Those who followed my Ishinomaki blog will already know that I am not great with words, but there will hopefully be new readers on this blog so I will reiterate my apologies over the lack of skill with which I present my thoughts and feelings. I am no wordsmith, and although I now have a little skill at blogging, I am still no writer.
That said, I will try to convey the day to day life of a Cove Guardian honestly and from the heart.
If you would like to check out my previous blog, from our Tsunami relief efforts in Ishinomaki it is at http://www.ishinomakiwithpeaceboat.wordpress.com
I also need to say right from the outset that I am going to Taiji as a supporter of Sea Shepherd. I am not an employee, and in no way may my words be construed as the thoughts, feelings or opinions of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society or it’s leadership.
I have never been an activist. You could say I have spent my life as an inactivist. I have always had a deep love for the ocean and sea life, engendered by my Father and Grandfather from a very early age with Surf Fishing off the Ninety mile beach in Gippsland, Victoria. When my buddy Troy and I became scuba divers in our late teens, the desire to drag fish out of the ocean was replaced by a deeper desire to go down into the ocean and interact with them in their natural environment. This just seemed to make sense.
I have had some amazing experiences in the ocean. Foremost amongst my favorites have always been interacting with, or viewing wild animals in their natural environment. I have swam with wild Dolphins off Rockingham, sailboarded and sailed Hobie cats alongside Dolphins in the Hastings River, Stood waist deep in water off Yardie Creek surrounded by reef sharks, dived with a variety of sharks, and watched Dolphins surfing many times along the Mid North Coast. Watching these magnificent creatures has always brought me a sense of peace and wellbeing. Whenever I see Dolphins, it is a good day.
When I heard of The Cove, like many other people I reacted with disbelief and disgust. Sadly, I must admit that these feelings passed as I allowed myself to forget the stories I had heard. Watching the movie was one of those things I would do one day. Having watched The Cove, I urge everybody to find a copy an d watch it.
For those who do not know, The Cove, filmed in Taiji, documents the brutal slaughter of thousands of dolphins every year in Japan, and the reasons why Japanese people should be outraged, regardless of their feelings on the killings.
Why do we let ourselves turn a blind eye to injustice and cruelty. Is it too hard? Are we afraid to question people, afraid of what they say will or do, or are we afraid of ourselves? I donated to Greenpeace. As a family we sponsor a few World Vision kids. I support Sea Shepherd. I always give the Red Cross and the Salvos a few bucks… Surely I am doing my bit.
Not long ago I was moved to get off my arse and help out with the Tsunami relief efforts here in Japan. One of the slogans that I saw on a website or T-Shirt that really hit home for me was “Who would come if it happened to you”. This is something we all need to consider. It is so easy to sit back and let somebody else do the work. But who would come if it happened to you
On September 1 I received an update from Sea Shepherd that the Taiji Slaughter was on again. I was shocked and devastated that this was allowed to continue. Surely once the world had been informed, then the game was up? Unfortunately no. The slaughter goes on.
I must add what little I can to the effort to stop this slaughter. I learned in Ishinomaki that great things can be achieved by lots of people doing little things. For this reason, and if I am honest, to assuage my personal guilt for supporting the captive dolphin industry in the past, I am heading to Taiji this coming weekend for the first of what I hope will be numerous weekends, standing with the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians to bring the worlds attention to this needless and cruel slaughter.