One Day on the Water With Bob Hunter

Commentary by Paul Watson
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Paul Watson Driving Zodiac In Front of Russian Whaler

Vancouver, Canada - September, 1974

I met up with Bob for a beer in the autumn of 1974 in the Alkazar Pub in Vancouver. He told me to meet him there because he had an idea and a vision.

Paul, what do you think of us getting a crew together to save the whales?"

I did not hesitate to reply, "I'm all for it Bob, what do you have in mind?"

"I don't know yet," he answered. "Something on the level of what we did at Amchitka in ‘71. Perhaps we can get between the whalers and the whales."

Bob and I had both sailed on the original voyages of Greenpeace. We had taken two ships across the storm-tossed Gulf of Alaska in November, 1971, in an attempt to prevent the underground detonation of a five-megaton nuclear bomb. We had failed to stop the blast but the attempt made worldwide headlines, and our small group, The Don't Make a Wave Committee, officially became the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972.

Bob was the first president of Greenpeace with the lifetime membership number of 000. I was issued the membership number of 007.

In 1972 and 1973, Greenpeace protested French nuclear atmospheric testing in the South Pacific. What Bob was suggesting would mean a radical departure from the Greenpeace anti-nuclear agenda.

Dr. Paul Spong, a whale scientist and Orca expert, had approached Bob and pleaded a case for the whales. Hunter knew that I was concerned for the whales, and thus, he approached me first with the idea knowing that I would be gung-ho about it. I was twenty-three, a communications student at Simon Fraser University, and working part-time with the Canadian Coast Guard.

"Bob, I've got just the thing. In the Coast Guard, we've been using these inflatable fast boats called Zodiacs. We could put them between the whales and the whalers. In the true tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, we could place our bodies between the whalers and their defenseless victims."

Hunter's eyes lit up. "That's it. That's what we'll do. We can use the Phyllis Cormack. John Cormack will skipper the boat. I would like you to be in charge of organizing some, what do you call them, Zodiacs? If you can train some people to run them, we can do this!"

Thus was the genesis of the Greenpeace whale campaigns. Inspired by Dr. Paul Spong, embraced and conceived as a campaign by Robert Hunter, and with some strategy and tactics provided by myself, the idea blossomed. Roberta "Bobbi" Hunter provided the financial organization, and she and Rod Marining, David Garrick, Taeko Miwa, George Korotva, Hamish Bruce and many others organized both a sea-going crew and a land-based support crew. We called it Project Ahab, and amongst our crew, we refered the Phyllis Cormack the Greenpeace V.

In the late spring of 1975, a crowd of hundreds of well-wishers cheered as we pulled away from the dock and set forth to hunt for the Soviet whaling fleet. It was a small crew of thirteen. I was the First Officer under Captain John Cormack, a grizzled old sea-dog of a fisherman. Bob was the Expedition Leader and David Garrick was the cook. We had three Zodiac inflatables of which Patrick Moore, George Korotva, and I were the drivers. Along with Bob Hunter, photographer Rex Weyler, cameramen Ron Precious and Fred Easton, we made up what we called the Kamikaze Squad. Carlie Truman and Gary Zimmermen were along as divers and mechanics.

The North Pacific Ocean. June 27, 1975

"Hold on, Bob, we're going in!"

Hunter braced himself, I gave my outboard full throttle, then thundered into position before the plunging steel prow of the Vlastny, the 160-foot Russian hunter killer ship. Finally, we had intercepted the Russians some sixty nautical miles west of Eureka, California. It was our first engagement with the Pacific fleet of the Soviet whaling industry.

Bob Hunter, my partner in this act of controlled folly, stood just in front of me. Legs apart and knees flexed, feet planted firmly on the wooden deck plates, he wrestled and grappled the bow line like a wild west bronco rider. He was a weird, wild, and wonderful sight in his black wet suit, his long hair flying from under the flaps of a rainbow-coloured Peruvian toque. I sat back on the starboard pontoon, clad in a blue and black wetsuit, leaning forward on my right elbow, left hand on the throttle of the roaring Mercury 50. Tightly bound around my head, two lengths of a white Japanese banzai scarf whipped crisply in the wind. My eyes focused forward; concentrating on the fleeing pod of sperm whales, only metres ahead.

