearts forever.
P.O. Box 2616, Friday Harbor, WA 98250