donderdag 10 januari 2013


Today was my real first day as a cove guardian. And that means getting up at 5, making coffee in my room and bring my butt outside in freezing temeratures. But no one is complaining, because we had to make it in time for a rendez vous with some "fisherman".

Dawn in Taiji harbour
So we stood there when the men came out, climbed in their banger-boats, started the engines and took off at daybreak to go hunting for dolphins. Again, it all was surreal for me, having seen this many times on the internet, but now standing a few feet away from them, looking them straight in the eyes. That is, if they looked at me at at all ! Because most of them had their faces covered and everytime i pointed my camera at them, they hurried to turn their head away. Why ? If you have nothing to hide, if what you do is just to make an honest buck, why would you cover your face ? I think you know why...
My fellow "covey's" told me the killers would find it quitte annoying when their picture was taken. So in that 3 minutes, i took about 80 photo's of them. Wíth flash of course ! ;)
What have you got to hide ?

Killers to "work"

Boats leaving port
When the boats left, went together with a few guardians to a high look-out point overseeing the ocean, where we, after a few hours, were so happy to see that they all came back, empty handed, one by one and not all together in a driving formation ! My first day at the Cove was a blue one !!!
Empty handed !
Taiji is a strange little town. Everybody monitors everybody. First, the hunters monitor the dolphins, we are monitoring the killers and the police is monitoring us. They follow us everywhere and watch every move we make. Most of them are very friendly and i really think they are in a difficult situation too. They get the order, they have to do their work, but that doesn't necessarily mean they agree in what is happening in Taiji.
Harpoon boats

It is a crazy town too. The people in Taiji pretend to be whale lovers. Everywhere you can see statues of whales and happy smiling dolphins, but only yards away is the dolphin butcher house. And boats that look like big happy, floating whales to take tourists for a cruise, are passing the harpoonvessels that lay in the harbour, ready to hunt for small cetaceans.

But today was a good day. Because the cove stayed blue, we even had time for a group photo. Which i will put on my blog too. Of course. :) Speaking of being proud....!!!

Proud to be a cove guardian !

Time for bed now. Tomorrow is another (early) day. See you all soon. And thanks for reading my blog.
Love, Willem xx