And were off! On Tuesday morning the Esperanza left Seattle to head for Alaska, the Bering Sea and the Arctic. As we sailed up the Puget Sound and out onto the Pacific, the beauty of the surrounding waters, islands and mountains was only tarnished by the knowledge that Shells Arctic bound oil rigs will leave port in Seattle and pass the pass the same way.
But we are ready. The ship is carrying two state of the art submarines, scientific research equipment and activists from 15 different countries around the world.
Dan Howells, my colleague and the Deputy Campaigns Director of Greenpeace USA phrases the situation well:
Shell is about to send two drilling rigs into one of the last pristine environments in the world, to pump more of the oil that has already changed the region completely. But our submarines and activists are headed to the front line of a global battle to save the Arctic from corporate greed and rescue our climate from people who want to put massive profits above science.
The lengths to which Shell will go for those profits are becoming clearer everyday. Just last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the oil giant approval to harass polar bears and walruses while drilling.
So the race is on. And despite the millions Shell has spent in the courts and with their PR machine to pave the way to industrializing the Arctic, we can, and must expose this travesty. Good thing the crew on board is not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are joining us and rising up to say enough is enough, its time to draw a line in the ice and save the arctic!
Follow @GP_Espy on twitter for tour updates and check out these photos from the journey so far:
[caption id="attachment_7104" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Leaving Seattle as the clouds roll in."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_7105" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="A photo of me as the Esperanza waits to pass from Lake Union Canal through the Ballard Locks to Puget Sound. That's a coal train going over the bridge."][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="245" caption="Seattle's Ballard Bridge raises for the Esperanza."][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="245" caption="Small vessel picks up the local pilot."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_7128" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Passing by the Olympic Peninsula."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_7131" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Sunset from Puget Sound"][/caption]