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calendar   Thursday - January 07, 2010

No More Bat Boat

Ady Gil Gets a Nose Job





Personally, I’m not in favor of whale hunting. Leave them alone. You want meat, grow a few hundred cattle. That being said, the “whale warriors” have to be the most annoying greenies out there. They have their own television program ... in which they take pictures of themselves harassing Japanese fishermen and fishing boats. Lately these “warriors” have turned somewhat violent, pelting the fishing boats with chum, water balloons, paint guns, etc. The fishermen respond with the standard anti-piracy tool: fire hoses. Reality TV drama with a green theme! Much more exciting than watching guys catch crabs in the dark!!

Well, the inevitable happened. The Save The Whales people put their super hi-tech speedboat in front of a full size ship, and stopped. The whaling ship was underway. Ships don’t have brakes you know. I remember a little bit from driver training, about the impact power of things out on the streets: bicycle beats pedestrian, motorcycle beats bicycle, car beats motorcycle, pickup truck beats car, bigger truck beats pickup truck, bus beats bigger truck, train beats bus.  And you know what beats train? Ships. And bigger ships beat smaller ones. Oh sure, rules of the road say that pedestrians always have the right of way ... but don’t be a dope and set out to prove it. Rules of the sea say that a kayak probably has right of way over anything else on the water too ... but you’d be a fool to force the issue with an air craft carrier.

The “whale warriors” decided to force the issue. Naturally they lost. Boo frickin’ hoo. And now their two million dollar batman boat is all stove in. tsk tsk tsk. On the other hand, leave the whales the hell alone. Go catch some stingrays if you’re hungry. We’ve got loads of them. Or start up a fish farm like everyone else is doing. So honestly ... I’m not sure which side I’m on here. But the “whale warriors” seem like floating stinky hippies to me, so they probably deserve punching just on general principle.

A conservation group’s boat had its bow sheared off and was in danger of sinking as it took on water Wednesday after it was struck by a Japanese whaling ship in the frigid waters of Antarctica, the group said.

The boat’s six crew members were safely transferred to another of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s vessels, the newly commissioned Bob Barker. The boat is named for the American game show host who donated $5 million to buy it.

The clash was the most serious in the past several years, during which the Sea Shepherd has sent vessels into far-southern waters to try to harass the Japanese fleet into ceasing its annual whale hunt.



image

AP caption: “Sea Shepherd activists aboard the anti-whaling group’s vessel Ady Gil tow a rope that is used to attack screws of Japanese vessels.”

Um, that rather sounds like an act of piracy to me. At least an act of violence. Note the pirate flag too.



Clashes using hand-thrown stink bombs, ropes meant to tangle propellers and high-tech sound equipment have been common in recent years, and crashes between ships have sometimes occurred.

The society said its vessel Ady Gil — a high-tech speedboat that resembles a stealth bomber — was hit by the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru near Commonwealth Bay and had about 10 feet (three meters) of its bow knocked off.

Locky Maclean, the first mate of the society’s lead ship, said one crewman from New Zealand appeared to have suffered two cracked ribs, but the others were uninjured. The crew members were safely transferred to the group’s third vessel, though the Ady Gil’s captain remained on board to see what could be salvaged, he said.

The group accused the Japanese ship of deliberately ramming the Ady Gil.

“They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred,” Maclean said of the Ady Gil. “When they realized that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat.”



image



The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society claimed its 78 ft protest powerboat the Ady Gil was “sliced in half” by the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru 2 as it loitered near the whaling fleet.

Jeff Hansen, the group’s director, insisted the Ady Gil was trying to get out of the way when it was hit, but Japan’s government-backed Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) has accused the protesters of causing the collision. Mr Hansen said the incident occurred after two activist vessels intercepted the Japanese fleet near Antarctica’s Commonwealth Bay.

“The Ady Gil has been cut, hit by one of the harpoon vessels,” he said. “It was stationary at the time. It tried to back out of the way but the Shonan Maru 2 had it in its path. It came through and took off a section off the fuselage.”

