We’re now reaching the end of our second day occupying the drill tower of Shell’s drillship the Noble Discoverer. There’s pretty spectacular 360 degree views from up here – we can see seals lolling on the beaches to the south and waves crashing against little islands to the west.
When we look straight down things ain’t quite so pretty. On my way up the drill tower yesterday morning i found myself thinking that this is by far the ugliest structure I’ve ever climbed, and the words ‘rust bucket’ have been on all of our lips more than once. It’s frightening to think they want to take this old thing into the pristine Arctic – let alone what they what to do with it when they get there.
There’s a few workers on board – not nearly as many as there would be if our action hadn’t disrupted the ship’s departure. The police have also been on board on and off throughout the day. I feel like every time I have a spare moment to look over the edge of the tower I spot someone watching us through a pair of binoculars. This afternoon i went for a climb down the access ladder to check that the locks we used to barricade ourselves up here were still in place and while i was down there i spotted 3 uniformed police under the ship’s helipad, trying to get a good look at us. They must be trying to figure out how on earth they’re going to get us down from here I guess.
We know, of course, that won’t be up here forever, but for the moment we are warm and dry, we have food and water, we are together. And 100,000!! people from all corners of the world have actively shown support for what we are doing here. It’s both humbling and encouraging. I for one can’t see myself wanting to climb down any time soon and allowing this monstrosity to begin its journey to the Arctic.
When the police came half way up the structure to speak with me yesterday they were very calm and respectful. They informed me that we would all be arrested for unlawfully being on a vessel. Their main concern, however, seemed to be our safety. Greenpeace has a good relationship with the police here in New Zealand, because our actions are always safe and peaceful and we always take responsibility for them. We know the police have a job to do and we hope they know we’ve got a pretty huge job to do too!
I wonder what tomorrow will bring but for now it’s time to try and get some sleep. Not an easy thing to do up here 50m above the deck!