Editor's Note: A Teenage Activist... This Girl's Soapbox is a blog created by 16-year-old Elora Malama to document her high-school senior project about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. As seen in the Academy Award winning documentary, The Cove, each year the sleepy little town of Taiji becomes home to a horrific secret. Moved by the film and her love of the oceans and dolphins, Elora decided to accompany her father (Scott West of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) to Japan to bear witness to this practice, document it and experience the culture of the country, the town, and the people. She has discovered that many people both in Japan and the rest of the world are unaware that each year dolphins are rounded up and those not chosen for a life of captivity are brutally slaughtered and their mercury laden meat is sold to the public. Become a fan of A Teenage Activist's Facebook page to view additional photographs. Click here to subscribe to Elora's YouTube channel.
It smelled like a chemistry project!
Today everyone went at 6:30 just to double check on the boats. We didn’t think that they would go out, but you never know. These hunters are greedy little sneakers. I stayed behind, because I could barley stand up this morning, all the stress and early mornings finally caught up with me this morning and I needed to sleep. I’m glad I did, we think tomorrow will be another hunting day.
We all left the hotel at ten to go to the Taiji Whaling Festival. I wanted to check it out for my project, and everyone else was curious as well.
There we were, 15 earth friendly pirates walking in a line down the streets of Taiji. First we stopped at the local store that sells the fresh dolphin meat... they told us we could not take pictures. The lady at the desk was really rude. I wanted to buy an apple because I hadn’t had breakfast yet, and I was trying to be friendly. I mean we did take pictures in their store, the least I could do was buy a piece of fruit. She turned sideways of me and looked out the window... I then sat the apple down on the counter, she looked at me for a few seconds, then obviously under protest turned her body towards me and rang it up. I smiled and she nodded, but she didn’t return the smile. We really are not welcome in this town. If only they understood, that we are not only here because Japan (and other countries, Japan is just the main contributor) are driving cetaceans into extinction, it is because we want to help the people of Taiji and Japan. They are poisoning themselves and either don’t care, or do not want to know.
As we walked into the festival, not only did we have a police escort with the light going on the car, but there was a helicopter circling overhead and police running around following us with cameras. When we walked in through the gate, all the media immediately picked us up and followed us all over the festival. It was nuts.
First we watch a masked dance, of what we think was a Whale being slaughtered. Then we saw a younger girl doing a traditional dance, with lots of colorful clothing. The dancing was strictly directed and you could tell that every little move meant something. It was really neat to watch.
We circled the very small fair, and saw the dolphin slayers sitting in front of their hunting boats, that they had decorated and brought closer to the harbor. They all looked down as we passed by.
We were very friendly and Rupert, Rex and a few others ran into some kids that were very open to talking and kept making the peace sign, smiling. I don’t think we are hated by all of Taiji, most of it I feel is a facade.
We walked into the food area to get some corn, and we smelled something terrible! I thought that it was cleaning product on a hot grill.... Then someone piped up and said that they were cooking Whale Meat. It smelled like burning chemicals. It was really really vile and nasty.
But overall we enjoyed seeing a little bit of the Whaling culture. However, we wish that they were celebrating something that is in the past. And no, the dolphin slaughter, is not cultural whatsoever, I won’t preach to the choir, haha!
Today was low key, just lots of video editing, and napping!
Here is a link to my new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_qgKuYsI9g
For the animals,
Elora Malama W.
November 7, 2010
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon
Remember to look up Rex and Tarah’s blogs they have amazing footage. Tarah has footage of the dolphins communicating from under the water, and Rex has the dead bodies of dolphins floating belly up in the killing Cove. SSCS (my fathers daily updates) will be posting a video taken by Rubert, of inside the gutting barge. This footage is much more detailed and close up than what I got on the 27th. Seriously, look all these places up and spread everything around on all social networking sites. These men showed no remorse or care for these animals today... in fact we have footage of trainers punching and slapping dolphins that put up a fight... the fishermen, well that’s a whole different story.
Several statements that the government and pro slaughter people have been throwing out and using against us were again proven wrong today. But this time on very detailed video and still shots. I can’t even begin to describe the horror and callousness that I witnessed today. I seldom say this, but I feel like it is hard to understand exactly what goes on here, until you see it for yourself. There is just so much that happens off the camera, in between shots, emotionally with the group, and with the slaughter itself. I guess I should probably start at 3am this morning...
These times are not on the dot accurate, but the things listed under them is what happened within the hour.
3AM: I got up this morning to find out that on my video I made, about the last two days, said October and not November. So I had to edit that, delete my video, and re post it.... Only to find out that today is the 6th and that the last two days were not the 2nd and 3rd, but the 4th and 5th. So I pretty much fail at 3am. Once we were all in the parking lot, we piled into the “silver bullets”. We all have practically the same car that are exactly the same color, so we call ourselves the silver bullets! All 15 of us were on the road, to the cove. We discussed groups and positions for the day. Rosie, Dinellie, my dad and I were going to our normal street. It over looks the harbor of Taiji, and the funnel leading into the Cove. So we know what is happening in town and on the outside where the rock blocks most other views. Rex, Libby, and Rupert were going on the Cove side hill, staying within the “legal” boundary of course. Glenda, Big Gunns, Tarah, Ryan, David, Luhana and their two kids were going to be on the beach, until another group moved to Tsunami park.
Rex and I got our walkie-talkies set up so we could communicate. And it’s a good thing we did.
4AM: The barge was still in place, and it was still pitch black out. The four of us standing on the street overlooking the quiet, dark town were just softly chit chatting. My ear piece rang, why was Rex ringing me this early!? I didn’t even think he had the thing turned on yet, he had turned it off to save battery. He told me that a fishermen pushed him. Now keep in mind I am the only one hearing this because of my ear piece... and I guess my face was enough for Rosie to realize something was wrong. “Are you serious?” I said, Rex told me that the fishermen pushed him trying to keep Rex from walking up the legal path, and the fishermen fell on his butt when he hit him. He wasn’t expecting Rex to be made of stone I guess. But the guy was laying on the ground screaming into a phone, calling his buddies. I got my dad on the phone with coast guard and the police were up there in five mintues. His buddies had already shown up, but didn’t do anything. My dad rushed over there, and I stayed with the girls. This is when light started to appear from the horizon, and we could see them put that yellow floating tube they have, to block blood from coming out of the slaughter-house. It was all the preperations for a slaughter morning. However, the barge was still in place. The police came up and the fishermen told them that they only touched shoulders walking by each other, by mistake. But the man pushed Rex and fell on his butt because Rex was stronger. What was he thinking? He could take down Rex, Rubert, and Libby by his self!?
5AM: The trainers and fishermen got into their small boats and went into the killing cove. They were going to select more! By the end of the day, a pod that used to be over 140, 56 were taken for captivity, 27 were slaughtered, and an estimated 60 were driven back out to sea.
6AM: We were just watching small boat, after small boat, bringing over dolphins. As if the trainers owned them!
7AM: They were still selecting Rex confirmed over the Walkie-Talkie. This is when I got some shots of a Dolphin jumping out of the pens. Not really out... but high enough that she could have! This poor thing was hitting her head against the side, and jumping up, slamming into the water, slapping her tail.... She might as well have been a women screaming and running herself into a door trying to escape from a terrible fate or searching for her lost child!
I got one shot where she was in the air. You can see her face, the deceiving smile, and the fear in her eye. She was probably ripped away from her child! It’s true... there is something about catching the look in their eyes that really wakes you up. I hope that picture does the same for you.
8AM: A small boat bringing two dolphins over, were instantly put onto a truck. Rosie and Dinellie went to follow it. It was a small crane truck so it was not going far. Rosie said that they were dumping water on it, while she was filming them unload it at the whale museum. They were dumping water on it because the dolphin was bleeding and they didn’t want the blood on film, that and they didn’t want it to dry out.
9AM: Back at the Cove, Rex told me that Tarah was in a wet suit and about to get in the water. Tarah explains her reasons in my video and I’m sure in her blog. Because Tarah was going to swim we drove down there and filmed everything, the police, coast guard, it was intense. The police literally made a wall, so she walked around them, at that point they were grabbing her and keeping her from going in the water, she kept saying “don’t touch me! This is a public beach, I won’t cross the nets, I want to swim.” But the police were not letting her go. All of a sudden everyone realized that while the focus was on Tarah, that Luana had walked out into the water and was already swimming, while the cops turned to look Tarah jumped in and off they went. It was amazing.
The police did not arrest them. They just told her that the fishermen might want to hurt them next time.
10AM: We were driving back to our spot, when I realized the trainer boat was coming in. We parked so I could film them coming in. They saw me and I kid you not, their faces went from smiling to, “this means business” and started rushing around loading their car at the FU. We followed the van to the Cove parking lot. They were getting their stuff in two separate cars. I filmed them doing this too. They were so unhappy and ashamed. The police were all around the parking lot and didn’t stop me... as I chased a car out of the parking lot with my camera. One girl in the back seat looked at me really upset, then put her head down and her sweat shirt in her face. I really hope she was upset... I mean this girl must have been 22 and she was ripping apart families, and leaving knowing dang well that the rest were being slaughtered. I wish nothing but regret and shame on those girls.
I “met” two other girls today, who I saw in the FU parking lot. These girls were not dressed like the rest, and were probably 24 and 26. Just guessing by look. I didn’t understand why they were in these weird blue jump suits. Later we saw them on the banger boat that was taking the gutting barge into place. Then we saw them get onto the gutting barge with one other man, and three dolphins went up... this was before the other butchers got there (men butchers). I was horrified! These young girls were literally gutting dolphins! I have proof! I don’t want to be sexist here, but seriously!? Isn’t it just natural instinct for the women to be more nurturing? What did their parents do to them? What must they think of them? Their daughters go around saying “I gut dolphins for a living.” Real lovely.
12PM: The gutting/slaughter was going on. I got pictures of the slits down the stomachs. Rubert, from where he was on the viewing platform could see down into the cutting barge. He got amazing footage!! At one point someone brought them all lunch... then were eating sitting next to guts, pools of blood, and bodies! IT is all callousness, there is no respect for the animals, they were treating the bodies with such disrespect and eating there!? This culture crap is bull crap! Don’t even try to pull it on us again!
1PM: Everything was finished.
Tonight we debriefed and went to get curry. Tomorrow is the Taiji Whaling festival we all plan on attending. My videos will not be up until tomorrow night my time.
An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.
~ Martin Buber
For the Animals,
To subscribe to my blog please post a comment and ask for email updates.
Tarah’s Blog is www.coveguardians.blogspot.com
Rex’s Blog is 23skidoo.org
November 6, 2010
"Culture" - Capture and Sell, Slaughter and Poison...?
A little video will be up by tomorrow morning my time, of the last two days. I don’t have time to upload tons because tomorrow is another 3am morning and I need to stay healthy.
I want to start this blog preaching to the choir a little. I might have already said most of this, but I don’t care, it’s on my mind and I want to put it out. They talk about “Culture” and “Tradition”... and yes, actually 400 years ago they did hunt whales, but it is different. Steven Nakada from Japan, showed us how to properly enter a place that was used to pray for the lives of the whales. Back 400 years ago, when the town was starving and there was no farm land, they would come and pray for the life of the Whale ( and the people who were sacrificing their life to bring it to the village). Steven N. told us about how they could loose up to ten men every time they tried to row in a Whale, because it is a large animal. The families would cry, but pray for their fathers, sons, husbands or friends that sacrificed to feed them. The promatory we are always talking about, is a old whale look out spot. The stairs would be used to watch for signs of a pod, there were thousands more back then, and then they as a village would pray at the small temple that is just behind the stairs. This is the way it was and should still be (if whaling must exist). Dolphins are Whales. The practice of driving them into the killing Cove with motor boats and metal poles started in 1972 ish. IT is not culture... it turned into a business. Do they really think they can use the excuse of “Culture” when they are capturing constantly and SELLING half the pods. If this was really the way that they need to feed the Japanese people still, they wouldn’t have sold over a hundred dolphins this season alone.
What really pisses me off, is the fact they think they own the animals! They do not have the right to pull them from their home, and sell them for profit and show. It’s slavery! Not only is this rape of our Oceans a holocaust, but a slave trade as well. “Dolphins are non human persons”-Thomas White, and need to be treated as such.
No one believes this bull about culture, except the un-educated people who do not know or chose not to care. That is who we need to reach out to... because the rest of the world views these excuses and the people who use them as uneducated pathetic liars. The hunters are molesters, and the government pays them to be... only the human species would.
Today we spread out all over town, the cove, and Le trail. There was no where they could go were there was not a camera. No place to hide, it was wonderful. We all updated each other on what was happening by phone and were able to set up an actual operation.
I have to get up at 3am tomorrow morning again, because they left over 100 dolphins in the Cove tonight, that we expect will be slaughtered. They captured 36 dolphins for the trade today, and took one baby to the whale museum.
We have footage from many different angles because we were constantly moving about and trading shifts at locations. Below is all the posts I made on facebook today, so you have a idea of the time table:
ï»¿ï»¿My blog is up late because I crashed while uploading pictures last night! WE are headed to the Cove in one hour.- 3:15 am
Its dark, we are waiting for everything to start. Did I mention how much I hate these mornings?-4:40 am
The trainers, tarps, and slayers went into the cove. Waiting to see if the gutting barge moves.-5:30am
The gutting barge, and the slaughter house is not set up for a slaughter. I don’t think they plan on killing the bottlenose. So far they have taken six from the pod, And more are coming around the corner, seriously call the embassys! This family is about to be split up and sent all over the world.-7:00am
We are at 16 captured dolphins.-9:00 am ish
24 in the pens.... We are told they sell for $300,000 USD final retail price each. They are just raping this family clean. Captivity is worse than death... Keep up the amazing work calling and pressuring the embassies.-10:00 am ish
30 captured and still waiting.-11:30 am
36 and 1 infant were taken this morning. They are taking down the net to one species of dolphins and the others have been put in the killing cove. The boats are leaving and they put up the no photography sign. We think they might do somethin tomorrow.-12:40pm
We are back at the hotel, shifts are going on to monitor the Cove. I am uploading hours of footage, photoshop, and writing my blog. It could be a while before video is up, but I will have my blog and a few pictures up within the hour. They took so long today, time got away. We will be up at 3am tomorrow expecting a slaughter, we really hope we are wrong. Peace and love everyone.-4:45pm
Tomorrow we will be there before dawn to document what happens, please send good energy!
For the Animals,
Elora Malama W.
November 5, 2010
It is the day before the international Anti Whaling Day- And they trap over 40 dolphins!
Today’s blog is going to be short because I have a ton of photo and video work to do, and tomorrow is a 3am morning!
Today we were at the Cove at 6:30 as always, but we had to send off Suzanne and Leah though L I really will miss you guys, thank you so much! We did, however, welcome Tarah and Bryan from Canada!
When we arrived in Taiji, the hunting boats were out. All of us just sank. We gathered in the parking lot across from the holding pens and came up with a game plan. Michael, Steven N, Jeff, Tarah, Bryan, my dad and I were going to the promontory that gives us a full few of the ocean. Rex, Rubert (who arrived yesterday from Australia), Rosie and Dinellie would take place at “Le trail”. It was a few hours before the boats were close enough for us to take pictures. They messed around on the horizon from 7 to about 9 trying to collect the entire pod. At 9 ish they were driving them in, they could still get away though... but when they turned direction there was another monster waiting for them.
We then rushed down to “Le Trail” where we all split up again. My dad, Rosie, Jeff, Michael and Big gunns and I stayed at the trail. While Libby, Rubert, Dinellie went to the Cove, and Rex was on the Tsunami hill look out. We were everywhere! Nothing was going to happen that we didn’t catch because we had cameras at every angle.
Then we saw them... breaking the water and literally running for their lives. It gets worse every time we see this! And this pod was huge! We think 30-50 and maybe more. We watched them drive them into the funnel, that is when I made my post about them being stuck... it has only happened one time while I have been here when the dolphins got away from the funnel, but they were soon caught again.
We are not giving out the species of the dolphins for two reasons, one is that we are not positive we are correct, and the second is because we don’t think it matters. Dolphins are dolphins. The slaughtering of any cetacean is wrong... why do we spend so much time debating online about what species they actually are, when the bottom line is, they were killed regardless.
We spent the entire day at the Cove. Twice a car left to get supplies or to deal with hotel rooms, because mid afternoon we welcomed Glinda as another Cove guardian! I stayed at the cove from 6:30 to 5. I fell asleep twice though... so I got a nap in J it’s hard to do anything there while the dolphins are hitting their tails against the water and spouting water... today we could hear them talking, it was heartbreaking. Every time a tail slaps the water... I die a little inside. For everyone who doesn’t get it, I know a lot of you read my blog... imagine a women banging and screaming hitting a door wanting out-like in a horror film. It is the same thing to me! I mean these monsters go in, separate the babies from the family, let them watch the slaughter of their loved ones... then the babies are either next to close their eyes forever, or are pushed out to sea. It’s just like killing a small child’s parents in front of them and then throwing them out on to the street to fend for them selves.
We did get back at the fishermen a little today. We all spread out! It freaked the heck out of them! Rosie, Dinellie, Tarah, and Bryan went over to the hill at the Cove. Rex, big gunns, libby, Rubert, and I went to Tsunami hill. And just spread out take pictures. The fishermen and coast guard followed far behind everyone because the only one left at the Cove was my dad. It was too great!
We also all together at once got up off the ground and made a wall of cameras taking pictures of the fishermen. One guy even ran to his car and drove away. The rest were hiding behind a tree.
Well we have eaten and I have video to do before tomorrow. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, lets think good thoughts. Try and put the pressure on them to release the pod! All of them... together forever.
For the Animals,
My video will not be up until tomorrow. I fell asleep right before posting this last night, please forgive me!
Please remember to read my Dad’s updates on the SeaShepherd website – There are also photos uploaded there, you can’t see anywhere else.
To subscribe to my blog please post a comment and ask for email updates.
November 4, 2010
"The first rule of law enforcement; don’t bluff" - David Wilma
Throughout all of the craziness, it was important to remember that eight innocent lives were being removed from this world. Please keep that in mind as you are reading all of this.
Where to begin. How about when I woke up… I was so tired this morning that I didn’t even turn on my computer, instead I slept in a extra half an hour. I never do that! The first thing I do in the morning is read everyones comments on my blog and on my facebook accounts. But something just kept me in bed this morning, I felt like it was going to be a long day and that I needed that little extra sleep. Good thing I did too! Today was crazy!
Once we got to the Cove, it was almost two hours before we even saw the hunter boats from the binoculars! I had my tripod and camera set up, and I was ready to grab my camera and run to the beach to get some up close shots of the catch in case they got some. I was laying down on my sweat shirt- on the raised walkway next to the bathroom. With my feet through the wide spaces in the wooden fence. I was really comfortable! All I was thinking was “no dolphins, no dolphins, no dolphins!” and I fell asleep on the ground! I would wake up when the occasional person would walk by me. But for some reason I just could not stay awake.
A little while after I forced myself to get up… we saw the boats. They were in driving formation! NO! I was so upset… It was almost 40 minutes until they got them even close to shore though. The dolphins were not having it! The boats kept slowing down, speeding up, changing directions, turning around…. you could hear them talking on their speakers and yelling each other orders! It was nuts. When they got the dolphins to the harbor area, to turn and drive them into the Cove… it was pure magic! The dolphins would take in a big breath, and then two or three minutes later you would see them appear from the other side of the wall of sound. But they wouldn’t go any further… it was as if they wanted to make sure no one was left behind or something. The boats would catch them again though! They did this about three times… until finally the fishermen got angry and just starting putting nets out all over to try and block them at least into one area. It was awful. I felt like I was watching a horror film… the ones where the murderer just always seems to appear once the innocents seems to get away.
It was devastating when we saw them caught on the inside of the net. We were all trying to send them mental messages to run the other way and go deep…. We could here SJD screaming from the viewing deck on Tsunami Hill “GO SWIM! YOU CAN DO! RUN GUYS RUN! GO GO GO GO GO YES….. NO! YES GO GO GO!” It was awesome! then the net closed in around them. It was too late! At least four GIANT nets were all over the outside of the Cove hill.
They drove them in further… all the way into the killing cove. They didn’t even bother putting them in the larger swimming area, we knew that death awaited them here. And that feeling of helplessness is something that I will never forget. It was the second hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.
Then they cleaned up the outside nets, leaving one on the opening. One net blocked the killing cove, and one blocked swimming towards that net. Then they left.
