Tag Archives: sea shepherd

2-for-1 swap on cutters this month

The Coast Guard held a joint decommissioning ceremony Wednesday for the North Carolina-based “Graveyard Enforcers,” a pair of 110-foot Island-class patrol boats USCGC Cushing (WPB-1321) and USCGC Nantucket (WPB-1316) in Atlantic Beach, NC.

The ceremony honored 30 years of the cutters’ service to the Coast Guard. The 110s were originally designed to last 15-20 years, so they both served well beyond their intended service life.

From CG:


The Cushing was the 21st 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana, and commissioned on Dec. 1, 1988. Cushing’s first homeport was Mobile, Alabama, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cushing moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2015. Cushing was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.


The Nantucket was the 16th 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana and commissioned in 1987. Nantucket’s first homeport was Miami, followed by Key West, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Nantucket was moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2014. Nantucket was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.

“Today is a great day because we’re celebrating not only Cushing and Nantucket but the crews who maintained them throughout the years,” said Lt. Mario Gil, commanding officer of the Cushing.

The cutters will transit to the Coast Guard Yard where they will undergo a final decommissioning process. From there they may be considered for various options such as being placed for sale on GSA Auctions or foreign transfer. This has been an ongoing process with this class that has seen two of the former WPBs put into service with the Sea Shepherd (Whale Wars) group while others have gone to Georgia and Costa Rica.

The same week, Fifth Coast Guard District (Mid-Atlantic) welcomed the 158-foot Sentinel (Webber)-class Fast Response Cutter USCGC Lawrence Lawson (WPC-1120) to the area, set for her official commissioning ceremony in Cape May, N.J., next week.

Former Island-class patrol boat gets a camo makeover and tequila christening

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) was sold at auction in 2015 to Sea Shepherd, who used her briefly as MY Jules Verne and now as MY John Paul DeJoria (Photo: Sea Shepherd)

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) was sold at auction in 2015 to Sea Shepherd, who used her briefly as MY Jules Verne and now as MY John Paul DeJoria (Photo: Sea Shepherd)

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) and the USCGC Pea Island (WPB-1347), two late model 110-foot Island class C-variants, renamed at the time the MY Jules Verne and the MY Farley Mowat, were purchased in Baltimore in 2015 and are used by Sea Shephard, flying a black flag.

Well, it appears the sea going hippies picked up a big donation from John Paul DeJoria, a co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems salon products, and rechristened the former MY Jules Verne in his honor.

According to Sea Shepherd, DeJoria broke a bottle of Patron tequila against the anchor, making M/V John Paul DeJoria the first ship in history to be christened as such.

Their current fleet, click to big up

Their current fleet, click to big up

One of DeJoria’s first missions was to help search for lost marine life documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart off the Florida Keys– reportedly along with USCG vessels to whom she undoubtedly was a strange sight.

So Sea Shepherd won the lottery, and is building a new hippy ship

Billed as an Antarctic Patrol Vessel, Sea Shepherd ordered the new ship earlier this year after winning 8.3 million euros in the postcode lotteries in the Netherlands.

“Over the next 12 months, what is now just a shell of steel works will be transformed into a custom-designed, state of the art-vessel. The new ship will be capable of achieving speeds that far exceed any of the vessels in our current fleet, and will be able to operate in extreme weather conditions.”

It seems the ship is a version of Damen’s Fast Crew Supplier design modified to run on hippy power.

On trips to the Antarctic polar region, she may bump into one of the new Damen-built 51m OPVs delivered to the South African Navy.

damen 51m patrol boat 27 kt (3)

Of course, the South Africans have a 20mm up front and two 12.7mm’s on the port and starboard, but still.

Former Sea Shepherd Ship still causing problems

 

PHOTO CURTESY OF SEASHEPHERD.ORG -- Japanese Whaling Vessel Kaiko Maru Confronted by Sea Shepherd 12 February 2007

PHOTO CURTESY OF SEASHEPHERD.ORG — Japanese Whaling Vessel Kaiko Maru Confronted by Sea Shepherd 12 February 2007

Farley McGill Mowat* was a Canadian novelist and a pretty good one. Odds are you may have read People of the Deer or Never Cry Wolf (which was made into a film in the 1980s that wasn’t all that bad a retelling).  His non-fiction account of the HMS Frisky/ salvage tug Franklin, The Grey Seas Under, is one of the best ship tales ever written.

The Grey Seas Under

If you come across a used copy at a great price, pick it up.

