Henk Haazen is the skipper of Tiama and was part of the Oil Free Seas Flotilla which confronted Anadarko off Raglan in 2013.
Here we are 35 miles of the Otago Peninsula yet again welcoming (not!) the Anardako Drill shop Bob Douglas. They obviously did not get the message we gave them in November last year off the Raglan coast – ‘WE DO NOT WANT YOU HERE’.
Luckily nothing serious happened at the Raglan drill site, apparently they only found water, several thousand meters under the sea bed but now Bob is on it’s way to Otago to repeat the whole process.
So in response to Anadarko, another flotilla of people who care about our beautiful oceans is heading out to confront them. We had yet another fantastic flotilla send off from the Dunedin wharfs, lots of colorful banners and wonderful people, and 3 boats sailing out of the harbour together: Erewhon a 38 foot yacht from Dunedin, Evohe an 83 foot yacht also from Dunedin and Tiama the 50 foot yacht from Bluff which I’m skippering.
From downtown Dunedin wharfs to the entrance of the harbour is about 12 Nautical miles and we had a lovely southerly breeze, managing to sail all the way out (using no oil).
Amazingly we encountered half a dozen small groups of people who had placed themselves along the harbour front spaced out over those 12 miles. They were on small jetties and rock outcrops, holding banners saying ‘Stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling’ and various other good slogans, waving flags and wishing us well. This was very unexpected and warmed the cockles of my heart.
We left the harbour at first light this morning and arrived here at the drilling site around noon today. So far there has been no sign of the Bob Douglas but she is expected some time this afternoon or if they want to be sneaky maybe tonight in the dark.
The weather conditions are nice, it is amazing how close we are to the mainland – so close that we even have cellphone coverage. Of course though, this also means that If the unthinkable would ever happen and these Texan cowboys would cause an oil spill like they did in the Gulf of Mexico then we also be facing coastal crude oil coverage – lets hope we can stop this madness in its tracks. That’s why I’m once again out here with Tiama, taking on the Anadarko and the Noble Bob.