Well we are on our way to join the other boats in the Oil Free Seas Flotilla. We had a fantastic and slightly emotional send off from Bluff about 25 people on the wharf and a few local journalists. Most of the people in the group were from the Oil Free Otago group, a fantastic bunch of people determined to keep deep sea oil exploration of their coast. There were also quite a few locals from Bluff and Invercargill on the wharf including the local Green MP.
And for the sceptics, of course we had to take on some fuel before we left. Yes we are still, as a society, dependent on oil, although we are principally a sailing boat. We are sailing out to protest against deep sea oil exploration. There is a huge difference in risk and the possible consequences between deep sea oil exploration (in this case, approx. 1500 metres deep) compared to the current shallow water oil production in New Zealand waters.
Most people signed the foresail of Tiama to help carry their message to stop deep sea oil exploration to Anardako, we will be flying this proudly.
Oil Free Otago also gave us a feather from a Godwit (the greatest of the Pacific travelers), a hand carved amulet with some good magic in it, and of course a karakia.
They also gave us a box of beauty products, to distribute between the other boats in the flotilla. After having a good look at the Tiama crew they must have thought that we needed that.
Much appreciated, but probably a lost cause for this lot! (I joke, thanks very much to the generous souls for donating the heavy duty sunscreen!)
Cheers to everyone for your support,
Skipper, SV Tiama