Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bob Barker's Back!

Bob Barker undergoing sea trials this weekSea Shepherd's vessel Bob Barker left Hobart, Tasmania, this week to undertake sea trials.
The sea trials ended eight months of refit and repair work to BB. You may recall from this blog that in February, just a month after the deliberate ramming of Ady Gil, it suffered hull damage on the starboard mid-section, when it was rammed in the Southern Ocean by the Japanese whaler Yushin Maru 3: that collision opened a 1m.gash, luckily above the waterline.
In addition to structural repairs, the 1,200-ton Norwegian-built Antarctic harpoon vessel BB has been refitted with new navigation and communication equipment and has had a complete rebuild of the main engine.
Until now, the top speed of the BB had been around 17-18 knots and, with the top speed of all three Yushin Maru vessels and the Shonan Maru 2 at 22 knots, it's been frustrating for Sea Shepherd not to be able to catch the whalers except by stealth. Now the BB is faster, more efficient, and 100% ready to return to the Southern Ocean for its second year of interventions against illegal Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Look out, nasty Nippon!

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