Magnificent! Eight leviathans plunging in unison, their broad slick ebony backs glistening with reflected sunlight. Over the roar of the outboard, I could plainly hear the short punctuated bursts of exhalation, as the whales, near exhaustion, surfaced. Their blowholes gaped open in frantic desperation, sucking for breath. They could not take in enough to dive, they could only run, frantically, their powerful living flukes no match for the untiring mechanical bronze muscle of the Russian killer's mighty and tireless propeller.

As Bob and I sped along, we passed through the rainbow tinted mist of their breath. We could smell what the whales had just exhaled. With each breath that we took, we became more aware of the fear and the desperation of the sentient creatures before us.

It is hard to describe just how surreal the situation was. Rough seas, magnificent whales, and ruthless Russian killers bearing down on our tiny boat. All of this just off the coast of sunny California like we were shooting some incredible action movie.

For the whales however, it was a very real reality. In vain, the fleeing behemoths struggled to regain the security of the sea. Their frustration was evident. They needed time to absorb oxygen into their blood, time that the merciless Vlastny would not give.

Bob swiveled around only to gape in near horror at the source of the whales' abject fear. The Russians' bow savagely split the wake of our outboard. We were like mice, running before the onslaught of a descending meat cleaver. The look of horrified shock on Bob's face made me turn. We were only ten feet before the on-coming prow, another ten feet behind the fleeing whales, two insects in a cockle shell caught between a developing collision of titans. But it was not the rust-encrusted wedge of rushing steel that had caught Bob's attention. He was looking upward.

Above us, perched like a ravenous peregrine ready to strike, a muscular blonde ape of a man, swiveled a mounted 90-mm cannon. Jutting out from its mouth, a grenade harpoon five feet in length, with foot-long barbed flanges pivoted on hinges. The hooked flanges were bound down with light rope, waiting for the shock of impact to unleash its awesome promise of destruction. He was concentrating on the whales, seemingly oblivious to our presence. The ship had one single deadly purpose - to strike and slay a whale. Our purpose in being where we were was to stop this killer! It was a strategy that seemed so brilliantly simple for the last year but within the last few minutes the brilliance of that idea had been ebbing away like a drunken high as the sight of that heart-stopping deadly harpoon sobered us rudely into reality.

It had never been done before but we were doing it now. Placing human lives, our own, between the hunted whale and the whale hunter. We were proud traitors to our species with the innocence to believe that somehow, someway we could reach our fellow man with a message to end the whale wars and to silence the harpoon cannons. We were also innocent enough to believe that humans would not kill humans in their lust for the whale. Our mistake, we found we were not dealing with humans. We were in a duel with a metallic moving mountain, intent upon our destruction. How do you reason with an onrushing wall of rusting steel? How do you argue with a harpoon cannon? The harpoon was painted an odd, bright baby blue and when the bow threatened to overrun us, and the harpooner was obscured, the cannon waggled and waved against the early evening sky like a unicorn's horn.

Bob looked at me and laughed. He reached back and I reached forward. Our eyes met and held and our hands clasped. He shouted, his words reaching me as a whisper in the wind above the noise of the outboard as the chase thundered on. "We're doing it, Paul! We're doing it!"

Minutes raced by and it became obvious that the harpooner was indeed hesitating. He was passing up opportunities to shoot. Although he had appeared to ignore us, it was becoming clear that he was indeed worried. This situation had the makings of an international incident.

Our Zodiac skipped across the choppy water where the whales had been only seconds before. The Vlastny plunged along in our wake, only seconds behind us. Bob and I were poised in motion between life and death, intervening between the forces of darkness and light. Amazingly, we were not afraid, instead we were both in the grip of a spiritual high, not caring for the consequences. Our lives at this point had only one purpose - to shield the whales, to stop the harpoon, to risk all for the eight unknown beings who were swimming frantically only a few feet in front of our bow.

I had to be careful. Too much throttle and we would overrun the whales. If they were to surface beneath us, we would be flipped into the water and possibly chopped to a bloody pulp by the spinning blades of the Vlastny's churning propellers. Most importantly, we had to keep positioned before the point of the harpoon.

We could not know where the whales would surface next. However, the harpooner knew. We could only follow his gaze. At one point, he left his station to consult with the captain. I shot off to the side and dropped back slightly and looking back, I could see the two of them, the bearded bastard of a captain frantically screaming at his frustrated harpooner. The harpooner turned and ran quickly back to his station. The captain followed, walking slowly along the catwalk to the bow. Bob and I quickly returned to our station.

