Whale Wars, Season 4

Series: Whale Wars, Season 4

Whale Wars, Season 4
Whale Wars, Season 4

Whale Wars is definitely winter viewing, even though the Antarctic whaling season takes place in the southern hemisphere summer. The weather is often quite intense, with large storms rolling through the southern ocean, and when we can’t get out in winter it makes for wonderful imaginary travel through spectacular landscapes.

After the sinking of the fast, carbon fibre racing boat Ady Gil in Season 3, Sea Shepherd obtains the Gojira, a larger and faster vessel that they used to search for the whaling fleet. The Gojira is incapable of travelling through ice fields, which limited its usefulness in the very southernmost reaches of the whaling grounds.

The helicopter and small boats are used extensively in this season. For those who have watched Season 3 already, or plan to watch it, Tony would like to point out that a rubber duck’s pontoon can be temporarily secured to its proper place with a rope slung under the hull and tied together over the top. This may even make it possible to get underway. As usual, a small amount of training in seamanship and how to handle ropes on a moving boat would have gone a long way to prevent some of the mishaps that occur.

This is a short season of only ten episodes, as the Japanese stopped whaling early, citing excessive pressure and increased danger from Sea Shepherd’s harrassment. I found this strange as the nine episodes preceding the halt did not entail much pressure on the Japanese at all. The Sea Shepherds only located the whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru right at the end of their time in the Antarctic, and although they were occasionally tailed by one of the harpoon ships, one or two other harpoon ships were free to continue whaling despite their presence. To my eyes this was one of the least effective campaigns ever, and yet somehow it culminated in the worst whaling year that the Japanese had experienced to date. Whatever works, as one of my former colleagues used to say (usually before doing something statistically questionable).

You can get the DVD here if you’re in South Africa, otherwise here or here.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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