Whale Wars Volunteers Do It Tough, But Rewards Are Great!

by Editor

For those of you who may have thought that being a volunteer Eco-activist with Whale Wars is a glamorous lifestyle… Think again! Life on the vessels can be pretty uncomfortable as living conditions are for the “stoic” at the best of times!

KITCHEN QUEEN: Chief cook Josephine Watmore, 23, of England, tries to keep the all-vegan menu diverse. Picture: Sam Rosewarne

LIVING in close quarters on a boat with 30 people you have just met sounds pretty intense.

Add to that the pursuit of Japanese whaling vessels and terms such as “cabin fever” may start coming to mind.

But it is nothing that a good meal, a few movies or curling up with a good book cannot remedy for the crew of the anti-whaling campaign ship Bob Barker.

The vessel is in Hobart for maintenance, allowing crew to recharge after a three-month stint in the Antarctic.

Sea Shepherd crews endure constant pressure and immense cold, not to mention being away from friends and family, but it’s not all hard work.

Bob Barker ship manager and quartermaster Andrea Gordon said the crew found ways to keep each other entertained – and sane.

“I’m always amazed by the people who step on board this ship. These are people who have taken their time away from their loved ones and jobs to volunteer,” Ms Gordon said.

“There are people from the US, UK, Germany, Holland, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and we all get along so well – it makes it a lot easier when you have a whole crew of people fully dedicated to the same cause.”

The Bob Barker has a few perks and luxuries to make the voyage a little easier.

Ms Gordon said the all-vegan menu was a key part of keeping the crew happy.

That keeps chief cook Josephine Watmore hard at work in the galley.

“They are all easily satisfied, actually, but the pizzas and sushi are probably their favourites,” Ms Watmore said.

“We try and keep it as diverse as possible, which can be tough once we start running out of fresh food and vegetables.”

 The crew keeps a song in its heart, with a few bringing along guitars.

Laptops and iPods are common too, and living area, which comes with more than 300 DVDs, an extensive library and Playstation 3, all which have been donated.

“Former crew have left a bunch of stuff on board and all the entertainment gear was donated, so the crew have something to enjoy during downtime,” Ms Gordon said.

“When we’re out at sea it’s pretty much all work time, but it’s nice to have those things there for when we are forced to be cooped up inside.”

But crew member Emmerich Reize said the best thing to do when there was a spare moment was simply to go out on deck and enjoy the view.

Tours of the Bob Barker will be available until the end of the Easter weekend.

Refuelling and maintenance is scheduled before the vessel leaves Hobart at the end of May.

News Source: The Mercury

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Would you endure harsh conditions to make a difference?

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