After twenty minutes, the pursuit was stalemated. I was beginning to worry that our fleeing friends would die of exhaustion. Something in this trinity had to give. The weakest link proved to be our small craft.

Our outboard engine suddenly choked, sputtered, died, and fell silent. Our momentum dragged quickly to a halt and we were dead in the water with the Vlastny only thirty feet behind and bearing down upon us. Both the captain and his harpooner, standing on the bow beside him, sported wide evil grins. The captain slashed his forefinger back and forth across his throat. He clearly relished the prospect of running us down.

Bob feebly flashed a peace sign to the Russians. I clawed desperately at the engine. The fuel tank had bounced into the air and landed on the fuel line, cutting off the supply. There was no time to think and little time to act.

Bob yelled, "I think we're going to have to jump, Paul."

There was no time, we could only watch as the ship bore down on us in what seemed like slow motion. I watched her come plunging down upon us, staring with a feeling of strange detachment. Six hundred tons of steel hurtled down off a swell, the full weight of which was about to land upon our heads.

The sea intervened. The bow wave swept us away from the axe-like descent of the prow. We were swatted lightly to the side, passing so closely to the Vlastny that I could have reached out and touched the cold rusty steel of her rampaging hull with my hand. Within moments, our little boat was bobbing impotently in the tumultuous wake of that ruthless whaler. The Russians, free of us, were bearing down intently on their prey.

We were not completely alone. We had two additional boats in the water, flanking us as we rode before the harpoon. George Korotva raced in toward us with one of them. His passenger, Cameraman Fred Easton, jumped into my boat with his gear. Within seconds, Bob was with George speeding off in pursuit of the Russians. Dr. Patrick Moore took up a position on the starboard side of the whaler so that his passenger, photographer Rex Weyler, could cover whatever action might unfold.

I was not far behind as I cleared my fuel line and pulled the starter viciously to regain life to my engine. Fred had barely the time to balance himself on the deck plates before I zipped off in full pursuit of my squadron and her quarry.

An albatross gliding overhead would have been treated to an incredible sight. His view would not only have taken in the three inflatables buzzing like angry hornets at the Russian whaler in full pursuit of eight marine titans.  But the bigger picture as well.

Not far ahead, our mother ship, the 85-foot seiner the Phyllis Cormack, struggled to come to the aid of her children. Her stabilizing sail reflected the sunlight like the wings of an awaiting angel. And moving in at a right angle to our position, the gargantuan Soviet mother ship, the Dalyni Vostok was effortlessly steaming on a course towards the action.

From all directions, the nine identical sister ships of the Vlastny had abandoned their search for whales to head in our direction, curious about the drama unfolding before the charging attack of their comrades.

The whales were leading the Russians directly towards the Phyllis Cormack. As I raced to regain my position that had now changed, I could see Bob and George moving rapidly into the blocking position. It was now my responsibility to get Fred into position to record the history of this event on his camera. I could also see that the Phyllis Cormack now appeared to be on a collision course with the Vlastny. The whales were seeking out our mother ship as if they knew her for the protector that she was. Our captain, old John C. Cormack, was on the bridge wing and there was no question about it - he would not back down. Indeed, he was changing course bringing the bow of his wooden-hulled seiner directly in line with the steel prow of the whaler. As wood against steel, it was no contest but this was the will of one captain against another, and there was no doubt in my mind who would emerge the victor.

The whales dove before and beneath the Phyllis Cormack, and as we were following, we were forced to cut around. Two Zodiacs raced by the starboard side of Captain Cormack with my boat hurtling by on the port side. The Russians followed, their captain deciding to pull his wheel to port to pass by on Cormack's starboard side. The bow waves of both boats collided with a splat and an explosion of spray. John immediately spun about in pursuit of us.

It would not be long before the Russian mother ship, the Vostok, charging to intercept like a raging rogue elephant, would reach us. The event was building; the air clearly crackled with the intensity of the confrontation. We all knew that something had to happen and soon.

In my boat, Fred was having his problems. He had only thirty seconds of film left and his battery pack had just died. The whales were staying under the surface for shorter and shorter periods, as their near breaking hearts began to surrender to the diesel-powered juggernaut intent on their blood. Within moments, the Russians would strike or abandon the chase. We knew that the radio waves around us were polluted with Russian voices communicating with each other over tactics and the political repercussions of any action or inaction taken.