Not twenty minutes later did Private Space show up. With his buddies. I didn’t catch what happened, but all of a sudden Leilani and Private Space and a grumpy cop were in a dispute. Private Space was mad that Leilani had been referring to him as that on the internet and not using his real name. Leilani said that she was trying to protect his identity by keeping a character in a movie. It’s a long story, and I have leilani on film talking about it.
I stayed in the shadows, literally. I stood on the hill under a tree just filming the entire scene. It wasn’t long until Private Space saw me, and flipped out! He grabbed his camera and started filming me (I really don’t understand why they think that is so threatening! I’m all over the internet already, one more video really isn’t going to make a difference!). But the pin head decided that was getting to me I guess. I was filming all the activity going on. You can really see everything that was going on in my many videos.. but I want to take a moment to talk about Private Space. Now I know he is probably reading all of my blogs, in which case I would say; “Good!” This has to be the ugliest soul I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. I have absolutely no respect for this man, he wanted us to call him Mr. what’s his name, but we refused to. I actually think there is something wrong with this guy, I have never seen someone so angry and so filled with hate. He has what I call a black heart… he and all his buddies are nothing more then murders in my eyes. But then again, it may all be a result of Mercury Poisoning!
The police were very hostile and rude to us all of a sudden. They were “protecting” the fishermen. Protecting them from what!? A sixteen year old girl with a camera? My dad, who promised to not break Japanese law? Leilani and Greig who have been nothing but peaceful? They should have been focusing more on the fishermen’s angry behavior, they were the ones to watch out for.
Annie from New York joined us today! Thank you Annie! She is fluent in Japanese! So she was a huge help today with translating everything that lead up to my dad’s arrest.
Annie and a reporter worked together to translate Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution. Which states that “everyone has a right to film and post news worthy events”. Well all of this has been on the news here in Japan, so we consider this to be a news worthy event. The police were trying to tell us that it didn’t apply here, and we said “yes it does, not but a few days ago there were tons of news crews here filming what was going on-this does apply to everyone!” Not to mention the fact there was a student there making a movie about this! It did apply, it was just another bluff. When are these guys going to learn that we will not put up with being lied to?
I just want to say to the Japanese people who might be reading my blog. That you might want to do some research on what it is that your government is telling you about the Dolphin and Whale issue. I know you will find if you look hard enough, that they are lying to you! They really are. Look at all the holes in their stories, and all of the weak excuses they give you. The fact that every other scientist is saying that Tuna, Dolphin, Whale and Shark are loaded with mercury… but Japan scientists aren’t saying that!? No. It’s a lie. Watch the Cove… there is a Japanese scientist showing you just how much mercury is in the Dolphin meat. I am saying this sencerily! I really want you to stop poisoning yourselves and your children. And help save the Oceans, once we take out the Apex predators… humans and almost all other life on earth cannot exist! It really in your hands… the oceans are our main eco-system! We can put pressure on the fishermen and government, but this won’t stop until everyone stands up!
Annie took me over to the fence that is blocking the walkway across from the Cove. She showed me that the english sign says ” Please do not Enter, this is a restricted area, limited access only”…. but the Japanese sign says “This is a restricted area; keep out because of falling rocks”. Is this illegal in Japan!? It really should be! The mayor of Taiji wrote the english sign different from the Japanese because of what happens at the Cove! The signs say completely different things! That is or should be a crime! They cannot have certain rules for Japanese people and others for Western people. We follow all of the Japanese law and this was fishy.
Annie, my dad, and I walked up the stairs and looked straight at the grumpy cop that was giving us crap earlier (the same one that pushed Steven down that one early morning). We walked all the way over to him, my eyes didn’t move… I wanted him to know we were headed straight for him! We wanted to ask him what the punishment would be for crossing that barrier!? They said that Steven would have been arrested for swimming with dolphins in the Cove… and they couldn’t arrest him. We wanted to know 1. Why they lied to us when we have been nothing but honest to them. We have told them what time we will be places, told them everywhere we are going, we pull over and wait for them to catch up when they are following us. The least they owed us was an honest answer. Because we could have been making their lives hell the last five weeks, and we haven’t been! Because we wanted a good relationship with these people. And 2. What the punishment would be. Annie tried to translate ,but the cops were yelling at her and asking for her name, she wouldn’t give it to them… so they yelled even more! Finally she got the question through… No answer. In fact the police turned their back to us like children. They wouldn’t talk to us. So there was no other way to find out if they were lying… then to test it. Just like Steven did.
My dad and I walked to that gate again. We told Leilani what was going on. And she said that if he was going to do this, he had to do it now. Because while we were talking with the police (or more watching them act like kindergarden girls throwing a tantrum) three of the little motor boats came around the corner. Private Space had called on the slaughter for right then and there. Just to piss us off. My dad had to do this now if he wanted the footage. This was a news worthy event and he really wanted that footage. He asked me what I thought. I told him “it’s up to you. I support whatever you do, don’t worry about me. I know what to do and I have over six people here who will help me.” He handed me his wallet, the room key and they car key. And gave me a big hug. I ran and grabbed his camera, and he walked around the fence to film the slaughter.
The head cop looked like he was going to have a stroke. And grumpy cop’s neck vein started thumping. I’m surprised it didn’t burst. Squad police and the three head cops that we tried to talk to earlier went running onto the rocks and around the fence. Two minutes later, he came around the corner with the head cop holding on to his belt and everyone following. Dad tossed me his cell phone and told me that he had to go to the police station.
Keep in mind while all of this is going on… eight to ten Risso Dolphins where having metal poles shoved into their heads to smash up their brains. So that was in the back of my mind too.
They took my dad off and Annie, Patricia, Leilani and I grabbed everything off the beach and ran to my car. I have a international drivers license so we had to come up with a plan. But since the other two guys weren’t with us, we wanted to get out of the Cove area because there were more then a half dozen fishermen standing around us.
The game plan was this once the guys showed up Leilani would go with them, because she is SJD and even though she was going to help me, she had to do her job first. Totally understandable! Patricia, Annie and I were going to drive back (I had to drive AH! I had only driven once on the other side of the road here, and I have to be honest, I was trying to delay it as long as possible!) to the hotel and Skype my mom as I called the US Consulate in Osaka. We made it back to the hotel! I didn’t hit anything or kill anyone, whoo! All I could think about on the way back though.. was that my dad hadn’t drank much water today, he was sick and needed more medicine, and none of us had eaten more then pineapple at 8:00am. It was like 3pm!
I called the Consulate while my mom was on skype with me. Annie and Patricia were in the room too! The man I talked to on the phone was very nice and gave me some very good information about how the arresting system works. He was so worried about me and wanted to make sure I had money, food, a place to stay and people with me. I answered yes to every question and he seemed to relax a little. When he asked me if I knew why he arrested… I told him what happened, who my dad was and that he was with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. His response was “Is this the Cove in Taiji, like from the movie the Cove”? It was very funny. I said yes as a matter a fact it is. We both kinda laughed, he said that he would call me back soon after he talked to his boss… this was a tense subject here in Japan and he needed to find out what was going on for me.
After our long phone conversation I won’t bore you with… I hung up the phone. Literally a minute after Greig called me and said that they saw my dad walking down the street… and they had him in the car and were bringing him back. WHAT! I said. He was released. I knew it! They couldn’t arrest him for that! It was not against the law! Ha! Scoend bluff uncovered!
My dad told us the story he said that they took him into the interrogation room and asked him why he had done it, and why he was causing trouble. My dad did not answer. He looked at his shoes and he would sometimes say “Embassy”. They had put his pocket possessions in a tray on the table in front of him. Finally one of the police said “You are not under arrest. So my dad stood up collected his things, and started to walk out the door. They stopped him and said that he could not leave. My dad said “well then I am under arrest”. Sat back down and looked at the floor. When the police said that again, he got up and this time they offered to drive him back. He asked where I am and they said “We think Taiji.” So he had them drive him there. I was not there and neither was our car. He knew that I had done what we planned if he was ever arrested for any reason even though we don’t have plans to break law. That is when Creig found him.
When everything was dealt with like telling my mom, calling the embassy guy back, and talking to Paul. I made him come with me to get food. We weren’t hungry, but we had to eat! It was nice having food in front of us, it reminded us just how hungry we really were!
Now we are making videos and responding to tons of emails. Thank you everyone for being so supportive. I wish I had slaughter pictures from today… but I just couldn’t do both. Please see Save Japan Dolphins website because Leilani and Creig got some really good shots. Please take a moment for the innocent souls that were lost today… however it is you send good energy to them!
New You Tube videos at KahakaiGirl
— Won’t be up for a while! Sorry! I had three hours of footage to deal with!
For the Animals,
October 16, 2010
Life shouldn’t be measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -Maya Angelo
This morning my dad let me sleep in till eight! I was so tired after yesterdays late night and I am not feeling all that well. Looks like my dad and I are both coming down with something. That’s okay, the next time someone gets in our face they can just get sick too. I stayed in this morning, for the first time by my self. I found out through Steven (who had spoken with my dad on the phone) that the hunters had found dolphins and the dolphins got away once again! Literally as I was reading this, my dad walked through the door. We went and got breakfast… and all day we slept and I chatted with my friends. We went to the Cove at about 3pm and swam, because it is so hot! We got spicy curry for dinner to clear up our sinus yuck, and now we are going to watch Modern Family. A very slow and easy day… we have just been enjoying the quite. I am sorry there is not much to say, but I think that you all just needed nothing so harsh and intense to read…
I loved looking at the protest pictures on Facebook! Please Please post more! I love them! And I really enjoy listening to what happened! There was one video of this little boy leading the crowd in a chant… It was wonderful! Let’s all get ready for the November 5th protest!
I am getting so many comments from people asking what they can do to help! Donate to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and say you want the money to go towards funding the Cove Guardians in Taiji. This will help to ensure there will be a SSCS presence throughout the entire slaughter season, here in Taiji Japan.
With not much to say, and happy about it….
For the Animals,
October 15, 2010
“You can’t undo anything you’ve already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And then let God do the rest” - Unknown
My pictures from our protest/ memorial!
The mayor refused to see us. They claimed he was too busy— you would think today being October 14th (world wide Anti-Dolphin Slaughter protest day, focused on Taiji) he would have made time to talk to us. I had some questions for him, and my dad wanted to answer any questions he had for us. We were literally pushed out of the building, out of public property. My father warned him not to do it again– when the man tried shove him a second time, my dad loudly ordered him to remove his hand in front of reporters, the man backed down.
This morning it was only four of us at the Cove. So we couldn’t split up very easily without worry about each other’s safety. So we stayed put at the Cove beach. About an hour after we set up, the hunter boats came into view. They were in their driving formation and heading straight for the cove. They must have been at lease a mile out, but we could see them with the binoculars. We all started to get ready for filming and documenting etc. Then- someone noticed looking in the binoculars that the boats had changed directions and were heading for the horizon again. Smoke flying out of the pipes they speed in that direction. Soon they were on their way back– when they turned a sharp left and headed the other direction! We were so confused, were the dolphins getting away!? They boats kept going that direction, and about twenty minutes later… they hunter boats started to return back to port. Empty handed. The dolphins had outsmarted them and got away! This was the best no dolphin day ever, knowing that the dolphins were smarter then the vermin trying to drive them into extinction. Literally.
Once the boats were tucked into the harbor, with all of the film crews around us we decided to go speak with the mayor. As it is October 14th. Six high-tech professional cameras, and a few small HD film cameras with tons of reporters- walked behind us as we walked up to the reception desk.
This poor girl, she was so freaked out. We asked to speak to the mayor, and she started running around and seemed to collect more and more people as she did so. The mayor refused to see us. They claimed he was too busy— you would think today being October 14th (world wide Anti-Dolphin Slaughter protest day, focused on Taiji) he would have made time to talk to us. I had some questions for him, and my dad wanted to answer any questions he had for us. The entire world is making Japan look bad, because of this tiny little town, and this small group of people– and he didn’t have time to speak with us. Perhaps he was afraid. What a coward, hiding in his office. For all Japanese people who may be reading this, please consider running this man out of office, he didn’t want to speak for the people of Taiji, how does that make you feel?
Once it was determined that we were not going to be able to see the mayor. We asked to see the sister city wall of fame. Taiji’s sister city is Broome Australia. We were told that there was no wall. My dad asked if they had removed their connection with Broome, and the people responded with there is no wall here, go now. I wanted to see it for my project. I was really looking forward to looking at the history.
We were literally pushed out of the building, out of public property. My father warned him not to do it again– when the man shoved him a second time, my dad loudly ordered him to remove his hand in front of reporters, the man backed down and we didn’t see him again. My dad held a press conference outside on the front steps of the mayor’s office. I won’t go into the details of that, you have to see it. It was too amazing for me to try to write-up! Haha.
About twenty minutes after the press conference… we went across the street and sat on a street bench in front of the tourist office. It was then that I saw them… all the guys that were running around with that girl were suspiciously coming from the side of the building and walking over the parking lot across the street. I ran over the the side of the building- still in sight of my dad of course- and filmed the mayor of Taiji leave the building in quite the hurry with all these guys around. He got in his car and drove away VERY FAST! Egoistic coward.
After Breakfast we went to the Cove again. We were going to do a memorial for the dolphins that lost their souls to greed. Save Japan Dolphin’s volunteers, Creig and Leilani bought twenty red roses to offer for the dolphins. Each of them put ten in the water to float out to sea. The police got angry and said that was pollution and that we had to swim in and get them back. We couldn’t believe they said that! It is a crime to throw twenty roses in the water… yet they can dump the guts and the hearts of dolphins in it!?
My dad and I were up next. He threw rice and I poured Sake on the rocks in the center of the cove. My dad explained to the press that it was an atonement for the fisherman’s sins. That we were asking forgiveness from the oceans for these men’s sins. The police were not happy. Apparently rice is very special, because there used to not be much of it. And it was an insult to waste it. Gee- it’s too bad we didn’t know that! Wouldn’t want to offend anyone. At least it got everyones attention, that is what we wanted. The world is not happy with you Japan. We are not against the Japanese people or race. We are against the fact you refuse to stand up and stop something that is driving a species into extinction. We feel just as strongly about other slaughters around the world. But we start here– because we have to start somewhere.
Because the police wouldn’t let us leave the roses… Leilani, Patricia and I held hands across the beach for a few minutes. Then we walked out in our clothes and all and swam over to collect all of the roses. Thankfully one made it out to sea, it was floating in the center of the cove when we got back on the beach. We started handing the roses out to police men, coast guards, reporters, and onlookers. The police and coast guards refused to take them. Only two reporters took mine. I still have three to take home to my sister and my mom, and one for my room. Sour face didn’t want one of my roses… I wonder if it’s cause I call him Sour face? Hehe.
My blog is very short tonight because it is now almost 5, we have dinner at 6:30, I have to make the video from today, and I have a press conference via Skype at 11pm tonight! So I need to focus on getting a nap and my other work done. I got very little amount of sleep last night, and I will be getting at most three hours tonight. I am running on empty.
For the Animals,
October 14, 2010
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
The hunters did go out today, but had a devil of a time trying to drive dolphins into the Cove. They had to turn around twice because they kept loosing their catch– in the end the dolphins outsmarted them. The fishermen are hungry for their quota– and we aren’t helping.
When we got to Taiji this morning, we checked to see if the banging boats were out— they were. Junior, Patricia, My dad, me, and a traveler from Germany named Markus were at the Cove. John and Jackie went up to the park with the viewing point to watch the boats out at sea and keep us updated on their arrival. It was almost two hours before there was a sign of anything. In the meantime- Markus wanted to see the movie, The Cove, so we played it on my dad’s computer. Patricia, Markus and I watched the Cove— and the cove. The second time I have done this. It is so strange! I can’t describe it, you see something in a scene and then you look around like Oh okay that happened there– then you think about what you have experienced in most of those places. Like the killing Cove, every time that came up I kept looking at my hand.
The phone would ring every once and a while, John said that he saw the boats coming in! We thought it was going to be a great day! By now the movie was half over and there were six hunter boats tied up in the harbor. Then the phone rang again– John said that one of the boats stopped and was waiting for the fleet that had changed their positions and formations. Now I was rushing to set up my video camera because I wanted it to just run while I wandered and took pictures, so it had to be in place! Fishermen kept coming and going trying to intimedate us, I’m getting so used to them being around, I’m on high alert but it’s almost like wind, I’m just used to it being there.
John called a third time– he said that it looked like they had lost them but were chasing them again! Once they got them back it wasn’t long until the dolphins outsmarted them, and the fishermen lost their catch. They started heading back to port. We decided we had enough footage of them going down the bay, and I wanted footage of them coming into the harbor– so that is exactly were we went.
We went to the parking lot across from the dolphin holding pens, and I got out of the car heading straight for the “dock” walkway next to a banger boat that was already in port, and a coastal whaling vessel and set up there. I filmed the fishermen coming in, and got some up close pictures of a banger boat— the guys cabin was full of trash.
We got breakfast then went to upload everything. To be completely honest all I did once we got back to the hotel was catch up with my friends, and do the laundry and dishes! I didn’t accomplish much today, I really needed a day that was just about my friends though… and my sister! I talked with her for an hour! I miss her! She’s going to organize my closet for me, because I’m a piggy and she is good at that stuff. It will be all nice when I come home
Today we had to say goodbye to Junior, John and Jackie. Thank you so much for coming over here, it is amazing! We love you guys and we really enjoyed your company. It was like you were old friends… thank you for everything! Everyone! Please read Jackie’s blog, it is wonderful! I really enjoyed it!
For the Animals,
October 13, 2010
“I have learned from an early age to abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they look upon the murder of men” - Leonardo da Vinci
I walked up the beach… towards the rock covered in blood. Junior and I got on our knees and ran our fingers across it. An orange red color was left and I couldn’t bear to wipe my hand all the way across it. The one finger was enough. I swam back with my right hand in the air and showed the film crews proof of blood on the rocks. The blood of innocence, the little remains of those babies’ family.
This morning I got up at 3:30am, after going to sleep at about 11:00 pm. I got about 4 and a half hours of sleep last night… and I did not like the reason I was waking up. It’s not like being excited to get up early to go get coffee with your friends at 5am… or driving to Disney land! This was getting up to face cold, hard murder.
I had packed everything the night before so it was a matter of getting out of bed! That took twenty minutes. I couldn’t mentally prepare myself on such little sleep! But these dolphins were about to lose their life…. who the heck was I unable to get out of bed!? I got up and we were out the door by 4:15, on the road minutes later.
On the way there the car was pretty silent. There was the occasional person talking trying to distract…. But pounding was all I heard. Anger! I knew what was coming… and I was angry before I had even stepped foot on the ground! I was angry they didn’t let SSCS raise money to buy and set free the pod, I was angry that they were being killed, and I was angry the police had lied to us. What could we believe now? Maybe passing those fences really won’t get you arrested…. It’s a matter of time till someone tests that too. I hope they do soon. Things are unfolding… the fishermen and trainers are being exposed, and the police’s bluffs are being tested.
The sky was black with no sign of sunlight when we arrived at 4:30. Junior, Patricia and I immediately went looking for Steven. There were police and guards everywhere, apparently the police had to stay up all night watching Steven… one guy was even wearing the same clothes I saw him earlier yesterday. We found Steven out on one of the rocks and checked up with him, he was perfectly fine! We all started chatting, and he went over to the edge of the new fence they put in front of the rocks… to test what would happen. Police and camera crews went over freaking out!
There was an independent filmmaker they’re making a movie about the two sides to the argument… News Crews and a film crew with Save Japan Dolphins.
There were flashlights, Camera Lights, and car headlights everywhere! The sun wasn’t up so you couldn’t see anything but the bright lights shinning in each other’s eyes. I wanted to scream, police kept looking for us and shinning these huge lights in my eyes…. It was making me get a headache!
It was about 5:15 when the trainers started to show up. Steven wanted to confront them… this was the first time we had ever gone to talk to them. Steven was so upset! He was laying into the trainers, good for him! This one, the only one, girl trainer did not want to be on film. It was disgusting seeing a woman involved with this murder. I’m happy to see her so disgusted with herself she was ashamed to face the cameras. She knew her hands were just as bloody here. I hope she can’t look herself in the mirror anymore. It is disgusting that you know what you are doing… but to keep doing it anyway! My god women… I hope your mother is disappointed in you. I know I am, as another women.
