Sea Shepherd in docks at Wellington

The Sea Shepherd crew are in town to re-provision and have some R’n’R, docked at Queens’ Wharf until 21st February. There aren’t open tours of the ship, due to tight scheduling; a list of fresh commodity requirements is being circulated, as well as a stall selling t-shirts, caps, hoodies, and the usual clutter of small items to fundraise.
The crew members, with support from the local Sea Shepherd group, are very informative and can answer most questions about whaling, the current campaign, and what they hope to achieve this summer in Antarctic waters.

A few if us* are going down to drop off some vegan baking later this afternoon, I may put up some pix after the event.

Other commodities needed/requested include:
-fresh food (avocados, mangos, spinach…)
-frozen fruits and vegetables – olives
-nuts, cashews, pistacchios – crackers
-miso – juices, sodas, cordials
-dairy-free cream – fake meats
-tofu – cereals
-dried fruits – dairy-free milks (oat, soy, almond)
-vegan treats (biscuits, chocolate)
-hot sauces, tabasco – maple syrup
-bragg, soy sauce, tamari – vegan chocolate spread
-peanut butter, vegemite spreads

*vegan foods contain no animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc…)

Donations can be delivered to the ship located at:
Taranaki Wharf, Wellington

*[this is an action of the Wellington Craftivism Collective, I should clarify, not my usual coterie of Wellington Greens.]

Update:
Vegan cookies safely dropped off, and there’s still time for more donated items to be taken to the crew, they’re very happy to receive anything vegan on the list!

Ok, here’s those pix:

Bob Barker bow, tied up along Taranaki Wharf, Wellington.

Bob Barker bow, tied up along Taranaki Wharf, Wellington.

Bob Barker, stern end

Bob Barker, stern end

Gangplank and random Sea Shepherd crew leaving ship

Gangplank and random Sea Shepherd crew leaving ship

Going aboard the Steve Irwin

Thanks to the generosity of the Sea Shepherd crew there have been a whirlwind of great events around the city in the past 24 hours, beginning with an open-air forum at Parliament on Friday afternoon, ahead of the Steve Irwin docking at 5.30pm.

Today, I went for a stroll and took a young friend of mine to hear Captain Paul Watson speak at Chicago Bar, then we took the opportunity to take a tour of the Steve Irwin itself.

I’ve also had the priviledge to have visited the Rainbow Warrior II twice in my life, in 2002 and 2008, so I had a bit of a comparison going on in my head as I looked to see what an anti-whaling ship looks like.

It was great to see the safety gear, winches and small craft on the foredeck as we entered the ship; after a quick intro on the bow deck, we went up to the top of the ship and viewed the helicopter deck – one of the smallest helipads I’ve ever seen! Certainly made Helipro’s accommodations on the wharf beside us look very lavish.

Then it was down to the bow again, inside the ship to see the Bridge – again, bristling with safety gear, communications and navigation gear, just as you would expect from a ship sailing challenging international waters continuously. The feature that departs from most maritime standards is the discrete collection of inspirational art scattered around the bridge – images and representations of whales and dolphins, sculptures and even a special little carved wooden piece from the Dalai Llama.

Having heard about how the ship began with a substantial gift from a certain Bob Parker, after whom the ship was originally named and registered in London, we were told that the ship was re-named the Steve Irwin in recognition of the Australian wildlife conservator, who was also a significant benefactor of Sea Shepherd organisation – and advised that if anyone wished to make a substantial gift, they’d pretty happily name a ship after that person, too. Cue grins all round.

We then travelled down through the interior of the ship to the crew quarters, where a short video was shown in the mess room. I took the opportunity to have a quick look at the Galley, which is really well kitted-out to feed a crew of vegetarians who need solidly well-prepared meals to counter-act the rigors of antarctic campaigning. Everything was very well-organised and ‘ship-shape’, I can report. Our guide on the tour had already informed us that they have had one supply consignment of vegetables quarantined, so they’ve been using the galley a bit less than in usual while they’ve been in port.

If you are interested in supporting their efforts to get the Government to do something about whaling, or you’d like to see if you can help in any other way, you can contact the New Zealand Sea Shepherd supporters at info@seashepherd.org.nz

There’s the ubiquitous Facebook Group – “New Zealand Sea Shepherd” .
Also have a look at the new campaign on the Greens website, send John Key an e-card or a postcard – Take Your Head out of the Sand, John, You Can’t Save Whales by Killing Them. On the whaling page here

Captain Paul Watson speaking at Chicago Bar

Captain Paul Watson speaking at Chicago Bar


Banner for Pete Bethune

Banner for Pete Bethune


Crowds queueing to go onboard

Crowds queueing to go onboard


Crew mess onboard Steve Irwin

Crew mess onboard Steve Irwin


Crew lounge area

Crew lounge area


Crew lounge where video was shown

Crew lounge where video was shown

Activists protest outside Japanese Embassy after whalers ram support boat.

Sea shepherd activists and supporters gathered outside the Majestic Centre in Willis St, Wellington from 11.30am to 2pm, to protest the actions of the Japanese whaling fleet in the antartic ocean yesterday.

Wellington Sea Shepherd co-ordinator Lisa Baines used a loud-hailer to speak to passersby about the ramming and eventual destruction of the Ady Gil, and to ask for donations and signatures for the petition which she planned to present to the Japanese Ambassador.

Around 2pm, Security guards escorted Lisa and a companion activist into the building, where TV1 camera crews followed them into the Embassy offices. The Ambassador would not speak with Lisa, but sent an assistant to accept the signed petition sheets.

Background here:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1001/S00097.htm

and

http://seashepherd.org/nz

media responses:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Sea-Shepherd-captain-devastated-by-sinking/tabid/209/articleID/136574/Default.aspx

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/government-comments-upset-sea-shepherd-3326177