Whales Wars Season 2, Episode 11: Overlooking a Forlorn Shore

I’ll have to admit that the Whale Wars season is dragging me under as it drags along.  The episodes seem to plod, and only deliver about five minutes actual excitement toward the end.  Even that is usually anticlimactic.  I don’t know how much more of this I will put up with, and making the same arguments to a bunch of irrational, shallow thinking tween-agers every week who do little more than throw out ad hominem attacks is also tiring.  I just hope the season is over soon. 

The new plan to interfere with the Japanese involves sailing the Steve Irwin directly between the Japanese harpoon vessel and the factory ship in order to sever the line transferring the dead whale to the factory ship.  This seems incredibly dangerous, but possibly effective.

For some reason, they moved ahead of the factory ship.  Paul decided to pull across its bow, and barely missed being crushed by it.  Make no mistake about it.  That would have been the end of the Steve Irwin.  I don’t understand what the point of the move was, but they then looped back around behind the factory ship, and forced the harpoon ship to back off.  This is the first successful thing that they have done all season, and they wasted no time patting themselves on the back.

The harpoon ship circled and pulled back into position, and Paul decided to try to sever the line.  They succeeded in throwing several bottles of the stinky acid on the stern desk of the harpoon ship, and then Paul, the great skipper, rammed the Japanese harpoon ship.  For all of you guys who keep defending the Sea Shepherds by asking what laws they have broken, here’s one: the purposeful or careless ramming of another ship on the high seas.  I think that’s illegal.

After determining that they weren’t sinking, the Sea Shepherds praised themselves for what they had done although they did not even stop it from transferring the whale to the other ship.  In the end, even they finally saw their own ineffectiveness.

After looking below decks, they found out that the bucket of bolts known as the Steve Irwin was leaking.  The holes were repaired.  I wonder if they even know how lucky they were.

When the issue blew up in the press, Paul Watson took the only tact he could.  He lied.

On the way back, a couple of the crew were married by Paul on a desolate little piece of rock in the middle of nowhere.  It was actually pretty cool, and almost made me like Paul and the Sea Shepherds, but not really.

In the end, they accomplished nothing.  Not one whale was saved, and the lives of many people were put at risk.  What a waste.

As they docked, the police were waiting for them, and a warrant was issued in conjunction with an investigation involving the collision.  In the end, I think it is the sad Australian government that will bare the responsibility for not prosecuting the Sea Shepherds over political reasons.  I would throw the book at them.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 10: The Stuff of Nightmares

The beginning of the show recapped the Sea Shepherds’ incredulity at having seen the Japanese whalers actually whaling while they are still in the area.  Get ready folks.  These people are going to be sad when they are faced with the obvious reality of their own ineptitude.  Once that’s over, they are going to really be dangerous.

Their first answer was to throw more stinky acid bombs at the Japan factory ship.  This has not worked one single time in ten episodes from the small boats.  So, they are going to throw them from the deck of the Steve Irwin which will be a direct violation of the edict given to them earlier in the season by the Dutch under whose flag the Steve Irwin flies.  For all of you guys who can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that eco-terrorism is still terrorism, and because of this the Sea Shepherds are breaking innumerable international laws, here we have a direct example of them violating the rules of the very nation that is allowing them to sail under its flag.  This is known as piracy.  For a good example, see how the British dealt with Captain Kidd, a man who was sailing under their flag, until he went against their wishes.  I still pray that the Dutch refuse to allow them to fly their flag after this.

Of course, all of this may be moot because, the Japanese, once again, showed their effectiveness by using their water canons to keep the Sea Shepherds from launching even one bottle, and the Sea Shepherds only further exhibited their ineptitude.

Then, they see another whale being dragged up to the ship.  Paul Watson’s next move is to put his ship in the Japanese harpoon ship’s way.  In the end, the Steve Irwin could not go fast enough to get there, and the whale was hauled up to be processed.

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, whale is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, whale-kabobs, whale creole, whale gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple whale, lemon whale, coconut whale, pepper whale, whale soup, whale stew, whale salad, whale and potatoes, whale burger, whale sandwich. That- that’s about it.”  Just kidding….

