Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Great Whale War-Greenpeace vs Sea Shepherd

Can't we all just get along?

It would seem that's not the case-at least in the aptly named "Cooperation Sea" located some 4500 hundred kilometres southwest of Fremantle. Currently two ships are vying for the right to harass Japans illegal whaling fleet...and both sides are hurling verbal harpoons at each other harder than Queequeg on the bow of the good ship Pequod.

In one corner Sea Shepherd know for their "take no prisoners" brand of eco-enforcement, and by that we mean they actually sink ships. In the other corner Greenpeace the long time anti-whalers from the 1970's. Both groups have a long shared history and both groups for all intents have come to hate each other with a passion you would think they reserve only for the whalers they are chasing.

One look at their competing whale blogs and it would seem that Japans whaling fleet has nothing to worry about. If these two ships, the Esperanza and Steve Irwin, come in close range with each other it's going to be an eco smackdown on the high seas.

For our money, we're going with the Steve Irwin-Sea Shepherds boat. They have this nifty little item called a "Can Opener" which is designed to open up the side of a whaling vessel faster than zippers on prom night. We'll keep you updated.

Sir Edmund Hillary-Cheers, Mate!

While this has little to do with sharks, and shark diving we had to comment:

Sad news yesterday that the first man to summit Everest has passed on to that great "Bee-Keepers" hive in the sky.

Prior to his and Tenzing Norgay's attempt to the 29,035-foot summit several other teams had all but failed including the now famous attempt by George Leigh Mallory, who's body disappeared only to be recovered 2000' short of the summit 75 years later.

In an ever shrinking world filled with GPS and "instant travel", we should all take a moment and savor the life of this remarkable man and his times. These were the days of real adventure travel.

Armed only with climbing gear that by today's standards would not even get you to the first Everest base camp this reserved "anti-explorer" conquered a mountain many climbers and peers considered all but unconquerable. To his final days Sir Edmund refused the limelight referring to himself as "just a New Zealand bee keeper" never forgetting to remind people of Tenzing Norgay's efforts to the summit as well.

In his own words: “I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.”