This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture



Polarized #16: Homeward bound

This Magazine Staff

[Editor’s note: this is the last of Emily’s dispatches from Antarctica. She is now safely back on land and working on a feature article for the May-June 2009 issue of This Magazine. You can go back and read the full run of Emily’s “Polarized” blog here.] We received word that a commando ship was after […] More »

Polarized #15: Worlds, and ships, collide

This Magazine Staff

Click here to read part one of this post The battle gets ugly. The whalers are desperate. Sea Shepherd keeps blocking the transfer of dead whales, making further whaling impossible in the Southern Ocean. The Sea Shepherd ship, the Steve Irwin, stays close to the stern of the whaling fleet’s “mother ship,” the Nisshin Maru, […] More »

Polarized #14: The killing starts again

This Magazine Staff

It’s 6:30 in the morning, I fall out of my bunk to the zigzagging motion of our ship and loud sirens coming from outside. I run to the bridge and see high-pressured water-cannons spray the entire port side of the ship. With our crew and my friends outside getting swamped by the water. We pass […] More »

Polarized #13: Human victims of the whale hunt

This Magazine Staff

It is day 5 of chasing our target, the Nisshin Maru, the “mother ship” of the Japanese whaling fleet. On the message board near the ship’s kitchen, it reads: “Five days of no whaling!” Every day that the Sea Shepherd ship has the mother ship on the run is another day the entire fleet (made […] More »

Polarized #12: The chase is on

This Magazine Staff

We had been told for days that confronting the Japanese whaling fleet could happen at any moment. A battle was imminent in the Southern Ocean. A final round in the war for the whales was beginning. Every day the crew on the Sea Shepherd ship, the Steve Irwin, believed “today was the day.” But it […] More »

Polarized #11: Ending one battle, starting another

This Magazine Staff

On January 29th, we have a crew meeting on the Sea Shepherd ship, the M/Y Steve Irwin, and the officers notify us that they believe we are close to the fleet. The final battle in southern ocean whaling could be near. After five years of anti-whaling campaigns in the Antarctic waters, three confrontations this year […] More »

Polarized #10: Shore leave

This Magazine Staff

Sitting on green grass with my back resting on a tree, I pat the earth and look out at the calm world on a sunny day. The Sea Shepherd campaign I had been documenting for over a month, a campaign to save whales in the Antarctic waters, returned to land in mid-January to restock and […] More »

Polarized #9: Spy vs. Spy

This Magazine Staff

After leaving the search and recovery scene of the Japanese whaling fleet’s missing man, Sea Shepherd headed for Australia. The plan was to refuel within 48 hours and return to the southern ocean to stop illegal whaling vessels. The trip back to land became a little more complicated as the Steve Irwin was tailed by […] More »

Polarized #8: Death at sea

This Magazine Staff

Imagine falling off a boat in the Antarctic waters wearing only overalls and a shirt. You yell and throw your arms about in hopes that someone on your ship will notice you. It’s nighttime, and not a single person sees you. You watch your life slip away as the ship sails off into the mist. […] More »

Polarized #7: The Life Aquatic

This Magazine Staff

New Year’s is celebrated at dawn, as the sun never sets in the Antarctic at this time of year. (The countdown slips one minute past midnight, since none of the crew has a watch on.) We celebrate on the of bow of ship, our knees shaking and our arms flexing as the motion of the […] More »

Polarized #6: Collision course

This Magazine Staff

Clinging onto the very tip of the bow on Sea Shepherd’s eco-activist ship, I stare into the fog with desperation. Looking for any shape, figure or shadow that resembles the vessel we have been waiting weeks to find. I could almost smell a ship’s diesel fumes, but not see them. The Sea Shepherd ship steamed […] More »