Once again, I’m going to criticize Animal Planet.  The morose piano music was a bit much.  The scene did not need it, and it was distracting.

Then the Sea Shepherds saw another harpoon ship with a dead whale.  It seems that the Japanese have also accepted the reality of the Sea shepherds’ ineffectiveness.  After they failed to keep the third Japanese harpoon ship from transferring a whale, the Sea Shepherds went back to the ineffective acid bottles for the umpteenth time.  The Boson, Dan Bebawi, who is obviously one of the less intelligent people on the ship, justified this action by saying, “It was the only thing left for us to do, was to stand our ground and show them that we wouldn’t back down no matter what, and that they weren’t just going to whale in front of us.”  But, you see Dan, that’s exactly what they are doing.  Come back to reality.

It looked as if a couple of the bottles actually hit the ship on the next run, but the helicopter confirmed the ineffectual nature of the attack as the sailors on the Japanese began to process the whale.  One of the Sea Shepherds’ crew referred to the Japanese casting the whale offal overboard as a slap in the face.  The people have an over-inflated sense of themselves.  The Japanese sailors are just doing their jobs.  They simply do not care about the Sea Shepherds, and only wish that they would go away.  They whale.  It’s their job.  There is no intent toward the Sea Shepherds in it.

The helicopter pilot then actually sees one of the harpoon ships kill a whale.  Let me stop here to say, once again, that I like whales, and I root for the whales.  However, I do not have a moral problem with the whalers are doing.  I am a carnivore, and I eat meat- chicken, beef, pork, and fish.  I am not hypocritical enough to judge the Japanese on what foods they like to eat.  I do have a big problem with almost everything the Sea Shepherds do.

The whale was shot, and it died.  It made me a little sad, but of course, I probably would not like to see cows killed for beef.  I have cleaned fish, and even then, it bothers me a little because I like animals in general, but I also eat meat.  I think that I can live in both worlds.  At least I am self-actualized.

All of the Sea Shepherds were very sad, and as the episode ended, Paul Watson needed some alone-time, except for the cameras.  Kind of silly.

Then Paul returned to the bridge.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 9: Crazy Ivan

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

This episode began with the Steve Irwin being chased by one of the harpoon ships which was towing a prop fouler of its own.  Paul Watson, the hypocrite, claimed that he would ram them with his ship rather than allow them to do foul his prop.  What if the Japanese had taken this tact up to this point?  There would have been dead Sea Shepherds if that had happened.  Also, I believe the Japanese ships are bigger, faster, and I am sure better, than the bucket of bolt known as the Steve Irwin.

Paul Watson then starts firing ‘warning shots’ with flares in the general direction of the Japanese.  My question is, “How are they supposed to know that these are warning shots, and not some crazy man shooting hot bits of fire at them and simply missing?”

The helicopter pilot was unhappy when these flares started flying past him, and when he asked if Watson would stop, Watson’s reply was I don’t know what he means.  What an ass.  I hate that guy.

He then fired a rocket propelled safety line at the Japanese.  Oh, if the Japanese just had a canon….  Watson looked like a petulant child.  How does anyone support this guy?  Also, I hope the Sea Shepherds do not end up needing all of that rescue equipment that he is wasting.

Another Japanese harpoon ship then approached with its LRAD mounted on the front of its ship.  Go… Japanese!  The Sea Shepherds’ defense was, of course to deploy another prop fouler, and miracle of miracles, this one looked like it worked.

The Japanese released a statement later saying that these acts were illegal, which they were.  The first mate, Peter Hammarstedt, referred to it as a war in response, and once again referred to the whales as casualties.  I really wish these guys would drop the hypocrisy.  Why is it a war when they do the attacking, and when the Japanese do anything to defend themselves, suddenly the Sea Shepherds go into victim mode and whine how out of bounds it is?  I hate these guys too.

The Sea Shepherds were feeling their oats, and proclaiming their own importance, and the fact that the Japanese could not hunt while they are messing with the Sea Shepherds (foreshadowing?).

The small boats were now in need of recovery, and they decided to recover the small boats at speed.  So… dangerous.  In the mean time, they discovered that their last prop fouler was working as well as the others had (meaning it did not work at all).  The first boat was recovered with a lot of danger, and then the Japanese turned their LRAD on the second boat.  Then, the second boat was recovered.

