Here is Sea Shepherd Society's latest toy in the futile attempt to stop Japanese whaling.
"EarthRace" is a 78 foot tri-hulled monster. It's like a Formula-1 race car, but for the ocean. Built out of composite carbon fiber and kevlar, its twin engines run on biofuel and can move the the ship at an impressive 45 knots. It broke the record for a powered boat to circumnavigate the globe. (around the world in 60 days 23 hours and 49 minutes.)
According to the EarthRace website, the boat also has the ability to "submarine" up to 23 feet underwater. It's designed to pierce THROUGH high waves, rather than going up and over them like a regular boat. And now that it's being enlisted with the Sea Shepherds, it sports a stealthy flat black paint job, making it look that much more like something from another planet.
OK, so it's a really expensive, super bad-ass looking powerboat. But how does this work to stop Japanese whaling? I have no clue. If you watched any of Animal Planet's series "Whale Wars" you know that Sea Shepherd's efforts to stop the whalers was anything less than effective. Not only did they not stop them, but the whalers went on killing and "processing" the whales all while Sea Shepherd's crew helplessly looked on. Every tactic and trick they tried failed miserably. But it made for good television. The first season of Whale Wars was the most watched program ever for Animal Planet.
So now there will be two boats on the water throwing pebbles at giants. Except one is really neat looking.
It looks like EarthRace is just another gimmick the Sea Shepherds are using to attempt to bring attention to whaling and to bring ratings to Animal Planet. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this boat soon.