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WALTZING MATILDA (UPDATED))


Panama (Flag State) illegal bluefin tuna boat in the Mediterranean.

Well finally today comes word from the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group who arrived back in Sanctuary on Saturday. After a weekend of relative silence which included a visit from investigation teams of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). They had allowed 'Wats-his-name' to disembark to the dock to talk with a small group of media people. The normally swashbuckling pirate captain was remarkably subdued, in fact he seemed to be more buckling under life and had lost all his 'swash'.

SS-PG produced an 'Antarctic Campaign Report' covering "2009-2010 Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign: Operation Waltzing Matilda". As it turns out it was quite a good choice of name as the SS-PG have been waltzing around accomplishing something between very little to nothing. Other than perform for the 'Animal Planet' TV coverage the whole venture was a complete waste of time, burnt fuel oil, a lost toy boat and damaged ship. Lets not forget the shameful episode of the captured boat operator now on the way to Japan in disgrace.

The Report rehashes events and tries desperately to put a positive spin on what took place but fails miserably. It is the Report of a very tired, confused and disappointed person the usual bravado statements totally missing, in fact it does not sound like 'Wats-his-name' at all. What little enthusiasm there is, is reserved for the Australians who apparently approve 91% of pirate operations. Of course since Australia provides sanctuary for the SS-PG it naturally must be kow-towed too.

This might explain why the Australian Maritime Unions and the Australian Master Mariners Association have been stunningly silent in this abuse of Australia's Maritime Facilities and use of its Ports as pirate lairs. One wonders what has happened to the courageous ANZAC spirit which once set an honourable standard for us all.

Now according to a contact of NAUTICAL LOG the SS-PG vessel or vessels are preparing to leave Australia on passage to Europe. They wish to stop the Mediterranean Bluefin tuna fishermen from fishing. How they are going to get there one has to wonder, around the Cape of Good Hope or run the gauntlet of their fellow pirates, real armed pirates, of the Horn of Africa. Should that be accomplished they would then have to go up the Red Sea and transit the Suez Canal. Now one suspects that Egypt may not be wildly enthusiastic to allow them to make that transit. After all as well as the European nations the nations of North Africa also fish for Bluefin tuna. The distance from Hobart, Tasmania to Port Said, Egypt is 7960 nautical miles. The distance from Hobart to Cape Town, South Africa is 6229 nautical miles and from Cape Town to Lorient, France is 5739 nautical miles for a total of 11,968 nautical miles.

However the same contact has suggested only the MS Steve Irwin will go to the Mediterranean and that it will cross the Pacific to transit the Panama Canal. Also it appears that the SS-PG fearless leader is unable to travel on this real sea passage. More buckling and no swash from 'Wats-his-name'. The distance from Hobart, Tasmania to Cristobal, Panama is 7673 nautical miles and from Cristobal, Panama to Lorient, France is 4462 nautical miles for a total of 12,135 nautical miles.

If you think the Japanese Whaling Fleet were a little aggressive this year just wait to see the welcome the Mediterranean fishermen will give the SS-PG. These are people even the French President is very cautious and diplomatic in dealing with. Already there have been some plans to welcome the SS-PG with open arms to the Mediterranean, after all the 'Black Ships' are well known to French fishermen. You may recall the 'Black Ships' warm welcome from the fishermen of St. Pierre et Miquelon, France. One has to believe with plans like this 'Wats-his-name' has truly lost his 'swash' and as for anyone joining these vessels as a crewmember - well better have your paperwork all in order before sailing.

Good Watch.

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