Instinctively, I felt that the moment was on hand. With a burst of speed, I surged ahead of the other boats, the Russians and the whales. I throttled down and stopped my boat in the water.

I shouted, "Get ready, Fred!" Fred stood up and readied his camera. He had nothing to lose. The chase had been underway for three-quarters of an hour. The light was fading as early evening began to close in. He was not sure that he could even film, with a seemingly dead battery, and thirty seconds would not capture much. But he hoisted his camera, swung it towards the Vlastny's bow, and pulled the trigger. He was astonished to find the battery come to life. He panned quickly from the bow towards George and Bob in their boat. Through his lens he could see and capture the urgency and apprehension in their windblown faces. He kept panning towards the whales as they broke the surface and then he began to pan back, when with a shock, a horrific explosion shook the air and the harpoon bomb hurtled violently and fatally through the centre of his recorded image. He followed it as it struck with an explosion of reddish foam into the soft backside of one of the frightened whales. He panned back immediately, as the blockading Zodiac rode up on a swell and the taut slashing cable sliced the water only feet from our two comrades.

Bob and George did not see the harpoon. At the sound of the explosion, they instinctively ducked. They heard the cable hit the water. Bob said that it was as if a giant sword had narrowly missed them. The harpooner had waited for an opening when the Zodiac had descended into a trough between the waves and the whales had risen up on a swell. He then fired directly over their heads.

The whale screamed and I heard its cry over the roar of the outboards as the explosion ripped the bonds off the flanges, springing them open and anchoring the gore-besmeared projectile deep into the private recesses of its body. Bob and George disengaged and sped off to the side to avoid the violent cracking of the harpoon line as the struck whale struggled in vain to free itself from the painful barbs. The convulsions of the massive flukes beat the sea into bloody foam as a fountain of blood shot into the briny air. The Russian ship shuddered as the full weight of the whale snapped viciously on the receiving end of the cable. The accumulator springs in her hold struggled furiously to absorb the shock transmitted through that six-inch nylon line, but it was not enough. A shower of dull red rust rained down from the side of the ship as the vibrations reverberated along her sleek but ugly hull.

The harpoon had violated a female whale, the exploding shrapnel driven deep within her vital organs, shredding muscle and shattering her bones. She rolled, and the bull, this awesome male sperm whale, was by her side, staying with her as the remaining six members of the pod continued to run for their lives.

I heard a roar as the male rose up and dove. The mighty fluke slamming the water as he slid beneath the waves and turned around at the same time. In a glance, I could see that he was not fleeing with the rest, he was turning to fight. Two of the three boats of my flotilla had retreated. Only Fred and I remained in that area between the Russian whaler and the two remaining whales, one of which was mortally wounded.

But who would he fight? He had no chance against the whaler. Whale experts back on the mainland had warned us that if angered, the whales would attack our frail boats to vent their rage against humanity. We had been warned, and maybe the experts knew what they were talking about. But strangely, I did not feel even a twinge of fear. I knew the submerged and enraged bull was below us and my mind screamed at me to beware. At any moment we would be lifted forcefully out of the sea on top of sixty tons of irate muscle and blood. Then helpless in the sea, Fred and I would become victims of the snapping jaws and hammering fluke of this mad beast. The image of this flashed through my mind along with the image of a dozen laughing whalers enjoying a spectacle that even the most jaded of Roman circus fans had never witnessed.

My heart and instincts, however, triumphed over my mind and my body remained calm. I looked at Fred and he, like myself, felt no sense of panic, no sense of danger.
We were, however, unconsciously holding our breath in anticipation.

There seemed to be a momentary calm all around us. In front of us, the dying female thrashed feebly. Behind us, the Russians had just loaded a second harpoon. The water all around us was flat, the chop flattened by the conflict of seconds before.

Suddenly the ocean exploded some twenty feet behind us. The sound of the burst-open sea drowned beneath the maddened bellow of a grief-stricken and desperate creature. High into the air he rose, unerringly aimed at the horrid blonde ape who had just slain his mate. And the ape, with a twisted smile clenching a cigarette, calmly lowered the cannon and with a look of complete detached boredom, pulled the trigger.

