Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tora! Tora! Tora! (トラ・トラ・トラ!)

Gojira on the go!
...meanwhile, down in the chilly Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary: "We rammed one last year - let's try it again!"
On Wednesday, Sea Shepherd’s vessel Gojira came up to the Steve Irwin for a supplies transfer. Seeing the fast interceptor vessel sitting dead in the water, the Japanese whaler Yushin Maru 2 picked up speed and approached rapidly at a very high 19 knots.
Anticipating the whalers might attack the stationary GojiraSI's Delta crew set out to turn the approaching whaler away. The crew headed towards the harpooner at full speed getting ready to deploy a prop fouler: this caused the whaler to abort its run-in. The Delta pursued the fleeing YM2 for 11 miles before returning to the SI.
Meanwhile, SS's helicopter had landed on the Bob Barker some 75 miles south along the ice edge of the Ross Sea. Yushin Maru 3 tried to push through the ice to approach the BB, to damage the helicopter with its water cannon. The chopper lifted off before the harpooner closed in. BB then turned to confront the whaler, which did a runner through the ice.
In the week since the whaling fleet was discovered (on Dec.31st.), two of the harpoon vessels have been under constant observation and have not killed any whales. The factory ship Nisshin Maru and another harpoon vessel, Yushin Maru 1, have fled for over 1,200 miles. It's highly unlikely they've had time to slow down to catch any whales!
Sea Shepherd is confident the nasty Nippons can be kept on the run for the entire whaling season which ends mid-late March. However the Japanese tactics seem more aggressive this year, after last season tasting blood over the Ady Gil sinking, but also returning home in disgrace with another poor catch...they have much to prove to their supporters in The Land Of The Rising Whale Fluke.
Sea Shepherd's Delta team returning to the safety of the Steve Irwin

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