Westward Ho: Days 6 & 7 – in the zone

By Gareth Renowden 21/11/2013

Blog post from Jeanette on Vega received at 08:30am thursday morning.
Apology for the blog free days.When Bunny and I reached our final destination and joined the Vega as co-skippers, we lost access to computer and e-mail. This is being transferred via radio to s/v Baltazar where Ros is kindly typing it up.

Since the drill ship Noble Bob Douglas arrived Tuesday morning with supply ship Hart Tide, we have been driving in small circles between them, within the 500 metre zone.

The other boats are watching from outside the zone. We can not visit them again without risking implicating them in our actions, and we haven’t rigged the sail to stabilise the rolling. There have been hours of extreme boredom and moments of exhilaration, especially learning most of the Arctic 30 have been bailed, and that Anadarko’s operation here is illegal, because the Environmental Protection Authority signed off their consent without sighting their emergency spill response plan which they are supposed to approve.

There has been great loss of dignity as the wind rose to 20 knots and our tight circles sent us barrelling from one wall to the other, and many bruises on heads, shins and shoulders. Last night, anger: as the second supply ship the Bailey Tide got sick of waiting 500m away all day and decided to dock with the drill ship, with us in between. Neither ship responded to our communications and requests for their intentions, and little wooden Vega was nearly squished between two giant steel hulls, closing in our narrow strip of water and squeezing us out like toothpaste. There is a lot of lawbreaking out here, and it mostly isn’t us.

I suggest you check the Oil Free Seas Flotilla and Greenpeace NZ websites for photo and video blogs. I may be able to send one more when we head back and rendezvous with the rest of the flotilla.

Over and out.