The police had no tolerance for Steven talking to the trainers… they came over trying to get him to walk away… one police officer actually PUSHED Steven twice! Steven wasn’t having it, he dropped down cross-legged and he said, “No I will not leave, I am not breaking law”. The police just walked away from him angry. The film crews were running around filming anything and everyone… we were all filming each other waiting for someone to do something. Eventually, Steven went up and talked to some fishermen, and Patricia wanted to know someone’s name… so she went up and asked and they completely ignored her. She decided he had no name and was ashamed.
Fishermen showed up in their boats to pick up the trainers. It was time. The film crews filmed them getting in the boat… people were yelling “don’t kill the babies, or the mothers.” and “Have a soul”. I’m sorry everyone, we’ve already proven that they do not. We need to shut them down now. The cocky sneaks.
Two Risso Dolphins were chosen for show. John and Jackie drove off to see where they two Dolphins went. They were immediately loaded onto a truck and taken some place probably local, like the dolphin resort.
The trainers were too ashamed to face the crowd on the beach, so they had the fishermen drive them to the other port on in the actual town of Taiji. Wimps.
Literally 20 minutes-ish later the fishermen were brought back to shore. Private space and his “gang” had finished creating the scene of the crime. It was so quiet… no one was talking at first. Then they realized they were on the shore… and the mob began! People were following the fishermen; they were filming and yelling at them trying to communicate. Glares of death from private space… are we getting to you? I’m sorry the truth hurts… guess that’s the life of an ugly soul.
The mothers, fathers, friends and family of the pod were killed. We think about 14 lost their life for their dirty money. 6 adolescent Dolphins were set free later that day, without their mothers. We don’t know if they knew how to hunt… where the migratory routes are… or how old they are. They witnessed their parents get slaughtered then were sent out to sea to face life on their own… not knowing what to do. The poor babies must be so confused and hurt! They ARE like humans, it’s like killing a five year old’s parents in front of them, then throwing them out of the street to go on about life.
Once the gutting barge came out we went to see them hide behind tarps. They looked like they had rehearsed everything. It was very well coordinated…. but proof that they are embarrassed.
The dock had this weird, rough, raw, very strong smell to it. I can’t describe the scent I had never smelt anything like it before… Patricia decided it smells like death.
We stood at the very edge of the fishermen’s dock across from the butcher house… right in front of their offshore whaling vessel. Some fishermen driving by in their boats were yelling at us, but we acted like they didn’t exist, they got pissed off!
We met new people today from Earth Island Institute—Leilani Munter and Greg Hauswirth!
We all went to lunch and tried to forget about this morning. We needed food so bad! One film crew joined us then, and we didn’t have the cameras out of face till about 5:30— and that was the second crew. We didn’t mind it. It was good publicity!
We all wanted to take a swim, so we headed to the Cove at about 3. Patricia, Junior, Jackie and I swam into the killing Cove. I didn’t want to touch my feet to the bottom, I was that upset! I couldn’t do it! Finally I forced myself to stand because I was loosing strength and I had to think about the swim back. But I felt like I was stepping on broken glass, I got out of the water immediately. There is NO SIGN that says other wise. Someone told me there was… but we didn’t see it. So it’s a public beach.
The camera (waterproof camera) was not working, so us three girls swam back to get another battery, but it was the camera that was broken. So we swam back in to meet up with Junior.
It was then that I saw it. Red rocks. Not orange… like the rest of them. Red. Blood red. I stopped and I couldn’t move for almost five minutes. I just stared at them. Finally I asked everyone if that is what I thought it was, everyone was shocked! Patricia and Jackie had to leave. I walked up the beach… towards the rock covered in blood. Junior and I got on our knees and ran our fingers across it. An orange red color was left and I couldn’t bear to wipe my hand all the way across it. The one finger was enough. I swam back with my right hand in the air and showed the film crews proof of blood on the rocks. The blood of innocence, the little remains of those babie’s family.
It made everything THAT much more real. Knowing that the blood on my hand, was the blood of the same Dolphins I saw jumping out of the water trying to escape the banging of those metal poles. I washed my hand off in the cove, and used a rock to scrub it off, it wouldn’t come off at first! I had to wipe it off with something. I hurt. A lot. It was surreal, but it made me willing to fight to the end!
——- Today we had to say goodbye to Steve Thompson! Thank you Steven for everything you did! You really changed the game! J
At dinner we all let go and didn’t talk about the slaughter, instead we laughed at funny stories etc. We needed it, before coming back to upload all the awful evidence.
My youtube for all the new videos
My Facebook for all the new pictures
For the Animals,
October 12, 2010
“If we can’t change this one thing, then there is no hope for any of us” - Richard O’Barry
It takes guts to stand up and call someone’s bluff… it takes more to prove it! That’s what Steven did today… Prepare for slaughter tomorrow, Red October is officially beginning.
This morning we went back to our normal routine, getting up at 5:30 and arriving at the Cove at about 6:30. We were told that the fishermen were not going to go out, because it is the last day of their festival… well the fishermen lied to our source. We arrived at the Cove and there was a film crew there. Two people, making an independent film about the different sides to the argument over this problem. They interviewed all of us, and were very focused on my dad! Wonderful! So much passion and opinion, I’m so happy to call him daddy!
Unfortunately, about 15-20 Risso Dolphins were driven into the Cove this morning. The video of today’s events will be on my youtube by my tomorrow morning! I’m sorry, but I have hours of footage to go through and it’s an early early morning tomorrow. We will be at the Cove at 4:30 tomorrow morning to document what happens.
After the drive happened my dad, Patricia and I went back to the hotel to share with the world what happened and to catch up with Steven. Jackie, John and Junior were at the Cove with two girls who are based in Japan for the Navy stayed at the Cove. We went to the store and we got food for all day, I like to prepare for being there ALL day…. it’s a lot of stuff to drag around, and I look like a bag lady, but it’s great when you are there from 10-6!
When we returned, we found two more film crews, what looked like the entire group of Taiji fisheremen, coast guards, two police officers, and families coming and going. It was a ZOO! One film crew wanted nothing to do with us… the other was with Save Japan Dolphins (SJD), and I think they were doing PSA’s. Everyone from SJD was so friendly! I really enjoyed talking to them, I chatted away like I normally do, to two of the film crew members and showed them a picture of the last Risso Dolphin Slaughter that I had printed. They will probably be out here tomorrow morning too!
The fishermen all looked like they were sucking a mouth full of War Heads Sour Candy! Those things are strong! So it was fun watching them getting uptight about all these westerners running around filming and most obviously against them!
The police would come and go. The two guys (who rotated shifts with two others) that had to stand in the heat, were coast guard. They had to stand up at the top railing, so they could see almost everywhere… but this is the one place the sun in shinning all day! I felt so bad for them, burning up! But there was a simple way to stop that… end the hunt! Okay, so not so simple… but still.
Patricia and I were eating on the sidewalk in front of the water, and ants started to come and investigate. I smashed some popcorn and a small piece of cracker and put in on the ground beside us… they were so cool! They work so well together, picking them up and turning, twisting and carrying them ALL THE WAY ACROSS the sidewalk! Long distance for a little ant. One even picked up the inside of a popcorn piece (you know like the orange crunchy thin part? And carried it all by himself to the other side! It was fun watching them, and a nice distraction from what was in front of us. We would keep an eye on them so no one would step on them!
Later this afternoon John went to go and pick up steven… we were nervous because he had said something on facebook (I know from John’s Iphone) about getting arrested. We thought he was going to swim. Now we were told that if anyone got in the water while fishermen or dolphins were in the Cove that the person would be arrested. Steven wanted to test that bluff… we soon found out once he arrived. He spent a lot of time thinking out the idea, because he does have a wife and a daughter at home… but he felt like this needed to be done. He did it! All of a sudden, about an hour after all the contemplating Steven jumped into the water and towards to nets! He surprised us… we didn’t realize he was going to make a big speech. We thought he was just going to test them and we didn’t want to see him go to jail. The video on my youtube, should be up by my tomorrow morning. I think Steven explains it better then I ever could… the reason why he did it, that is.
The fishermen were pissed as could be, police and coast guard were freaking out…. because the police could not arrest him. Steven tested and caught their bluff, the most the police could say was “that was very rude.” Now I have a lot of respect for the police here… but this was very powerful what happened this afternoon! And it’s all in my video I made.
Right now Steven is pulling an all night’er at the Cove
We are all at the hotel getting a little bit of rest before tomorrow’s stressful morning
And the dolphins…. Time will tell.
For the Animals,
October 11, 2010
Red October... possibly
About 15 or so cetaceans have been driven into the Cove this morning. We are still unsure what they are… perhaps long finned pilot whales. More later.
I’m sorry everyone, looks like day 17 is a dark day.
October 11th Japan time. My youtube video
For the Animals,
October 11, 2010
“Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away” - Robert Fulghum
Something happens to you while you are here. You change. In more ways than one… and I can’t describe how and what it feels like, yet… but it is a change. Something happens watching death on a large scale… when you stand in the very place it happened… when you swim in trash… when you watch nature’s power and force… but most importantly when everyday you are reminded that we are killing the planet, and ourselves too. Knowing that most of the people turns their head and ignore it. We humans, are the most ignorant of all creatures on this planet.
I am having a really hard time trying to figure out where to start. I have a lot to say tonight, and I apologize because I don’t know what is going to come out. I don’t edit myself much, what comes out, you read. I think I would like to start by saying I am calling this the holocaust of our oceans, because I honestly believe that. I needed a word that described a mass slaughter of innocents, and not only dolphins but our entire oceans. There is no word more powerful and head turning describing a slaughter as, holocaust. That is why I chose that word… there is a holocaust happening right now, everyday at every fishing port all over the world.
Today was the second day of the festival in Taiji, so the fishermen did not go out! This does not mean they stopped hunting, they just are enjoying their holiday. Instead Steven and I went and talked to someone who used to live in Taiji and has spent a lot of time talking to the fishermen and to the people. These are some of the things we discussed, it was a very interesting conversation
He started by showing us a article he found, written on 10/3/10. The article is about a City Counsel member (CCM) in Taiji that is fighting with the mayor. CCM is challenging the mayor, trying to educate the local people. The article said that all sorts of people are talking about the movie– CCM is saying the movie is true and that they should listen to it! The mayor of Taiji is telling people that the movie is all lies. From what I could gather, the language barrier can be hard sometimes so I don’t know who was saying this.. the CCM or the man we met said, “Have to change our system if it is possible, stop catching dolphin and just sell for show.”
The CCM was a fishermen many years ago, 1972. The man we met with said, “The slaughter started in 1972, it was going on a little before that, but it was not being called a ‘culture’ thing until 1970. I thought it had a longer history, I was surprised.”
1. What do you think of the Dolphin slaughter? “They are a kind of big fish. We have no movies or animation like in your country to understand. With animation, maybe we can feel your feeling.” What do you neighbors think of the slaughter? “They say, part of life cycle, like you eat cow”.
2. Have you ever been at the Cove during a slaughter? From what I understand the first time he saw a slaughter was in the movie, this is what he had to say about it– “I was shocked when I saw the movie, dolphins are very big and are being killed. First time I saw, was in the movie.”– I feel like I missed part of his response, I apologize!
3. Why do you think the fishermen hide it? “It really is not good for children to see these things. They hide because it is bloody. The children see slaughter and they will never swim there.”
4. Have you ever eaten Dolphin or Whale? “I have eaten it once or twice. I do not like it, it smells bad. I don’t like whale because it looks like blood. My wife does not like it either, she says it tastes like blood. They cover the smell with ginger”.
The man we met with started talking about our oceans. He said that if we leave the dolphins alone, they will multiply and multiply and then eat all the fish that are in the chain below them. He said same with anything in the middle chain, we leave that alone and it will eat all of the phytoplankton etc etc. I said no. I told him that in a perfect world, if we were to leave all the fish alone. Not fish at all, that the oceans would become full again and balance everything out again. I said if fishing stopped all over the world, fish wouldn’t be eating all of the other fish, it would be the natural balance of things, it would sustain itself like it has for billions of years. Humans don’t need to mess with it, and try to keep it in balance… it’s done it on it’s own since there was an ocean. The only thing humans are doing is killing it, killing ourselves.
He asked why Dolphins, I said that I chose to start with Dolphins because I believe that we can learn from them. We have to start somewhere, and if you are interested in the Tuna, then you start there it all has to work together. I told him that it is all fishing that needs to stop. He was very worried about the phytoplankton, and I said I agree. Sharks are probably the most important thing on this planet that needs saving right now. They eat the bottom feeders that feed on the phytoplankton that convert a large % of our carbon dioxide into oxygen… we get more oxygen from the oceans than we do from the rainforest. I am not naive when I say that if the oceans die we all die. Everything works to keep everything else alive, humans are destroying it all. “I am not saying don’t protect them, I am concerned about the balance of the ocean”.. he said. He also said that they have stopped fishing in the past, and the fish did not increase in numbers… I responded with, that was only you. The entire world needs to stop, it won’t be fixed with just one port. Though it is a amazing start.
5. “People in Taiji don’t want to talk, the fishermen are in a difficult position. Some don’t like the fishermen, people in Japan are starting to attack them. Not only westerners. But they have life and family and cannot stop. Gradually it will be gone”. — He said that the fishermen and others believe that no one would come to see dolphins in the wild, etc. Because the dolphin shows they have here are very bad, and so no one in Japan even wants to come and see them in Taiji. The people do not believe that tourists would come, so they refuse to try.
6. “Before there was no meat eaten. After World War II we needed protein. 30 years ago there wasn’t enough basic meat– it was very expensive. So they turned to whale”.
7. “You average person is not interested in nature– it is not built up in schools. Kids don’t have that much love or interest in it. Maybe if we had more animation, kids would care”.
“Maybe the people here can change it”. That is it! That is the only way we are going to stop this. The people of Japan need to stand up and say NO! Enough! Stop it, do something else!
Today we went swimming at the cove this morning. It was lovely, warm, clear and very fun (not the cove, but swimming). This evening we went, Patricia, Jackie and I (the three girls!) went into the killing Cove. Jackie didn’t even want to swim in when we found it. Trash. The tide had come up and washed all the trash that was ALL OVER the fishermen’s beach and it as floating in the water. Patricia and I swam in and I was using my arms to make a trail through the dirt, leaves (not the problem) and tiny pieces of plastic, plastic bags, plastic lids, and other floating gunk! We were so disgusted all I could think about was all of the poor creatures that LIVE in this trash. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t, we could barley swim through knowing we would be out of it soon enough. I imagine life in that and I can’t imagine ever being happy.
I have Nothing light to end with unfortunately. I am sorry! The only thing I can think of, is that today we drove to the Cove (the same time we swam in the trash) and there were so many westerners there! TWO different film crews. One making a movie, and one doing a thing called 10-10-10 (it’s about what people are doing all over the world on 10-10-10). So the word is getting out which is amazing!
For the Animals,
October 10, 2010
The Holocaust of the Oceans...
Today was wonderful! No dolphins in the Cove, because of the fishermen’s festival in Taiji... not to mention the BUCKETS of rain pouring from the sky all day (raining on their parade). It was raining so hard that waterfalls were forming on the hills because water was running down them. Rain falls. Huge and powerful rain falls… that when staring into the raw natural power and force… reminds you of all man’s insignificance.
This morning we all decided that because of the festival and the rain the fishermen wouldn’t go out. So we slept in and worked late this morning. A car went to the Cove at about 9am to double check and to show Junior the lay about. My dad and I were getting ready to meet someone who lives here in Japan and wanted to share some things he researched about the dolphin hunt. No dolphins were in the Cove, John and Jackie called us to let us know! We said good-morning to Steven and off we went to Kushimoto! The man we were meeting with is from Wakayama, and we were very excited to hear what he had to say.
This morning while I was packing to get out the door, I needed a bit of home! So I downloaded and watched the latest GLEE episode! Loved it! Made me cry several times… who else here is a Gleek?
The meeting! Was very interesting. This man had done SO much research. He and his wife both think that the claim this is cultural is a big fat lie, with multiple layers. Here are some of the things he talked about and we discussed:
1. He told us what he had researched about the Dolphin hunt. He said that the Whaling is tradition, however they dolphin hunt is not. It started in around 1970, when the nicest ones were taken for show and the rest were killed for meat. “Almost no one eats dolphin in Japan, (companies) cheat and call it Whale, small whale”. Most of it is eaten in this city, but some is shipped out to other locations. But the killing of Dolphins is not that old.
2. Taiji kills 2,000 a year, a very small amount compared to the national quota.
3. “It won’t be easy (for the Japanese) people to think differently. Japanese don’t want to eat it (dolphin) but they don’t care (to stand up) and they don’t want to fight the Taiji fishermen. They don’t want any fights, you never say no here”. According to him, people like to go around corners, there really isn’t a word for No. You say it with a reason behind it, you don’t just say no.
3. The Cove is getting major coverage because of the film “The Cove”.
4. Oikomiryo is the name of the technique the fishermen use to drive the dolphin in. I found these two links when I googled it. Slide show page and this frontline article that you really need to read. Very interesting.
5. Most Japanese don’t know and when they find out they don’t care.
6. Media doesn’t have much freedom it is very controlled here in Japan.
7. “They don’t have to eat fish”. He was upset about cheep Sushi bars, “it used to be a special occasion you would eat Sushi, it was savory and very expensive. These cheep Sushi bars are insulting and bother me. Now people bring their kids and eat this fish for like 100 Yen. No one ate tuna before the war, it was not considered a good fish. After the war they started hunting it”. 200 years ago, he said, the Japanese did not eat meat, but would eat little local fish. It was not the main food, mostly vegetables.
After the war they had to find more protein, and America (General Mac Arthur), gave the Japanese old American whaling ships to feed their people. This was the beginning of commercial whaling in Japan. The western world started this!
8. The coast used to be full of Whales, Then they started harpooning them.
9. (The Japanese) don’t really need to eat it, (we) need to find a way to make people see it as barbaric. “The media is doing the opposite”.
10. “This was not part of the Culture, it is just now starting to heat up”.
11. People say “this is our roots, but it’s not. I don’t know why but when it comes to whaling, no one wants to fight (or talk)”.
12.”Nobody wants the meat. When it is not sold they cut the price in half. Every night they do this! Whale meat no body wants”. They are wasting it.
This is where I want to talk about my dad’s theory. I feel like we are fighting a battle much bigger than Whaling.”Antarctica is said to be a resource rich land. Japan has always been a resource starved nation. The Antarctic treaty says that no one can disrupt and take resources from there now. This will come to an end soon… and all of the various countries are going to come together and divide up Antarctica. Japan wants a seat at that table. And they are going to use the fact they have been commercial whaling there as a way to get a piece of Antarctica’s resources. SSCS is not against culture, the government wants part of Antarctica.”-Scott West
— He also said, “How can you call “culture” driving boats to the arctic?! Row boat… that is how it was”. We need the media to say it is not culture.
Lunch was lovely! We went back to that homemade restaurant where we had that amazing pizza! We all had pizza, salad and veggie soup! It was raining so hard! And it was so beautiful! We enjoyed that quiet, comfy feeling of being at home sitting in there.
The falls were AMAZING! Rain WaterFalls were forming everywhere! There are so many hills, all the buckets of rain landing at the top were rushing down the small mountains like a rainforest floor, and creating these monster waterfalls! They were so scary! We got out and walked out to this bridge where one was falling about 20 feet away. It was like we stepped into a shower before we were even on the center of the bridge. The bridge was blocked off, for a good reason… it had holes in it! Big enough to fall in! But we were very careful! And there was no sign, so we went to the center and watched this nature made raw power hit the rocks creating a stream and flying back over our heads! Amazing. The air smelled like fresh rain water and lavender. I don’t know why the lavender, it was some sort of herb… but it was pretty!
Click image to view more photos.
- Now I realize I am maybe crossing a line and could even offend some people calling this slaughter the Holocaust of the Oceans. But I really feel that way. Innocents minding their own business, being taken out of their homes… held and tortured to death. All done by people who are power hungry, not to mention greedy. Millions of Cetaceans have been slaughtered…. Millions of innocent people were killed. The only difference is that Cetaceans aren’t humans. But there shouldn’t be a difference between the two… we should cherish the creatures on this planet… and instead we wipe them out. It’s a holocaust that will kill us all.
For the Animals,
October 9, 2010
You’re Sour Face?
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So it turns out that I pissed off the second most powerful man involved with the dolphins in Taiji, he is the head of the fishermen’s union. I didn’t know who he was the day of the slaughter. I thought he was a fishermen, he was certainly acting nasty enough…. He thought he would get to me by photographing me, so I just filmed him doing it. Eventually he gave up. So he was out-photographed by a sixteen year old girl……… But that later.
