Pete Willcox, first skipper of the Rainbow Warrior, wrote this homage to activist Bruce Abraham:
Bruce Abraham died yesterday. I do not know the details.
I met Bruce in 1983 in Seattle, when we were there getting ready for that summer in Alaska. He wanted to join the crew, and came with us on the day trip from Lake Union to downtown Seattle. It was a tricky docking, with a good breeze blowing us off the dock. Bruce talked his way onto the bow and somehow into the position of throwing the heaving line to shore. The monkeys fist flew off the bow, right towards some picture windows of an overlooking restaurant. As the pilot and I gasped, Bruce at the last second gave a little flick of his wrist, and the heaving line fell gently on the dock. I hired him on the spot as third mate.
That summer, when we were doing the whaling action in Soviet Union, Bruce made his spectacular jump off the bow of the R'dub into the gasoline tank filled inflatable to save the film of the action and whaling station. He broke his leg, and later we realized he had badly ruptured a disk in his back. But he got the film, and whole thing was recorded on film. It took almost a year to get him back together. The whole maneuver had been his idea. He told me to let the speeding, driverless inflatable (Jim Henry had just been blown out by the helicopter.) hit the R'dub at the stern and he would do the rest. He did!
Bruce sailed with me for a year on the Syscomp 1, the RW II sister ship I ran. He introduced my daughter Anita to swinging twisters, and other joys. He was a great shipmate, who was a real seaman in the best sense of the word. He was an A.B. in 83, but by 89 had his Unlimited Masters license.
Most of my connection with him the last few years was to be on the receiving end of his of his prolific email jokes. The more mellow ones I would often forward on, but you had to have a real good sense of humor to appreciate most of his jokes. He must have spent a lot of time surf the web to find his stuff.
I got to hang out with him three years ago when I was in Seattle. He did not change much over the years, as he always had the beard. We talked several times a year, often about merchant marine stuff. He spent the last few years being a chief mate on a standby ship in Seattle. He always did figure out how to get the good jobs. He was not above bull shitting his way into a situation, but always could figure things out fast a make a success of it.
He was a good friend, and I will miss him.
R'dub crew: I am not in touch with everyone, but would like to be.
Could you all forward this around, and ask yourselves to get in touch.