Daryl Hannah joins the crew this time around. Did having a celebrity onboard (outside of Captain Paul Watson) change the crew dynamics at all?
We have had many celebrities on board our ships over years. Daryl was great and was well liked by the crew. She quickly became one of the crew and even made dinner for us one evening!
Is she really a mermaid?
During the fifth episode of last season you, when the ship docked for repairs, you remained behind due to helicopter corrosion. How difficult was it to make that decision?
This was a necessary decision but it was very difficult for me to inform the Captain that he would be returning without me. We have since solved the corrosion issue by constructing a new heli-deck and hanger on the stern of the Steve Irwin which protects the helicopter.
Are you and the chopper a packaged deal? Could you have continued on with the crew?
I have two jobs at Sea Shepherd: Aviation Director and Campaign Coordinator. Besides being a pilot, I am responsible for the logistical support for our helicopter and the Steve Irwin . When I made the decision to not to return with the helicopter on the second leg of Operation Migaloo, I returned home and supported the ship remotely during the rest of the campaign. I also worked with our maintenance base in Melbourne to get the helicopter ready to return to sea again.
Life on the Steve Irwin looks pretty treacherous flash bombs, crew members taken hostage, and Captain Paul Watson being shot. Is there any part of that experience that doesn’t translate on TV?
I think that the show is accurate in its portrayal of life at sea on board the Steve Irwin. Every moment is not exciting however and we all have our own routines to get us through the slow days. Everyone is different in this regard but we all find a way.
You guys have been called everything from eco-terrorists to pirates in the press. Has your reception by the general public reflected that at all?
The Australian people have been the most supportive by far. It never ceases to amaze me how much support we receive there. That said, we have supporters all over the world that are just as loyal. Without them, we would not be able to go to sea.
When the campaign’s over, what’s the first thing you do when you get home?
I get in my Jeep and go camping in the high desert with my family.