by Katya Glogovska
In August this year, I had the opportunity to serve as the ship’s doctor on the Sea Shepherd for several days, relieving Dr Merryn Redenbach. The MY Steve Irwin is the Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel, and it has been sailing through the Great Australian Bight on its latest mission, Operation Jeedara. This mission aims to document the stunning beauty and unique animals of the region, and to raise awareness about the devastating effects that offshore drilling would have to this area. BP has planned an offshore drilling project, which would disrupt the breeding of humpback whales and sea-lions, and put our Bight in danger of another oil-spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico. However there is still time to stop them and take political action!
On this mission, we were joined by Senator Richard Di Natale and Sarah Hansen-Young, as well as John Butler, and many representatives from environmental and Indigenous groups. The Sea Shepherd’s medical room was very well equipped for all kinds of emergencies, but luckily the only medical issues I dealt with were sea sickness and viral gastroenteritis. I had the opportunity to serve as quartermaster, and record the ship’s bearings, and I helped out in the kitchen and on deck. I met Sea Shepherd volunteers from France, USA, Germany, and Australia, who all had interesting stories to tell about the Sea Shepherd’s voyages around the world. The crew was very welcoming, and I really started to feel like part of a family by the end of the journey. If I ever have the opportunity to join the Sea Shepherd on another mission, I wouldn’t miss it!