This early morning we did our normal run to the Cove and checked to see if the hunter boats were in. They were! This is day 15! They were not going out today because the water was very choppy and there is a festival everyone is preparing for, that is this weekend. The fishermen were hanging these very beautiful flags off of their dolphin hunting boats! It was very disturbing, I don’t know why. Here you have these heartless men that go out and slaughter innocence for a living, hanging these gorgeous flags off their hunting boats, and making everything look welcoming and friendly. Actually, Dwight and Sandra were talking about how they saw a commercial (in Japanese so they weren’t 100% sure) but the commercial was about how you can go out and see the dolphins on boats. The boats looked just like the dolphin hunting boats! Sick! I know. But just think, how much money they could make with tourists, going out to see dolphins in the wild. There is a man in Futo who does that now… he was very successful! You don’t need to slaughter innocence for a living! Honestly, it is inexcusable. Please don’t try to tell me about how they kill chickens and cows just a horribly, because I already agree! That is why I am vegetarian. I do not support the factory farming, and if you as Japanese people have an issue with that PLEASE by all means go over to the states and stand up against it! I’ll stand with you! — But back to what I was saying, they could make so much more money doing tours… rather than killing them all off! There ARE other options. And tourists would come, wouldn’t you? It’s beautiful here! I strongly encourage putting “seeing the Wakayama area of Japan” on your bucket lis, but not till this stops.
Breakfast was at our favorite tea and “tosta” (toast) place! Yoshiko was a dear and translated the menu for us! We found out we could get eggs and all kinds of things! It was wonderful! Thank you Yoshiko!
We were walking back from breakfast and Yoshiko noticed a sign in a window across the street. It was for Shark Fin Soup. Except it was Shark Fin Ramon Noodle Soup. All six of us were horrified! Jackie loves sharks, she was very disturbed. I was SHOCKED! I didn’t expect that, but then again, they sell shark meat in the local store there.
Off we went to the information place. I needed information on where to print a picture. We had a interesting plan (Steven, Yoshiko, and I) for today. And I needed a picture of mine printed, it was of the slaughter. The girls that work in the information booth took us to a printing place around the corner, but it would have taken all night to do. But Steven knew someone down the street that did it for me, free of cost! So sweet! It was there in the parking lot we debriefed about what we were all going to do.
The fishermen’s Union Building/My interview:
In the parking lot of the several stores near the print shop, is where we briefed on our plan. The plan was for my dad, Patricia, John and Jackie to stay in the parking lot across the street of the Fishermen’s Union (FU) to keep an eye on us. Yoshiko, Steven and I were going to talk to the head of the FU. I wanted to ask him three or four questions for a “rookie” interview. And that is what we were going to do. I had printed a picture of the blood pouring out of the Risso Dolphin bodies, and I was going to ask him to describe what he saw in that picture, I wanted to see his reaction and maybe (unlikely) his answer.
That is the plan in a nutshell. So I drove over with Yoshiko and Steven and we parked in the FU lot. I kid you not! I have no idea where he came from but the head of the FU came flying over screaming at us! I didn’t know who this was, I thought he was a fishermen. Because I recognized him, we had a camera battle the day of the slaughter! So I was surprised to see him again. Wasn’t surprised about the yelling, and the hand in my face the entire time! Then Steven said his name and I realized this is the man I wanted to interview…. The man who two weeks ago we had a camera battle! He was taking my picture and I was filming and so I filmed him taking my picture. He got very angry and slapped his camera down. I’ve been calling him sour face because his face always looks like he is sucking a salty lemon. Well he was the man I wanted to interview. That was NOT going to happen, In fact he said “why do you put stuff on the internet!?”. I didn’t have a chance to respond. It seems like we are really getting to them. They are ashamed of what they do and they are being exposed, of course they don’t like it.
It wasn’t until famous movie star “Private Space” showed up screaming “keep out” and pointing at his sign that my dad pulled me across the street. Things were getting tense. And we promised the police no trouble, we won’t break our promises. Once I crossed the street, the head of the FU calmed down and actually wanted to talk to Steven. It was me that bothered him so much. He must be scared of my message being a young girl. I can’t think of any other reason why he would be nervous around me. But we are obviously getting to him, I say we because you are all a part of this. When they read my blog, they read your comments. You have just as much input as I do. And that’s very important to me, that I have found a group of people who are behind this 100%. It’s amazing and nothing like what I ever dreamed!
Everything is in the VERY LONG video I am working on for youtube. I will post it later tonight. KahakaiGirl, also watch the video of our truck following adventure!
I had lunch today with Steven and Yoshiko, it was lovely! Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Yoshiko today. I have to point out how brave this women is! She is Japanese, she is against the slaughter, she isn’t afraid to speak out about it or confront the head of FU… She is an inspiration for all Japanese, and especially Japanese women! Thank you Yoshiko for showing the fishermen it isn’t only westerners against them, and those of you nervous about coming out and speaking up… please don’t be. I encourage it! Get together and stand strong as a group… I know it’s not the Japanese way, but things change. And YOU can stop this. You could be those people who end this horror.
I got back to the hotel and everyone was talking to my mom on Skype! I miss you mom and Sabrina! Love you guys!
GUESS WHAT! I found the REAL chocolate bread! The one Matt talked about! The other one was chocolate bread…. but it wasn’t the one I was searching for! My dad found it and bought it at the same bakery! WOO! The search is complete! And yes… It was amazing!
Today we were joined by Junior Montgomery from London England! Welcome Junior! Thank you coming and joining us as Cove guardians!
The rain is supposed to be crazy this weekend! The fishermen will probably not go out! So we can hope for at least two more days of dolphin free Cove!
For the Animals,
October 8, 2010
Click image to view more photos.
Today we got up and did our normal routine! Except, instead of it just being my dad and I with John and Jackie we had three other people with us! Patricia Pyne, Yoshiko Wada and Steven Thompson. It was so great! We had four people at the Cove and three on the hill watching the boats coming in empty-handed for the 14th day in a row! This is amazing, two weeks with no dolphins in the Cove! More people are coming this weekend, but we always welcome more! Who else is coming Come be a Cove Guardian with us!
Oh course, our days are rarely boring even when there are not Dolphin in the Cove. A coast guard officer we have gotten to know came and met myself, John and Jackie on the hill and was asking the Leggs some questions. We like these guys and the police. Its a shame, they are pouring all this money into this and everyone wants to go home and do something else. There is a very simple solution, stop the slaughter and we will go leave them alone! Turn this into a tourist area and hundreds would come! Right? It’s so beautiful here, it’s wasted on this absurd slaughter.
There was something one of the Coast Guards said, that I really want to share with you all. We were all sitting there in the shade (all being, Me, my dad, John, Jackie, Steven, Patricia, Yoshiko, two coast guards, two police men and a fishermen sitting away from us), talking. The police were talking to the new faces and my dad about various things, as always. The Coast Guard asked me if the police made me nervous, I said they did not I have grown up around police men (my father, family friends, grandfather and other grandfather), I told him that I take them seriously but they do not make me nervous.
Then he said something that really reminded me how important doing what it is we are doing, really is, in terms of the way we are doing it.
Now, I don’t want to attack anyone because I know groups have come in and intervened in their own way, I am just explaining what it is that the Coast Guard told me. He said that when “we” take pictures and write on the internet, that the Japanese people are more likely to listen and to care. But when “we”, meaning people who do not agree I would imagine (or referring to the 2003 cutting of the nets) the Japanese people get very angry about the law being broken and do not want to listen.
I understand why people have the desire and have actually come to cut nets, I really do. It’s very tempting. There is a feeling of helplessness that takes over your body and I can understand how that might give you a feeling of euphoria. However, it was a wake up call. The people may reach out and listen, if SSCS (being my dad) doesn’t do anything criminal. The government portrays us as terrorists and we have witnessed it ourselves, people being surprised by how normal we are. A father and his daughter… not criminals!
The Police wanted to also let us know that the fishermen get very upset whenever they see us swimming in the Cove. The police said try to understand the fishermen’s feelings, and advised us to stop swimming in the Cove. Now, we have obeyed everything the Police have asked of us, except to leave. And we see families over here all the time swimming in the Cove’s main beach area. We said no, we are not going to stop swimming in the Cove because it upsets the fishermen, “tell them to stay on the other side of the tunnel then, if it upsets them. We are doing nothing wrong and people other than us swim here all the time as well”-my dad.
Lunch was lovely! We went to the same restaurant that I found Steve at. It was fun having another day to enjoy Japan, and to get to know all our new Cove Guardians! Everyone is so lovely and a joy to be around, we have known each other for all of 48 hours, yet we could hang out today like we were all old friends. That’s something very special I think.
After lunch we went back to the beach because Patricia wanted to swim! So John, Jackie, Steven, Patricia and I jumped in and swam into the Cove. The water felt great! Until we got into the Cove, there is such a negative energy… I can’t even describe it. I try to every time but it just doesn’t come across. I honestly believe that if every single person interested in stopping this swam into that Cove, that same feeling would hit you. It’s like a slap in the face, it is then you realize you are willing to do anything to stop this. It’s like putting yourself in their place almost… trying to picture yourself there and going through what millions have gone through. It’s impossible to relate… but you can imagine.
We all hung out at the beach and enjoyed each others company, laughing and telling stories. A friend of Yoshiko’s came over with her two daughters, it was very fun. Even though we were at the Cove, we still got away some-what. If you can try to set aside what happens (try really hard) you realize how much fun a vacation there would be… and they would make SO much more money.
Dinner was at the Jusco mall where the drum game is! I have video! These boys let me film them playing the game, I’ll have it up sometime tomorrow, it is too late to do it tonight. But I am excited to show you!
For the Animals,
October 7, 2010
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Just some fun pictures to lighten the mood (except for the poor dead squid)
Though Today had no Dolphins once again (WooHoo for day 13!) there is lots I want to tell you! I’m so excited, I’m tired of having nothing to say! Well, I should start with yesterday I want to share with you the story!
So! Yesterday we drove to the Cove, like we always do, and waited for two hours watching the hunting boats coming in empty handed. A lovely sight that is! Anyway, we drove into the actual town of Taiji to the docks where the boats tie up just to make sure that all 12 were in. Well we stumbled across two dolphins being transported! They had moved the spot from across the holding pens to over next to the slaughter house/fishermen’s union. We set up on the parking area across the way and filmed for about ten minutes. Then we left! We don’t want to make the fishermen too angry because they are still upset about Blackfish. We decided then that we needed to follow that truck. So we drove to a place where we know the truck had to go because it is the only way out of Taiji that the truck will fit. We bought about 2,000 Yen worth of food from the circle K stop and rob because we didn’t know how long of a drive this would be. And honestly, we had barely had breakfast! I called my mom and told her to update you all on the “no dolphins” part of the story. But we really didn’t want it out on the internet that we were following them while we were following them, that would just be stupid! Haha. So about an hour later, we were hidden and ready for a long road trip. Sure enough the truck came around the corner, we let a few cars fall in behind it and this is where out 12 hour adventure started.
We took off following towards Osaka. We had guessed they were going to the Osaka airport. My dad and I just enjoyed the drive and tried to keep a visual on the truck. It really wasn’t that hard, the truck is HUGE and it has this little yellow circle with a smiling bear on it. After a while that stupid smiling bear really annoys you, I don’t know why. It was really hard whenever they would pull over to let cars pass, because we had to go past them and then find a small road on the GPS that goes off of route 42 and then connects a mile down the road. We would pull into there and either turn around waiting or drive to the other end and wait for it to come along, or give it a minute to get ahead. I felt like I was in some sort of spy movie, it was very strange and kinda fun! My dad has a lot of experience following people with his old job being a US federal agent, so it was cool to see him pull out all of his old police tricks.
A while up the road they stopped at a Lawsons to get food. So we went and got gas, then circled around to make sure they were still there. We pulled into a small street off of the main drag and waited for the truck to pass, like we had done several times before. Sure enough it did, and off we went… again. As far as we could tell, they still had no idea we were following them.
The truck drove for a few hours more and then pulled into a rest stop. We were freaking out now for two reasons! 1. this is the perfect time for them to notice us, and we can’t go anywhere else because we were on a freeway. Lets face it we don’t blend in and we weren’t sure if it was a truck stop or not! 2. This was so close to the Osaka airport… that it didn’t make any sense to stop. So we knew they weren’t going there at that point. The truck stopped inside, and no it was not a truck only spot thank god! My dad and I ducked down from our seats and I filmed them as best as possible. But I had to pee SO BAD! And here we were at a rest stop…. with the people that want to kill us! And we don’t blend in with all the other people running around. Of course, just then three trainers got out from the back of the truck, I was half way out of the car to dash for the bathroom…. I had to throw myself back into the car because now there were five of these men! And more eyes that could catch us! They were just airing out and getting water. They must ride with trainers in the back to keep an eye on the dolphins. Now. The two drivers were on the other side of the truck, two trainers were in the bathroom and one was in the back of the truck. This was my only chance! So I snuck out of the car and walked behind all the cars I could. I ran into and out of the bathroom when I got to the door, because I knew if the guys got in and drove off while I was gone, my dad was going to have to go. I would have been fine there was a grocery store across in the rest stop (it was a busy area which made it easy to hide behind groups of people) and I could have phoned for help. But still, I didn’t want to deal with that. The other girls in the bathroom looked at me like I was a freak (which I probably looked like running in and out). I was now walking back to the car, jacket and sunglasses on. I walked PAST two of the trainers but they didn’t even look at me, it was as if they didn’t see the one random western girl that walked two feet away from them. After a little while, we were all back on the road.
They drove past three airports! Where were they going!? They got off at a strange exit that looked like a back road. But it dumped us onto this very busy looking city street. We were in Osaka! Eventually we reached the place that took 7 hours to get to playing cat and mouse with the truck (that still didn’t notice us!) The Suma Aqualife Park. It was a dolphinarium that was SO excited to see it’s two new prisoners. We drove around the block to loose the truck in the parking lot. We drove into the parking lot, that had a “toll gate”, we had to pull a ticket to get in. The truck didn’t notice us still, they were busy being praised by the trainers. EVERYONE was smiling and laughing and jumping and hugging and gasping at the Dolphins. I wanted to throw up. And the worst part… many of them were women. I don’t know why the really bothers me, but there is something about this that just disgusts me. There is something so incorrect and unexpected about that.
We drove right past them… but they didn’t even look at us. This is why we think that they didn’t even notice us the entire seven hours. And I have to say… what we did was amazing. We are westerners in a place where there are no westerns, we are wanted by the fishermen and trainers, they know our car… and yet we managed to follow them for an entire day and they didn’t even know! I don’t like to toot my own horn, but that was incredible! Well, we know where those two dolphins are. Suma Aqualife Park, shame on you.
Driving back the GPS took us around the same downtown street in Osaka about eight times. Actually, it was us not knowing how to work the GPS, but I figured out when she said to do something that it was a warning, and we should not do it till it dings twice! That got us back on the freeway haha! But it was a very nice block with TONS of people, that part was frustrating. But we saw a different part of Japan, the city! On the road we stopped at a rest stop where you can by dinner from a machine! We bought noodles and french fries! It literally drops the box of food into a compartment and them microwaves it! It was crazy! And I should have filmed it, but I was too tired to even think about it! We made the entire drive back last night, but we didn’t have the truck so we made it back in much shorter time.
This morning we woke up really late being we didn’t get into the Hotel until really late. But we went to the Cove in time to see all twelve hunting boats come into port! So my dad and I got breakfast and came back to the room to tell the world! It was then that we got the call from the Leggs. John and Jackie Legg have answered the call from SSCS! So woohoo! Thank you guys, this is wonderful! Check our their blog, I strongly encourage you all to follow them too!
We have four more people we are meeting tomorrow! So there will be eight of us for about a week and more people after that. But there is always power in numbers! Please come if you can!
John and Jackie wanted to go swimming in the Cove this afternoon. So that is exactly what we did. The water was colder than usual. But it warmed up. I have to be honest, for some reason this was really tough. The first swim in there was really difficult and none are easy to do, but there was something off. I think it is because I haven’t swam in there since the Slaughter happened and the place was just all that more real. This Cove is full of evil energy and you feel claustrophobic while you are in there. I can’t imagine being trapped in there overnight awaiting tomorrows horror (that I can only sense is coming).
While we were in the water, the police said something to my dad that we are trying to figure out. We understand with the language barriers that things can get confused but from what he said, “your action, *demonstrated taking pictures and typing*, internet, the fishermen do not kill dolphins”, we can’t help but think that this is working. They are getting so much bad publicity that they aren’t killing? YET! They are still hunting. Maybe because of the weather they didn’t fill their quota for the trade season? I am very happy with the thought they don’t want to slaughter while we are here because there will be someone on the ground till March. But I don’t want people to forget about this, just because this is what the cop said doesn’t mean that the trade programs are over and it doesn’t mean they will stop killing. We don’t know what that meant completely. They might get frustrated with loosing money and start again, and maybe the next time they catch dolphins they will just kill them. I don’t want these things to be so, but I need to throw them out there because I can’t have people thinking that this is over. Because its barley begun, the Cove brought the attention to this and now it’s up to us as a global community to end it. We can do this, but it’s going to take the Japanese people to make a change.
For the Animals,
October 6, 2010
Hey everyone! I’m so sorry I have not been at a computer ALL day! We drove to the Cove like we usually do this morning, and I’m happy to announce that it is day 12 with no Dolphins being held captive. However, when we were driving into the actual town of Taiji, we once again stumbled upon a dolphin transfer. Two were being loaded onto a truck. After we filmed them putting the dolphins in the “coffins” as I like to call them, we set off down the street to buy a entire days worth of food. We were going to need it.
We hid behind the giant whales around the corner from the Taiji Whale Museum, and when the truck came around the corner, we secretly followed it for 7 hours. As far as we can tell from my footage, they had no idea we were following them…. not even when we pulled in behind them at the dolphinarium and filmed them as we were leaving!
The truck passed three airports and went to the Suma Aqualife Park. We now have video proof that the dolphinariums and the Taiji slaughter are linked (as if they never were), no matter what they might try to tell the world.
I wish I had the time to upload everything right now, but tomorrow is another early morning and we have been on the road for 12 hours today. It’s very late and we need sleep. Expect information galore tomorrow!
We are safe and back at our hotel.
For the Animals,
October 5, 2010
Rain, Sun, Rain... Okay please decide! (Pick rain!)
Click image to view more photos.
This morning, my dad woke me up at 8! He had decided the hunter boats probably didn’t go out, considering the fact there was thunder, wind, and lots of rain early this morning. It was so nice of him! I have been SO tired, up at 5am everyday for the last three weeks. Not to complain.. it’s just I am a sleep-aholic! Once up, we drove to the Cove in rain so hard it could have been hale! It was wonderful weather! No boats were out, and no dolphins were in the Cove. Another great day! (The 11th in a row!)
We weren’t back more than half an hour.. when we walked outside to get breakfast. It so TOO hot, I couldn’t even think! The sky was cloudless all of a sudden, and the only proof of rain were the puddles in the street. This made us forget about today’s good news, and start thinking about tomorrow. If the hunters go out, are they going to come back with dolphins? Calm water and sunny sky is perfect hunting weather. Time will tell.
While we were eating breakfast, guess who was walking down the street!? My stray cat Steve! He is so cute! He looks like a pitbull, except he’s this tiny little thing. It was cool to see him again!
This afternoon my dad had an interview with a reporter from Toyko. I was sitting on the ground looking at rocks… and something wet fell on my arm. HUGE RAIN CLOUD, above me. Wonderful news! We like rain and wind, haha. The weather here is so weird sometimes, it changes too fast. We want it to stay “crappy” and wet outside.
Okay, so. People were always going on the rocks to see inside of the Cove, because the walkway is blocked off. So the police put up a fence there. As you may remember mother nature kinda crumbled that fence up like a piece of paper. Well, they have put up a new one! Haha... It’s been up probably all of 48 hours and its already is starting to look like a twist tie. I laugh every-time I see it. Hopefully they will figure out that it just isn’t working, or they can just keep digging out rock covered fences.
Well this IS day 11. However, the wonderful weather we are having is leaving tomorrow for a whole week. My dad and I think we will be really busy for the next few days. I don’t want to be, and I wish it weren’t so. But, I’d start preparing for slaughter news…. I know, I am trying too.
Thank you for everything, we can end this senseless murder! Can’t wait to hear all about the October 14th protest!
For the Animals,
October 4, 2010
Hello everyone! Today is wonderful! I am happy to announce that this is the tenth day dolphins have been safe!