There wreckage of the boat was still afloat, but it was expected to sink in the next few hours as it took on water, he said. All six crew members had been rescued and transferred to Sea Shepherd’s new Norwegian harpoon ship the Bob Barker. “Everyone aboard is safe, we’ve managed to get everyone off and they’re ok,” Mr Hansen told Australian media.

“We have it all on film and we’re getting onto all the authorities at the moment.”

Paul Watson, captain and founder of Sea Shepherd, said the attack “seriously escalates the whole situation”.

“If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken,” he said. “We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.”

Authorities? What authorities? Out in international waters, “out beyond the line” in the truest meaning of the phrase, pirate flag flying - painted on!, acting like hooligans.

The activists have a ship named the Bob Barker? Yeah, him. Mr. Gameshow host, Bob “have your pets spayed or neutered” Barker. They have another craft named the Steve Irwin. Crikey.

When it [ the Ady Gil ] was launched on Dec 19, the $1.5 million carbon fibre trimaran was touted as Sea Shepherd’s secret weapon. The Ady Gil was designed to run on low-emission, renewable fuels and was built with materials that would make it difficult for radars to detect so that it could sneak up of whaling vessels and disrupt the hunt. But its lighweight design, which allowed the vessel to reach higher speeds than the group’s larger ships, meant it was far less robust and more susceptible to attack.

This was the maiden voyage of the Ady Gil. Previously known as the EarthRace, it’s a very high performance open ocean racing boat. “Couldn’t get out of the way in time”? Horseshit. EarthRace holds the record for the fastest motorboat trip around the globe; just under 61 days. On two tanks full of fuel I gather. 78 feet long, but only drawing 4 feet of water, the EarthRace could hit 40 knots with it’s 1040hp engines and it’s dry weight of only 14 tons.

(October 18, 2009) At a fundraising event in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society unveiled their newest “ocean defense” vessel: the Ady Gil. Formerly known as Earthrace, the ship was renamed to honor the benefactor that helped the anti-whaling group acquire the ship.

“We’re very excited that the Ady Gil will be joining the Steve Irwin in Antarctica this campaign,” Captain Paul Watson said. “With these two ships, we will mount the most ambitious and aggressive effort to date to obstruct the slaughter of the whales in the Southern Ocean.”

We’ve been following the transformation of the Earthrace/Gil from a world-record holding speedboat to an anti-whaling vessel since it was rumored back in April that it would be joining the Sea Shepherd fleet. With the new paint job and a few additional high-tech goodies now installed, it looks like the ship is ready to join the Irwin for Operation Waltzing Matilda this December.

As expected, Watson made it clear that he intends to place the Gil in harms way — particularly as an “intercept and blocking” weapon against the Japanese fleet. Sounds like a risky game of “chicken” — but Ady Gil Captain Pete Bethune is ready for the challenge.”If they ever hit us with an explosive harpoon it’ll be massive damage,” he told Ecorazzi during the summer. “But certainly we’ll do our best to get in their way. If they hit us it will always be their guy that pulled the trigger — but hopefully things won’t come to that.”



Consider yourselves fortunate that the fishermen didn’t hunt you down and kill you. I’m sure it was very tempting.

Commercial whaling is banned inthe Southern Ocean, but the Japanese have exploited a legal loophole to continue whaling for “scientific purposes”. This season the Japanese fleet aims to harpoon up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales, both of which are classified as endangered.

Minke whales and Fin whales are both baleen whales, like their cousins the Humpbacks and the Blues. Minkes are rather small, about 24 feet and 9 tons. Fins are the second largest creature on earth, reaching 88 feet and 75 tons. Both are endangered species, although the minke population is thought to exceed 900,000 worldwide, roughly 30 times the fin whale population. Actually, minkes may not be endangered; it’s hard to tell.

Is Japan full of it? I think so. You don’t need to kill whales to study them. Certainly not by the hundreds. And you especially don’t need to kill any of the seriously endangered ones. None. But stopping whaling altogether? Or at least stopping commercial, floating factory whaling? Sounds to me like this is a job for the UN and the One World Navy. Not a job for floating hippies in their little plastic speedboats.



UPDATE: Video from the whaler’s perspective here


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/07/2010 at 02:20 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsHigh TechPolitically-Incorrect •  
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