Update from the Arctic survival pod: 48 hours and going strong!

by Guest Blogger

May 31, 2011

We’ve now been suspended beneath the Cairn oil rig in our Arctic survival pod for over 48 hours.

After leaving the Esperanza at 3am to scale the rig and then a hard day rigging up the pod and setting up camp we were pretty exhausted. But last night we managed to sleep almost 12 hours in our little pod, with a few wake up calls on the radio to update us.

The Leiv Eiriksson, the oil rig we are hanging under, stopped moving around midnight last night when it arrived at the drill site. Sometime this morning the Danish navy announced a 500 meter exclusion zone around the rig.

We’re already inside that area and have no intention to leave any time soon so we’ll see what happens about that.

For Luke and I the day’s activities  include the following: Drinking tea, reading, tweeting, uploading photos, knitting, eating, sleeping, stretching, radio communications, perhaps some calls with media and then another spot of tea before bed. It’s a busy life here in the pod! You can see our photos and video here.

The fog and snow has closed in around us and we can barely make out even the silhouettes of the Danish Navy ship and the Esperanza. We can’t see the other Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise but we know it’s not far away. I can’t tell you how good it is knowing we have so many amazing people nearby supporting us as we make a stand against oil drilling in the Arctic.

There are 22 different nationalities aboard the two Greenpeace ships. They’re an unusual bunch from all manner of backgrounds. A little bit scruffy – a little rough around the edges even – in fact if you called them a bunch of hippies you wouldn’t be far wrong. But when you see them swing into action it really is a sight to behold. They become as one, a well trained, highly focused and disciplined team. They’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things and it inspires me so much.

As the Leiv Eiriksson is now in position to drill it’s hard to imagine how Cairn Energy, or any energy company for that matter, could think it’s at all safe to drill here. In freezing temperatures, very deep water, with bad visibility, while dodging icebergs and without a relief well in position in case of a blow out.

It’s absolute madness. No wonder Cairn is unwilling to release its oil spill recovery plan – it could never be sufficient.

The rig seems to be preparing to drill but as long as our pod remains up and attached to the flare booms they will not be able to begin. We are prepared with food, water, and a book or two, to stay as long as we possibly can to stop Cairn Energy from beginning this dangerous and risky operation.

Right that’s enough from us for now…time for tea!

– Hannah

P.S. Here’s a little video of me in the pod

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