I honestly have nothing to report. But! I do want to show you this video made by OPS (the same people who made the movie “the Cove)- It is a good reminder as to why we are here.
We will check up on the Cove again soon, we are trying to catch another Dolphin transfer. Who knows, I might have more to report later tonight, but I really hope not.
Sorry this is not all that interesting, we haven’t done much but download yesterday’s videos and watch GLEE! (LOVE THAT SHOW!) I’ll have some stuff up on youtube later.
For the Animals,
October 3, 2010
Red October day two
Click image to view more photos.
Hi everyone! I am happy to report that the hunter boats didn’t even go out looking for Dolphins today! This is day 9 without dolphin in the Cove! However, this does not mean that the hunt has ended…. they still go out looking. Why they are finding none, we don’t know. The water could be too rough and they can’t see them, the ones they do find are not the right kind for show (remember dolphinariums want Flipper, a female bottle nosed dolphin), or maybe they removed almost all dolphin from the sea. Still, the dolphins that are still alive and free are safe for the ninth day in a row. So, instead of staring at our computer screens again all day, my dad and I decided to go site seeing.
It was my turn to pick something…. Yeah, like that wasn’t going to come with consequences. I swear I picked the hardest thing to get to in all of Japan! The DoroKyo Gorge. We started driving at about 9am. By about 11:30 I really had to pee! So we stopped at a coffee shop…. we had felt like we were driving forever and not getting anywhere, so my dad asked the lady where we were on the map. We had driven about 30 miles past our turn to DoroKyo! Of course! However, I think everything happens for a reason and this certainly brought us something nice. We found this family owned restaurant where they made PIZZA! Okay, my dad and I have been craving pizza since we got of the plane three weeks ago. The place was so cute! All made from wood-from the building to the forks. The lady who owned it was so nice, and she spoke english. She had taken a trip to Australia a long time ago for a year and learned there. She was frustrated though because she had no one to practice with and she was loosing it. Even though this place is almost 50 miles from Katsuura it’s worth going back for!
On the road again. Let me take a minute here to tell you about the roads…… They are one American car lane size, for two way traffic on most streets. So. We turn onto the bridge to DoroKyo, and we almost hit someone! We couldn’t believe that the road was THAT small. It didn’t get any bigger until we reached a tunnel into DoroKyo…. That was all the way up the mountain! I can’t even describe it.
The Gorge was beautiful! We took a small boat ride down some of the river, where the mountains on either side of us have interesting shaped rocks! It was breathtaking! And this is a good example of what I mean by “could be a wonderful tourist location”. If they stopped the killing of these helpless and innocent animals, and turned this place around… built a resort, dive shop etc. it could become one of the most popular destinations in the world! Until that day comes/might come I strongly encourage everyone to not plan to visit to Japan. Unless you are coming to help us as Cove guardians, I would not come until the slaughter is ended. This place is already set up for tourists… just one problem, these 30 men are putting a huge, ugly, and fat red stain on all of Japan. I really would like to see this place blossom and become a huge “hot spot” if you will, because I have never been anywhere as beautiful. Even though this is my first international travel, I have been all over the USA. I don’t hate Japan or the Japanese, I despise this “practice”.
Something cultural I got to experience, tonight!
Tonight at the Waterfall, there was a historical music performance. Very beautiful. It was so peaceful sitting on the rock stairs just listening to the water and the old instruments. I wish more people were concerned about keeping this kind of cultural experience up, rather than the slaughter of innocent lives.
Some of the photos from today are on my facebook page. Unfortunately because of how late we were out tonight, and how early we have to get up.. I don’t have time to make my video about the windy narrow roads and music performance from today. I will tomorrow if there are no Dolphins! I’m sorry! If I didn’t have to sleep I would upload everything I have! Goodnight everyone! (Or good-morning haha)
For the Animals,
October 2, 2010
So! Today will be another tourist day for my dad and I. The fishermen didn’t even go out today! So dolphins are safe, for now!
Click image to visit slideshow.
I’ll let you know how our day unfolds later tonight
For the Animals,
October 1, 2010
Guess who found chocolate bread... Me!
It’s still Red October day 1. And honestly I have almost nothing to report. While it’s easy for some to lose interest because of this, I love the days that I have nothing to say! It means that Dolphins are safe for another day.
So, for those of you who are curious as to why i am calling this month “Red October” it is because we understand there was an agreement made between the fishermen and the trainers. It was that for the entire month of September they would only capture and release those not chosen for show, and the slaughter would pick up again in October. The swim with dolphins programs did this so they could say they are not involved with the slaughter in Taiji. Well we have proven this to be a lie, because the last slaughter that took place trainers looked to see if they wanted any of the RISSO Dolphins or Pilot Whales. This being October 1st, with no red water…. is a very good sign! We don’t know if the programs that buy from Taiji have all of the Dolphins they intended to get, so whether or not this “deal” is still in motion, we do not know.
In Jusco mall at Shingu city there is a food court. Next to it is a arcade area, this afternoon we got vegetarian curry there. While we were eating we saw this game that is a lot like rock-band except it’s Taiko drumming. Taiko drumming is traditional in Japanese folk and classical music. It was so cool to watch people come and play. The first two people were just kinda playing around for fun… the second were really good! I couldn’t believe how fast they were hitting the drums, and these girls looked all of 13. It wasn’t until these two teenage boys came with their OWN drumsticks and starting playing (they were freaking amazing) that it really hit me. Why are people SO determined to keep this slaughter up because it’s “tradition” when there are kids who don’t know how to use chopsticks anymore…. and the Taiko Drumming, what an amazing talent! It’s the really unique and artistically important things that are being lost. It’s all because of corporate greed, I think. Don’t try to tell us this slaughter is cultural when you aren’t even doing it the way your ancestors did, when your younger generation is loosing it’s cultural interest, and when the main reason you keep up what you are doing is so you can make thousands on a captive dolphin. Honestly, I think your ancestors would be ashamed of you.
That is all I really have to say for today. I am going to finnish drinking my Green Tea and eat my last piece of chocolate bread (yes I found some finally!).
OH! I would like to apologize to everyone who posted a comment that didn’t seem to go though. I am still learning how this website works, and I just found a file that was an automatic spam filter. Comments were for some reason being sent there. I am so sorry! I will be checking that folder everyday now to make sure this doesn’t happen again. All of the comments were really nice so how they managed to get there is beyond me. Thanks for the support!
For the Animals,
P.S Here are two more articles!
October 1, 2010
Red October... Not so much
The first day to the start of “Red October” is quiet and calm! No dolphins, no protesters, no police, no ‘black vans (that are supposed to be coming? I don’t know what that was supposed to mean)…. It’s wonderful! I’ll have more later We will see what the day brings me.
For the Animals,
October 1, 2010
(I finally get to say this!) I’m happy to report that there is nothing to report. No dolphins once again today! It’s a great WEEK for dolphins. Tomorrow looks like it might be rainy, so cross your fingers!
Since there really isn’t much for me to update you all on, I’ll ask you a question! Who’s going to the World Wide Anti Dolphin Slaughter Protest!? The more people the better! I strongly encourage everyone who can, to do so! It’s going to take hundreds to end the slaughter, and this is a wonderful start.
My video of plastic I’ve seen on the Cove beach is up!
The following articles are written by Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and Wietse Van Der Werf, Co-founder of Blackfish Conservation Society. I think they are really important. They not only clear me and my dad’s name, but it explains what went down that night… and will hopefully wrap up any unanswered questions.
Thanks for the support! We’ll be out at the cove again tomorrow.
For the Animals,
September 30, 2010
Where to begin...
Hi everyone. First off I would want to say that I hope this blog posting today answers all of the questions that have come in through my email, face-book, here, and my FB message box. Because I just cannot answer them ALL. I’d say that 90% of them are about this group called “Blackfish”, so I hope all questions are answered!
Let me start at the beginning. Yesterday, in the late morning, two fishermen where hanging around us at the Cove. My dad went and stood by one of them and said “hello”. One guy left, and the other one stayed. To make a long story short, the fishermen threatened my dad saying:
The fishermen said “What did you do last night?”
My dad: “I ate and then I slept, What did you do”
The fishermen: “I slept…You should be in Jail”…
My dad replied: “I do not break Japanese Law”
The fishermen: “I don’t think so, you better watch out”.
We were so disturbed by the fishermen’s new attitude that we called the coast guard officer, who said he to call him when things got weird. Well this was weird. The coast guard told us that something had happened the night before. We figured something happened in the storm earlier that morning. We lightly brushed it off our shoulders, but it was still in the back of our mind.
The coast guard and the police would not tell us what had happened. This was yesterday. When I told you all about the police and squad car pulling up behind us. It was all starting to fall into place… the puzzle that is. The fishermen obviously thought that whatever it was that had happened the night before-it was us. The police were protecting us. We still had no idea from what! I mean, we obviously knew they were protecting us from the fishermen… but why!? No one would tell us.
After all of the events yesterday, when I returned to my computer later last night… this is when I saw the article about this group called “Blackfish”. The puzzle was solved! The fishermen thought that this group and SSCS were some how associated. Let me set things straight right here and now. Myself, my dad and even Paul Watson had never heard of this group until the article was all over the internet. Period. We had absolutely no idea. But the fishermen do not believe that. They think we were giving them hints about areas and “points of interest”, if you will. I know we are going to have a really hard time trying to clear our name. But I have never lied to you all before, and I’m not going to start now. We were not associated with this group whatsoever.
The police knew this. But! Today on our way back from the Aquarium, we drove past the Cove. Eight police officers were waiting for us to drive by. They had been looking for us. We pulled over and got out of the car. I sat on the ground in front of some bushes… while my dad and the eight police officers in formal wear walked to the other side of the parking lot.
What I was thinking: “OKay. He is probably going to be arrested and questioned. It’s okay. You’ll go back and make some calls, get the embassy involved. And go from there.” I was trying to stay as calm as possible. This was a scary situation. We were being framed for something we did not do… and the fishermen wanted/want to hurt us. One officer even said, “I fear for your daughter, I have a sixteen year-old daughter too.”
After much discussion, my dad was sent on his way. This whole thing is getting crazy. We are in the hot seat for something we did not do. It’s very frustrating… and it’s made this whole thing more dangerous.
So! To answer the most commonly asked question: “Is this true”… I’ll have to say “yes it is”. Based on what has been said and everything that has happened to us.
On a more upbeat note.
Today we went to the Kushimoto Marine Park. I will have a big video up on youtube soon after this is posted. It was really fun! Now I realize that this is going to stir up some controversy, but let me be clear… While I am not a fan of captivity for any animal, we went there today to film and show people that it is possible to have a nice aquarium without a live Dolphin or Whale (or any cetacean). Also, it was nice to enjoy a few hours away from the Cove… and to see all of the amazing creatures that should be able to live worry free in the ocean. So please no negative comments, this was part of my school project.
All the photos are up on my Facebook page! I hope you like them
For the Animals,
September 29, 2010
Looks like it will be day 6 with no dolphins in the Cove! We are going to check one last time, then we are going to check out the Aquarium. I’ll have another big update later
For the Animals,
September 29, 2010
Unfortunately it is still day 17...
Today looked like it was going to be a wonderful day! The fishermen didn’t even go out hunting, because of a thunder-storm that was at around 3am this morning (about the time they decide whether or not to go out). We did have to say goodbye to Christy today, but we really appreciated her time here!
We checked the Cove several times throughout the day just to ensure that the fishermen didn’t go out in the late morning. But it was silent. Day 5 with no dolphins in the Cove! So Sonja, Matthew, Robin, my dad and I went to get another battery for my camera. Good thing we did! It saved my butt today! The new one came with about 20mins of charge on it.
So, now the ugly part:
Driving back from the electronics store, we decided to make one more stop at the dolphin pens so Matthew could do a blog video. It’s a good thing we did. We happened to stumble upon them transporting the last dolphin from the captive pen, to the crate that would ship it to wherever in the world it was going. We flew out of our car so fast that we didn’t even notice that two police cars had pulled in behind us. I was completely oblivious, all I had seen was the same police officer we always talk to and I knew he was talking to my dad. It didn’t really hit me something might be up, cause they are always around. Once my battery died, I ran for my new one to see if it had any juice… when I turned around I got a bit of a shock. A squad car and two in uniform police officers. What was going on? They wanted Sonja’s passport… we don’t really know what they wanted-they were just there. It was strange. But still, they didn’t stop us from filming. Once the dolphins were in the crates and we couldn’t see from the hill anymore, we rushed down in the car to the dock. The fishermen were pissed! We were allowed to walk freely on their “territory” when the government had made us out to be criminals. I walked right over all their stuff to get a better view of the truck leaving. They were all putting away the nets… The cops were there so I felt much safer. It wasn’t the most comfortable situation. Ha! I thought that was uncomfortable….
We got in the car to follow the truck. It pulled into the next port over, where the butcher house is. We pulled into the parking lot, filming from our car because we had lots of angry fishermen around us. Eventually they all circled our car yelling at us to go away and taking our pictures. The police jumped out of their car SO FAST and ran over trying to calm the conflict down. We were told to leave, so we did. We pulled around the corner into a small parking lot, so we could see which direction the truck was going to go. Or “trucks” I should say, at this point we had found the other one. It wasn’t till someone came out of a building in the parking lot and yelled at us to leave. So we did. We drove past the fishermen once again… and then headed to the Dolphin resort. Matthew wanted to do another block video there. Two police-men followed us. They walked behind us to the back of the Dolphin resort building. One of the cops was curious were the dolphins were kept. So we showed him the pens, and told him that about twenty-two were leaving it those tiny spaces. He didn’t say much, but he was very interested. Which was great!
This afternoon reminded how crazy and scary this really is. This group of 30 men are not happy we are here… and the police are in a awkward situation because they have to guard us from them, while they are asking “why are they allowed to walk free? You said they were criminals”. I feel bad for the police they are only trying to do their job.
I’m sorry to be reporting bad news. You have no idea how excited I was to say, “I’m happy to report there is nothing to report”…. But life can really slap you in the face sometimes.
I keep asking myself, when is this going to end!? And… I really wish I knew.
For the animals,
September 28, 2010
No dolphins are in the Cove, so far. It was thunder and lightning at around 3am this morning, this is the time we believe the fishermen make their decision whether or not they are going to go out and hunt. It’s now blue sky! So we are going to the Cove at about ten, to make sure the boats did not go out. I really hope not!
My video about plastic on the beaches will be up either tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I have tons of new videos on my youtube, so make sure you guys check that out
For the animals,
September 27, 2010
Sorry this is so late!
HI all! I apologize for keeping you waiting here. I was editing a video for my youtube, then we had to go to the camera store. I updated everywhere but here, which was really lame! I am a victim of writers-block at the moment, so bare with me haha.
Once again no Dolphins in the Cove! The fishermen didn’t even go out! The water is still WAY too rough. Which is great news for dolphins! However, while we were at the beach this morning… I couldn’t help but notice the 14 visible plastic bags floating in that little area of the beach. Not to mention the empty bottle of laundry soap and all the broken pieces of plastic lining the shore blending into the rocks. That was just in that small area of beach!
This is a plastic nation! I cannot believe how much plastic is used here. We will buy a pastry wrapped in plastic at the local bakery. They will take that pastry and bag then wrap it in another bag. THEN! We will receive a larger bag to put all of our plastic bags in. It is insane! We no longer accept bags, we bought our own reusable one. But my point to this rant is, where do they think all this plastic goes? Lord knows they don’t have the land here for tons of landfills. Well I can’t answer that question… but I can pretty much guarantee that many are ending up in the ocean. And I can say that because every-time I am at the Cove, I’ll see several in the water while I am picking them up off the shore. Plastic is terrible! Its one of the worst things we put in the waters. All plastic bags should be banned and we should be using paper or even better reusable totes.
Today was very low key. So I really don’t have much to say. But! Sonja showed me this website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch the video. These dolphins, in Egypt, are swimming in their own excrement. It’s really unfortunate. Captivity alone is no way for any living thing to live… but to put a living being in captivity and force them to live in their own excrement is barbaric. It’s not even that. I can’t think of a word to describe how utterly unsound that is.
On this site you can sign the petition to stop dolphin captivity in Egypt. I signed, I encourage you all too as well!
Thank you everyone for the support! I’m glad to have little news to report!
P.S – I completely forgot to talk about going to the Dolphin Resort Hotel today! Sonja and my dad showed us where they found the pens for the Dolphin Resort. These pens are where the captive dolphins are held before they are taken out to swim with the kids. Honestly, this was harder to watch then that slaughter was for me. That’s a big statement, I know. But for me, the idea of living in captivity for the rest of my life never to return home or see my family and friends again, ripped away from everything I knew and thrown into a scary new world… is a worst idea than being killed is. I’m not trying to say that one is better than the other, but one is harder for me to witness. These poor things were living in the smallest of living spaces I’ve ever seen. If you could even called them living spaces… more like praying for your last breath, cages. They have no idea. “Dolphins are non human persons” (In defense of Dolphins, by Thomas I. White P.h.D). To lock up an animal that loves, thinks, learns, communicates with a language we as humans cannot crack; an animal more intelligent than we are… only shows me how insane our species is. We are killing the planet, ourselves-and we are going to take some species with us, unfortunately.
For the Animals,
September 26, 2010
Hey all! Great news! Once again no Dolphins in the Cove. So today was a work/sight-seeing/helping my stray cat Steve day.
Once we had determined that no dolphins would be brought into the Cove today, (all twelve banging boats came in), we went back to our hotel. Or what my dad likes to call "head-quarters". We did some work on the internet and made lunch in our room. Sonja told us about this really cool trip to a hotel built on the top of a near by coastal mountain, by escalator. So we took one of the dolphin boats over to the bottom of the small mountain at the hotel. Waiting for the escalator to start running at 2pm, Christy and I checked out the Onsen (natural hot springs). It looked lovely and it was right on the water, so the waves came up and sprayed mist on the ground. It smelled like rotten eggs though, this is an effect of sulphur in the water. Finally the escalator was up and running. This is an estimated 11 story ride up on three separate escalators. It was so cool! But I hate heights, so I didn't look down! Ah!
At the top there is a path that leads you to a viewing area, that looked like an empty guest house. This place has a beautiful view of kii-Katsuura. However, the entire view was ruined for me by the giant fish painted on a slaughter house and just the sick joke the Dolphin and Whale boats were. A short way further down was another viewing area, this place was more like a garden. We kept walking down the path and made it to this temple, where everything was painted this bright orange. It was gorgeous! It wasn't till we got to the very end to the path that we made it to what we wanted to see. A very large view of the Pacific Ocean. Oh. I can't even describe how amazing this is. Watching the water turn to white as it crushed against the rocks…. the blue sky and the blue horizon blending into a white mist line. Not a cloud in the sky. This is how it should be. Left alone. Peaceful, rough, dangerous, beautiful, creative and colorful all on it's own terms.
When we went to dinner, walking in my dad and I both heard a faint "meow"…… "meow"… I thought I was hearing things, but my dad stopped and looked under one of the cars. There he was. My stray cat Steve. He was sooo cute! The poor thing was crying for food! He had this puffy/fat face with bright green eyes, but he was so skinny. I could feel his ribs and see them a little bit too. He was so sweet. He went up to the open restaurant door and was crying to everyone. So I picked him up and brought him further down the street on the sidewalk. I was sitting with him, trying to get him to drink some of my water. The girls who work at the tourist office across the street, came over and brought us a map. She showed my dad how close the pet store was. So I sat with the tabby cat I named Steve for about fifteen minutes. He would lay down and purr… then cry again… then wander a little, and eventually he just sat by me. It was as if he knew I was trying to help him Soon my dad came with a nice big bag of cat food. When Steve heard the bag opening he came running over to us. We were standing behind this lightly gated off area, so he wouldn't be in peoples way. We poured him a large size pile of food, then left him alone to eat and go about his business. It's too bad we aren't in the states, I would have taken the sweetheart home. But I'm glad we were able to at least able to make this evening easier for him. I really liked Steve. We left the bag of cat food with the waiter so hopefully he will continue to feed Steve.
Okay, My rant for the evening. My dad found this information on Wikipedia:
Mercury concentration in the hair of Taiji inhabitants
"In 2010, hair samples from 1,137 Taiji residents was tested for mercury by the National Institute for Minamata disease. The average amount of methyl mercury found in the hair samples was 11.0 parts per million for men and 6.63 ppm for women, compared with an average of 2.47 ppm for men and 1.64 ppm for women in tests conducted in 14 other locations in Japan. 182 Taiji residents showing extremely high mercury levels underwent further medical testing to check for symptoms of mercury poisoning. None of the Taiji residents, however, displayed any of the traditional symptoms of mercury poisoning, according to the Institute. Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, however, reports that the mortality rate for Taiji and nearby Koazagawa, where dolphin meat is also consumed, is over 50% higher than the rate for similarly-sized villages throughout Japan.
