Pep - Chief Mate (C) GREENPEACE / Sharomov
Pep (real name Jose) is from Spain. He has been alive for 42 years. He is Chief Mate onboard the Rainbow Warrior but has captained many other ships.
Pep would only talk to me about the last six years of his life, so I cannot vouch for pre-2002. For all we know he could have been a magician. But what I can say is that he's a favourite among the campaign team, such is his dry wit and biting humour.
He joined Greenpeace in 2002 when Greenpeace Spain owned and ran a 20-metre sleuth ship (the Zorba) as an educational charter project. Supporters of the organisation could pay to take 15-day trips on the ship around the Spanish coast and learn about the ecology and environmental of the area. The crew consisted of captain, a teacher, two deckhands and a chef, and there were two crews who swapped over every 15 days. It was an excellent project, according to Pep, and he was sad to see it discontinued in 2003. The other captain who'd been working on the Zorba project said "why not go and work on the bigger Greenpeace ships?" which is how he ended up doing ongoing work with the organisation.
Pep was Chief Mate for Greenpeace's 2006/07 expedition to the Southern Ocean. He has only good things to say about the trip. "Good crew, good ship, good campaign".
As the rain drips down in Gisborne, Pep says he feels a little homesick for Spain. "I like New Zealand, but you (campaigners) work us so hard that we don't have time to see it properly."