Elf wanted to go down to the docks to welcome home the Sea Shepherd ships this morning. They have been down in the Southern Ocean blocking the Japanese whaling fleet, and doing a fine job too. Their leader Capt Paul Watson was on the radio today saying that they are not a protest movement, they are simply going for where the money is - interrupting that business so its simply not profitable. This year the Japanese gave up and sailed home early - quite a victory for Sea Shepherd.
There were about 100 people there when we arrived. Michael was explaining the Sea Shepherd flag to Elf at top volume so all 100 could hear him. "The trident is for Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, the crook is for the Shepherd bit, and the skull is..." Soon Senator Bob Brown arrived and Michael gave him the floor. The Federal Police were searching the two vessels for evidence of criminal activity, at the request of the Japanese. This is the third year in a row that this has happened, and nothing has been found.
Bob Brown is an impressive man. He walked in quietly, moved to the centre of the group and just started speaking with no soapbox, microphone or media lackeys to get everyone's attention. He said that Sea Shepherd had saved about 800 whales this season [applause] that the Japanese people were to be congratulated for turning away from whale meat which tastes awful anyway [applause] and for protesting at the disgraceful slaughter done in their name [applause].
I did consider shouting "on the other hand, have any of you heard of whale bacon?" but I'm glad I didn't. We were initially hopeful that once the crew were released we might get a chance to climb on board the ships, but it seemed like that rumour was untrue, so we wandered off.