The chief of the NIMD, Koji Okamoto, said, "We presume that the high mercury concentrations are due to the intake of dolphin and whale meat. There were not any particular cases of damaged health, but seeing as how there were some especially high concentration levels found, we would like to continue conducting surveys here."-
I just thought this was very interesting. It really amazes me that most Japanese people don't believe that the mercury really does effect them badly. Though the people of Taiji have high levels of mercury corsing through their veins because of Whale, Dolphin and fish, I find it odd that they don't seem to have the traditional signs of mercury poisoning. In area's where the public eats more Whale and Dolphin meat (according to this article), they have higher levels of mercury. This is just another example of how real this really is. No, it's not going to not effect you because you are Japanese and you "have a tolerance for it". It's only a matter of time till the next Minamota outbreak happens.
For the Animals,
September 26, 2010
8 out of 12
Hey everyone! Eight out of the twelve banging boats are in the harbor this morning. The other four must be out, but we think they will have a hard time finding Dolphin with such rough water. No dolphins in the Cove for now. I'm really looking forward to another day with no Dolphin!
For the Animals,
September 25, 2010
Sun and storm
Today we woke up, and dressed for the rain. When we walked outside… there was not a cloud in sight. This scared us. The weather seemed to be perfect for the fishermen. But when we got into Taiji, all of the "banging boats" were in. It was wonderful! The water was so rough they must have decided to not go out. The waves were also probably too big for the fishermen's tiny "netting" boats. At the Cove, I realized that the second fence the police put up in front of the rocks, was gone. The waves were so big and strong they had washed it off shore. The fence must have been hitting the rocks all night because it was bent up like a crumpled piece of paper. I couldn't help but burst out laughing! It was so great! I took it as natures way of saying "f-you!". But more importantly, there are no dolphins in the Cove today! Another pod will be safe.
Last night at around midnight, Christy Morgan made it here to Kii-Katsuura. She is the person I mentioned in my last massive update, that we were waiting for. She didn't have a place to stay, so she crashed on our hotel floor. We are really happy to have her here! We showed her around Taiji, and she is really lucky her first time at the Cove wasn't witnessing captive dolphins. Christy is a vegan chef, her blog is The Blissful Chef.
The weather expected for the next weekend is rain and wind. We are hopping that is true! A week with no dolphin hunting would make the opening to October a tad easier to deal with. For those of you who did not know, the swim with dolphin programs and marine places like Sea World, were starting to feel the pressure of the slaughter. So, they made a deal with the fishermen. From what I know, it was that during the entire month of September they would do all their dolphin choosing for the marine parks, but the fishermen had to let the rest go. However, in October they would resume the hunt without them involved. Well guess what you guys, you're hands are just as red here. You are still funding and supporting the slaughter. We aren't idiots. We can see what is going on here, you are ashamed. If you weren't you wouldn't have come up with such an elaborate lie. But there is just too much money involved in the dolphin trade that you wouldn't dare stop and think about what you are doing. So now is their time for guilt? "Dolphins need to be considered non-human persons."- Unknown to me
So before I get into my rant for the day, I wanted to take a minute to say to everyone back home-I miss you so much! I miss my quiet, intelligent, and goofy sister! So much! I miss my wild and crazy friends and our random adventures. I miss home. I love you mommy! I wish I could come home… I wish this wasn't the reason I was in Taiji. But, I can't come home yet. This isn't over, and it's not going to end while I am here, but I want to stay my full Visa and finnish my part, what I started. This is so important to me, and when I said I wanted to go you all did everything you could to make sure that it was possible. Thank you so much for supporting me! Especially Mom and Sabrina. Mom, you helped me move everything! And you are still dealing with everything that I had to drop to come, I owe you so much! And Sabrina, thank you for helping me clean my room and pack… and for understanding why I had to do this, for being so supportive of us going. Daddy and I miss you so much! We'll be home soon.
And Jeanne and Dallas, for buying my plane ticket… I can't even express how much I love you for that! Really.
My rant for today:
So, several days ago Dwight, Sandra, My dad, and I went to the local fish port in Kii-Katsuura. They usually bring up Tuna from long-lines here. They had just brought in hundreds, and were still unloading them from the boats. The footage I have is only of one side, so you can not see all of that mornings catch. But the footage is on my youtube: KahakaiGirl and the pictures are on my public Facebook - Everyday they go out and bring in all of these fish. Have they not realized that the fish are getting smaller? And decreasing in numbers!? It's as if they think they grow overnight. It's all corporate greed. We are wiping out our oceans, and they can't keep up! It scares me, it's ignorance like this that I witnessed that will kill us all. If the oceans are destroyed we cannot survive. That's not a made up statement, it is scientifically proven. But this is their daily-lifestyle. They do this everyday. It's an important piece to my project…. but it's an ignorant life-style still. I think that the videos speak for themselves. Check out my youtube.
For the Animals,
September 25, 2010
This is what it was like a year ago...
I don't know if the video is going to load here, or if you have to plug it into your ULR bar, but it is really worth watching. I amazed this hasn't happened to us. It's probably because my dad went into the police station before we really started documenting the Cove. And since I am a minor, they lay a finger on me and they'll have a huge international law suit! With almost 2,000 people on my side! Thank you everyone!
For the Animals,
September 24, 2010
HI all. New pictures are up on my public facebook. They are of the rough waters today, and some pictures by Sonja of the Whale museum.
September 24, 2010
Thunder and Lightning!
Yay! The water was so rough today that the boats did not go out! The clouds are a dark gray color. We are hoping for thunder and lightning all week! I am so happy to be able to give you all good news today. Dolphins are safe another day.
Someone new is coming today! So I can't wait to meet her! I encourage everyone who can and is on the fence about coming… to come! We need the people here. I understand why a lot of people cannot, I really do. Some dear family friends of ours lent us the money for me to come. I owe them more thank you's than I could say in a life time! Thank you Jeanne and Dallas, I love you! You made this all possible.
Thank you for all the kind comments. They make my day, knowing that so many people feel exactly the same way that I do.
Reporting good news at the Cove for the Animals,
September 23, 2010
I have no idea where to start. But I think that the best thing to open with is the good news. The dolphins not chosen for show were released today. However, a family that used to be twenty is now an estimated twelve. Eight were taken for the Aquariums. Two calfs are now possibly without mothers. I think that is worse than the slaughter. I am not a supporter of either obviously… but to break a family apart, and send them out to sea while the rest will be forced to perform for food is undoubtably dishonorable! Especially since they do not understand our language. But they understand theirs! I don't even want to go into all the amazing things dolphins can do, are aware of, and how they communicate with each other. I'll just get to upset if I do. Just because they do not look like a humans, does not mean that they do not love, think, see, feel, and understand like us… in fact they are smarter. We are really the less intelligent species. We are killing ourselves and everything around us. And we know this. But most chose to ignore it and act like it isn't happening. But they know it! That's the worst part! The worst part.
But to the trainers, fishermen, and the people who agree with all of this; sending half a family of dolphins out to sea isn't bad. They all seem to think every female will produce milk, they still have some to keep each other company… etc. Do they not realize? They really don't get it. I saw all the trainers lined up waiting to be driven around to the Cove to pick out their dolphins. And I just wanted to throw up. You all disgust me so much. You have no idea. It's your ignorance… I don't understand how someone could work with these creatures like that for a long period of time, and not have a Richard O'Barry moment, and say "they don't belong in captivity". It's greed. Those dolphins just look like giant money signs to them.
After the first Dolphin was chosen today, my dad and I ran to the car and drove over to the pens. I filmed them putting the Dolphin in. The poor thing was splashing and throwing itself around. I have it all on film. It will be on my youtube: KahakaiGirl soon. But as I was filming them, this fishermen boat with three fishermen pulled up. I ignored them, like I usually do. But the one guy started yelling at me to move, I was in the way of where the rope needed to go, so they could pick up more nets. All of those pictures are on my public facebook page. He was so nasty! It was not a "move".. it sounded like a "f-ing move girl" in Japanese. These guys do NOT like us. It doesn't bother me in the least, why would I want them to like me when I completely despise them.
We were walking back to the car, when my dad pointed out the new public bathroom that they just built at the dock. The building has a Whale and Dolphin on the side, and a picture of Dolphin fins on the front. I couldn't even believe my eyes. They all wear such a thick facade.
About half way into the process, the lightening and rain came in. We had seen the clouds all morning, but were waiting for them to hit. It was wonderful when they did! These lightning bolts were so bright, and would shoot down three at a time over the horizon. It was beautiful. And it only made problems for the fishermen and trainers, the rain was so hard! I was trying to catch a picture of the lightning, but it was just too fast! Sometimes it's better to live with your eyes away form the camera screen.
The remaining dolphins were released. And as the fishermen were leaving they waved to us while flipping off my dad. We really piss them off.
Okay. Here is my question of the day. Where is everyone? And I'm not talking about the people who actually want to be here, but can't because of work and economy. I know you guys would be here if you could. I am talking about other organizations. Like PETA, Greenpeace.. etc. They have millions of dollars but they don't seem to do anything with it. And I'm sorry, but this is right down Greenpeace's ally. Protesting and documenting. Sea Shepherd is here, I guess that these other groups must be too scared to come here. Okay, just let SSCS, the 16 year old girl and the 13 and 15 year old boys show you up.
It starts here people. If the oceans die, we all will die. This is first priority. "If we can't change this one thing… there is no hope for any of us!" -Ric O'barry
For the Animals,
September 23, 2010
Quick update before bed...
Hi all, I wish I had the time to give you a massive update, but we are planning to be up by 3am tomorrow to catch what is going to happen to those poor dolphins. So I really need to get to sleep to stay healthy. I'm getting up early a lot.
Today we drove up to the Cove, and the hunters boats had found Dolphin earlier than usual. There is a video of the Dolphins on my public facebook page. We think they are dolphins, and there looks to by almost 20.
Here is something I wrote while sitting at the Cove this morning:
I want to say that there are about 17 or 18 dolphins in the Cove today. There may be more or less, but either way it is another dark day in an area where the sun seems to always be reflecting brightly off the water. I did not expect to wake up this morning to another day like yesterday. Hopefully it won't be like yesterday, and they will release the dolphins that are not chosen for show. But we think they might kill them just to piss us off. It will only piss them off more when we stay completely calm, don't react to their smirks, and then expose them to the world. Giving not only a bad name for Taiji, but for all swim with dolphin programs that fund this.
We are sitting under some trees so we can document if anything else happens. Three cops dressed in white button up shirts and blue dress pants came over to get a "visual" on us. The police department now needs to pay these guys to sit here and watch us all day. More money to be spent.
One fisherman in white boots, blue pants, and a red tee shirt with the sleeves cut off came down the stairs on the phone. He is sitting in front of us, watching his catch. Okay, I just have to say…. His phone is hot pink! I just cracked up! Here is this guy trying to act all tough and intimidate us… and he's holding a Barbie pink cell phone!
He is not the first, this one guy who kept taking my picture had a hot pink camera yesterday. What is with all these guys trying to by tough while holding pink electronics? Normally I am not this judge-mental… but I think these guys deserve it. J
Now there are two fishermen! Wow… they must really be afraid of us doing something illegal. Well we can't. Because if we get locked up, no one will be watching the Cove and nothing will be documented. The best thing we can do is showthe world that they are still killing dolphins here at the Cove, and they must be ashamed of it, or they would not hide.
Two more just showed up. There are four now.
Have you all ever noticed how (in my pictures) the no photography sign is in English? It is in Japanese, but the font on that part is so small, my camera won't even pick it up.
It was very short, but I needed to vent about my surroundings. I like to share that stuff with you, It feels safe. I have so many people who support me…
A short while after I wrote that we came back to the hotel to upload everything, and to catch up on everything from yesterday that was not out yet. About two hours later we went back to the Cove, where we met three new people here to do the same thing we are. It was amazing! A really good part to another horrible day. Their names are Matthew, Robin, and Sonja. They are Dutch and Swiss. It's great having more people here that are just as passionate as we are. Sandra and Dwight left this morning, so it was just going to be my dad and I till October. But now Matthew, Robin, and Sonja will be with us till the 27th!
We showed them around, and where everything is and where stuff is done. After dinner we are back in the hotel and getting everything ready for another early morning. I am really hoping I will be able to respond to everyones emails and comments tomorrow afternoon! I am reading them! I just don't have the time I want to respond. But I do want to talk to you all! So please don't think I am ignoring you!
For the Animals,
September 22, 2010
Really quick (and sorry it's not related to the dolphins) but my Fickr account is no more. They would not let me upload as many pictures as I wanted to. Instead go to my public facebook page every and all pictures will be there.
September 21, 2010
About nineteen or twenty Dolphins have been driven into the Cove today. More updates later, we don't know if some oh them will be bought and the rest released or if they will be slaughtered.
Not exactly what I wanted to wake up to today.
For the Animals,
September 21, 2010
Just a quick update
A lot of you are wondering who that cat is that I keep taking pictures of.. she is the cat we see on our way to get breakfast in the morning. She is so cute! And always looks like she is guarding something, she cracks us up!
Thank you so much for all of your kind words! If I had time to respond to each and every one of them I would! Really! I love talking to you all! You are what keeps me going.
September 21, 2010
The internet was disconnected while I was uploading Youtube stuff. I have to leave the hotel right now… so I'll start uploading again when I get back. I feel really bad about this.
But the good news is, that I have created a Flickr account, so that my blog will load much faster. Here is the URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eloramalama
Right now only Sandra and Dwight's pictures are up. Mine will be later. You can see all of them on my public facebook profile.
For the Animals,
September 21, 2010
No red water.. But red hands
I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out what to say. But that's usually my best writing. But still, forgive me if this sounds harsh, or scattered. I'm trying to rise above ignorance, but it's about time I state what I think about this whole situation more in your face than I usually do. I'm very upset right now. I'm done with the ignorance that all these people in Taiji, in the Japanese government, and even some travelers from around Japan seem to be made up of. Why is the government and people allowing this small group of doltish and vile men to contol a huge section of the Japanese government? While both the police and government back them up! They have brainwashed all of the Japanese people. Now when locals or travelers talk to us they don't understand why the media is making us out to be criminals. The police are now in a awkward position allowing us to walk freely, because they know everything the public has been told are lies. And they are reminded every time someone complains that we are still walking freely.
There are too many layers to this story. And it all comes down to one group of men, who need to be stopped. Who the heck gave them all the power? —
Everything started this morning at 3am. My dad had been up since 2:30. I got up and we prepared all of my SDcards and batteries. We were out of the hotel room and on the road by 3:40 on our way to Shingu to pick up Sandra and Dwight. I don't think my dad and I said ten words to each other. The quiet said everything. I was so scared to witness something absolutely dreadful and know that there was nothing I could do to stop it. I've never seen death on a large scale either.. so I didn't know how I was going to react to that. All I knew was that I had to document everything I could… for you guys. Hopefully to inspire people to come down here and help put a stop to this. We need more than four people causing a scene.
Once Sandra and Dwight were in the car, it was the same story. No one had anything to say. Maybe a few things here and there, but that half hour car ride to the Cove was pretty silent. It was now 4:40. And still pitch black out…. walking into the park area we spotted one fishermen who must have been on guard duty all night… Sucker!…
It was so scary walking down those stairs, we didn't know if more were waiting in the dark under the trees, and no police were here yet. So we sat down in a lightly lit, by the street light, area. And waited for sunrise. Some aquarium people showed up with a group of fishermen at 5am. The fishermen who were involved with the slaughter today started arriving at about 5:15 in their boats. By 5:30, the aquarium people were taken back to shore with nothing. The Pilot Whales were not good enough for them. They had been banged up all night swimming in the shallow water. The aquariums were saying that they were not involved with the slaughter. Well today that was proven wrong. They knew exactly what was going on. And it is all on film. It was slaughter time now.
They must have beached the Whales before the slaughter because the water never turned red… but we know it happened. By 6 they were driving out boats with giant piles of tarps that the fishermen were sitting on. Their catch for the day. It was now confirmed that the Whales were dead. Sandra and I both just went numb. There were many things I wanted to do. Cry, scream… and almost laugh at their ignorance. But I couldn't show any of that. I was too shocked and disturbed………. You'd have to be completely heartless to kill something that is so intelligent and magical. And it makes me sick to know that they don't see that.
We sat around for another twenty minutes, watching them picking up the nets. Dwight and my dad had walked onto the hill to see if they police thought it was safe to swim now. Dwight and I wanted that footage of the bloody beach.. but we didn't want to break the law. Then our job here would be over. They started yelling for us to come up onto the hill…. Sandra and I grabbed our stuff and booked it up the hill…. I thought we were being arrested. Or at least my dad was.
When we got up to the top of the hill, we saw around the corner, on the other side of the Cove…. and giant boat with tarps hanging around it. And a even bigger ship like boat, was dragging the dead Whale off of the tarp covered floating tomb. We got footage of that too. By 7:20 everything was done, even bringing the meat into the slaughter house… which I have footage of too. That is a shot of it in the picture above.
This is what brings me to my rant. I came here for my senior project. To study food, daily-lifestyle, and culture… and how that ties into the killing at the Cove. Well it all does. But the part that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time is this so-called "culture". It's freaking bull shit! If this were culture, they would be…
1. Doing it out in the open for everyone to see.
2. They would not be filming our every move.
3. They wouldn't try to intimidate us to get us to leave…
4. They would not be hiding everything! They transfer would not have been under a tarp… they wouldn't stand in front of our cameras… and they wouldn't be doing it in the Cove.
5. If this were culture, they would be treating the animal with respect, even if they were killing it. Reverence for the animals.
6. They wouldn't be driving in thousands each year, with boats that have giant metal pipes they bang on to drive them in. They would go out and hunt them man and spear in the wild, it would be personal. I'm not trying to say that is still right… I'm stating the difference.
7. This hasn't been going on for 400 years. Not like this. You really think they would still be doing this if they didn't make money? Maybe… but maybe like one a year like the people up in Alaska.
8. It's all greed. All those magical creatures look like to them is money.
9. The fishermen actually told Richard O'barry that if the world found out, they would be shut down.
10. It's all shameful. And they know what they are doing is shameful.. that's why they hide it. That's the worst part.
— This is just how I reacted to today… and I think it's important to put it out there.
Thank you for the support everyone. I love you all! And videos will be up on youtube throughout my day. So keep checking.
For the Animals,
September 21, 2010
Click image to visit slideshow.
Hi all. I'm not in my normal cheery mood. Today the fishermen went out TWICE and brought in what looks to be about a dozen Pilot Whales. There is some good news to my story however… so please keep reading through everything that will make you want to break your computer.
Whenever someone asks, "Do you want the bad news first, or the good news?", I'll always say the bad news. That way I don't end a conversation on a bad note.
So that's what I am going to do now. It starts this morning at around 4:30. My dad starts fussing for me to wake up. We all decided to get up extra early to go and film the Katsuura fishermen bringing in Tuna. My dad and I had to check out of the hotel this morning, to move to another one, so getting out the door was hectic and took a little over an hour. But we made it to Katsuura from Shingu by 6- right when they were unloading this morning's catch. It was heartbreaking, disgusting and the reality slaps you in the face. We are over fishing! I can't even go on a rant because I'm so shocked. You hear the fishermen talk about how there used to be hundreds of Dolphins swimming, in the Cove movie. But now they have a harder time finding them. It's the same with the Tuna and any other sea creature you are eating… these things don't grow over night and when hundreds are pulled out everyday… things will start disappearing.
After we took footage of the catch, we headed straight for the Cove at around 6:40. When we got there it looked like nothing was going on, until we reached the boat harbor. All the banging boats were gone. So we headed for our "lookout mountain". We were only there for 40mins before the first catch were being herded in. The footage will be up later tonight. But watching those "dolphins" so scared and heading for shore with those insert swear word of choice here fishermen, banging on poles to drive them in. The banging sound really doesn't leave your head. It's been bugging me all day!
Once the "dolphins" were blocked into the Cove. Everyone (the fishermen) left. So we sat and waited for their return. In that time frame, my father and I rushed to the hotel to post a quick update and Sandra and Dwight counted five Pilot Whales. Long finned Pilot Whales, Is what we think they are. Aren't those supposed to be protected? The government was letting this happen. And we know that because the police stood right there with us as the fishermen drove them in.
