Day 7 – Time for taking chances…Day 8 – It’s a Wrap…

29 11 2010

It’s 2:30am in Texas and I can’t sleep. Perhaps it has to do with re-living our experience in Taiji through nearly 2,000 pictures we downloaded and cleaned out today…perhaps it’s a combination of that and today’s awful death of estimated 50 dolphins. In both instances, I also realize I did not adequately communicate with you all our final days in Taiji…so, here we go…

Day 7 was an emotional whirlwind for both William and I. Our second slaughter would not go down without a stronger stand. Knowing in my mind that dolphins were being killed at that very moment less than a football field away from me was all that I could handle. I needed to do something and that something was to take a swim (see below clip). The swim would distract and upset the Fisherman (a.k.a. “killers”) – that was what I wanted I must confess. With William and Steven’s “go for it” support, I jumped in. And after reviewing the video footage Thomas obtained during those moments, it confirms the strong emotions which lead to such actions (Click Here: SSCS Cove Guardian Report). I have no regrets and would do it all over again if a purpose is served. Sadly, the swim didn’t save any dolphins that day but maybe, somewhere down the long and winding road it’s a seed that when ripe, will bear some fruit. We are all planting and watering seeds in this endeavor – may take time but it will end I am sure. Never give up!

Day 8, our final day as 2010 Cove Guardians was also a very emotional day. Two pods were being fervently hunted in the early morning hours. William and I were positioned at the cove where we rely on reports from whoever watches from Promontory Point. We hang on every “ping” of the walkie-talkies hoping for good news and when it’s not, we sit and wait for news of the pod’s escape or their entrance into the funnel. Time marched for nearly two-hours and all I could do was sit on that side walk and pray, pray and pray some more. I was quiet – I didn’t talk, just prayed. The Police arrived in droves and all I could think of was the pods were in the funnel and their presence was there to contain any unlawful or unwanted behavior. But behold, rays from the sun broke through the clouds and all I could do was think of God shining His light onto the water in order to blind the fisherman from being able to see the dolphins break surface. In time, we learned of two pods escaping and from Scott and Elora’s reports that oddly the fisherman just “lost” the dolphins practically right in front and behind them was wonderful news (click here). Is it odd or is it God is a phrase I like to contemplate in certain “miraculous” situations…I would like to believe this was one of them. I am ever so thankful that William and I could depart Taiji doing the “happy dance”. I will always do the happy dance when dolphins win over the hunters – but not until the very last boat reaches the entrance of the harbor (for Scott West)!

In the meantime, I will let the Japanese fisherman and government HAVE IT whenever a pod is being driven into the cove and I will LET THEM HAVE IT again when a family of dolphin are slain…I trust a few of you will too!

See you all from Taiji December 2011~

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free!
Carrie & William DeBord


Heart of gratitude…

25 11 2010

As William and me wake to our last morning serving as 2010 Cove Guardians we want to thank Scott, Elora and all the other Guardians we met while here; Libby, Tarah, Big Guns, Thomas, Steven, Yumiko, Takashi, and John. It’s been an amazing experience to serve alongside all of you. What inspiration you all are! And Scott…you are an amazing leader and I have learned so much from you…thank you!!! Our shared passion for the dolphins and speaking on their behalf runs deep and focused. Its our hope to see your faces once again – hopefully when we celebrate the end of the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter hunt.

And to anyone else considering being a Cove Guardian – do it! Raise money to get here if you need to…it is well worth the time and treasury.

I hope today is a day of freedom for the dolphins!

Swim far, swim fast, swim deep,
Carrie & William DeBord

Day 7: Cove Guardian Report by William and Carrie…

25 11 2010

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First, we want to thank so many of you, and most of whom we have never met for the AMAZING, truly AMAZING support over the last few days! It’s been a treasure to both William and me to read your emails, Facebook and blog messages. It has fueled us this past week. I promise to reply as soon as we can…it’s been a little crazy…thank you so very much!

Okay – on to our news of the day, sad news unfortunately. We weren’t at our posts very long this morning before Scott and Elora radioed to us the fishermen were in drive formation. We all sighed and knew the drill. We rallied to our positions.

