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Iceberg arch collapse in Antarctica

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When I was on the Sea Shepherd boat in Antarctica during 2009/2010, I captured an unusual sequence of images: a sequence of an iceberg arch collapsing. I literally raised my camera to my eye (Canon 1D Mark II w/70-200/2.8L lens), and the arch collapsed. I mashed the shutter button down and captured 20 frames—in bursts. I shot in bursts because I was afraid that the buffer wouldn’t hold. Later, I pulled the frames into Motion and created this video.

Antarctica | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 1, 2012 05:05:18

Last moments of the Ady Gil — leaked footage

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Those of you who think that the Ady Gil moved into the path of the Shonan Maru should watch at this video (also embedded here), which was leaked and then pulled from YouTube — but not before someone grabbed it and uploaded it again. Aside from the fact that it is obvious that the Shonan Maru turns starboard to intercept, the Ady Gil clearly cuts her engines and only motors at the end in an attempt to get out of the way.

I’m not sure why so many couch-laden landlubbers analyzed the previous videos available and concluded things like, “The Ady Gil’s engines were on. Therefore, she moved into the path of the Shonan Maru.”

Note that I didn’t post this video. I’m just linking to it on YouTube.

I can’t wait to see next season’s Whale Wars. It will be a different experience to watch it not having been there in person!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 15 comments » | Jan 8, 2010 18:21:41

Sea Shepherd’s Ady Gil cut into two by Japanese whaling vessel

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On January 6, 2010, Sea Shepherd’s fast-intercept catamaran the Ady Gil was rammed (formerly, Earthrace) by the Japanese whaling fleet’s security vessel, the Shonan Maro No 2. The front 8 feet or so of the Ady Gil was sheared off, and one crew member suffered broken ribs. All crew were rescued by the M/V Bob Barker.

This video shows the collision from two angles and was put together from videos released by both Sea Shepherd and the ICR. (videos synchronized by Eric Cheng)

UPDATE: Those of you who think that the Ady Gil moved into the path of the Shonan Maru should look at this video, which was leaked (without permission). Aside from the fact that it is obvious that the Shonan Maru turns starboard to intercept, the Ady Gil is just idling and only motors at the end in an attempt to get out of the way. Note that I didn’t post this video. I’m just linking to it on YouTube. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jan 6, 2010 16:47:03

Whale Whores, a mockery of the highest honor

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South Park spoofs Sea Shepherd and Whale Wars

I just watched South Park’s Whale Whores, a spoof on Whale Wars, and it was hilarious1. It is the ultimate proof that you’ve made it when South Park does a spoof on you! If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the episode on South Park’s website.


  1. I was head photographer on last year’s anti-whaling campaign 

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Oct 29, 2009 00:43:17

Shepard Fairey does portrait of Paul Watson

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Shepard Fairey recently did a portrait of Paul Watson, which will be available as a fine-art piece and screen-printed photo.1 It will be on display at the Sea No Evil Art Show 2009 on Saturday, August 29, 2009 in Riverside, CA.

Shepard’s portrait of Paul was done using one of my photographic portraits of Paul as a model.


Portrait of Paul Watson, by Eric Cheng

I took the photo on January 6, 2009, while on campaign with Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean. The Japanese whaling spotter vessel, the Kyoshin Maru No. 2, is in the background.


  1. Sea Shepherd asked permission to provide Fairey with the photo, and I agreed. 

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 21, 2009 13:51:59

Antarctica: ‘Hell yeah you go’, by Adam Lau

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Animal Planet film team on the bow of the Steve Irwin. Photo: Adam Lau

My co-photographer Adam Lau has an article out at Sports Shooter about our trip to Antarctica to document Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling campaign. It captures what we went through very well, and there’s even a photo of me in the mix. Worth the read. Congrats, Adam!

Also, here’s a link to the discussion thread at SportsShooter. I think someone should ask Adam for a tutorial on SuperClamp usage. ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 18, 2009 10:33:35

Work the connections

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I don’t think this is going to work, but it was worth a try. :)

Pam: My manager asked if you’re a Sea Shepherd!
Pam: He saw your shirt!
Pam: He loves Whale Wars.

Me: Awesome
Me: Ask for a raise

Pam: Perhaps if I give him a crew shirt… :)

Me: The last publicly available crew shirt sold for $1,000
Me: Does he have that in cash? ;)

Los Angeles, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 24, 2009 12:55:30

Starting to watch Whale Wars, Season 2

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I’ve really enjoyed the first two episodes of Whale Wars, Season 2. It’s nice to get to laugh at some of the things that didn’t seem to be funny at the time. :)


From Episode 1: I totally nailed this photo of Paul

More photos… (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 18, 2009 23:40:36

A visit to Sea Shepherd HQ in Friday Harbor

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It looks like Kim is attempting a hi-five instead of a hand strike, doesn’t it?

Adam Lau and I spent the last 5 days at Sea Shepherd headquarters in Friday Harbor, Washington, visiting Kim and the rest of the crew. We lucked out and had absolutely beautiful weather for all 5 days — it only started raining when I stepped foot into the little Cessna Caravan on my way back to Seattle. The San Juan Islands are some of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen, and those of you who are close to Sea Shepherd know how appropriate it is that their headquarters are surrounded by nature (in contrast to what is shown on TV, I mean).

