New Zealand environmentalists wait patiently aboard their yacht 'SV Tiama' for the arrival of Texas' Anadarko rig 'Noble Bob Douglas' at the deep-sea drilling site about 110 nm west of Raglan. Crew member Bunny McDiarmid sets the scene in her blog post:
"Out on the Tasman it is still, sunny and calm. The water has been so flat lately that, ironically, it’s technically known as "oily seas" because there’s a sheen over the water. Take note of this though because it’s the only time you’ll ever see me happy with oily seas!
This morning as we all sat on Vega having cups of tea and eating chocolate biscuits a very large right whale breached and wandered through the middle of the boats. It stopped the conversation in its tracks as we all stood open-mouthed, pointing.
This is also a very popular area for sharks (with their fins on ) which has put a few people off swimming but did not dampen Barclay Armstrong’s standup paddling spirit as he took his board and visited the circle of boats as the sun set yesterday evening.
Out here we’ve been joined by seabirds, sharks, whales, seals and barracuda - it’s clearly an area of ocean very much alive both on top and underneath. That’s why we’re here, to keep it that way.
Tomorrow the big bad (ig)Noble Bob might decide to show his face and find that 6 little yachts, backed with a great following on land have beaten Anadarko to where they’re planning to start their risky drilling."
Bunny McDiarmid is executive director of Greenpeace New Zealand.