Westward Ho: on our way

We are out of prison. Oh the joy of sailing in a straight line to a destination; of the quietness of the deep ocean away from the constant thrum of the motors of the monster. A huge sense of relief as it dropped over the horizon. And tonight it will be dark.

I’m now on Baltazar which has a computer and internet connection and saves Ros from transcribing everything I write from recorded radio. Baltazar is bigger and currently has no motor as the gearbox packed up soon after leaving. If there is wind she is the fastest boat but if there isn’t we don’t go far.

We are headed for Auckland under plan change 45/C/2 (plans have changed hourly over the last few days – there wasn’t much else to do) because the forecast has a 30 knot easterly about the time we would have entered Cook Strait. We are actually quite close to Auckland but it’s a four day sail as we have to go right round the Cape. But Baltazar is much more stable than Vega and has a lot of mod cons like comfy sofas.

Anadarko announced this morning that they had begun drilling at 2.30am. We have been expecting that for several days – they first said they would start Thursday, then Friday, then Monday – but when the time came nothing changed. We had been told by an oil industry contact that the signs of imminent drilling were a person in the “monkey perch”, the deployment of the blow out preventer, and that the drilling would be very noisy. None of those things happened. We asked the first mate (the captain refused to speak to us) whether they had begun drilling and they refused to comment.

We suspect they are not in fact drilling the hole to access the oil, but sinking the pipes into the sea floor through which the drill will go. But only they could confirm that. Meanwhile the fight turns to our derelictgovernment which has not followed proper procedures in granting the permit. This morning Greenpeace has filed for judicial review of that decision in the High Court in Wellington.

We will fight them on the sea; we will fight them on land; we will fight them in the courts; we will fight them on the beaches; we will never surrender.


One thought on “Westward Ho: on our way”

  1. I enjoyed a good laugh at your use of Churchillian rhetoric 🙂

    It is always an easy decision to avoid Cook Strait, the Wairarapa coast and the continental shelf off Hawke’s Bay in adverse weather. Nevertheless you are heading into a bit of weather rounding N. Cape – will Baltazar be too fast or too slow?

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