The geniuses on the Sea Shepherd then held up an old satellite dish in order to make the Japanese think that they had one also.  I think the Japanese will figure it out as soon as they don’t hear anything, unless they are deaf.

Later, after the Japanese Harpoon vessels were lost, and returned.  The Sea Shepherds were incredibly surprised when they found out that the whalers had actually been… (wait for it…)… Whaling!  Hammarstedt said, “I knew then that things were not the way they were supposed to be…. The one thing we were not suspecting was for them to kill a whale in front of us.”  Let me take a minute her to explain.  Whalers whale, it is what they are supposed to do, and it is the one thing that should not surprise you coming from them.  In fact, it would be surprising to me if they did not whale.  I was amazed by their continued incredulity.  What did they expect?

You watch, these people are about to become really dangerous.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 8: Bait and Switch

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

It is nice to see the Sea Shepherds acknowledging that their tactics are not working.  I thought  it was funny that the leaders of the ship had ‘decided’ to reevaluate the grappling hook idea after the small boat crews had informed them that they were not going to use it.  Funnier yet was when the leaders of the Steve Irwin informed the small boat crews that the ship is not a democracy in an attempt to restore their authority after the small boat leaders had already stripped them of it.  I guess Paul will have to make the next person who refuses to obey one of his ridiculous orders walk the plank, or else they will begin to truly see that he has no real authority over them or even the right to tell them what to do.

I was amazed at the next idea which some fool (Richard Roberts) suggested to Paul Watson, the captain.  He actually thought that they should pull their ship alongside the Japanese ship, and jump aboard it.  Paul, who may be the dumbest person in charge of any operation this large on the planet thought it sounded like a good idea.  Roberts said, “What are they going to do, kill me?”  Stop and take the last statement in for a minute.  Amazing.

There are a host of reasons why attempting something like this would be ill advised.  I’m not going to waste my time detailing them all here, because it would take too long, and I think that if you have the ability to read, you should have the intelligence to come up with at least half a dozen of them yourself without really even trying.  However, I will say this, if that joker actually attempts to jump from one ship to another, I hope he does not live through it.  We should respect ourselves, nature and the brains that God has given us enough to know that we should not do these things.  Every now and then, however, it takes the death of an idiot to remind us of who we are and how fragile life is.  It is these deterrents that keep us from doing even dumber things that put the lives of even more people at risk.  Also, I do not have one problem with the Japanese either throwing him right off their ship or putting him in irons to stand trial in Japan for terrorism.  In fact, give me the latter.

After telling us for the last several episodes that in order to be effective, they need to be attacking the Japanese factory ship, I found it amusing that after they had decided that attacking it was impossible, they were justifying now that attacking the harpoon ships is better because of the symbolism of attacking the harpoon.  I wonder what they will attack when they become ineffectual at attacking these ships also. 

I found another comment by one of the crew odd.  He said of the Japanese, “They threw their best at us, but the still did not stop us.”  Really?  As far as I understand it, it is the Sea Shepherds who are out their trying to stop the Japanese, and to this point they have deployed every weapon that they have against the Japanese with no result, but a waste of money, and their ‘prop fouler.’  The Japanese on the other hand have restrained themselves to this point and have still not even employed their LRAD which they obviously have installed for this express purpose.

They attacked the factory ship which they could not affect with the small boats in order to draw in the harpoon ships which they feel that they can be more effectual against.  This seems like a good plan for now.

The small boats were as ineffectual as usual.  The next great idea was to drive one of the small boats directly at the factory ship (head on) in order to try to fling the acid bottles on its deck.  The gravity of the narrator’s statement put it all into perspective when he said, “The Sea Shepherds have never tried something this dangerous before.”  Wow!  That is saying something.  It is an understatement, but the closest thing I can think of to equate this to would be a game of chicken between a unicycle and a Mack truck.  However, they were able to avoid being killed by the behemoth of a ship that was coming at them, but once again, when they threw the acid, they missed it.  I believe this ship is bigger than the broadside of a barn.  How do you miss it?