Mowat also chipped in a fair amount of bread late in life to the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling fleet of piratical environmentalists and the group repaid the honor by naming a couple of their “Neptune’s Navy” patrol ships after him. The most current is the former USCGC Pea Island (WPB-1347), bought by the group earlier this year. (Somewhere a Coastie CPO is twitching.)

The first Mowat, however, was a 172-foot (650-ton) Norwegian fisheries research and enforcement trawler who started her career as the R/V Johan Hjort in 1956. The Norwegians laid the old girl up after 40 years of hard times in the Arctic and Barents Seas and the S/S group picked her up for a song.

In service to the pirates she carried the moniker Sea Sherpherd III, the Ocean Warrior, then finally Farley Mowat as well as a number of various groovy paint jobs as she shuttled her port of registry at least four times in her 12 year career as a hooligan afloat, conducting 100 cruises for the group all over the world. (Images via Shipspotter et.al.)

Farley Mowat (Seashepherd)

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FARLEY_MOWAT

seashepherd58

Well in 2008 the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans seized the S/S flagship over Fisheries Act violations during the seal hunt off the west coast of Newfoundland and she sat tied up at dock for a year when Ottawa ordered her sold at auction, where she brought just C$5000. A breaker picked her up and she apparently changed hands again to a group looking to put her back in the oceanography game in 2011, which never materialized and she sank at her moorings in Nova Scotia last week while being scrapped.

The scrapper owes some C$14,000 in dock fees on her and she is leaking oil.

According to the National Post :

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, for the most part, has expressed delight its former flagship has become an administrative headache for marine and municipal authorities.

“Farley would be smiling to know that the ship that bears his name continues to be an annoying irritation for Canadian authorities,” wrote Sea Shepherd’s founder, Paul Watson, in a 2014 social media post.

However, Watson has since claimed his plan all along was to have the ship seized by Canadian authorities, arguing that it was cheaper than paying to have the Farley Mowat decommissioned.

“The retirement didn’t cost Sea Shepherd a dime and for that we thank the Canadian government,” wrote Sea Shepherd member Alex Cornelissen in a 2008 post to the group’s website.

*(As a sidebar, Mowat was a subaltern in the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment during WWII and helped bring back tons of captured German kit for museum use all over Canada after 1945, so when in the Great North and you see something heavy and Teutonic on display, thank Farley)

Sea Sheperds pick up a couple 110s

sentinel compared to Island class coast guard cutter (distance)wpb uscg patrol boat

154-foot Sentinel compared to 110-foot Island class patrol boat (distance). Click to big up

The Island-class patrol boats of the U.S. Coast Guard have put in yeoman’s service since the 1980s. These hardy 110-footers, armed originally with a 20mm Mk. 16 forward and pair of 12.7mm guns port and starboard amidships, have fought the war of a thousand drug smugglers in the Caribbean, deployed constantly to the Persian Gulf, sank radioactive Japanese ghost trawlers, and saved countless lives that would have otherwise been lost to the sea.

Over time they were updated with better radars, overhauled engines and a 25mm Mk.38, but they are showing their age.

They are now being replaced by the 154-foot, $88 million Sentinel class Fast Responce Cutters after some 30 years of hard service.

And the Sea Shepherd group of maritime thugs conservationists have picked up a couple of them:

The former USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) and the USCGC Pea Island (WPB-1347), now renamed the MY Jules Verne and the MY Farley Mowat, were purchased in Baltimore earlier this year and are now berthed in Key West, Florida.

You can see the 25mm and M2 mounts removed as well as the racing stripes painted over, but the ready boxes are still there...

You can see the 25mm and M2 mounts removed as well as the racing stripes painted over, but the ready boxes are still there…

and the profile is unmistakeable

…and the profile is unmistakeable

“These two ships, the Farley Mowat and the Jules Verne, give Sea Shepherd USA a combination of speed and long-range capabilities,” said Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson. “We have already offered the Jules Verne to assist the rangers at Cocos Island National Park Marine Reserve with anti-poaching interventions, 300 miles off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and the Farley Mowat has been offered to patrol the Sea of Cortez in partnership with the government of Mexico to protect the endangered vaquita.”

Its not the first time that the group, seen often on Animal Planet/Discover Network’s “Whale Wars” have bought old Coasties. They picked up a 95-foot Cape class patrol boat from the Coast Guard in the 1990s and their ship MY Steve Irwin was the 195-foot Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency conservation enforcement patrol boat, the FPV Westra, for 28 years.

The 110s will be getting a new paint job as part of “Neptune’s Navy”, which actually looks kinda cool, but you can bet there are some USCG Chiefs out there whose eyes are going to twitch when they see it…

sea shepherd 110