Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sea Shepherds 'Steve Irwin' came to London

The 'Steve Irwin'
The 'Steve Irwin' passing Tower Bridge
On September 5th last year London had what many people would call a very special ship visiting, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Societies (SSCS) flagship the Steve Irwin. This hero of the Whale wars stayed mostly at West India dock on the Isle  of Dogs, but on the 12th she came up river and passed Tower Bridge to visit HMS Belfast next to which she tied up as many deep water vessels will, a fund raising dinner night was held aboard the Steve Irwin which left early the next morning.  
She arrived in her still rather new dazzle style naval camouflage and as it happens I was being dazzled by the sun that just had to show it's face when I took the photos, this paint scheme was developed in WW2 to help convoy escort vessels escape the eyes of U boats, it's worn also by the HMS Belfast. Previously she had been painted black. The SSCS version of the Jolly Roger is painted on the front below the ships bridge. She currently flies a Netherlands flag, the 77 you see on the bow represents 1977, the year SSCS was founded.She looked every inch a small warship armed to the teeth with catapults for the fabled butter bombs favoured by the Sea Shepherd Society, the butteric acid they splatter the poor defenseless  whaler with is harmless but atrociously smelly, stick your nose in bucket of vomit and you'll get the idea.
The Steve Irwin is the 53 meter former Scottish fisheries protection vessel Westra , built in 1959, she was bought after being laid up a while by Sea Shepherd and renamed Robert Hunter after a Co founder of the Greenpeace Foundation and close friend of SSCS president Paul Watson, he died in 2005. Later in 2007 prior to starting their operation Migaloo in the Southern ocean she was again renamed this time as the Steve Irwin after the late Australian conservationist. You can read about the entire current SSCS fleet on their website page here
Also, I found this very good video of her visit...

1 comment:

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