42 days in Aussie land!

I never edited this photo, except to put my name on it. Look at how beautiful those colors are! This is the St. Kilda beach sunset. This sunset reminded me that I’m in Australia! I am having this incredible adventure, and seeing these sights that are just absolutely breathtaking. But it also made me miss home quite a lot.
So since the last blog… WOW that was a while ago. Time seems to escape quickly here, I forget how long it’s been since I’ve talked to friends or posted an update… I will look at the date on my computer and think “how’d it get to be October already!?”

I have been working everyday, haha obviously. We also do tours every weekend, and I am usually doing those as well.

Last week I went to the Galapagos movie premiere. This is a short documentary that was made about Sea Shepherd’s permanent presence in the Galapagos Islands. It showed their work with the government to track down, and shut down, illegal poaching operations (primarily sharks).

I went to Lord of the Fries, for the first time. I’m pretty sure they are only in Australia, think of it as a vegan and vegetarian Mcdonalds. It’s all fake meat and tofu/soy products, but junk food! I had it pretty late in the evening, and I was all hyped up and barley slept that night.

On my last day off, I ventured into the city by train for the first time! At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay on the train, there was only me and one other girl, and a very creepy guy about my age, who was walking up and down the isle pretending to look at the map. But more people got on and he sat down and got off eventually.

Once I made it to my first station, there were so many platforms (and I haven’t done the train the system since we lived in California… I was always with my parents too), so I wandered around a little until I figured out what all the screens were telling me and eventually found were I was going.

I found a comic book shop that Maddie and Pablo had told me about, I was in there for about ten minutes and then needed to leave. I don’t have that much money to spend on fun things. That place was dangerous!!!

I spent some time in a coffee shop catching up on some phone calls, I finally recharged my phone and I had a lot of messages from home waiting! That was really nice!

I caught a tram and stopped at a park that someone told me I needed to go to. It was beautiful!! You’d think for something so close to a super busy street, and city, would be incredibly noisy… but there was a waterfall and lots of birds that completely drowned out the city sounds.

I took some photos, played with some new markers and note books I got at a stationary store downtown, and ate veggie chips!!!

Really, my whole reason for going into the city was to get some more work shoes… yeah… I forgot! After I found the comic book shop, and then the park, it was hopeless. I was completely distracted!!!

On my attempted train ride back, I learned that the station I was at does not have a train that goes to my destination… yet it drops you off there. So I was completely confused. After half an hour of trying to decide how I was going to make this work, I just walked to another station where I could get on the correct train.

Believe it or not… this is actually where my trying to get home “problem” started.

To make a painfully long story short, myself and five other people are gathered around a screen, on the one track that takes us to Williamstown. There are hundreds of people around us, but they are all waiting for the other trains on the same line. Literally we watched our 5:10 train get delayed twice, and then completely disappear from the screen… all of a sudden the one at 6pm was the only one coming that day. Twice the screen would just say “Speed Train” (I think, I can’t remember what the S word was), and a train would come by… but would only say “Speed Train”. None of us knew what that was!

After 40 minutes of sitting on the track, the final straw was when the 6pm train was delayed! I just got up and left. I took a cab back to the ship. I really didn’t want to, because it was $40 dollars I didn’t need to spend, but who knows how long it would have taken! I was hungry, and I didn’t really want to be on a train system I didn’t know very well, after dark, with hardly anyone on board.

I got back to my cabin and remembered I forgot to buy shoes. Haha!

The next day, our Bosun gave us a half day. Sarah and I went to Chapel street and ate some yummy food, looked at some really cool stores, and bought shorts (because it was getting really hot outside… and we were heading to the BEACH!).

St. Kilda beach is beautiful!

Sarah and I hung out at the beach for a while, and then walked down the pier to the rocks (where the Penguins live!). This is the same beach Jessica took me to my first week in Aussie land.

The picture above was the sunset view on our walk over.

We met up with Belinda that evening, it was very spontaneous, and laughed at the bar for a little while. I’m really lucky to call these two girls my friends!

On our weekend back to full days of work, I did tours! I am usually put on tours for the weekend, but I do enjoy them. I always meet really enthusiastic people who are extremely supportive. Sea Shepherd wouldn’t be able to operate without that support.

I met some more volunteers this week! That was really fun!

I have been very tired lately and so I have been getting to bed early and not doing too much in the evenings.

I feel like I finally have my energy back! I have a lot of fun things planned for this week, and so I will be back blogging once a week again!

***

There is something I want to talk about. I’m sure a lot of you have seen this photo going around the interwebs… 
This is a captive Orca at Sea World that injured itself on one of their tanks (cough, prison cells).

It is believed that this Orca, Nakai, suffered this injury during a nighttime show on the 20th of September. This is Sea World’s statement:

“It is believed Nakai’s injury occurred when he came in contact with a portion of the pool environment. He was quickly treated by park veterinarians. Nakai is currently receiving antibiotics and the veterinarians are pleased with the healing progress of his wound. He is swimming comfortably and interacting with the other killer whales at the Shamu Stadium pool complex.”

I don’t see how he could be comfortable… and if this is what the wound looks like healing, I can’t imagine what the original wound looked like.

This is what the photographer had to say:

 “When we arrived Nakai was in the back tank, but partially visible. When I tried to photograph him over the top of the high rails, I was told to not stand on the camera box and I had to stop taking photos there. Then the trainers deliberately moved Nakai to another tank where we couldn’t see him properly. We only managed to get 6 semi-decent photos of him. The security guys moved an outdoor gas heater and a large sun umbrella in front of the tiny gaps between the gate hinges – to try and block our view of Nakai when they moved him to the back tank and more out of view.”

Captivity kills. This is just an example of the injuries these none human persons suffer from, all to do tricks for us. There is nothing natural about captivity. There is nothing educational about captivity… unless you wanted to see how a sentient being changes when being held against their will and forced to rely on someone else to feed them.

Look at this poor baby’s face! This happened because a group of people wanted to watch a whale hop through a hoop and swim with a trainer standing on their nose.
I realize very few understand the issues of captivity… but it’s photos like this that make me want to work even harder to shut this industry down. This did not need to happen. Nakai NEVER should have been taken from the ocean…

Elora Malama

 

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2 thoughts on “42 days in Aussie land!

  1. That poor whale–awful! Two questions: Did you bother to buy me anything at the comic book shop? And did you ever get your shoes? 😉

  2. Enjoyed your update. I’m glad you’re having a good time. You make me nervous (I have a daughter your age) when you go about town alone. Be careful. I’m sorry to see this poor whale and his injuries. It looks awful! You’re right, captivity kills. It’s just unnatural. I wish I had the magic wand to free all these beautiful creatures, they deserve a better life.

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