The harpoon ships also did not take the bait, and stayed out of the range of the small boats.  Once again, the Sea Shepherds had only succeeded in widening their mammoth carbon footprint.

With nothing else to do, they decided to do the same thing.  Then, the helicopter pilot noticed that they are pointing the LRAD at him.

As the show went to commercial break, Animal Planet made itself look foolish by posing the question, “Which of the following countries currently hunt whales?”  The choices were: United States, South Korea and China.  The incredibly spun answer was, of course the U.S.  This is due to the fact that the U.S, respects the culture of the Inuit and Eskimos.  The U.S. does not, however, ‘hunt whales.’  We do respect Native American cultures, and allow these peoples to honor their cultural heritage by taking a manageable number of whales every year.  I understand that this series is a little tilted toward the cause of ‘saving the whales,’ but up to now I have been complimentary of Animal Planet’s presentation.  However, in this case of an undeniable spin of the facts I say, “Shame on you Animal Planet.”

For two week, the producers of the show have attempted to make it look as if the helicopter were going to suffer a catastrophic attack.  Of course, it did not.  The pilot simply left the area, but the Sea Shepherds once again, do not miss an opportunity to try to make themselves look like victims.  If you do not want to have the Japanese shoot LRAD at your helicopter, then don’t use it to attack them.  It’s not like the Japanese have not warned the Sea Shepherds, and no one is forcing the Sea Shepherds to keep attacking the Japanese but themselves.  It does, however, look like the Japanese are the only ones having any affect out there.

One of the small boat crew members was once again bashed up by a wave during an attack attempt.  Paul Watson then tried to steer the Steve Irwin close to the factory ship.  This caused the desired effect as the Japanese Harpoon vessels turned around to intercept the Steve Irwin except that instead of protecting the factory ship, they seem to be going after the Sea Shepherds themselves.  They attacked the harpoon ship with the acid bottles until the Japanese used the LRAD on them, and then they backed away again.

The Sea Shepherds have decided to deploy a prop fouler again.  This one is a bigger rope.  They, of course, failed again, and this time, it’s the Japanese who are towing ropes in order to foul the Steve Irwin. …and this is how the episode ended.

Please read all of my Whale Wars posts and commentary.  A lot of questions have already been answered, especially in the comments section.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 7: The Desire to Fling Things

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

Sorry I am a little late this week.  I had to attend a family reunion with my in-laws out of state.

This episode picked up with the Steve Irwin tracking behind the Japanese factory ship.  Their small boat is still lost in the fog…again.  The concern of the captain for the members of his crew that could have been lost at sea led him to do absolutely nothing.  The Sea Shepherds blamed the Japanese for blocking their transmissions, but I say it’s an even bet that their equipment was broken (again), or, in their continued incompetence, they simply did not know how to use it.  This, of course was confirmed when the sat-phone would not work.  Oddly, the communications officer was able to come up with a work-around that allowed them to communicate and find out where they were.  Captain Paul Watson showed his true concern when he said, “They should never have gotten that far away.”

The small boat finally got free of the ice, and made its way back to the Steve Irwin.  We got to hear a recap of last week’s events as soon as they got back onboard.

The Sea Shepherds claim that as long as they hound the factory ship, the Japanese cannot kill whales.  While this makes some sense, I have heard them make bold claims of their effectiveness before, see the ‘pro-fouler’ from last week’s episode.

They follow the factory ship into an ice field, and once again, we are subjected to they fragile Steve Irwin making its way precariously through it.  The first mate emphasized the importance of following the factory ship when he wisely said, “…whether it meant a breach in the hull, we were going to be stuck to them like glue.”  Obviously, he is the only person who missed the movie Titanic a few years ago.  At some point they figured out that if they followed in the wake of the other ship, they would not have problems with the ice.  geniuses.

Later, the Japanese surround the Sea Shepherds with three other ships.  The members of the Sea Shepherds seemed to recoil at the aggressiveness of the Japanese, and the potential for collision.  How quickly the Sea Shepherds forgot that they were the ones who actually hit one of the Japanese ships while attempting to intimidate them.

