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Chris Robinson, left, and Pete Wilkinson stop waste dumping in the North Sea. Photo: Pierre Gleizes

Chris Robinson died of cancer on the 17th of September at the age of 55.

Chris was a salty dog, a Greenpeace activist who spent his life on the sea, one of the original Rainbow Warrior crew and later captain of the Vega.

I find it hard to believe he's gone. He was the guy who could sail through anything -- from Pacific typhoons to Mediterranean storms in which the tiny Vega was doing 11 knots on bare poles. He ran inflatable boats under radioactive waste barrels being dumped in the sea. He challenged the French military again and again by sailing into their self-declared "exclusion zone" around the Pacific nuclear weapons test site at Moruroa. He went up against war machines and trident submarines. One activist who sailed with him said he was one of the few who you knew, if you put your life in his hands, he'd shepherd it safely through whatever it was you had to face, and hand it back to you.

Yet while he had the toughness of someone who cold sail into the teeth of an atomic bomb and not flinch, he possessed the gentlest of souls -- one you counted yourself lucky to have met.

He loved a laugh and a smoke and a glass of wine under an olive tree and the sound of a didgeridoo. He gave my son his first motorcycle ride.

I've known many people in Greenpeace who I considered heroes. Chris was a hero to them all.

Trusted, loved, and respected, he will be greatly missed. Fair winds, Chris Robinson, fair winds.

Chris Robinson, Lloyd Anderson, David McTaggart, Tony Marriner and Brice Lalonde on Greenpeace vessel "Vega" before heading to Moruroa to stop a nuclear weapons test.

[Spanish version of this post.]

You can view a memorial book which Chris' niece Prue and other members of the family put together including many of the posts here.

To have a copy of the book printed email Louise at Copy Captain at South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on the following contact details and she can advise you on costs to print and send it to you. Email contact - printing[AT-SIGN-HERE]copycaptain.com.au


From Bunny:

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I love this photo of Chris, it was taken by Bas at the Antarctic Reunion at our place on Waiheke in 2005.

I can’t really get my head around him not being around anymore, I can still hear his voice and that very cheeky laugh he had.


From Susan Purdy and Carlo De Angelis:

Cris Robinson with Chai.

Caption: Drinking organic chai 3rd August 2008 in Northern NSW.

Photo by Erica Del le Selve.


From Cristiana Marti, who literally owes her life to Chris after surviving a storm in the Med aboard Vega that had the ketch doing 11 knots on bare poles.


From Matthew Wright:

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These are two of the last photos of Greenpeace activist Chris Robinson sailing the Vega (aka Greenpeace III) in May this year.

He crossed Bass Strait to Flinders Island and back one last time.