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I’m rooting for the Japanese in “Whale Wars”

Monday, Jul 26th, 2010

There’s a show on Animal Planet called “Whale Wars” and it’s absolutely fantastic. A team of people set out to save whales in the arctic from Japanese whalers via sabotage. The conservationists-gone-rouge call themselves the “Sea Shepherds” and are covered head to toe in snazzy black uniforms featuring their wicked-cool white skull insignia. They even have balaclava masks.

black balaclava hat

Everyone knows that people who wear balaclava masks are badass. With the exception of skiers of course. They also have helicopters, multi-million dollar cruise ships, a whole lot of fancy-pants equipment like “propeller foulers” and the sort of inflatable boats that special forces use to board ships.

There’s only one problem really: the team of saboteurs is completely incompetent.

And I’m not talking about your average run-of-the-mill incompetent. I’m talking James-Bond-villain-cronie incompetent. Like Helen Keller in a corn maze incompetent. So incompetent that, while watching a series of episodes yesterday, I found myself rooting for the Japanese. And it’s not because I’m a Hiroshima sympathizer or anything like that. I also don’t have anything against whales. Really, I cry just as much as the next guy by the time the credits start rolling in Free Willy.

But I find it funny how the Japanese jump-suit-clad blue-collars are able to nonchalantly unfoil every plot laid against them. And they do it all without so much as wearing a single balaclava mask. It’s definitely one of those roadrunner vs. coyote dynamics.

The Japanese have this crazy idea that they can somehow fool the world into thinking they are doing “research” with their fleet of harpoon ships and their 20-story whale meat processing mothership which has the giant word “RESEARCH” painted on the side:

Japanese whaler mothership

The Japs even go so far as to hold up signs while they chop up the whales, just to make sure that no one gets any wrong ideas about what they’re doing:

japanese holding up signs

I thought it would have been a lot more clever if they just held up signs that said “HA!HA! We got you at Pearl Harbor!”

But the real issue here is the incompetence of the Sea Shepherds. In one of the episodes, the Sea Shepards fire apples at the Japanese harpoon ships. No, not the mortar rounds used by American soldiers in World War 1, as famously alluded to in the popular expression “how do you like em’ apples?” We’re talking real, actual apples. You know, like the ones that grow off trees?

There logic was that, by daubing the apples in butyric acid and firing them onto the decks of the whaler ships, they could tarnish the whale meat on board… Much to the chagrin of the Sea Shepards, the Japanese were able to thwart this plan by catching the apples mid-air using things called “nets.” Those clever Japs.

But as if that wasn’t enough, the Sea Shepards tried to harass the mothership by staying on its tail. Their logic was that if they stayed just behind the loading dock in the stern, they could prevent any of the smaller harpoon ships from transporting whale meat to the mothership for processing.

The plan might have worked if the gigantic Japanese mothership, the slowest ship in the entire whaler fleet, wasn’t significantly faster than the “Bob Barker,” which was the flagship of the Sea Shepard fleet.

When the Bob Barker started to lose distance on the mothership, the Sea Shepards tried to disable it by getting in front of the ship with their world-class wave-piercing trimaran, the “Ady Gil,” and throwing a thick line they called a “propeller fouler” in the water. During the first attempt, the line completely missed the mothership’s propeller and the Bob Barker, which was trailing behind, had to take evasive action to avoid getting snagged in their own propeller fowler. After throwing in the line a second time, the mothership abruptly stopped. This caused the eco-hippies to light up with joy.

Their joy was short-lived however.

One of the Japanese harpoon ships responded by ramming the Ady Gil with what I believe the Japanese call a “ship fowler” or the pointed bow of a harpoon ship.

the ady gils being rammed

After the ram, did the Bob Barker crew bother to salvage the 2.5 million dollar powerboat built to circumnavigate the world in record timing? Of course not. Money is not a concern for eco-hippies. Eco-hippies get all their money from private donations.

The Sea Shepards aboard the Bob Barker instead decided to let the boat sink and continue chasing after the much faster and much bigger Japanese mothership. And no, they didn’t forget to rescue the crew that was aboard the Ady Gil.

— — — — —

In a previous episode, the Ady Gil was supposed to stay on the tail of the mothership because the Bob Barker was too slow. When it ran out of fuel, the crew aboard the Bob Barker, which was trailing far behind the Japanese mothership, then decided to send out a small inflatable craft to take the place of the Ady Gil while it refueled.

The 10-meter long inflatable was supposed to “harass” the mothership by staying close to it. Judging from the monumental size of the mothership (top pic) and the modest size of the inflatable craft (bottom pic), I just figured that one was a lapse in judgment:

After a few hours of unsuccessfully catching up to the mothership, the inflatable craft was forced to turn back. Who new a 200 horsepower speedboat engine on the open ocean could not keep up with whatever ungodly sized engine the Japanese mothership had?

