Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock 728x90

Six sailing boats challenge deep sea oil drilling in the Tasman Sea

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 26 Nov 2013
The Oil Free Seas Flotilla at the site where the ship Bob Douglas is going to be starting exploratory drilling in the next few days. Photo taken from the mast of Baltazar. Clockwise, starting at bottom left corner: Friendship, Tiama, Vega, Ratbag and Shearwater II. A floating banner reads ’Stop Deep Sea Oil’. The Oil Free Seas Flotilla is a coalition of individuals and boat owners who oppose deep-sea drilling .. .
It's a flotilla of six sailing boats that have been chosen by activists to challenge deep sea drilling in the Tasman Sea off the coast of New Zealand. The beauty of the scene and the graceful lines of the sailing boats belied the drama that is developing over the issue.

As the New Zealand mainstream press follows the scene from minute to minute, they are reporting that the time for a skirmish is fast approaching as the oil drilling ship the Noble Bob Douglas prepares to commence drilling, even though the six yachts are holding steadfastly to their protesting position, with one, the Vega, right inside the 500m exclusion zone. The other sailing boats are Baltazar, Friendship, Tiama, Ratbag and Shearwater II.

Among those on board the 11.5m ketch Vega are Greenpeace NZ chief executive Bunny McDiarmid and former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The owning company, Anadarko had intended to begin drilling 185km off the west coast of the north Island on Thursday or Friday but has been shadowed by the flotilla of six protest vessels, which has apparently caused their delay.

Anadarko has said that the presence of the protest vessels would not prevent the drilling from going ahead but Greenpeace spokesman Steve Abel did not believe this.

'At the time they arrived (Tuesday 19 November) they said they intended to commence drilling operations imminently but they haven't.

'Our understanding is that the presence of the Vega is stopping them from drilling and we don't believe they're going to drill while the Vega is there.'

Mr Abel told the New Zealand Herald that neither police nor Maritime New Zealand had contacted Greenpeace about the Vega being within the exclusion zone.

Anadarko New Zealand corporate affairs manager Alan Seay said last week that the Bob Douglas was on track to begin drilling, despite the presence of the protest vessels.

Since then Mr Seay has told TVNZ's Breakfast the drilling was set to be under way by midday on Tuesday (26th November)

'There's always a risk of something going wrong if somebody goes into a safety zone - it's like having an unauthorised person walking into a construction site,' he said.

Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorFremantle to Bali Race 660x82Ensign 660

Related Articles

Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.II)
We looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear In Part One of getting to know Harken, we looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear. We also looked at some of the other brands Harken distributes in Australia and so we move on to the last category.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Boat Books of the Month - How to Read Water and False Flags
How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to Sea & False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II. This month the Boatbooks Australia: Boat Books of the Month are How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea and False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II.
Posted on 6 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The X Factor starring X-Yachts
X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. Testament to that is the three-year-old Xp38 on display at the recent Sydney International Boat Show still looked brand new. This was no mooring minder either, but rather a boat that had gone up to Hamilton Island Race Week for each of those years and campaigned hard.
Posted on 31 Aug
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug