On Sunday night, nine Greenpeace activists arrived on the ship after a weary day of travel. They will be spending a week onboard the Arctic Sunrise for training on our rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). The RIBs are what most people think of when they think of Greenpeace - small dinghies that speed around the ocean infuriating would-be environmental criminals by impeding or documenting their actions.

These activists all have had previous training on the RIBs and many have participated in actions with them. This week's lessons will cover highly advanced techniques like matching the speed and course of moving vessels, and forming a human pyramid on water skis being pulled by the RIBs.

Even though all the newcomers are skilled activists, most haven't been on the Arctic Sunrise before. In a bizarre twist of fate, I suddenly became a credible source for information about the ship. I spent Sunday night and Monday morning exclaiming, "Yes! I do know what that is! I do know where that goes! Who else has a question?" The student had become the teacher.

I sweet-talked my way into being allowed to participate in the advanced trainings, despite never having driven, ridden in or laid my eyes on one of our RIBs. It took about five minutes into the lecture for me to realize that I had regressed back into my proper role of confused, eager pupil. Oh well, it was a nice feeling while it lasted.

We covered standard safety procedures and radio etiquette and practiced launching and recovering the RIBs. Everyone got a chance to ride in the boats and some got to perform difficult maneuvers. I was thankful to just be one of the passengers for my first day of training. For a Greenpeace activist, riding in a RIB is the equivalent of an angel getting its wings.

We also added to our crew. Here are some snapshots of some more crew that came onboard in Boston.

New Crewmembers

Erkut, Mechanic
Gionni, Radio Op
Kevin, Bosun
United States
Maarga, Crew Administrator

Tommorow I'll try my hand at driving one of the RIBs. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...