William and I placed ourselves at “The Wall”. It’s in direct sight of the funnel and entrance into the cove – a wide angle view of the final drive. Very sad spot really…it’s the long good-bye watching these beautiful animals swim, arch and breath over a long stretch between Promontory Point and the killing cove. I can’t help but wonder if they, the dolphins know what is about to happen to them. Being such intelligent creatures I am most sure they do. They visibly resist and fight going into this “bloody” place. They have to sense it – I do. It wasn’t long – an estimated 5 Risso dolphins were horrifically treated before they were killed (very graphic footage will be sent under separate cover).

William wanted to take over the laptop on this next piece…

My Mom jumping into the cove while the dolphins were being slaughtered was pretty cool. My Mom took off her shoes, her Sea Shepherd shirt, jumped on rocks and then into the water. The Police didn’t notice till she was half way to the buoys. They ran over and got their megaphone asking me what her name is. I didn’t want to lie so I told them her name is Carrie. I think they didn’t know she was my Mom. And when she got to the buoys they were really mad and nervous. Towel guy was sweating. Everyone was calling more Police, more back-up Coast Guard. It was a swarm of Police. And people were still talking on the phone, maybe with the Japanese government or something. The fisherman in the skiff came over to my Mom putting up English signs but I could not tell what it said. I could hear the fisherman and my Mom talking but I didn’t know what they were saying. My Mom was always crossing her arms which means “no” in Japanese without using words. The guy in the skiff went over the buoys to talk to the Police, he was mad and so was the fisherman driving the banger. I thought the skiff guy was going to really hurt my Mom. I couldn’t understand what all these people were saying because they were talking in Japanese. I was worried if she would be okay because they might arrest my Mom. I tried to remember the Embassy phone number. When she finally swam back to shore the Police were all over her. They pressured her to obey the “rules”. Then when my Mom said she would obey the law but not necessarily the rule, they got really mad. Scott arrived and I asked if my Mom would be okay and he said yes. I was proud of my Mom and I think she did a good job.

The actions of these fishermen are pure evil and it should not be tolerated.

And oh, in case you were wondering…I had on another shirt (Save Japan Dolphins t-shirt under my Sea Shepherd t-shirt (William indicated I took my shirt off…wanted to clarify this important point without changing his words :-).

One more task I, Carrie was hoping to accomplish while here was to make a stop at the Taiji Mayor’s office. So, Thomas, William and I visited there to personally deliver a hand-written letter requesting they stop killing dolphins (written in Japanese). We were not welcomed for obvious reasons but I pursued anyway leaving my letter regardless of it being pushed back towards me (even when being kind and courteous they resist, at least those in Taiji). Mission accomplished.

We continued onwards and stopped at the Dolphin Base, a resort with dolphin shows and swim with dolphin programs. The pens are about the size of a single and two-car garage. One pen had two dolphins and the other five pens had four dolphins in each. We saw young dolphins in one pen. Very sad to live in such cramped quarters. These dolphins will probably not survive more than three or so years in such conditions – or they will be slaughtered when their performance career doesn’t pass the Directors cut.

Tomorrow is Friday in Taiji and William and I will take on our last day of this journey as Cove Guardians. We will be back next season and every season after until the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji is no more. Anyone with us??

Now, I must sleep – we will report from Tokyo tomorrow night.

Thank you all and please continue to fight from the front lines…and get to Taiji and serve as a cove guardian if you possibly can – it will change your life!

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie & William DeBord

Day 6

24 11 2010

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November 24 marks our first Taiji dolphin slaughter. Four Risso dolphins lost their life after nearly a 4 hour battle against the fisherman. These courageous dolphins battled 12 high powered fishing boats navigated by 28 men. When the dolphins and the boats appeared to be entering the killing cove, the dolphins tried to escape. The dolphins did not go down easy but sadly, they lost the battle.

Seeing this event unfold was like witnessing a well organized battle brigade. It was obvious these fishermen and the city are prepared, organized and ready for those of us who don’t take lightly their actions. By the time it was clear the dolphins would not get away the city went into gear – the coast guard and police arrived at the cove and were in place before any of the other strategically placed guardians moved into cove guardian positions. Upon arrival, our pictures were taken, our Passports were copied and warnings delivered – we were not to interfere or cause any trouble in “business activities”. William was hounded by a Fisherman who pushed this Mama Bear into protect mode by getting inches from William’s face…ticked me off…but William did great and just took many pictures of this… person. Scott West was confronted when placing a sound device in the water to record the dolphins during the execution. The Police were ensuring the device was not intended to drive the dolphin the opposite direction. Sad isn’t it when the coast guard and police are more concerned for killing life rather than protecting life. Each 20-25 feet the dolphins swam closer to the killing cove, pushed by banger boats and skiffs a net closed in behind them. It was painful to watch them breach, breath knowing they were about to expire at the hand of man. Once beyond the final piece rock it was clear they would be beached then murdered. The last image I saw of them was being dragged by their tails alongside a banger boat. These precious creatures are no more.