They then decided to violate the orders of the Dutch government, and ‘defend’ themselves by throwing things at the Japanese ships.  I hope they lose their flag over this, and are branded true pirates.  I keep finding myself saying this.  The Sea Shepherds are the aggressors here.  All they have to do to stop the Japanese from attacking them is to stop attacking the Japanese in the first place.

The first mate, whose idiot-factor is quickly rising decides that making a grappling hook to tear away the Japanese nets would be a good idea.  I see a little boat being dragged behind the Japanese ship while it is tethered to the net of the harpoon ship by a rope and grappling hook.  Oh, please make it so.

Rightly, the small boat crew was having none of this nonsense.  One of them actually said, “There is just so much potential for tragedy.”  The boson is simply a moron.  He said that he was disappointed that they thought it was dangerous, and this great quote, “Any new tactic is worth trying out.”  Really?  Any tactic?

This most anticlimactic of episodes ended in this manner.  What a waste of time.  Get to the point Animal Planet!  At least the previews from next week’s episode look good.

Whales Wars Season 2 Episode 6: With A Hook

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

After Last week’s anticlimactic ending, I’m ready to see the Japanese defend themselves.  This episode began with the volatile situation we were left with last week: the Steve Irwin, two Japanese ships in front, and one behind with whales nearby in the water.

The ships box the Steve Irwin in, and the Sea Shepherds get ready to launch their small boats.  They plan to throw their stinky acid bombs and try to foul the propellers of the Japanese processing ship.  In a move that they obviously think is clever, they plan to use the code phrase, “Tora, tora, tora” (Which actually translates ‘tiger, tiger, tiger’) when they launch the attack.  The narrator refers to this as Japanese slang for ‘attack.’  This just is not true.  The phrase was the code that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor.  That is the common connotation, and the narrator’s comment came off as an attempt to spin the phrase less offensively.  The truth is, they used it in pretty bad taste.

Unfortunately, the Japanese have proven to be fairly adaptive as they have deployed netting that will cause the bottles of acid to bounce off.  The Sea Shepherds’ helicopter also sees water canons and LRAD.

Never ones not beat their heads against a wall, and put themselves at unnecessary risk, the Sea Shepherds attack as planned.

The Japanese do not deploy the LRAD for some reason.  Paul Watson gives the ‘code phrase’ to drop the prop fouler.  Not surprisingly the keystone cop members of the crew do not know what they are supposed to do, and start to throw the acid bombs at one of the harpoon ships.

The harpoon ship defends itself with water canons, but does not deploy the LRAD.  Paul Watson was very put-out that they did not deploy the prop fouler, but instead hurled the acid.  Instead of explaining what he wanted like a good leader would, he just berated the crew of the small boat, and told them repeatedly to “do what they were supposed to do.”  Of course, being confused, they still thought that they were supposed to hurl the acid.  Would it have been better just to say, “Foul the prop!” if they wanted the prop fouled?

They succeeded in deploying the prop fouler parallel to the ship’s course.  If you watch any cop show it will teach you that in order to stop the bad guys, you have to throw out the tack-strip perpendicular to the course of the car.  That way, the car’s natural momentum will carry it right over the tacks.  The same principle applies here.  In the end, all the Sea Shepherds have done is to waste more gas, and lose their prop fouler.  Genius.

They eventually found their prop fouler, but it had succeeded in fouling an iceberg.  One of the crew decided to jump onto this very small iceberg.  There is no way I would ever do that.  You could really die.  Eventually they got their rope back, and they were left with only a zodiac to attack with.

The zodiac attacked the factory ship, but the ship’s water canons kept them at bay.  They tired to throw them over the bow, but it was too tall.  The other small boat tried to attack the back of the ship, but the strongest water canon was there.  One of the team members had his eyelid cut by the water, and they had to give up.  The Japanese had effectively defended themselves, and it was a happy ending…for now.

Shortly after getting the injured crewman back onto the Steve Irwin, the crew of the small boat attacked one of the harpoon ships again.  Sadly, they were able to deploy the prop fouler perfectly this time, and it did not come back up.  Luckily, the prop fouler that could “stop military vessels” worked about as well as everything else the Sea Shepherds do, and they simply sailed on.

