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

 

You can’t sink a rainbow, you can’t seize a sunrise

Blog entry by Alex Harris | January 24, 2014

Alex Harris ar the Greenpeace office in London I trembled as I walked through the grounds of Murmansk prison on the 26th September. Inmates watched me and the arrival of the other notorious 29 new prisoners through their cell...

Waiting for the (ig)Noble Bob Douglas

Blog entry by Bunny McDiarmid | November 18, 2013

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...

Why I am sailing with the Oil Free Seas flotilla

Blog entry by Bunny McDiarmid | November 16, 2013

I am setting sail with the Oil Free Seas flotilla . We’re heading towards the site where the now infamous Texan oil giant Anadarko will attempt to drill. It’s about 110 nautical miles to the west of Raglan, and around one and a half...

"Where our leaders fail us..." - The folly of fossil fools

Blog entry by Nathan Argent | November 13, 2013

This week, a flotilla of yachts will be leaving our shores and heading out to the deep waters off the coast of Raglan. Their purpose: to protest at Texan oil giant Anadarko’s plans to drill an exploratory well in our backyard. This...

Your backyard is no longer your business

Blog entry by Nathan Argent | August 30, 2013

A while back, the respected political expert Bryce Edwards wrote a piece in the Herald under the title: “ Democracy under attack, again ”. It was written amidst the controversy surrounding the law reforms to allow spying on people like...

If the crackdown on protest at sea is so popular, why the shady meetings?

Blog entry by Nathan Argent | July 10, 2013

Today, the Herald trotted out a piece based on some polling they’ve done, about the recent crackdown on protesting at sea. We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the responses people were offered, and the actual question.

When Big Oil comes to town

Blog entry by Maya McNicoll | January 21, 2013

Today was the first time in about a week I woke up feeling anything like human.  I’ve been laid low for the past few days with some gruesome combo of motion sickness and a wicked head cold.  When I feel a filthy lurgey coming on, I...

Shell's Arctic oil rig hits the rocks

Blog entry by Ben Ayliffe | January 3, 2013

In another example of why drilling for oil in the Arctic is such a monumentally bad idea, Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk , has run aground off the island of Sitkalidak, near Kodiak in Alaska. The ancient rig was being towed...

Cold hands, determined hearts

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | August 29, 2012

When I spoke to my friends and family this weekend I was unanimously scolded. After Friday’s 15-hour occupation of Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea, they all said “you’re getting too old for this!” With blue...

Greenpeace uncovers Gazprom's expired oil spill response plan

Blog entry by Jessica Wilson | August 16, 2012

Greenpeace Russia has uncovered a startling secret that Gazprom has been keeping from the world: its oil spill response plan for the Prirazlomnaya oil platform has expired, meaning any drilling the company undertakes in this part of...

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