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My last month in Australia!

I’ve been so bad at blogging during this trip! I am kicking myself for not making this blog more fun while I have been helping get the Steve Irwin ready for campaign. I’ve had a very busy month! I’ve really just been enjoying my life. I love working on the ship, meeting new people every week, spending time in the city, and even simple things like swimming at the beach and spotting possums in the park! Sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy what is going on around you. But I’m back!!!

I have also been told that I will be welcome to blog about our experiences interfering with illegal whaling during operation Zero Compromise. !!!!!

On my next day off I spent two days at Sarah’s house. Her family was absolutely lovely! The way they interacted and joked around with each other reminded me of my own family, so it was nice to spend two days in that kind of setting. We made our own pizza’s for dinner and watched a few movies! The next day Sarah took me out to see their small town. We ate brunch at this adorable log cabin restaurant surrounded by trees! The whole area is. It kinda reminds me of the hills in the Bay Area, they are all covered in trees and the roads themselves have tons of twists and turns.

We stopped at this one park to see the birds! They just hang out in all of the trees and hop around on the ground waiting for people to bring them food. They cracked me up the way they hopped around and swarmed around people who had food. We didn’t stay long because the wind was pretty harsh, but it was a cool thing to see.

After we did some shopping in town, she took me to the top of their mountain. This whole area looks down onto Melbourne. It was nice being up high, surrounded by trees, and breathing in clean fresh air! I can’t explain it, there was something very humbling about the few minutes we spent up there. (Again the wind was extremely harsh and hard to stand in).

A few weeks ago I went to a concert for the Kimberly, that John Butler preformed at, to raise awareness about the giant gas plant Woodside and other companies are attempting to build in Broome Australia, off of James Price Point, in the Kimberly. You can read about Sea Shepherd’s campaign there on the website. But the Kimberly is extremely important. It is the largest whale carving ground in the world. This is where several species of whales from Antarctica come to have and raise their young, then to travel back to Antarctica with them in the summer time there. Sea Shepherd goes to the southern ocean to protect these whales every year, for the last 9 years, but if we cannot save the Kimberly a lot of those whales will no longer be there. The gas plant would pollute their waters, introduce thousands of ship movements, and displace and/or kill of the future generations of these whales. There are also concerns with the land that will be torn up. The Kimberly is home to some rare minerals, it’s home to some of the only dinosaur foot prints ever discovered, and it is home to burial grounds for the indigenous people.

Of course I am still working, working, working!! I was moved off of deck work for a few weeks to help the galley prepare for campaign. It’s been fun working with the girls in there! I have had a few blonde moments, though. I can work power tools, but when I was asked to chop carrots in the food processor… I had to ask which appliance that was! In an attempt to try to make this less embarrassing, I am not a cook! I am a horrible cook actually. I’ve never used fancy appliances in a kitchen before. If it can’t be made on the stove, in the oven, or in the blender… I usually don’t attempt it. Haha!

I also discovered that Bell Peppers are called Capsicums, here in Australia. I was asked to chop the “Capsicums” and prepare them for the freezer… I stood in front of the fridge for a few minutes until I finally admitted to myself that I didn’t know what that was!! At least this blonde moment wasn’t because I didn’t know what a Bell Pepper was… I just never heard of a Capsicum!

I’ve been enjoying hanging out with my friends here in Australia! We went to Jessica’s goodbye party, because she is moving, and I had a blast! I spent that night at Belinda’s and did some laundry and just relaxed at her house the next day. I’m going to miss doing that, her home is so warm and inviting 🙂

There have been so many new people arriving on the ship for campaign! It’s been really fun getting to meet everyone and preparing for campaign.

I had the chance to go a speak about Sea Shepherd and protecting the oceans to a kindergarten class here in Williamstown. They were so much fun to talk to! We talked about the ship, and where Sea Shepherd travels to/what animals they protect in those places. We also talked about why it is important to protect the oceans and everyone’s favorite marine animal. They seemed really excited and I’m hoping that it made some kind of impact. That they might go home and talk about Sea Shepherd, or just that someone came and talked about marine animals. I hope that it will open up a conversation with their parents, in their own way. 🙂 Thank you to Kapa Puku for your generous donation to the ship.

I’ve done a lot of other little things this last month. I love going to the park in the evenings and watching all the possums eating in the trees! They are adorable, my heart melts whenever I see them.

Some of the crew and I went to the nearby beach, in Williams town, to relax for an evening. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been to this beach yet, but I am really glad that I went. It was a nice hot day, they sand was warm, and the water was perfect! It was nice to swim in the ocean again, I hadn’t done that for a few months, and I missed it. I’m looking forward to spending several months at sea.

And then of course… there was… HALLOWEEN!!!

We decorated the mess and made the room glow orange and green. After we all dressed up we had pumpkin soup and vegan cupcakes with the frosting in the shapes of spiders, ghosts, etc.

We all played the wolf game (a favorite on the ship) and then went to Titanic in costume for Whale Wars and drinks.
It was a good Halloween on the ship!!

I’ve enjoyed the last two months and I am ready for the next big adventure. Unfortunately that adventure is shutting down illegal whaling…

-Elora Malama West

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