About hour an hour later, my dad spotted the banging boats on the horizon. The horror went on again. This time they drove in at least seven Pilot Whales, making an estimated dozen sitting in the Cove currently. We have word from a good source that very few Aquariums buy Pilot Whales. We are preparing ourselves for bloody water tomorrow. So prepare yourselves as well. This isn't a light subject.
I'll post more pictures and some video tonight when I find my missing data card!
On a good note however! Sandra, Dwight, my dad, and I all watched the Cove on my dad's computer, while sitting at the Cove. Most of the tourists, and locals came over to see what we were doing. We reached out and shared this information, using the Cove movie, to at least nine or ten different people. Two of them being the Directors of a Tokyo news station, and thinking of playing the Cove movie on the station sometime. On top of that! We talked to several other groups of locals, and three journalist students traveling from Tokyo. The word is getting out to some of the local and distant community. It's great! Half of the people had heard about the Cove, but didn't realize that they were standing in it. And lots of people ignored the gates saying keep off rocks, to get better pictures of the Pilot Whales. So today has had it's ups and downs.
For the Animals,
September 20, 2010
No good news...
Hi everyone. I unfortunately have bad news today. About eight or ten small Whales have been herded into the killing Cove only. We watched the banging boats herd them in from far out into the horizon, to the killing Cove. I have more then enough video, but I do not have time to upload anything now. I don't have any words… it looks like these might become sushi, because there is such a little amount and they took down the main net that blocked the way out of the entire Cove. The only place there are nets is blocking the killing Cove. More updates tonight, or tomorrow morning for some of you.
Photo's by Sandra Miller
September 19, 2010
My public facebook page!
September 19, 2010
Pictures from today!
Click image to visit slideshow.
Once again there are no Dolphins in the Cove today! We still had a very interesting day. After confirming that the fishing boats were in the harbor, we headed for the festival in Katsuura. It was so cool! I think it was still setting up, because things were being put together. But they had floating trees with flags on them, the boats were decorated, people were rowing around playing drums, and preparing in the streets for shows. It was very neat!
We went into a local sea-food market and I was completely and utterly disturbed by everything that I saw. The scallops would spit water and bounce as best they could since they were in a box with about a hundred others below them. It was just horror to me. The oceans are dying too quickly and then you look at why. It's greed. It's people who either know and choose not to care, or people who are so ignorant that they believe every-time they get a shipment of Clams etc etc. that it will just keep coming forever. I feel like if people were even the slightest bit educated, some of that ignorance would go away. And that's what our world needs. Because once we save the oceans, (our main source of survival in terms of oxygen and apex predators), then we can work on stopping the on land problems. Oil companies, factory farming and things like that. It just seems that the majority of our Earth's population choose to ignore everything. "I don't see it, it doesn't happen". I guess I don't know where I'm going with this… I'm just upset is all.
Today Dwight and I decided that it would be a good thing for my senior project if we filmed some stuff from inside the water at the killing Cove. And the fishermen said we could be in the water with no fishermen or dolphins, so it was allowed as far as we were concerned. One of us always stayed in view of the police, because we didn't want them to suspect us of anything, it was harmless footage of me talking. It was so scary! So so so so so scary! We booked it out of there… never went on land or anything, because there was a keep out sign. Once we saw that, we swam out. We weren't trying to break any laws.
Once we were back on shore… this guy on a jet ski came flying around the corner, and we thought it was a fishermen. So all in a panic we were preparing for him to start yelling. Turns out it was a guy and his girlfriend looking for a place to have a picnic. They picked a part of the beach, and set up. Then the guy got back on his jet ski and went into the killing Cove to see what was there. We figured, if he can do that, then there shouldn't be any problem with us swimming.
Now we are back at the hotel, and I am downloading video to youtube. Please check my account several times because it could take a day to get all this footage up. Thanks for everything everyone!
For the Animals,
P.S Guess who bought the bread that turned out to be chocolate bread… Sandra. haha! oh well! I got some anyway
September 19, 2010
Hi all! I'm really sorry but some of the video I promised you today will be up tomorrow because a lot of it came off of Sandra Miller's camera, and it did not download to my desktop for some reason. I just noticed too! Tomorrow for sure!
Have a good morning or night! I need some sleep now.
For the Animals,
September 18, 2010
Good day! And TONS of video!
Click image to visit slideshow.
Hi bloggers! Today was fantastic, no Dolphins in the cove!
We took Dwight and Sandra to the temple and waterfall and enjoyed another day in Japan without the worry of Dolphins being captured or killed.
I'm not going to do a massive update via writing today because everything we did is on video. Please check my youtube account to see all the new stuff. This including a store merchant showing us which meat is Whale, my third swim in the Cove and our hike up Tsunami park. It will take a while to get it up, but there will be at least one video within the hour. For those living in areas where it is night you'll get to watch all of them in a row. Thanks for the support!
For the Animals,
P.S. for those of you who have been curious about my name, "Malama", it was given to me traditionally by a good family friend of ours who is from Fiji and has been living in Hawaii for over thirty years. His name is Jim Anthony. I plan on copying his wrist tattoo, like my father did, but put my own animal in the center of it. Jim has a turtle, my dad has a buzzard and a moon, and I want a dolphin whale and shark in a circle. I have such a respect for both men that I want to copy their band that Jim designed.
The name was given at traditional Awa ceremony when I was a baby. It was the first name I had.
Just for those who were curious
September 18, 2010
I want my chocolate bread!
Good morning, afternoon, evening, or night bloggers! I have more good news! The fishermen went out today (very sunny and hot day) in search of dolphin. They came back empty handed! It doesn't give much to blog about, but that is what we wanted to see today!
I'll post a short video with this update. It's footage of a boat coming into the harbor without dolphins.
The hill we like to go to is a viewing park! You walk down these beautiful moss covered trails, and you can read (if you can read Japanese) about different Whales and Dolphins you might see out in the water from the viewing point. Nowadays, that means you can read about the marine life that you watch the fishermen send into extinction.
We ran into the policeman that we forgot to tell where we were going last night! We explained what happened and how sorry we were, he was so shocked we cared so much he was getting a little emotional. He told us that he didn't sleep all night, because he was worried about me! I felt even worse about my blonde moment! At least things are set straight now, I can relieve my conscious of that.
While Matt was here, he kept talking about this amazing chocolate bread that our favorite bakery sells. However, whenever we were in the store they were not selling it. So Matt explained to me what they looked like. They are long and a little fat like a maple bar doughnut, but the bread does not look like cake but like a small loaf of bread! So we go into the store yesterday and I find something like how he described. I bite into it, and it's full of mushrooms! Now, I have no problem with mushrooms, but they were not what my taste buds were expecting. Today we went in, and I found something else that looked like what he described… So here I am, sitting in my hotel room getting ready to start blogging. I decided that this is chocolate bread time! So I take a huge bite into this banana and cream bread loaf…. It was amazing! But I still want my chocolate bread! Haha J
Now for my more serious updates:
We went into a local store a block from our hotel to buy something nice for the lady who runs our tiny hotel. We were told that it is something much appreciated here in Japan, and she has been so nice! The first thing I saw when we walked into the probably 1800 square foot building was the huge frozen food section. It was nothing but meat and fish. We walked over to the rows upon rows of fish, and found Whale. At least we think it was Whale, the meat was obviously fish like and it was this really deep red color. On the package, there was a picture of a Whale. We also found squares of Whale meet and possibly dolphin, but we don't read Japanese so I can't say I know that for sure. We went to the packaged food area and found some desserts that you could sample. We got our lovely hotel manager some orange and cream cake squares. Still disgusted by the fact I had probably held a frozen square of Whale meet, we went to check out. There, we not only found two huge bags of what looked like Baleen Whale bristles, but there where three baskets of different sized Whale and dolphin teeth! I couldn't believe what I saw and I had to pick one up! I thought I was going to drop it, I didn't think about the fact it probably weighed at least eight to ten pounds! We left the store so disturbed. I'm going to try and get a video up of it tomorrow, if I figure out a way to film without being rude.
Today Dwight and Sandra Miller showed up to help spread the word about Taiji, Cove. They answered Paul's call on the website. It's so nice having more people here who are just as passionate as we are about saving dolphins! They showed up and were ready to do anything. Since there was nothing to document today (thank goodness), we decided I'd swim out with them, and show them the Cove. They are great! They got their suits and jumped into the water with me, and off we went! We stayed at the opening of the killing part of the cove for a short while, while Dwight took pictures with his underwater camera. (I'll have something up tomorrow it's on their camera). This latest swim was not as difficult as the first one was for me… But even Dwight and Sandra said that you can feel the evil in that place and my blood almost turns hot, it's so strange and unnerving
We went to the same dinner place we did last night. I got, for dessert, Ice cream. But when it came it was frosted flakes and ice cream. Haha! It was good… but strange! Idk, who else eats ice cream with frosted flakes? I know I have weird food habits, especially before I was a vegetarian!
Well I'm glad that there was not much to update. I need some sleep now, night bloggers! Thanks for all your support.
For the Animals,
September 17, 2010
Another great day!
Today is turning out to be a another great day! The dolphin hunter boats went out, but came back empty handed. I'll give a more detailed update later!
For the Animals,
September 17, 2010
That floppy hat...
Today was another free day for dolphins! My dad, Matt, and I woke up around 5:30 to go check out things at the Cove. We walked outside to find that the storm still had not passed, we couldn't have been more happy! Driving to the the town of Taiji, we noticed that the water was very rough and choppy today. That was also great! It hopefully meant that the fishermen did not go out with their boats, with fear of costly problems to the boats. What I thought was great, is that it still was a costly problem! That is an estimated 50-ish dolphins they will not profit off of, and it's been this way for three days.
We came back to the town we are staying in and stopped to get tea and toast in our favorite little corner coffee shop. Sadly, we couldn't finnish our breakfast because two different smokers came in and I was trapped in the smoke. Now, I have nothing against smokers, unless they throw the cigarette butts on the ground, but I cannot inhale second hand smoke! My throat almost closes up. So I had barely anything to start my day today.
All three of us drove over to where the dolphin holding pens are. It's disgusting in Taiji Town. Most of the buildings are slaughter houses and fishing decks. I'll get a picture of it, and do a whole article on it tomorrow, but the dolphin slaughter house… looks like a place in which you might be murdered. The building has this torn brown and rust exterior… with a large door that matches the bad paint job. You get chills, just looking at it.
Today is the day that Matt had to return home to his family. After we dropped him off at the train station, we got word that two more people will be arriving tomorrow. This was great! We drove past the Cove, and still nothing. Today is the third day in a row that dolphins are safe!
Now for the very funny… but kinda sad story. A reporter that we ran into at the Cove, saw my dad's shirt and was very interested in getting some insight on SSCS. We made plans to meet up for dinner, so he could ask all his questions. He did know who SSCS was. When it came time to meet… I realized why I have been so tired and weak the last two days… I am not eating right. I haven't been since I got here. My body is used to a certain amount, well the amount it needs, of different fruits, vegetables, proteins and other important foods. But ever since I landed, I've had a hard time finding foods with high levels of protein because I do not eat meat and we are staying in a town where people travel from all over to eat fish at. So, we stopped at the store behind out hotel and bought all kinds of food. Tofu, vegetables, fruits etc. It was great having someone with us who spoke both English and Japanese, he was able to help us find what we were looking for. We all wanted Tempora and rice with Tofu for dinner, so we asked the lady behind the counter if she knew of a place….. Now remember how I told you that the police follow us everywhere mainly to protect me? Well the funniest police officer was following us on foot. And he was standing right across the street. This local and his two daughters had come into the very small store, and overheard our conversation. He offered to drive us to the restaurant. Because of his daughters being there, we felt that the situation was safe and it would have been considered very rude to decline his offer. So! Here we all are…. my dad and the reporter and this man's two daughters pile into the back of the car, and they offer me the front seat. I glance over (now keep in mind that I am so used to seeing the police following me, that this hadn't phased me at all until he was running to the car around the block) and the police officer is grabbing his floppy hat, sliding his hands down his face, his jaw was practically to the wet ground… and he is carrying all this stuff! He starts throwing his bag over his shoulder and dashing for the little white car around the block. Now I realize what we have done! And i'm about to say that we need to stop and tell him where we are going…. when my dad pipes up and says "Hmm, I wonder what the police think? We always tell them where we are going".
Dinner was very wonderful! Our new friend ordered everything vegetarian on the menu! And wrote out the names of each thing in Japanese for us! We were so grateful! I hadn't been eating right, so the different Tofu's, egg dishes, vegetable, and rice was just what I needed! Our reporter friend wanted to know all about SSCS, why my dad was interested in being a part of them, the difference between killings cow and chicken compared to dolphin, etc. He had it painted in his head that SSCS was a group of nasty threatening people, by the end of dinner he said "you're not like that at all… You're just like any dad from anywhere". It was great! I'm hoping we can open the eyes of the Japanese people, and starting with a reporter is great!
Walking back to our hotel we saw one of our police friends parked out front the building, we went straight to them because I felt so bad! I didn't want the guy to get fired for loosing us, just because I was blonde and didn't put two and two together! Our reporter friend translated for us, and everything was worked out. PHEW!
I'm sorry this is later than it normally is, I was typing last night my time and when I hit save draft the internet wigged out, and it didn't save half of my document! Because I was so tired my dad made me go to sleep, rather than spend another hour up writing, I need to stay healthy.
Well that's the crazy story for today! Today was good all around!
For the Animals,
September 16, 2010
Sometimes NO news, is GOOD news...
Hi everyone! Today was another great day for dolphins! We drove to the cove, and none were visibly being herded in. After we waited for a little while, we drove over to where the fishermen's "banging" boats are, They were gone. The fishermen did go out trying to find dolphin. We wanted a better view of the horizon so we drove up a giant hill, to a park that had an amazing view of everything from the white building of the Cove, to the horizon. I took soo many pictures! You can see them under the page I have titled "Taiji and Cove". It was very beautiful! However, we couldn't make out what boats were on the horizon, so we decided to go back to the Cove to see what was going on. When we arrived, everything was so still. It was a good time for breakfast, and we knew we could actually eat knowing that there were no dolphins in the Cove, yet.
I was/am feeling very nauseous today. I have a lot of allergy problems, and the new environment is getting to me. That or I am coming down with a slight stomach flu bug. I hope it's just an allergy thing, that will eventually pass, there is nothing worse than the flu! I am also very home sick! I miss my pets, and my family… and my friends! Soo much! I know I've only been gone a week, but I started to think about how long I will be here and I do miss my life back home. But I have to say I am proud and happy being here and doing what it is I am doing. I feel like I have a moral responsiblity to the people in my generation to show that no matter our age, we can all do something very important. I'm living proof of that and so are thousands of other teens, kids and young adults who have stepped up and done the same thing.
It's pouring! I mean RAINING! I don't even think the term "cats and dogs" works here, more like "tigers and bears"! I would imagine it's been the hardest rain in a while, considering locals told us that is hadn't rained in weeks when it was drizzling Monday morning. Still no dolphins at the Cove. We plan on getting some dinner soon…I am posting a video of the beautiful waterfall in Nachi. Hope it's a nice relief to go with the good news!
Thanks for the support! I'm so happy there is nothing to say! It means that the dolphins are safe for another day.
For the Animals,
September 15, 2010
Hi everyone! Today had the potential to be very low key, but ha! What were we thinking? Of course something was going to come up!
We arrived at the Cove around 6:45 am. The fishermen were nowhere in view. We sat there for about a half hour, and no dolphins were being herded into the Cove. The police did not know what the fishermen's plans were. Below is something I wrote while sitting on a rock….
I'm sitting on a giant rock at the Cove. Behind (about two feet) from me is the blocked off trail to the Cove. It looks like a castle wall. This place is so beautiful and I really can't even describe it. My pictures don't even do it justice. The water is so still, and only the wind moving the current is stirring it. No Dolphins were chased into the Cove this morning. We have word that the Dolphin trainers only want to choose Dolphins for aquariums in September, and the rest of the season is up to the fishermen. It's a real shame, this place. I mean, it would make an incredible dive site, hiking "park", and if the fishermen really wanted to make money, a boat tour out to watch dolphins in the water.
After we decided that the fishermen probably were not going out today, we left for breakfast. We went to an adorable little bakery and got some egg Danish, doughnuts, and sandwiches.
We then went back to the Cove, ate our food while checking to see if any dolphins were being herded in. None were. So we packed up our things, and went to do some sight seeing. Besides what is going on at the Cove, I want to learn about culture and see Japan. We drove to a temple at Nachi. We hiked so many stairs, and had an amazing view of the land! It was really cool being inside a temple. I have never been in a Japanese temple before! After viewing that for a while, we came down all the stairs and walked over to the waterfall. It was breathtaking! I didn't want to leave! The sound is almost hypnotic. I have a video of the sound I'll post it tonight. It smelled like incense and wet trees. Very relaxing.
Heading back to Taiji, we stopped at a restaurant down the hill of the park. This is where things got interesting. I had left out rental phone in the car, by mistake. It turns out the police had called up 11 times! I felt terrible! I thought the phone was in my camera case! But the cops that have been following us around got a call, stopped Matt while he was outside, and asked for us. I really thought this is it. We are being arrested. They have found something to charge us with… but we have done absolutely nothing wrong!
The police said they wanted to ask my dad more about the death threats that were sent to Sea Shepherd. So they had all three of us follow them back to the police station. At first, we all walked up stairs, into an office, and into the interrogation room. This was not a friendly place AT ALL! The room was about the size of a closet. The walls were this dirty white color made that me feel like I was in prison… without being in prison. My dad explained to them that I was not Sea Shepherd, and that I had nothing to do with this. Matt and I were escorted into the hallway OUTSIDE of the office, where the room was, that my dad was in. We sat on this bench in front of a flight of stairs going up and down. On the landing below us, there were about 14 wanted posters of various Japanese men… the window was a frosted glass, so we could not see out. The walls were the same dirty white as that horrible room! I started to bite my nails… I do that when I am really nervous. Its unconscious, but I do it. I think Matt could see I was confused and worried about my dad walking back through that door handcuffed. He started talking to me about "Whale Whores", which is a South Park episode about Sea Shepherd that we all watched last night. We started laughing so loud and so hard that everyone was looking at us funny. We talked about my school, and how I like to sing and act. It was really great having someone else there with me. I feel like now knowing a little about what to possibly expect, if my dad were arrested just for being who he is… that I could be brave, and do what I had to do to either get home, or find out how long he is being held. Thank you Matt, for that!
About 45 LONG minutes later, my dad was sent on his way. We went back to the hotel, got our swimsuits, and headed straight for the water! It was so hot!
I don't have any words really, to describe the swim… I have a video I took after it, on my Youtube account. I said everything I needed to say, then and there. I am blabbing, but it's about what I saw and felt.
When we got back to the hotel, we couldn't find my passport! We had put it in the glove compartment, but when I went to get it, it was gone! About 20 minutes of searching the car and my room…. I was freaking out! I thought someone had stolen it, and I couldn't figure out why they would do that! All the police have a copy of it! But after Matt and I went to go look in my backpacks… my dad found it. So, in this car… there is TWO glove compartments….. it's very strange! On opens on the bottom, one on top of it. It was in the one on top, but that thing looked like an airbag. We must have put it in so fast we didn't pay attention. Haha, just something funny to lighten the mood!
I love all the support! Thank you so much! You are all so wonderful!
For the Animals,
September 14, 2010
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for all of the kind words, blessings, and help! I got tears in my eyes reading all of your comments. I have kids 6yrs old and up and people who live in Japan following this blog, and supporting me! I think that is so special!
I wanted to say to anyone that has said they wish they could do something like I am doing, go for it! We as kids, teens, and young adults are the future generation, and we need to make sure our oceans are protected!
We are going swimming now! We just came back from touring a beautiful temple and waterfall! I'll have a massive update when I get back to the hotel.
For the Animals,
September 14, 2010
September 14th, 2010 9:50am
Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that no dolphins, so far, have been driven into the the Cove today. We are going to do some sight seeing, then some swimming around the Cove area for fun! I'll have another massive update later today. Thank you all for the support!
September 14, 2010
September 12th, 2010...
Hello all! I have so much to tell you about today… so brace yourself and get nice and comfortable, haha! I started documenting sitting at the Cove at 6am this morning. Below is something I wrote watching the Captive dolphins.
Sitting at the Cove now. So far, three dolphins have been chosen for aquariums. I asked the police what they planned to do with the rest, they responded with "I don't answer". I am trying to prepare myself to see blood come out of the killing Cove. I don't know what is going to happen, no one is responding right now.