The “unbreakable” prop fouler was chopped right in half.  So, what to do.  The obvious answer would be to waste more time and gas trying to do the same thing with the prop fouler that had already failed.  The great thing was that when they missed the boat this time, the Japanese simply stopped and fished the prop fouler out of the water.  They decided to try one more attack with the acid, and the Japanese began to throw metal nuts about as big around as a golf ball.  The hypocritical Sea Shepherds seems appalled that the Japanese might actually try to hurt them while defending themselves.  Let’s not forget, the Sea Shepherds are the aggressors here.  There would be no conflict if they were not attacking the Japanese vessels in the first place.

As they went to break, I braced myself for the Sea Shepherds to spend the rest of the episode trying to make themselves look like victims.  I was not disappointed.  If someone attempts to break into my house, I’m not going to asking them if they have a violent intent, I’m just going to shoot them.  The Sea Shepherds should expect nothing less from the Japanese.

The episode ended with a storm coming in and the small boats being ordered back to the Steve Irwin.  Instead of coming straight back, they decided to wave at the Japanese one more time.  This foreshadowed them getting lost again next week.  What a waste.

Speaking of waste, I have a friend who did the math that I have to give props to.  By their own reckoning, he estimated that they used 300 tons of fuel while failing to save one whale from being killed before they had to return to port for another load of fuel.  So far, they still have had no impact on the Japanese operation.  He questioned how they could justify the environmental impact of their operation with little or no positive result.  Good questions.

Whale Wars Season 2 Espisode 5: The Unintimidatables

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

I have been waiting for this episode with baited breath. Finally, the Japanese are going to retaliate.  Let the LRAD begin.  Mr. Sulu set LRAD for ‘decimate!’

The show began with a ‘white powder’ being opened in an envelope while at the dock.  The ship was quarantined while anthrax tests were done.

I don’t buy this for a minute after the ‘Shooting’ at the end of last season, I don’t believe this at all.  I smell a rat.

Let me supply another possibility.  All of this generates a lot of media coverage which gets the Sea Shepherds in the news, they look like victims, and their donations go up.  And, all it costs is an envelope, a stamp and some Tide.  I’ll put my money on this.

After determining that it was not anthrax, they loaded back up, and set sail again.  They had just reached dangerous waters again, when the bucket of bolts known as the Steve Irwin lost all power, including engines, and was dead in the water.  Where is a storm when we need one?  It’s just amazing how much time and money these guys waste because all of their equipment breaks down.  I wonder how many poor whales were slaughtered while the ship was not running.  At least, the Japanese won’t starve.

I was thrilled to see that the Dutch, who for some reason allow the Sea Shepherds to fly under their flag, had ordered the Sea Shepherds to cease throwing objects from their ships at the Japanese.

The Sea Shepherds’ interpretation of this order is that they will have to throw their chemical bombs from the smaller boats instead of the Steve Irwin.  This is great because the Sea Shepherds have proven that they can barely get these boats launched at all much less attack the Japanese from them.

The first mate announced that the Japanese have LRAD.  It is clear that at least some of them see the inherent danger in being in a small boat or helicopter if LRAD is used on them.  One of the crew made the wisest statement that has ever been made on the show when he said, “Usually plans are made around worse-case scenarios.  However, we seem to be foolishly making plans around best case scenarios.”  That guy should be captain.

After being tipped off, the Sea Shepherds find the Japanese.  However, when they find the processing ship, there is also a harpoon ship.  Then, another harpoon ship comes up behind them.  The narrator refers to the fact that the Sea Shepherds are ‘very outnumbered.”  The truth is that it is the Sea Shepherds who are attacking the Japanese.  Then, to add suspense, some whales showed up also.  Drama, drama, drama.

Now, engorged with the fuel that drives all reason from their bodies, ‘passion’, the Sea Shepherds commit themselves to the attack.

Since this episode ended so anticlimactically, so will this post….

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 4: Yum Yum, Eat Crow

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

This episode picked up with the Sea Shepherds closing on the Japanese fleet while it was looking for a man overboard.  It was nice to see some empathy from the crew toward the Japanese sailor who was washed overboard.  It was also good to see that they have some sort of moral compass that would not initially allow them to attack the Japanese fleet while they were looking for their lost sailor.

