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Well the hope that 2011 might bring some different tactics in the anti-whaling conflict did not last long! Here we are on New Year's morning (with a nice clear head!) and already the nautical thuggery has restarted. The JWF did not, of course, decide to turn northwards and head home so according to SSCS Pirate Group Gojira Captain Locky MacLean (to whom we have sent an advisory e-mail). We quote:

"What an awesome way to begin the New Year. Our three vessels dancing dangerously through the ice packs locked in confrontation with three harpoon vessels of the Japanese Whaling Fleet. it was both deadly and beautiful. Deadly because of the ice and the fact that these three killer ships are not killing whales while clashing with us".

The three JWF vessels are MS Yushin Maru, MS Yushin Maru #2, and MS Yushin Maru #3. They had attempted to block, according to MacLean, the Pirate Group's pursuit of the factory ship MS Nisshin Maru. However that may be the JWF intention is to assess the capabilities of the Gojira which is a new vessel to them. At the same time they are observing the tactics of the Pirate Group working together this year. Last year the command of the MS Bob Barker was rather poor with the ship handling being hesitant and mistimed. By getting this reaction from the SSCS Pirate Group the JWF Japan Coast Guard officers are building a picture, complete with video to study, of the three principal vessels, how the RHIBS are being handled and the new helicopter in overflights. From this data they can develop a counter-strategy and tactics. NAUTICAL LOG believes that the counter action by JWF Security Forces will be very strong and severe collisions can be expected with very possibly the sinking of the Gojira, she will be the target vessel this year as the Ady Gil was last season.

The clashes between the whalers and the anti-whalers today involved several high speed chases and near collisions as the ships dodged huge bobbing bergs of blue ice and scattered floes.

Good Watch.

SAFETY NOTE: In the photos the Sea Shepherd crewmembers are shown wearing Hutchwilco inflatable lifevests. These are a NZ made lifevest and approved to 'New Zealand Standards'. NAUTICAL LOG does not know if this NZ brand is USCG approved but it is not so mentioned in their website.

Good Watch.


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