About a half hour has gone by, I'm just sitting here eating an orange and watching absolute horror in the water and on land. In the water dolphins are jumping, clicking, blowing and thrashing around. On land, two Japanese women were walking down the path, but the fishermen left them alone. We have been harassed all morning about walking down the path (that is not gated off, I feel l should make that clear).
I have been walking alone down walkways to different sections of the beach, the police came up to me and told me I could not film or take pictures. We asked if it was against the law, and they did not answer. So I kept taking pictures.
It's interesting how upset they get over a picture of a rock… they are not hiding the fact we make them very nervous! My father is on the phone now with someone that police asked him to speak with. Things are getting ugly. The dolphins are so scared. Five fishermen are standing directly behind me, and a police officer is sitting next to me. The guy on the phone is saying we need permission to take pictures of the fishermen. We responded with "the fishermen are taking our pictures, they didn't ask us if it's true they need permission"? —–The man on the phone was completely befuddled. After the phone was passed around several times, they man said we could take pictures of the fishing, boats, land, and animals… but not the faces of the fishermen.
About an hour after I wrote that, we went walking to the main beach/rock area. About 12 or 15 dolphins had been separated from their pod, and moved in the big area that is connected to the rock beach. I rolled up my jeans and walked into the warm bath like water, just trying to cool down. I tripped. Of course! Ha-ha, I twisted my toes and down I went, unto my butt now sitting in ribcage level water. I didn't mind, it felt nice against the wind. I think I sprained my smallest toe though. It was surreal walking around in the water there, about 30 feet away from these amazing animals that should not have been there. About five minutes later, I'm still in the water, and one of the fishermen boats comes flying around the corner of the killing Cove, and straight for the rock beach! I booked it out of the water! It was at that moment things got really crazy….
Anti Sea Shepherd protesters, police, coast guard, and more people who looked all official started to line the sidewalk and come talk to us. There were probably all of three protesters on the sidewalk… I couldn't help but chuckle. I mean, I'm all for supporting what you believe in, but to support murder is just plain ignorance and hate. They were filming us and taking our pictures. Now wait a minute… They didn't ask our permission. So we asked the police to tell them to stop. We said that if they want to film us, we get to film them. They had no interest in doing that. The protesters held up signs of Paul but stayed away from us… my dad and I went walking down the beach, out of the sun… We forgot to put on sunscreen. Matt decided to stay and listen in on what was going on.
Sitting on the other side of the beach… I was trying to block out everything around me. Like the dolphins, the fishermen, cops, protesters, and the cameras. I was looking at the water, trees, hills and sky, birds, rocks, even bugs! And realizing how breathtaking this place is! It's SO beautiful. It's sickening to think what goes on in such a beautiful place….. but I almost threw up witnessing some of it.
Later this afternoon more protesters showed up. They had very high quality cameras, almost as if they were making a movie. There were about twelve of them now. I would walk by, and they would yell at me in Japanese… Talk about frightening. I felt like the Right-Wingers would kill me in my sleep if they could. And guess who comes into the story next!? Yeah… The Right-Wingers. Screaming about how what they do is okay here in Japan, and if we want to take pictures they will guide us to another location in Japan. They were talking about how they never forget the atomic bombings of Japan and reminding us that America did that. And yes, they were screaming through a bull horn while driving around the small town of Taiji.
Later in the day, keep in mind we had been there since 6am so later was really more like one or two in the afternoon. There is an estimated 15 dolphins that were taken for captivity today. I am not sure on that though. We were trying to count how many boats left with dolphins in slings, but we eventually got used to the sounds of the boats and lost count.
At one 0′clock the dolphins that had been separated, and netted in towards the rock beach, were still there. I figured out I was allowed to climb onto the rocks that were semi below the pathway. I walked all the way to the end of them, closest to the dolphins and sat down. They were probably about ten or 12 feet from me, but they kept moving in circles, so at times they were very close to me. But then they would migrate towards their other pod members in the cove area. I've never been more heart broken. I can honestly say that is one of the hardest things I have ever done. They were talking with each other, babies were separated from their mothers, fins were angrily hitting the water, and sometimes they would come up vertically to try and see above the water. I could look them right in the eye when they did that. Their eyes would roll in the back of their heads when they came back down. Now, none of these dolphins had the mysterious "Dolphin Smile", they were so distressed.
I walked back over to my dad and Matt, when a news-paper reporter came over and interviewed my dad and me. He wanted to know why we are here, if we plan to cut nets or free dolphins, and what our story is. We explained that my father is with Sea Shepherd, and that I am a student in highschool working on my senior project. We told them nothing but the truth. He asked my dad a few questions, he explained that no we do not plan to cut nets or free dolphins, but he is here to let the world know what is happening at the Cove. The reporter asked what my project was on, I told him I am working on my senior project about Japanese culture and daily lifestyle. I told him that I understand the killing of dolphin is a cultural thing the fishermen have been claiming to do for 400 hundred years, so I came to document what I see, because I am interested and I care about dolphins too. We even told him about my blog and how I am writing down everything I see and feel. He was very interested in my project, and he was very nice! He stayed and talked with us for over an hour, and we made a very good connection. He is very curious about Sea Shepherd, has a wife who is also vegetarian, so he understood that.
Soon a TV news reporter took my dad aside and interviewed him. They asked him similar questions.
I am having a hard time wording this section… I don't want to sound self-absorbed, but I found this very funny and very sweet and it was a part of my day, so why not share it! I share everything else! While we were talking to the news-reporter I mentioned that the Right-Wingers sound like they do not like us very much. He told me that they don't think I am Sea Shepherd, because I am too pretty. I don't know who from Sea Shepherd they have met, but everyone I have is very pretty! So I don't know what they mean by that… But one man standing on top of one of the hills, I believe he was a Right-Winger, screamed several times asking me to marry him. It's very funny… but extremely awkward!
I started to realize that the police will send one of their men to follow me when I walk around the park. They are protecting me from fishermen and right-wingers, they do not want any problem at all! They realize if something happens to me it will be a huge national scandal… So they keep a close eye on me. It's comforting knowing that the police are there for me, instead of spitting on the ground I walk on. Only because I am with my dad, and he is Sea Shepherd, Sea Shepherd is not welcome here.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE DOLPHINS! It's unfortunate for the dolphins that were taken in captivity. I won't be able to sleep tonight. The sounds of theire tails hitting the water and those boats driving them off to their holding pens, will just haunt me.
However, the rest were let go today! It took them about an hour to drive them out of the Cove and into the ocean, but they did! Seeing them jump and swim towards freedom was amazing! IT was worth the hours of waiting in the HOT sunlight. I have to say though… if it weren't for the fact we were there (we being all activists from any group) those dolphins would have suffered a terrible fate! I will post the videos of them being let go later tonight. It will take a while.
Leaving, we had everyone that was on the police squad follow us to our car, the Right-wingers were filming us, and the news reporters taking our pictures. I felt famous. I really didn't enjoy it, but if it gets the word out about the Cove, I'll do anything.
Today was rough. But it had a happy ending!
For the Animals,
September 13, 2010
Lets move on...
I'm sorry for all of the panic and disputing that happened here while I was away from my computer. I have been at the Cove all day and dealing with police, fishermen, protesters, and right-wingers. The police have been very nice and helpful towards us, the fishermen are leaving us alone and the right-wingers eventually got bored and left.
Thank you all for the kind words! I will have another massive update up later tonight.
For the animals,
September 13, 2010
Eventful and emotional day...
The best place to start a story is at the beginning, and I have a very long and eventful story to tell. Starting with when we woke up.
We woke up at 5am, ate a Japanese style breakfast and hit the road. It took us a total of seven hours to get to Taiji from Wakayama. I love road trips! I have been on more then my fair share over the years, and let me just say that this was the strangest one yet! Nothing bad or weird happened, it was just the fact we were driving through miles and miles of Japan, witnessing a entirely different culture. We stopped at this adorable little bread shop, were they actually made the bread there where you could see. We got some doughnuts and cheese bread and started back on our journey. The cheese bread was amazing! I didn't know that the Japanese made such amazing bread and doughnuts! You wouldn't think that, but they do. It's the best cheese bread I've ever had.
About an hour into our drive, Matt Smith, a Sea Shepherd supporter who answered one of Paul's calls to come and be the eyes and hears of what is happening at The Cove, called us. He said that the Japanese Right-wing Nationalists were screaming his name and information through a bull horn, accusing him of being responsible for the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. He was being accused of something so extremely horrific, because he was an American citizen.
My dad and I got to talking after this conversation. I mentioned that I have never seen a Dolphin in person before, and how the first ones I will see, will either be captured or slaughtered. He said I was very brave for coming here and being prepared to witness that… but what is being brave? I mean, I know the dictionary term for it… but what does it feel like? Right now I can't tell if I'm brave, or naive and stupid. I am well aware of the danger being here, I can be arrested, deported, banned from the country, or a Japanese fisherman may decided to attack me. I highly doubt they would go to that extreme with me though. I am a minor, I'm American, and I'm a girl. I've always been frustrated with my age, because I can't go and do most of the things I want to at sixteen. But now being a sixteen year old girl … that might just save my butt! I guess I am very brave… or maybe the reality of all this hasn't hit me yet. I'm realizing more and more every hour, just how greedy the fishermen are. And they do not like it when something gets in the way of that next paycheck.
When we first arrived to Taiji, the first thing we did was drive directly to The Cove. It's surreal. We pulled into the parking lot, and we walked over to these two fishermen talking with an American man, we figured that was Matt. The hill we were standing on was a perfect view of The Cove (not the slaughtering place, but the body or water itself). 80+ dolphins were being held in a small area that was surrounded with netting. You could see and hear them all panicking. They were slapping their tails against the surface, clicking, and screaming moving around in this small ball they formed in the middle of the net area. It was so hard to watch. And honestly I have absolutely no words for how it made me feel. In my links section of this blog, you will see my youtube "KahakaiGirl" the video is uploaded there. Come up with your own words for it. It's just wrong.
Within eyes sight, there was the Whale Museum. That was almost sickening. Apparently you can go read about Whales, then walk half a mile to watch one be slaughtered. The fishermen we walked into, were very polite. They shook my hand, and told me I was welcome there… that was unexpected. I was prepared to be spat at, screamed at, and trying to walk around with a bunch of fishermen around me that had no sense of personal space. But it's a cultural thing, everyone is very polite, and kindness is huge here. (Not always as we have seen from most footage there).
We went into town, and spent the next hour with the information booth trying to find a affordable hotel, with internet and food. We found one… but we are only in this one for two days. A lot of traveling from place to place going on here. It's good for me though, I'm seeing more and more of Japan everyday, and that will only make my senior project more interesting.
After we got the hotel room, and ditched our stuff and headed for the Shingu city police station. Sea Shepherd had received some very disturbing death threats. They said that any Sea Shepherd member that walked into the country would be killed. I went in recording the conversation, we were both prepared to be arrested. My father being apart of Sea Shepherd, and me because I was with him, and I had lots of cameras. When we first walked in, there were three police officers standing behind the counter, non of them spoke english. One man new enough to call someone else who could help us. In the mean time, we had conversations looking for translations in books etc.
By the time someone was there that spoke enough english to understand what we had to say, there were almost seven police officers, standing behind the counter, staring at us… we must have completely thrown them. Here are two white foreigners reporting threats of death, not what the expected walking into work today. The one man who was able to understand us and helped us out, knew Sea Shepherd really well… and was quite surprised that Sea Shepherd was there. They took our information, photocopied our passports, and told us they would call us because they needed to wait for someone who could translate all the English to move forward in whatever they were planning to do.
They sent us on our way… however, when we were walking out of the building another Japanese official (who looked like the guy in charge with his clip bored and everything), was talking to the cops. He saw my dad's shirt and seemed pissed. His attitude was not friendly at all. It didn't phase me, I expected behavior like this. But as we were walking to our car, we got a bit of a scare. One of the police men started to call us back. Him and the "in charge looking guy" were standing on the front walkway. Here I am, walking towards this angry looking man trying to mentally prepare myself to be arrested, or try to find my way back to the hotel because my dad was arrested. But the "in charge guy" mumbled something to his officer, and they shooed us away!
We got in our cars, and as we drove off we watch two of the police men get into a White Sedan and start to follow us. They followed us for miles, then we pulled over so I could take some pictures of the water. They kept driving but as we got further down the street they pulled in behind us. It's official. We are being followed. I guess I can get used to my picture being taken, and all my actions being filmed for the next two months. Thats comforting.
We met back up with Matt and headed straight for The Cove. It was getting really dark… By the time we were at the Cove the sky was black. The moon and stars were shining so brightly though! It was beautiful. The air smelled like a hot day on the beach, and crickets were booming with sound all around us. But in the distance you could hear 80 dolphins screaming for freedom. We walked up to the same hill we were at before, and fought the urge to want to cut all those nets. But that won't do us any good right now. The fishermen have said they plan on not killing dolphins the entire month of September, but are only driving them into The Cove to sell to swim with dolphin programs. One fishermen even told Matt no dolphins will be killed tomorrow. At least I can sleep tonight knowing that the lucky dolphins will be set free…. the rest will suffer a fate worse then death. Captivity.
We were being spied on by fishermen and a single police officer. But once again, all we did was stand there and do nothing. As the time past, more and more fishermen were arriving to check us out. They were walking up and down the street, shinning lights in the water looking for swimmers, and collecting in the parking lot where are car was.
I've never been so scared to walk to my car before, there were so many dark corners I didn't know who or what was around. Matt was shinning flashlights everywhere to ensure it was safe to walk further, and my dad and I were filming the police and fishermen we could see. I felt like I was in a movie… This whole experience it surreal.
After we left we came back around and I took a picture of all the fishermen standing at the railing, they did not like the flashing camera in there face. But hey.. they had my picture, I have there picture.
We left and headed back to the hotel. We walked a couple blocks and found some yummy soup. I should go now though, I have a early morning. We plan on being at the cove at 6am to document what happens to the dolphins. New pictures should be posted. But we are currently save and ready to document some more.
For the animals,
September 12, 2010
Was just at the cove, I don't have much time to write anything else, sorry!
Here is the URL for the footage.
For the Animals,
September 12, 2010
This morning we got up around 5am, in Wakayama. To my surprise I'm not tired! Maybe I'm just too excited about today.
This will have to be a quick post because I'm heading out the door.
We went up to the 9th floor of our hotel, to get breakfast. The buffet was a line of different Japanese "breakfast" foods. Rice, fried eggs, chicken cutlet, fish, salad, cold noodle slaw, and to my surprise Miso Soup. I didn't eat the fish or meat, but the food was very yummy. It was interesting eating things I would consider lunch or dinner foods, for breakfast.
Well that's all I have time for, sorry!
For the animals,
September 11, 2010
First Day in Japan…
Oh where to begin… Well first I must warn you that I'm very tired and I may not make a lot of sense right now! This has been a 25-hour day for us, with many events I want to share with you!
Starting with the flight. This is something I wrote somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in my project journal.
"As I am writing this I am flying over some part of the Pacific Ocean. Of course you'll be reading this after I land… but I have about six more hours stuck in the air. I keep looking out the window, to see nothing but water and clouds. It doesn't change… just water and clouds…. That's all I will fly over until we reach Japan. It is unsettling; I don't like the thought that in an emergency situation, we would have to land in the water! I love the ocean, and I'm not afraid of water at all, but landing an airplane on it! That's a different story. Haha, I worry about unlikely things. That is one thing you will get to know about me through my blog/writing, I am very dramatic
My lunch was interesting…. I'm actually not a hundred percent sure what it was. I know it was yellow rice and beans, but there was this brown substance that looked like cat food, but tasted alright for airplane food, I guess. I think it had some bell pepper in it; all I know is that is was vegetarian."
My flight was very nice actually. It went by quick and it felt more like eight hours, not 11. I don't like flying, but this was a nice and easy trip out of the country US.
Immigration and Customs: At first when we walked into the floor that is nothing but Immigration, there were probably about 200+ people waiting in line. I thought it was going to take forever! You should have seen the line… There were Japanese officials directing traffic and you couldn't walk ten feet without being filmed. But! We made it out of there within the hour, and on we went to get our car.
The airport was very colorful and alive. Everyone is very friendly here. We bought some maps and rented a phone.
First time driving: Our first step outside… It's probably about 90 degrees!! Keep in mind I am wearing knee high boots and jeans and my dad, is in a heavy long sleeve shirt w/long pants. The weather still has not changed. It seemed to get even hotter as it got dark out. Anyway, fifteen minutes after trying to find the rental car place, we are drenched in sweat walking in. The car rental people were very nice! And very helpful! In Japan you drive on the left side of the road, and your steering wheel is on the right side of your car. It's very weird to get used to and we had an interesting trip to our hotel.
Let me start by saying that it took us five minutes to figure out how to take the parking brake off. And for those of you who know my family, we can never go anywhere without something interesting happening! So this was some sort of sign to me… crap! We've been up for hours traveling all day, thirsty, hot, and now we have to figure out how to drive here and what the heck all the road signs say!
But besides the tollgate not having a real person at it, so we had to figure out money and me bumping the GPS and then having to reprogram it, the trip was great! It was very stressful because we don't read Japanese, but we found our way here all right!
Parking was crazy! The streets are very, small and there is a lot going on. People will go in the opposite lanes to pass you, bikes own the road, and pedestrians are everywhere! We ended up driving the wrong way up a street, and a nice but funny old man with a dog was waving us in the other direction!
Town: The town of Wakayama (or at least where we are in town) is defiantly for shoppers! I have no way to describe it. It's very quaint and the people are very nice. There are long pedestrian and bikers malls. You walk down these tunnels like sidewalks and along the sides of you are cute shops and restaurants. I don't have much else to say about the town. I have only seen eight blocks of it currently. And we leave Wakayama tomorrow morning. But I will say all of the people here are lovely.
Food: I'm having a hard time wording this section, because I do not want to offend this culture. What it comes down to is, yes, a difference in cultures. In the US a "vegetarian" usually means no meat/fish. But here in Japan, you ask for a vegetarian option and people immediately say "fish". We went to three different restaurants looking for vegetarian food, and everyone started giving us Sushi options. It showed me just how much fish is apart of the Japanese food culture. I'd compare it to hamburgers. Most of the US eats hamburgers and most of Japan eats fish.
Our dinner experience tonight was amazing! We found this traditional Japanese restaurant. We walked in and there were water fountains lining the floors, it smelled like you were on a hike! Then you walk through these big double doors and there is a restaurant, and an area behind a wall that looked to be some sort of meditation or relaxing space of some kind. They made us take our shoes off, it's the first time I've done that in a restaurant! We had Miso soup and vegtable tempura with hot tea. It was beyond cool eating such a fancy Japanese dinner, in Japan!
Now I am going to get some sleep, so I can wake up all fresh and ready to go tomorrow. We are headed for Taiji.
For the Animals,
September 11, 2010
I'm sitting in the airport now. I don't know what to think about this trip anymore, all I know is I probably will not return home the same person. There is so much I want to learn about Japanese culture. Food, history, daily lifestyle etc. and how it is different from how I live in America, it's obviously different. I'll keep a journal and write about who I meet, what I see, and how I am feeling about my experiences, so I can share and hopefully bring you along in a sense on this amazing journey I'm about to take!
This trip will also become my Senior Project. So documenting everything I see and do both in pen and in film is very important! I'll post whatever videos and pictures I collect when I can.
I am a pile of mixed emotions right now… I know what Im about to do is potentially dangerous. And this is my first time traveling internationally. I'm excited, scared, jittery, intrigued, and suspicious. I'm kinda something else that I can't find a word for… it's hard to explain. I am the kind of person who is always very happy and content where I am, but I'm always wanting to see what it is that lies around the corner. Who else is like that? I start running ahead because I am curious, but I am not pausing to think about what dangers might be around the corner, all I know is I want to see.
Still I'm excited! I have a feeling though, that once I land, I'll be feeling a completely different set of emotions I might not even know what to do with. I'm glad I'm making this trip with my dad, we make a good team!
September 10, 2010
My First Post
Hello world! My name is Elora Malama and I am a teenage activist and this is my soapbox! I created this blog so I can update you on all my experiences from around the world. I am very passionate about writing and photography. I love all animals and do what I can at sixteen to help stop animal cruelty, both on land and in the water. So please subscribe to my blog, and follow my story as I go to Taiji, Japan where the movie The Cove was filmed.
I will post something new every step of the way, and all of it will be through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl.
For the Animals,
September 10, 2010