After a lot of soul searching, it seemed that most of the crew had come to some rationalization that would still allow them to attack the Japanese.  To Paul Watson’s credit, he instead offered to assist the Japanese in finding their crew member.  To the credit of the Japanese, they declined the help “because the Sea Shepherds are environmental terrorists.”  Good for them.

The ass of a first mate Peter Brown actually said, “…I think they are the eco-terrorists.  One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”  He should tell that to the people around the world whose family members have been killed by Al Qaeda.

Then, just as the Sea Shepherds are finally about to attack the Japanese, they realize they are running low on fuel.  Captain Paul Watson informed us that just by showing up that they had intimidated the Japanese.  Really?  I don’t think that the Japanese are that affected.  They will just go right on whaling while the Sea Shepherds go back to port, and the Japanese will be miles away from their current positions when the Sea Shepherds finally return.

They realized that one of the harpoon ships was shadowing them…, “and its gun is uncovered!”  So they decide to attack the ship.  The best news to come out of this episode is that it appears that the Japanese have decided to defend themselves.  They had nets to deflect the bottles of acid and slippery chemicals.  They had floats tied to the sides of the ship to prevent boarding, and the whole crew was deployed on deck to help defend the ship.  Very good.

By the time that the Sea Shepherds actually got their boats in the water, the Japanese ship was out of range of the attack.  They finally gave up the chase and turned back in the rough seas.

That’s when one of the ladies on the crew of the small boat bashed her head as they hit a rough wave.  She received a mild concussion, but the producers played it up quite a bit.

Much of the rest of the episode was spent with the crew worrying about the fuel supply and Peter Brown making a complete ass of himself.  It is clear that this guy is no team player, and should have never been made first mate.  He proved that you can be right, and still be an ass.

One of the crew members topped Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs when he said, “If we run out of fuel…we’ll look like we have no idea what we are doing.”  I’ve thought that they had no idea what they were doing from the first episode last season.

Then, of course, one of the crew bashed her head again (a pretty ugly cut).  She was repaired by the doctor, and the fuel/Peter Brown saga continued.  His sarcasm directed toward the crew is useless.  In the end, he ‘decided’ not to return for the second part of the trip.  Oddly, no one seems torn up about it.  I suspect that Paul Watson asked him not to, but that was never admitted.  I felt that there were things that went on behind the scenes last season, and this would be another example of this.  In the end, I was left with the feeling that much of the fuel issue was just made up drama.

I can’t wait for the L-RAD on the next episode.  The foreshadowing of the ‘white powder’ incident on the next episode reminded me of the time when Paul Watson was ‘shot’ last season, but I’ll deal with that next week.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 3: As Bad As Our Bark

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

This episode began with the ship’s hull still being pounded by ice.  As I watched these guys in a truly dire situation, I was brought back to something a friend and I have talked about a few times.  These people, like the Seas Shepherds, Christopher McCandless and Timothy Treadwell often labor under the misconception that “Nature” or individual creatures actually care about them or their efforts.  The truth of course is that nature is simply ambivalent and dangerous.  Those who disrespect this fact either die or get lucky.

After surviving their brush with the icepack, the First Mate gave us a little more gold with this statement, “You know I’m not really a book learned sailor, and so I haven’t gone to school to study ice charts.  So, there’s probably some sort of science to it, but I don’t know what it is.”  These sorts of statements just baffle me.  And, someday there will actually be people who are surprised when these guys do not come back.  Amazing.

This guy, the First Mate, make a big point of explaining to the camera why he did not trust computers or satellite maps or pictures.  He liked to rely on his own eyes.  Of course, the ship missed the passageway out of the ice because of his stupidity.

The one consolation was that it cost the Sea Shepherds days to get around the ice.  Therefore, the Japanese had days of not having to put up with their nonsense. 

Molly Kendall then delivered more misguided wisdom.  She said, “Whales are such a huge example of an amazing creature.  To start that process to save the world, we need to look beyond ourselves, and yeah, if we can’t do that with whales, we can’t do that with oceans.  And, if we can’t do that with the oceans, we can’t do that with ourselves.”  It is reasoning like this that drives philosophy professors to suicide.

