Highlights from the 2011 Stop Deep Sea Oil Flotilla

This is the story of the 2011 flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling, a group of boats that sailed in the name of te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Greenpeace, the Nuclear Free Flotilla, Forest and Bird, anti-mining group Coromandel Watchdog, the Coal Action Network (CAN), Board Riders against Drilling, and climate action group 350 Aotearoa, to protest the exploration for deep sea oil off the East Cape.

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THE VEGA

The SV Vega is an 11.5 metre ketch launched in 1949 near Whangarei. Built on a Northland beach without the aid of power tools, she was planked from a single kauri log. In the early 1970’s she was bought by David McTaggart, a Canadian living in New Zealand, who went on to become the Chair of Greenpeace International.

Vega has participated in campaigns around the globe promoting Nuclear Free Seas, highlighting toxic issues, opposing driftnets and working to protect the environment.

 

INFINITY

Infinity is used for environment research and awareness raising, sailing extensively across the Pacific Ocean. Skipper Clemes Oestreich says “We didn’t want to be a spectator and use the Pacific for our pleasure. We wanted to contribute”.

The crew of Infinity have participated in scientific research into the coral reef crisis across Asian waters and the Pacific Ocean, whale observation and threatened bird research with Birdlife International.

An ongoing project is filming interviews of Pacific people’s observations and oral history on climate change impacts they see in their lives and their vision of the future.

 

SIOME

Siome is just over 20 metres long, made of steel and built in 1988 by Alan Meyer and his family. Siome has had a busy life from being a family home for 20 years where six kids were raised as they travelled round world to being used to tag turtles on the Atlantic for research.

The next year, the crew of Siome successfully urged the Government of Vanuatu to make a stance against nuclear fuel ship movements through their waters.


SECRET AFFAIR

Secret Affair is a 44-foot long gulf cruiser built in 1982 that has been with David Armstrong for 14 years. She’s very fast and weathered a few Pacific cyclones and challenged the French Government’s nuclear testing in the Pacific.

 

WINDBOURNE

Windbourne, originally built in England, came to New Zealand 30 years ago where she was renovated in Nelson. Windbourne has been with current skipper Avon Hansford for seven years. He says much of her history is lost.

The current flotilla is possibly Windbourne’s first time at the environmental front line.

The latest updates

 

Activists halt departure of oil rig heading to the Arctic

Blog entry by Nick Young | April 22, 2011

Activists are demanding an end to reckless deepwater oil drilling and taking bold action to stop the oil rig Leiv Eiriksson as it departs Turkey to the Arctic waters of Greenland to begin drilling. In the early hours of the...

Government’s Misleading Safety Claims An Attempt to Silence Flotilla?

Press release | April 21, 2011 at 14:23

Ōpōtiki Thursday 21 April 2011: Around midnight flotilla yacht Secret Affair was contacted by Police from the Navy vessel HMNZS Taupō. Skipper David Armstrong was ordered to turn 90 degrees towards and into the seismic testing arrays that trail...

Protest flotilla returns to sea on one year anniversary of Deepwater Horizon oil disaster

Press release | April 20, 2011 at 12:57

Wharekahika, Wednesday, 20 April 2011: The flotilla, with replenished supplies and crew will leave Wharekahika/Hick’s Bay today to return to the Rauku-mara Basin area.

Deepwater Horizon disaster a warning for New Zealand

Press release | April 19, 2011 at 13:17

Auckland : On the eve of the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Greenpeace has released a report detailing how BP tried to hide the true impacts of the biggest oil disaster in American history.

Protest Flotilla Anchors to Reprovision Before Returning to Sea – Te Rarawa Pledges...

Press release | April 16, 2011 at 9:52

Wharekahika, Friday 15 April 2011: The flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling were welcomed by Ngāti Porou today at Wharekahika/Hicks Bay, where the flotilla will be at anchor to avoid bad weather, facilitate crew changes and reprovision, before...

Stopping deep sea oil – Vanessa’s log 12/04/2011

Blog entry by Vanessa Atkinson | April 14, 2011

Tuesday 12 th April, 2011 In the early hours of the morning, still many hours before dawn, we picked up the location of the Orient Explorer and her support vessel the Ocean Pioneer . Primed for another exciting day on the water...

Stopping deep sea oil – Vanessa’s log

Blog entry by Vanessa Atkinson | April 14, 2011

Climate Campaigner Vanessa Atkinson is on board one of the Stop Deep Sea Oil flotilla vessels. This is her account of life on board... Sunday 10 April As the sun crept over the horizon on Sunday morning we were greeted with a...

PM sends military against peaceful protest

Press release | April 12, 2011 at 14:15

Ōpōtiki, Tuesday 12 April 2011: The united front of te Whānau ā Apanui, Greenpeace and the flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling is holding its position in the Raukūmara Basin as the HMNZS Pūkakī arrived after eight days of surveillance by an...

Flotilla Opposing Deep Sea Oil Drilling Diverts Oil Giant’s Seismic Testing

Press release | April 10, 2011 at 12:16

Whakatāne, Sunday, 10 April 2011: Today activists aboard the flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling disrupts the seismic testing by Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. Swimmers with large visible buoys baring flags with the message ‘Stop Deep Sea...

Vanessa's Blog: Seismic Events at Sea

Blog entry by Vanessa Atkinson | April 8, 2011

First Contact We headed out of Whangaparoa at Cape Runaway under a gloomy sky at sunset on Sunday. The wind was building and as were our nerves as the next phase of the flotilla to stop deep sea drilling began. After such a...

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