Whale Wars will conclude its season next week and to this point, the Sea Shepherd efforts to disrupt whaling by the Japanese have been futile.
In last night's penultimate episode, "Counterstrike", the Delta and Humber were sent out one last time to attempt to disable the Yoshin Maru, that had picked up the tailing duties of the Shonan Maru #2.
After crew member Becker was toppled off his jet ski aiding the two small crafts, success was achieved allowing the Steve Irwin to travel to the side of the Bob Barker that is in the waters closest to the so-called mothership the Nisshin Maru.
Whether it will be in time to have any effect is anyone's guess, even the intrepid Captain Paul Watson. Update: Season finale explains how the campaign ends.
Did Captain Paul Watson have the right stuff?
Outmanned and outmaneuvered this season, Captain Watson has seen one of his ships, the Brigitte Bardot go down and crew members' blood spilled after grappling hook attacks by the Yoshin Maru.
Throughout the season's episodes, crew members have acknowledged that the Japanese came to the party with renewed efforts. Their tactics were tailored to counter any of Watson's maneuvers and in the end they had more ships on the water. It came as a shock. Read: Sea Shepherd blood spilled by Japanese whalers
The final surprise, which stunned all aboard the Steve Irvin vessel was that their foes were prepared to severely injure the Sea Shepherd crew if necessary. When grappling hooks were hurled at the Delta and Humber, and wooden poles were shoved into the faces of the crew as they got next to the Japanese ship, the tone became somber.
They believed there was and should be honor among combatants who supposedly came to a silent agreement to hold dear the physical safety of their respective crews.
Why they believed that is a mystery. While understanding that activities ordered by Capt. Watson could land them in jail it strains credulity to think that the activists are not prepared to be injured when they motor to the side of the Japanese ships and attempt to shut down their motors and toss acid on board.
What the critics of Sea Shepherd are saying.
The shock of crew members about their colleagues' injuries mirrors the outrage of Sea Shepherd supporters as they campaign to prevent the extradition of Captain Paul Watson from Germany to Costa Rica, where he faces ten-year old criminal charges. Read: Call to action to protest detention of Paul Watson
A true activist, some say would not flail about asking for international aid and support to avoid facing legal charges for the cause. It should be cheered, they say as another public forum to reinforce the message that international organizations are useless to keep countries from violating the spirit and letter of agreements reached and signed.
A scheduled day of protest is set up for July 20. It seeks to build pressure on Germany to allow Watson to leave the country prior to his feared extradition to Costa Rica.
With less than one month left in the 2011-2012 campaign, both the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker have failed to catch sight of the so-called mothership the Nisshin Maru. They fear it has been hunting whales with impunity because their other Japanese vessels have stymied Sea Shepherd efforts.
Next week's final episode will tell the tale.
Whale Wars airs its new episodes Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. on Animal Planet. The show's website additional scenes deleted from the episodes. Image: Wikimedia Commons