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.

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