A screaming "No!" had barely gurgled from my throat before that sickening explosive whine heralded the delivery of that hellish missile. Within a microsecond, the cold steel had entered the massive head of the male, burying itself deep in the reservoir of spermacetti oil. Another microsecond and the cold metal was transformed into burning, hot, razor-sharp fragments that splintered themselves through that internal pool of murky oil. The concussion crippled the sonic skills of his being and must have imprinted at the same instant a visual image of the explosion deep within his mortally-wounded brain.

A roar of anger evolved into an ear-splitting scream of unimaginable pain. The whale fell back into the sea as if struck by a giant belaying pin. Blood, opaque oil, chunks of blubber, and red foam cascaded down his head and back. The lower jaw dropped and the big pink tongue thrust to the side. With a crash and a shower of spray, Leviathan struck the water and rolled in our direction. An onrushing swell of pinkish sea smashed into our Zodiac and splashed over our bodies. Strings of coagulated blood slithered down the black rubber pontoons like flayed earthworms. The whale rolled again, bringing that pain-wracked, bleeding bulk to within a dozen feet of Fred and me. Reason told me to flee. But I could not. I would not. Instead, in morbid fascination I watched as our drifting boat moved toward the dying whale as if it was a magnet attracting us. Both Fred and I felt helpless, and the violence of the last few moments had traumatized us into a state of inaction. Even if Fred had film remaining, he would not have had the strength to hoist his camera to his shoulders. We were in the grip of a fascinated horror that we could not fully absorb. Our minds laboured to comprehend the insanity around us. We could not. We did not have the time or even a point of reference. We could only sit, transfixed at the awesome sight of the death of a Titan. It is not meant that mortal man should witness the death of a god. Here was the crucifixion in all of its psychological horror, enacted before us, and the liquid that dripped upon us was the hottest and holiest of blood.

The whale rolled amidst a boiling cauldron of its own fluid. A scarlet stain leached forth in fiery tongues to inflame and colour the water. From deep-sea royal blue to obscene scarlet and fading pink. This was not the Nile turning to blood by the power of God. This was the blasphemy of man insulting the ocean and her children.

Both whales were struggling and crying. The female was whimpering weakly as the harpoon cable sucked the life-force out of her being. Their suffering was intense and pitiful to behold.

The male suddenly regained strength and with a bellow, dove beneath the waves. The harpoon that had struck him was unattached, there being no time for the harpooner to have secured a line to it. He had only the time to load and fire. There was no cable to locate the whale. He was gone, leaving a trail of blood and bubbles to indicate where he lay beneath the surface, and that trail was heading for Fred and me.

The surface of the sea broke slowly this time. The prodigious behemothic head rose above the waters at an angle that brought it over our tiny craft. The water rolling in rippleless cascades off that head poured into the sea around us. The whale rose higher into the air, the jaw emerged and dropped open. A row of ivory daggers set in soft, pink flesh moved into position to grasp us. The mountain of black, bleeding flesh moved slowly, almost hypnotically towards us.

With a shock, my eyes met the left eye of the whale like Odysseus facing the Cyclops. That one eye stared back, an eye the size of my fist, blackish brown and with a depth that astonished and gripped me. This was no brutish creature. This was no dumb animal. The eye that I saw reflected an intense intelligence. I read the pain and I read understanding. The whale knew what we were doing. This whale had discriminated. That message was beamed directly into my heart by a mere glance. Fear there never was and apprehension vanished like a crest upon a wave. I felt love both from and for. I felt hope, not for him, but for his kind. I saw a selflessness of a spirit completely alien to our primate selves. This was a being with an intelligence that put us to shame, with an understanding that could only humble us. And the most shameful message of all passed over to me - forgiveness.

In an instant, my life was transformed and a purpose for my life was reverently established.

Contact lasted only a few seconds but it seemed like much longer. The whale became quiet and began to sink back into the cold embrace of the sea and death. As he slid slowly back, I could see the life fading from his eye. I followed that rapidly extinguishing sparkle of light as the cold briny waves doused the final spark and the soul of a majestic greatness departed, leaving only a mammoth corpse behind.

Many whales had died during our lifetimes, all victims of the ruthlessness of our own species. It had all been academic. This was different. This was a death witnessed and attended by my shipmates and me. Between that one unknown whale and I, a bond had been established. I would honour this great being with my service. I would side with his species in opposition to my own.