A bonus: Julie Andersen was also in Friday Harbor while we were there! It was great to get to spend some time with Julie, as it had been far too long since our last meeting. Unfortunately, I missed Simeon Houtman by mere hours, and Laurens de Groot by a bit longer. (read more »)

Seattle, WA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Jun 17, 2009 17:20:22

Eco-Terrorism and Piracy on the High Seas

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This is an interesting read, I’m told. I’ve just emailed it to my Kindle and will try to read it on the plane.

ECO-TERRORISM AND PIRACY ON THE HIGH SEAS: JAPANESE WHALING AND THE RIGHTS OF PRIVATE GROUPS TO ENFORCE INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION LAW IN NEUTRAL WATERS
2009, Joseph Elliott Roeschke, The Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Volume XX, Issue 1, pages 99-136.

Abstract:

This Comment examines the various sources of international law on whaling, which attempt to wrestle with the convoluted area of international environmental conservation law on the high seas. Specifically, this Comment analyzes whether, and to what extent, private groups like Sea Shepherd have legal authority to protect endangered whales in neutral waters outside the jurisdiction of any nation. Section II explains the history of whaling, including a synopsis of whaling in Japanese culture and a history of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Section III outlines the relevant areas of international law that regulate whaling and environmental activism, which take place in the neutral coastal waters off of Antarctica. Section IV details the Japanese exploitation of the scientific research exception and provides a critical analysis of how the relevant regulations apply to individuals and private groups who enforce international conservation laws. Finally, Section V focuses on the effect Sea Shepherd has had on the Japanese scientific whaling program and suggests that Sea Shepherd should be allowed to continue enforcing international conservation law, but through less controversial means . . . [Download PDF, 184 KB]

Seattle, WA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 17, 2009 16:05:19

Another birthday away from home, Dec 2008

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My birthday card from the Sea Shepherds

Another year, another birthday away from home. I seem to find myself literally half way around the world during the holidays (and this, on my birthday). This year, I celebrated another year of life aboard the M/Y Steve Irwin just as we reached Antarctic waters. There were a string of birthdays onboard, each celebrated with the presentation of a vegan birthday cake, candles, and singing. I will have particularly fond memories of this December’s celebration for years to come. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Feb 7, 2009 17:21:57

Sea Shepherds pursue Japanese factory whaling ship

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Sea Shepherd crew in a Zodiac inflatable boat pursue Japanese factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, through New Zealand territorial waters north of the Ross Sea off Antarctica on Monday, Feb. 2. 2009. The Nisshin used water cannons to keep Sea Shepherd boats at bay. Sea Shepherd engaged the ship, along with two harpoon vessels from the Japanese whaling fleet – the Yushin Maru No. 1 and Yushin Maru No. 3, as part of Operation Musashi, its 2008-2009 campaign to end what it deems to be illegal whaling operations in Antarctic waters. (Photo by Stephen Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

Go, Steve! You nailed this shot (and I’m totally missing the action). Look at that glassy water. We never had conditions like that on the 1st leg! Full article here, with more pictures.

There’s also a video of the confrontation, which has been posted on Sea Shepherd’s website.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 2, 2009 15:25:40

Steve Irwin encounters Japanese whaling fleet

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20:08 GMT +11, December 26, 2008. The M/V Steve Irwin has a close encounter with the Kaiko Maru, a spotter ship in the Japanese whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd crew members throw butyric acid (an organic, non-toxic “stink bomb”) and slippery methyl cellulose onto the deck of the Kaiko Maru. (Photo: Eric Cheng / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

I figured I could post this despite the Animal Planet confidentially agreement, since it’s already been used in media all around the world.

Mendocino, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 2, 2009 00:31:30

Daryl Hannah, Eric Cheng and Captain Paul Watson

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Daryl Hannah, Eric Cheng and Captain Paul Watson

December 3, 2008 Daryl Hannah, Eric Cheng, and Captain Paul Watson at a press event in Brisbane.

081203_SSCS_EC_0175465

M/V Steve Irwin | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Dec 2, 2008 18:38:59

Daryl Hannah in front of the Steve Irwin

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Daryl Hannah in front of the Steve Irwin

Daryl is joining part of Sea Shepherd‘s 2008-2009 campaign to stop whaling in Antarctica.

M/V Steve Irwin | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 2, 2008 09:11:54

Operation Musashi, Day 1, Brisbane

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What an overwhelming day. Don, Adam and I arrived in Brisbane and were greeted by Kim McCoy and the Animal Planet team, who filmed us for a couple of hours as we drove to the private marina where the M/V Steve Irwin is docked and stepped aboard for the first time. Can you say, awkward? The majority of the crew has already been aboard the Steve Irwin for some time, and we showed up with a camera team following our every move, like we were important or something. Everyone seems to be really busy getting the boat ready for departure, and the camaraderie and feeling of companionship already seem to be very strong.

There is so much more to write about, but I am exhausted. After dinner, Kim and I took a walk up the street to a local beach park where we were eaten by about a thousand mosquitoes while we frantically tried to unlock the gates leading back to the boat. Don, Adam and I spent a couple of hours shooting the Steve Irwin against industry (and Cirque du Soleil)-lit clouds. It’s definitely time for bed.

PLEASE do not share these photos. They are confidential, and if you have access to this post, I trust you. (read more »)

Brisbane, Australia | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Nov 27, 2008 07:23:33
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