They proved that they can learn from their near death experiences, however.  This time, when they found one of the Japanese ships in the fog, they decided to use the little boat that had the radar system to attack with.  Unfortunately for the Sea Shepherds, the junkyard of a ship that they travel around in, once again, proved itself when they discovered that the radar on the small boat was not working.

They caught up with the Japanese scout ship, and began throw stinky acid-filled bottles on the ship.  Once again, Paul Watson was not able to control his ship and the stern of his boat hit the stern of the Japanese boat (so dangerous).  Luckily, most of the damage was to the Steve Irwin.

Paul Watson, after just hitting the Japanese ship actually, said, “If they believe that we are terrorists, if they believe that we are these evil pirates, if they believe that we are capable of sinking them at sea, that works on our favor.”  Sounds like a good case for self defense if the Japanese ever decide to actually defend themselves.

He put them right back on another collision course.  He acted like he was going to T-bone their ship, and there were big laughs when he was able to miss them (just).  I am now for the Japanese using whatever means they choose in order to defend themselves.

One of the young ladies had a good idea, and developed a small-boat checklist so that they would not have many of the problems that they have faced so far.  The same First Mate that did not like to use the ship’s instruments was against this idea also.  His reasoning, “if you don’t know how to do it, you should not be doing it.”  While that may be true, none of these people know what they are doing, so they should just stop altogether.  She was just trying to streamline a process, and make things safer for the admittedly inexperienced crew, and he was just being an ass.

Just as they got to the whaling grounds, the started to run out of fuel and water.  I begin to wonder what the point of all of this is.

They found out that one of the Japanese Sailors had fallen overboard.  Their reaction was to offer to help so that they could find out where the fleet was in order to confront them.  Ghouls.  Paul Watson then justified his actions by saying that the Japanese attempt to find the sailor’s body was just a show, since there was no way that they could really find the man’s body (the Japanese had there searchlight on and were obviously looking for the man).  Even some of the crew were uncomfortable with assaulting the Japanese during their search.  Paul Watson’s quote was, “I really don’t care what people think, my clients are the whales.”  Bastard.

I want give Animal Planet a little credit for the way they are presenting this series.  I do believe they are sympathetic to the Sea Shepherds, but they also show all of their many flaws.  It may just be good television, but they don’t have to show any of the flaws at all.  This show could easily be a Sea Shepherds love fest, and it is not that.  Of course, if it was, I could not watch it.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 2: The Flexibility of Steel

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

Last week, a guy with a computer and high speed internet accused me of being a “consumer vampire” on my Whale Wars post.  That was the same week the ‘green’ guy at work showed up with a new Jeep “because it was cheaper than a Prius.”  Oh, the hypocrisy.

This week started with the ship negotiating through three or four pieces of ice.  How anticlimactic. 

They quickly found a harpoon ship.  They then plotted an intercept course which put them on a collision course with the Japanese ship.  I found it very interesting that the narrator of the show credited Captain Paul Watson’s years of experience with being the reason a collision was avoided.  Years of experience?  There was a whole ocean out there that he could have used to avoid putting his ship on a collision course with the Japanese ship.  It was Watson who plotted the ‘collision course’ in the first place.  It was his responsibility therefore to make sure it did not happen.

Then they launched a chase boat that, of course, it immediately went straight off in the wrong direction in rough seas and fog.  And, of course they once again were out of communication.  I swear it is just a matter of time until some of these people die.  They are like a bunch of irresponsible children.

The finally found the chase boat again, and it was probably another overblown event for television, but I really feel it was probably more dangerous than that.  They did give a lame excuse for not answering calls from the ship when they got back.

Then they went to sleep and woke up surrounded by ice.  Attempting to get out of it, they showed the real stress on the boat as ice was ramming into the hull.  I was amazed at the idiot who informed the two people who were assigned to stay below decks that if there was a leak they were to stay there until it was stopped.  F that.  I would have quickly informed him of his option to stay there if ‘the hull were breached.’  Amazing.

My favorite quote of the night was from the guy who said, “This would not be a good place to sink.”  Really?  The Antarctic is not a good place to sink?

I find myself reacting to these people like I do when I see someone driving very recklessly down a crowded highway.  I just hope they do not cause harm to someone else when they finally plow into something.

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