Sunday, 11 November 2012

Swim Wild, Swim Free Part 2

I promised everyone in the Taiji Action Group on facebook a video of dolphins bow riding so please read on and you will find it at the end of today's blog.

Gilli from England, Chris from Wales and David from Scotland
under the watchful eye of youngest ship's crew member, Chloe
Last summer we sailed to Galway, Ireland with a 3 nations crew from Scotland, Wales and England to support our great friends and colleagues at Sea Shepherd Ireland during the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was a long, hard sail: 73 hours in mostly challenging conditions but we had the crew and the boat to get us there and had been building the sea miles in advance to prepare the crew for the journey.

I am particularly proud that 2 members of that crew - Chris and Gilli in the picture right are now crewing onboard the MV Steve Irwin defending whales from the hunter-killer boats of Japan's pirate whaling fleet. If you read my blog a few days ago about Passion, you better believe they have it and they are using it.

I am even more proud that 2 other members of that crew will very soon be in Taiji, Japan as Cove Guardians. One of those crew members is Anna and I would love you to visit her campaign page as she is still hoping to raise enough funds to be self-funding for the trip, link to page: Anna's Taiji Campaign Page

Gilli with the crew of VOR Race Boat Groupama
As well as support for Sea Shepherd Ireland we were there to spread the message that there are far, far better things to do with the ocean than kill everything that either swims in it or is dependent on it for survival, sailing being an obvious example, and I will return to that in a future blog.

During our stay, as well as meeting most of the crews from the race fleet, we were hosted at a gala dinner by JCI Galway and had many meetings with politicians and dignitaries from all over the world including Ambassadors from countries known to be friendly to Sea Shepherd. But what really impressed us all the most was the fabulous welcome which we received from the people of Galway who treated us like visiting royalty. It was a pleasure meeting everyone who stopped by to say hello or who stopped us in the street to say hi and I know that all of the crew very much look forward to a return visit.

The real highlight of the trip didn't happen on land though, it happened at sea off the Connemara coast when these common dolphins came to visit. It is just a short video, enough to show you how these wonderful animals choose to interact with their land-based cousins, but not so much that we interfered with the obvious pleasure they were taking in playing with us.

Something worth thinking about:

That video lasted only 40 seconds during which time the dolphins swam a greater distance than they could have swum in even the world's largest dolphinarium. In the wild they swim for miles and miles and miles in a straight line and range over thousands of square miles. These are not animals which should be held in captivity. Not ever.

Thank you for reading.