I later found that the same thing had been attempted in a previous season of Whale Wars. Except, in that attempt, the pulley on the Bob Barker that lowered the skiff into the water didn’t release, resulting in the following scene:

pulley break in whale wars

Then this happened:

pulley break in whale wars

And ultimately this:

pulley break in whale wars

Click here to watch the funtastic clip. It is sure to make your day.

Given what I have outlined above, if I were given a choice to join either Team Sea Shepards or Team Japanese Whalers, I would probably go with Team Japanese Whalers. Not only are they simple, working-class people just trying to make ends meet, they also get to shoot these sick giant waterguns at the Sea Shepards:

Japanese whaler water guns

As for the cause of saving whales – It’s very romantic and all but I doubt there is much fuss over industries that make profits off killing sharks or clams. Whales just capture our imagination, so organizations spend millions of dollars protecting them from humans. They may not accomplish much but their attempts sure make for good television.

— — — — —

Other funny videos:

Watch the eco-hippies get into idiotic arguments about what the “chain of command” is below deck.

Watch the commander of the eco-hippies pretend to get shot for publicity.

Watch the Ady Gill get rammed, which was actually the Ady Gil’s fault from the perspective of the Japanese cameras. An infinitely lighter and faster trimaran gets rammed by a giant whaling ship? And the people on-board the trimaran are sitting on top of the boat with their suitcases packed when it happens? Who are the Sea Shepards trying to fool?

Watch the Sea Shepards ram one of the Japanese harpoon ship.

Watch the Sea Shepards attempt to “taunt” a giant whaler ship with an inflatable craft. This clip is probably the funniest of all. The inflatable craft gets super close to the giant whaler ship and the only response from the Whaler ship was a small Japanese man coming out and waving “in a friendly manner,” according to the inflatable craft’s radio call-in with the Sea Shepard flagship. The commanding Sea Shepards aboard the flagship then do a collective facepalm and regretfully radio back “alright … come back then.”

Watch this asian kid taze himself. Because it’s funny.

8 Responses to “I’m rooting for the Japanese in “Whale Wars””

  1. shawn says:

    I’m so glad I saw this. I know next to nothing about ships and I was wondering if the really were as appallingly hopeless as my common sense said they were, or if I was being unnecessarily harsh. So far the helicopter pilot is the only one who strikes me as having a firm grasp on reality. It seems like the sea shepherds make one questionable decision after another until they spiral completely out of control. I particularly rolled my eyes at the episode just before the Adult Gil got destroyed where their choices resulted in having so little fresh water they had to harvest some from a glacier, and they were almost out of fuel. In the Antarctic ocean. With no support ships anywhere in range. They had multiple opportunities to make the decision to go back for supplies but chose “stupid” instead, at every opportunity.

    It’s like watching a train wreck you just can’t seem to turn away from.

  2. shawn says:

    Gerry. Ady Gil. Not “adult” Gil. Stupid word suggestion feature.

  3. BC says:

    I’m with you! I’m not rooting for the Japanese, rather rooting for the failure of the amateur Sea Shepherds. It’s hilarious to watch the incompetence and stupidity of the “pot heads” on that show. They beat the Japanese once – oh wait, the Japanese earthquake/tsunami did that. They beat the Faroe Islanders – whoops, nope not there either. But a couple of islanders hit the nail on the head – the Sea Shepherds only do it for the publicity and the money. None of the people on those ships would be able to hold a normal job in the real world other than welfare recipient. I’ll watch every week for the failure of the mentally deranged crews from Whale Wars (a definite misnomer).

  4. BC says:

    Japan is outwitting the Sea Shepards (not too hard to do) with great tactics and violence – go Japan go, not one victory for the Sea Shepards other than the captains duping the crew into being there.

  5. CB says:

    At least someone is trying to do something to save those poor whales.

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  7. fuckyouasshole says:

    You are a fucking scumback and a piece of shit, you will rot in hell like all these jap fag whalers.

  8. SSJ says:

    Gee, how odd that Sea Shepherd, despite all of your false claims, has all but shut down Japanese whaling, just as they’ll shut down Taiji eventually, have made the world outraged at the Faroesslaughter, the Costa Rican shark finning, etc., AND has changed official policy worldwide… not bad for a bunch of ‘amateur pot heads’. Please pull your head out of your ass and educate yourself, otherwise, please eat the poisoned meat so there’s one less idiot spewing venom in the world. Long Live Sea Shepherd!!!

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