Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Today we are leaving Japan.
We didn’t have to leave till mid-day so we offered to be “lookout” at the vantage point for one last morning if the boats were out. They were… so off we went while the others headed to The Cove. There are 12 boats which normally break into 2 lots of 6, one group going North and the other South.. 4 came in by about 8.30. We were pretty relieved as leaving here would have been much harder if there had been dolphin in The Cove… but the others didn’t follow. In fact it was a long time before we eventually located them, well 6 of them. They were miles out, but with the binoculars we could see they were in formation…not good, and they were moving slowly side on, backwards and forwards…really not good… They were too far away for us to be 100% sure, but we’d bet 2 years ice-cream they were driving dolphin. Our hearts sank. We watched for over an hour as they struggled with their task. The last 2 boats had arrived and were stationary just off the headland, they didn’t go into the harbour, it looked like they were waiting to help. We think what eventually happened was that when they tried to cross the busy shipping lane the noise from the much bigger boats made them loose control of the pod as they suddenly broke formation 2 dashing off to the side (we could see the clouds of black smoke caused by the sudden acceleration - their engines need a clean). After that there seemed to be a lot of confusion, they were all over the place…just like when they were driving the babies out to sea yesterday and it wasn’t going well. Nothing like the day before that when they drove the pod into The Cove with what looked to be effortless efficiency.
Then they broke any pretence at formation and we could see from the wake behind each boat that they were heading back to the harbour at full speed. At last we could relax, although we would not leave the vantage point till they were all in the harbour. As we were packing up our stuff a man came walking around the corner, we had not heard him coming and he’d no idea we were there so he and I both jumped in surprise then laughed. He asked John to take his picture which he did, then he asked to take our picture. After he’d taken our photograph his eyes widened and he pointed at the SSCS emblem on John’s t-shirt saying Sea Shepherd? John replied “Yes, we are here for the dolphin” He shook John’s hand and told us we (that is SSCS) are famous… he didn’t say infamous..and I repeat, he shook John’s hand. I really believe steps forward are being made here all the time…We have been so proud to be just a small part of it all.
Then we had one last task, to count the captive dolphin in the tiny pens at the neck of the harbour. We counted a definite 16, but there could be more. I don’t know how long they have been in these tiny pens as they were already there when John and I arrived… But what I want to know is why were the pens built at the neck of the harbour??? Because it narrows there the boats have no choice but to pass right by them, and then, because they are leaving the harbour they can speed up so go full throttle .. the noise must drive the dolphin mad… so very cruel.
So we took our leave, Junior came with us, so SSCS are 3 Cove Guardians down, but we took solace in the fact The Cove was empty and more people had arrived to help. Junior, John and I will continue our work in the UK.
I am sat in the airport writing this. John and I are in our SSCS colours. I believe security are watching us and I’m playing a game called “How Many Times Can We Put Rubbish In The Bin Before They Stop Sending Security To Check It”…John thinks I’m being an attention seeker and that they’re constantly checking all the bins… who knows.
We have not had any reaction to the way we are dressed except the usual whispers and points so I’m feeling quite comfortable….just as I typed that someone took our picture, lol
If I can I’ll post this before I get on the plane… I’ll write again over the weekend to let you know we are home safe, but that will be my last blog…..for this campaign…..
For the Oceans, with Sea Shepherd, …our little bit ..