About two weeks ago, two huge vessels from the Sea Shepherd fleet turned up in Docklands. Both the ‘Steve Irwin’ and the ‘Bob Barker’ had docked and planned on staying for a while before heading off on their next mission: Operation Relentless, to defend Whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from illegal Japanese whaling.
It was a rare opportunity to see such huge boats in the harbour, so I quickly jumped online to find out more. Their Facebook page informed me that the crew were offering free tours of both ships, so of course I wanted to have a nosey! We decided to go last weekend and soon found ourselves aboard the ‘Steve Irwin’. Unfortunately we had just missed out on a guided tour, so waited on the heli-deck for the next group to go. Although they had memorabilia and baked goods for sale or donation, there was absolutely no expectation to hand over any money, or sign up to anything, which I found extremely refreshing!
Before long, one of the crew pulled us all aside and after a brief discussion about what the Sea Shepherd team stands for, we were guided to the bridge, where the magic happens! He talked us through what the team does while at sea and mentioned that everyone on board were volunteers, relying on the public to keep going. I never realised just how much support the Sea Shepherd receive both here and overseas – but a lot of big names have donated tools, equipment and special items to keep the crew going.
We then headed down a few flights of stairs to the kitchen and dining area, where we all snuggled up together to watch this video:
It set my nerves on edge and bought a tear to my eyes. Call me naive, but I had no idea how much these guys risked their lives in protecting our sea life, and I left the ship with huge respect for all they do.
I spent the past week thinking about what I could do to help out – donate money? Buy a t-shirt? Bring the crew some vegan food? I settled on purchasing something from their Amazon wish list, which gets sent directly to the headquarters of the ‘Steve Irwin’ ship.
The team do such a great job, and I wish them all the best on their next campaign.