Blue Day in Taiji
By Hans Peter Roth and Ruth Williams
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute
Hans Peter Roth reports:
The dolphin hunters took no rest this weekend, got up this morning, prepared their boats at 5AM, and left port at 5:40. They spread their boats far so they could call each other over the radio once a boat would find a pod of dolphins. Calm weather, calm seas, and beautiful sunrise. It is always so bizarre here; the sharp edge between dream and nightmare.
Once again we could nothing but wait while the boats went clear to the horizon – and hope. And our hopes came true today! By 9:30AM eleven out of twelve boats had returned to port. The 12th boat stayed out longer for leisure fishing -- at least this is what local sources told us. As much as the mood sinks when you see them assemble in a line and drive a pod, it feels very good to watch them return empty handed.
Ruth Williams reports:
Today was a wonderful and beautiful day in Taiji. The weather was perfect for dolphin hunting...clear skies and calm seas.
Was not feeling as nervous this morning headed to the Cove. But as we arrived and saw the boats go out, of course I questioned my emotions and was not quit sure why I felt so at ease.
After the boats went out, I sat at one of our vantage points for a while on my own. I listened to some music while watching an amazing sunrise. Literally breath-taking. I could never get use to such beauty.
After a few hours, slowly but surely the boats headed in one by one empty. I was pretty surprised and amazed that, in such perfect weather, the hunters came in empty. Which is awesome and great, but I can't help but question why? Why are the boats coming in empty more regularly than usual? They go out really far, stay gone for hours, and still manage to come in empty. Which is good for my peace of mind but, in the back of my head, makes me worry a little. Thinking there are less dolphins and whales than reported? This is just my personal opinion. I hope I'm wrong and hope and pray that the dolphins and whales are simply learning to avoid Taiji and maybe adjusting their migratory route.
We saw a good amount of wildlife today that made our day pretty humorous. I saw a beautiful deer looking out over the harbor pens and saw a huge stingray at Dolphin Base. Also a monkey tried to attack us while we were driving over a bridge. He seemed pretty mad and determined to let us know. He tried jumping in the back seat where I was sitting! I don't think I ever screamed so loud. Trying to get a picture with the window down was almost a big mistake. He walked away pumping his fist in the air.
If that couldn't be wilder we were once again reminded by the power of Mother Nature and got stung by jellyfish while taking a quick swim at a local beach. Never in my life have I seen so much wildlife and unusual interactions in such a short period of time. Makes me appreciate this land for all its beauty and pureness. We share these roads, streams and oceans with every creature and animal. Just because we are human does not give us any more of a right to be here than them.
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