Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's
Badass new high-tech anti-whaling powerboat

I have been contributing photographs to Sea Sheapard for their annual fund raiser for the last several years. - Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 by Paul Watson, formerly of Greenpeace. Watson believed that Greenpeace was too passive in its protection of endangered species and wild places, and committed Sea Shepherd to direct action. The group's passionate defenders and vocal critics are sharply divided over the organization's controversial tactics, e.g., scuttling and disabling commercial whaling vessels, ramming ships, boarding whaling vessels at sea, etc.
We have been following the transformation of the Earthrace/Gil from a world-record holding speedboat to an anti-whaling vessel since it was rumored back in April that it would be joining the Sea Shepherd fleet. With the new paint job and a few additional high-tech goodies now installed, it looks like the ship is ready to join the Irwin for Operation Waltzing Matilda this December.

Earthrace, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's new high-tech anti-whaling powerboat, rests in Auckland Harbor, New Zealand, ahead of its deployment for Perth, and then the Southern Ocean. The 80-foot trimaran features paint that deflects radar ("stealth technology"), allowing the vessel to approach whaling ships virtually unseen. Leaving Perth on December 7, Earthrace will join the Society's ship Steve Irwin on a three-month voyage protesting Japan's industrial whaling program.

As expected, Watson made it clear that he intends to place the Gil in harms way — particularly as an “intercept and blocking” weapon against the Japanese fleet. Sounds like a risky game of “chicken” — but Ady Gil Captain Pete Bethune is ready for the challenge.”If they ever hit us with an explosive harpoon it’ll be massive damage,” he told Ecorazzi during the summer. “But certainly we’ll do our best to get in their way. If they hit us it will always be their guy that pulled the trigger — but hopefully things won’t come to that.”

Before the make-over, above.
I originally found out about this from BoingBoing who had a story about the new photos being released in LIFE magazine.

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