That experience remains for me, to this day, my single greatest moment of revelation and the source of all my strength, courage, commitment, and sadness. I had looked into the eye of God. I could never be the same again.

As if in a trance, I could dimly hear a voice, "Come on Paul, let's get the hell out of here." I shook my head and nodded to Fred. It took me a few seconds to understand that it was my responsibility to get us out.

Paul Watson driving zodiac between Russian whaling vessels


Oblivious to the whalers, I somehow found the strength to pull my outboard into action. Leaving the carnage behind, Fred and I returned to the Phyllis Cormack.

I could not stay on deck. The two slain whales were being hauled in by the Vostok. Within the hour, they would be stripped of blubber, their flesh would be removed and even their bones would be rendered. As the whalers proudly boasted, nothing would be wasted - nothing, that is, except the whale itself.

I went below and stripped off my wet suit. I was exhausted and trembling with emotions that I did not comprehend. I wanted to sleep, my body begged for it, but the visions of the day ran over and over in my brain like an endless series of instant replays. Closing my eyes, I could not wrestle the sight of blood and horror from my inner vision.

We had been at sea for sixty-three days, searching for the whaling fleet, any whaling fleet, Russian or Japanese, it didn't matter. It made no difference if the whales were being slain by communist Soviet harpoons or capitalist Japanese harpoons. All that mattered was that the harpoons be stopped.

Today we had found them and although there was a small feeling of satisfaction at seeing six whales escape, there remained the frustration and the anger at our failure to stop the murder of two. By ourselves, I now realized that we did not have the power to stop it. However, after the confrontation today, we had a powerful weapon. That thirty-second film clip that Fred had captured would be our ticket to the hot media of television.

Armed with the tempting media bait of dramatic visual documentation, we could now gain access to the doors of human awareness through the avenue that only television could provide. For the first time, we had some hope of inciting public indignation against whaling.

Until that day, our efforts in the past had been stymied by the fact that whaling was not exactly an industry familiar to the general public. If the public thought about whaling at all, it was the image of Moby Dick that came to mind, along with brave whaling men in puny longboats locked in a heroic struggle against a monstrous giant beast. Thanks to our activities that day, the media began to present a different image of whaling from here on in.

Lying in my bunk, the full weight of the day's events began to take on perspective. Today, the 27th of June, 1975, marked the first time in history that people had placed their bodies between the whales and their killers. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, it was the first time that humans had ever taken such a risk in defense of non-humans.

With that thought, I began to realize for the first time since the encounter, just how close to death we had just come. I could feel the cold clammy wetness under my arms. A slight trickle of perspiration slid frigidly down my spine. I shivered. I was glad to be alive. At the same time I felt ashamed for being so powerless in the face of the awesome technological might of the whalers.

Later that evening I stood with Bob Hunter on the deck. All around us were the  twinkle of dozens of lights against the background of the fading orange dusky sky. The Vostok, with her ten stories of decks and her hundreds of crew, loomed out there like a corporate office structure. It was one gigantic, mobile, corporate killing-machine. Black smoke, greasy with the stench of burnt whale flesh, billowed skyward. All around her, the hunter-killers drifted or scurried about like rats. Against the imposing bulk of the mother ship, the catcher boats looked almost harmless. They were settling down for the night and like a mouse in the midst of a pit of vipers, the Phyllis Cormack and her thirteen crew members prepared to settle in with them. Tomorrow we would confront them again.

Hunter had led us into a battle with one ship against a fleet armed with only a couple of cameras. We had intercepted a whaler and allowed six whales to escape. But we had also seen two whales die in agony.

Hunter pointed out that the Soviets used spermaceti oil as a heat resistant lubrication for military equipment including intercontinental ballistic missiles. The realization dawned on me that the reason for the slaughter of these intelligent social creatures was to produce a weapon meant for the mass extermination of humanity. I remember saying to Hunter, "the human race is insane."

Hunter smiled, "We have indeed met the enemy today and it is us." He paused for a moment looking out at the huge factory ship and said, "Maybe our actions today earned some karma points for humanity."

Robert Hunter passed away at 63-years old on May 2nd, 2005. He left us with plenty of good karma points under his belt.

I will miss him. He took me to a place on the water where I looked into the eye of a dying whale and my life was changed forever. 

PW driving zodiac with Bobbi Hunter
Paul Watson, driving zodiac, accompanied by fellow crewmember, Bobbi Hunter.