The ‘Whales Not Woodside’ Tour Is In Full Swing

Greenpeace and its flagship Rainbow Warrior have arrived in Freo full of green energy.

Yesterday, tours of Rainbow Warrior were in full swing all day at Victoria Quay.

And this morning at 08.30 at South Beach, Greenpeace joins forces with WA Conservation Council and Surfers for Climate for a Turn the Tide on Woodside community paddle-out. It should be quite a spectacle!

Rainbow Warrior, the third ship to carry that name, arrived in Fremantle on 26 April, as we reported in our Rainbow Warrior takes on Woodside article.

Rainbow Warrior is docked at C Shed, Victoria Quay over the weekend and scheduled to depart tomorrow, Monday for the North West.

Head on down to Victoria Quay, and see Rainbow Warrior up close and personal, including the Rainbow and Dove on the bow of the ship.

While ship tours are heavily booked, you may be lucky enough to snag a tour, as I did yesterday. Tours run every 15 minutes.

The tour I was on, commenced with a crew member telling us all about the current voyage, and Woodside’s expansion plans. This tour is part of Greenpeace’s ‘Whales Not Woodside’ tour, also celebrating the 45th anniversary of the end of commercial whaling.

The crew member explained that Woodside plans to open two new gas fields, Scarborough and Browse, off the coast of WA, and to extend the life of the North West Shelf gas processing facility, which is located 135km north of Karratha, until 2070. The combined greenhouse gas emissions are calculated to be more than six billion tons, making it the biggest new fossil fuel project in Australia. The impact on the ocean’s marine life, coral reefs and whales are feared to be catastrophic.

On Monday, Rainbow Warrior will sail up the coast, documenting wild life and spreading awareness about protecting our oceans, marine life and climate.

Onboard, we went up to the bow and met Dave the wooden Dolphin – the ship’s figurehead. Dave was also the figurehead on Rainbow Warrior II. While on the bow, we saw six dolphins in the harbour, three came very close to the ship much to everyone’s delight.

Rainbow Warrior the third is Greenpeace’s first custom built sailing ship powered by renewable energy. She is 57.9m long, and has ‘A’ frame masts, which are hydraulically powered and carry five sails. The sail area is 1255 square metres. The ship uses sail power whenever possible. She has a main engine and an electric auxiliary engine.

We visited the bridge, where the ships instruments, maps and steering are housed. There are both volunteer and paid crew on board. The ship usually sails with a crew of fifteen, who work on a three-month on, three-month off roster.

And there’s even a helicopter landing pad at the back, used for emergencies.

Greenpeace grew out of the peace and anti-nuclear movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s in Canada. Today Greenpeace is the largest and most visible environmental organisation in the world.

Greenpeace’s Mission Statement: ‘To ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity’.

We wish them well on their journey north.

* STORY by our Shipping Correspondent, Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.


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