Dec 292011

A few years ago, the anti-whaling activist group “Sea Shepherd” got themselves a highly advanced carbon-fiber boat that looked like something out of science fiction. They promptly decided to run it under the bow of a *steel*-hulled Japanese whaling boat… and discovered that carbon fiber is the wrong thing to make a demolition derby vehicle out of. It sank, taking a whole lot of investment to the bottom of the Pacific.

So, they got themselves an even bigger boat, built along similar lines. Instead of carbon fiber, it was made from fiberglass.

It just got whacked by a rogue wave. And guess what: it turns out fiberglass is the wrong thing to make a vehicle out of if you are going to slam a mountain of water into it. One of the pontoons is “severely damaged” and the hull is cracked, and the crack is widening. The other Sea Shepherd ships are 20 hours away from a rescue.

Sea Shepherd anti-whaling ship severely damaged by wave

Stupid hippies.

This is one of those situations, like the Iran-Iraq war, where you want *both* sides to lose. The Japanese really need to stop whaling, and their claims that they are doing so for “scientific research” are obvious bullcrap. But Sea Shepherd… ye gods. They get themselves a pile of money, and what do they do with it? Instead of spending it on a *good* ship, they buy a *cool* ship, apparently thinking that the unusual lines of the vessel will intimidate the Japanese. Look, dude, these are *Japanese.* They thought it would be a neat idea to weld themselves into hastily constructed solid-rocket-powered flying bombs. They built a nuclear reactor on a fault line near a coast known for tsunamis. They’ve been attacked by Godzilla dozens of times. They eat sea creatures that *sharks* would turn their noses up at. They think tentacle porn is awesome. So the likelihood that Japanese whalers are going to be intimidated by an easily shattered Klingon Battlecruiser on pontoons is patently ludicrous.

 Posted by at 10:24 am
  • Trimegistus

    Japanese scientific research being conducted: “I wonder what _this_ whale tastes like? Why, it tastes just like whale meat! We need a bigger sample size!”

  • Deep Beam

    My recollection is that they got the first carbon-fiber ship because of their relationship with Discovery Channel even though it was clearly the wrong ship for the intended duty. What makes it sadder is that the carbon-fiber boat was highly experimental and had been built to set new speed records or something. It’s a pretty cool thing to have people pushing the limits on – just not the “crushed by a bigger boat” limit!

  • JP

    I’m surprised they haven’t built a replica PT 73.

    • Anonymous

      Wouldn’t have sufficient “coolness + easily defeated” factor.

      The amount they’ve blown on bullcrap could have bought ’em some actually *useful* ships and equipment. But that’s the thing: were they actually “capable,” then they’d be expected to “perform” at a practical level. But if they are easily defeated, then they get to spend wads of cash while being attention whoring “underdogs.”

      Any halfway decent engineer or military strategist could have come up with ways to make them successful in their goals on the budget they’ve had… a few years ago. The fact that they have basically failed to be much more than a nuisance indicates that they don’t really *want* to succeed, or at least not succeed quickly. The faked bullet-shot and the reports that the Ady Gill *could* have been saved but was sunk for PR purposes contribute to this.

      They use a pirate symbol as their logo, and they call themselves, and refer to being at war. And yet, they don’t do what would get the job done. “South Park” showed how it could be done, if they were willing to man up and do some actual piratey stuff. Then they’d go to jail… but only *after* they’d’ve done what they needed to do. Whether you agree with their goals or not, whether you agree with “do what needs to be done” or not, you gotta admit that the showy half measures these tards use indicate less of a conviction to end whaling than a desire to get on TV (or score hippiechick tang, whichever).

      • JP

        I was thinking a PT 73 would have more of a comic “Mchaless Navy” effect that would play better for a MTV reality show.

        • Anonymous

          Nobody who watches MTV would know what McHales Navy is.

  • Kelly Starks

    #1- report is they let the first ship sink for good press.

    #2 – the scout vessel Brigitte Bardot your talking about wasn’t built by them it was a deep sea ravce boat called Ocean 7 Adventurer, among other things. was built to win the record as the fastest road the world racer. (Ok converting it to a scount-interceptor in antarctic waters pretty dumb – but they are pretty damn near Kamikazes.)

    #3 – the Sea Shepard nuts were so dumb that after they bought it – and painted it black, they named it Gojira (AKA Godzilla when the movies aired in the US) somehow they didn’t think a Japanese studio might not like their trade marked monsters image and name being painted on the side of a scout ship that hunts Japanese ships. Yeah, they got sued. NO doubt not adding to their PR cred in Japan.

  • Bearded_Dragon

    Actually they chose the catamaran because it was FAST, not “cool”. They wanted a scout ship, which could cover a large area very fast so they could find the Japanese whaling fleet quickly. They also invested in their own drone aircraft. The fast scout ship hasn’t be too successful but the drones have proved very good at locating the Japanese whaling fleet.

    As much as I deplore Sea Shepherd’s tactics, I do appreciate they are doing something whereas governments – all governments are sitting on their arses watching the Japanese kill whales.

    • Anonymous

      > they chose the catamaran because it was FAST

      There are lots of fast boats in the world. A lot of boats as fast if not faster, and more capable of surviving the rigors of heavy seas and close brushes with larger steel-hulled ships. But these other boats are not as visually interesting. On the show, the hippies kept yammering on about its appearance, with less yammering about its capabilities. Of course, this may have been due to editing… perhaps they spent hours extolling its range & speed virtues, and that got cut out… but they *did* yap at length about its appearance.

      > whereas governments – all governments are sitting on their arses watching the Japanese kill whales.

      The Japanese government managed to produce and exploit a loophole in the treaty.

      • Bearded_Dragon

        They did. However they shouldn’t be admired for doing so, they should be condemned for exploiting said loophole. Of course the fact the US Government sits on its arse watching isn’t a great image to have about Washington either. But hey, I suppose from a man who wants to destroy the unique ecosystem of the Utah lake…

        • Anonymous

          > they shouldn’t be admired for doing so

          Who’s admiring the Japanese here?

          > the US Government sits on its arse watching

          Since the whales aren’t US citizens or US property, and the Japanese aren’t breaking any international laws or treaties… I’m sure we’d all be thrilled to read what you suggest the US government should do about it.

          > a man who wants to destroy the unique ecosystem of the Utah lake…

          “The” Utah lake? Are you under the impression there’s only one?

  • Peter Hanely

    Something modeled after Captain Nemo’s Nautilus would be more threatening. Enough size and armor to actually to some damage in a collision.

  • K2

    Whale meat is yummy.