Whale Wars , Season 3, Episode 1 premiered on Animal Planet Friday night with the Sea Shepherds on three boats, the Steve Irwin plus two other ships, one named after Bob Barker. The hour-long program Whale Wars features scores of activists hellbent on preventing the Japanese whaling fleet’s attempts to net their quota (supposedly for research) around Antarctica. This program is fast-moving in pace, and no matter what your stances on the issues of animal activism are, it’s engaging television.
The Bob Barker and Ady Gil Are Delayed Taking on Japanese Whalers in Season 3, Episode 1 of Whale Wars
When the show begins, Captain Watson tells what happened as he saw the harpooning of a female whale in 1975, and called humanity “insane” for allowing this. He doesn’t care what people think of him and his mission, now in its 6th year. He wants the Japanese whaling fleet to miss out on their whale quotas as much as possible. He’s brought in a super fast interceptor Ady Gil, which has a five man crew. Its leader, Captain Bethune, is gung ho to stop those whalers by cutting their harpoon lines with his boat.
Game show host icon Bob Barker has donated 5 million dollars to purchase and fix a third ship, the Bob Barker, that has a reinforced hull to smash through ice. It’s on a secret mission led by Captain Swift. Malcolm and Peter are sent by Captain Watson to serve under Captain Swift. Soon, it appears that this “ghost ship” is being watched, too, as a Japanese ship pulls next to the Bob Barker at an African port. There’s pressure to get out of port as soon as possible, and after three months of restoration, it won’t start properly, depressing the crew on Season 3, Episode 1 of Whale Wars.
The Ady Gil’s quest to meet the Steve Irwin means this small boat has to navigate through treacherous waters. Two days from Captain Watson’s vessel, the seas are rough, and the crew doesn’t feel very good. Waves then damage radar capabilities, and Captain Swift (from Africa, who manages the fleet) tells Captain Bethune to go back to Australia.
Whale Wars, Season 3, Episode 1, Sees the Steve Irwin Crew Get Hounded by One Japanese Whaling Ship
On the Steve Irwin, the boat has just left Australian waters and soon, the crew spots an aircraft flying above them on Whale Wars, Season 3, Episode 1. Captain Watson thinks it could be spies who are tracking the boat from the air. Later, the crew puts up their defenses to keep any other ships’ crews from attempting to board. It’s not long before a ship is spotted following them. Stink bombs containing smelly butyric acid are readied. The Delta is released towards the ship, and it’s supposed to be in sight of the Steve Irwin, but radio and sight contact is lost temporarily in less than ideal seas. The Japanese ship gets away from the Delta though, even though the small boat returns safely to Captain Watson’s ship.
Some of the crew is troubled when they see a giant ice berg “this far north”, blaming climate change. One the Season 3, Episode 1 premiere of Whale Wars, the Steve Irwin maneuvers around the ice berg trying to find out what that mystery ship is, which turns out to be a Japanese harpoon vessel heading right at the Steve Irwin, but the game of “chicken” ends as the whaling ship speeds off. It’s deemed as the reconnaissance ship trying to “86” the Sea Shepherds’ campaign to save whales. As they approach Antarctica and more ice, the Steve Irwin’s helicopter does some “recon” on its own but gets the brunt of LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device – very loud noises that can incapacitate a pilot) from the Japanese vessel. The Japanese boat then comes near to the Steve Irwin and warns Captain Watson’s ship to keep away, but then launches water cannon shots at the activist ship. As it gets closer and closer to the landed helicopter with water blasts, the Season 1, Episode 1 showing of Whale Wars ends.
As of the premiere episode, the Japanese whaling fleet, who puts “RESEARCH” on their ships, has the upper hand. The Bob Barker and Ady Gil are both dogged by repair issues.
“Surrounded by Spies”, Whale Wars, June 4, 2010, Animal Planet