The banger boat moved the dolphins into the butcher house, closed the doors and then the fisherman and gutters ate lunch, smoked cigarettes and appeared to enjoy themselves. I couldn’t let them enjoy themselves too much…I had to go visit the butcher house and “FU” building (Fisherman’s Union). They were not happy to see us but I really didn’t care. William stayed with Scott and Steven for safety sake. Elora, Thomas and I took lots of pictures and I got to see Private Space for the first time face to face. He is much calmer these days than during his cameo in the movie The Cove. They put up a yellow rope urging us to go away and after a while they just got in their little white pick-up’s and drive off. I guess they really don’t like our presence – oh well. Sin is sin, evil is evil and my faith prompts me to be a light in the darkness. This place is full of darkness.

To close our first slaughter day; William, Thomas and Steven swam in the cove. Odd to watch knowing what happens there (I had to film and ensure no one came to harass or cart them off to the Police station). So many thousands of dolphins killed here. We hope that soon this terrible slaughter will end. The pressure is clearly on these people – it’s all over their faces. It will end. I am confident of that. May take time, but this will be history.

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie DeBord

Forgiveness and Freedom…

23 11 2010

William asked for a time out tonight from writing so I, Carrie get to assume the thought to keyboard task at hand…

Today we witnessed our first dolphin hunt drive. The energy around watching these skilled mariners hunt their prey haunted me as I watched it unfold…such a back-n-forth, start-n-stop series of events. The anticipation level is daunting at best. I longed for and prayed with William that God would literally hold the dolphins in His hands and carry them away from the fisherman – and again, our prayers were answered, the dolphins escaped. There are no words that describe the feeling of knowing a family of dolphin were able to get away and are safe, still in the ocean doing what they were created to be and do – being dolphins. However…

I can’t get out of my head yesterday’s experience at the Taiji Whale Museum. NEVER will I EVER forget the one dolphin looking right into my eyes as I begged for his/her forgiveness and watching another come right alongside – both in my presence and me in theirs (click here for video clip by Steven Severson). There was an INCREDIBLE experience that will be with me till I die. It was as though they were consoling me rather than me consoling them. I must say, I was a train wreck of emotion and now as I recall the experience, I am deeply saddened by the fact that these two incredible creatures will live out their life as slaves to people who want money so they, the people, can selfishly enjoy themselves. The dolphin’s life is shortened considerably by their unfortunate new reality and their home is about the size of a two-car garage or smaller. To survive, they have no choice but to perform for their food. I have to say, I hate it. I desperately want to help them. The captivity trade is awful – I now have seen it with my own eyes and its reality has pierced my heart as hard and heavy as the love I have for my son. These two dolphins have been RIPPED from their family and their freedom. As an American citizen who knows how precious and sacred freedom is, this is something that can’t be taken lightly. I will fight for these animals – they deserve it.

The captivity aspect of this issue seems to bother me more than the slaughter. Let me quickly say, both are beyond comprehension. I have not witnessed a slaughter since we arrived and sure hope the now 5-day trend continues.

We now anticipate another day of duty at the cove and pray for tomorrow’s outcome.

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie DeBord

22 11 2010

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Today the fisherman didn’t go out because of bad weather – day 4 with no dolphin killing. The weather is supposed to be bad tomorrow so we’re hopeful the dolphins out in the ocean stay in the ocean.

We went to the Taiji Whale Museum with a few other cove guardians; Steven who arrived today, Thomas and Yumiko and Takashi from Tokyo. Elora chose not to go so she waited in the car. We saw shark fin soup, Risso dolphin meat (with the skin still on) and a lot of whale meat, frozen and non-frozen right when you walk into the building. On the first floor after the food area we saw a miniature landscape with Promontory Point, the cove and guess what else it had…a dead whale and another whale being harpooned. This place celebrates the killing of these beautiful animals by humans. Man is honored for killing them, overtaking them in the hunt. This is sick. There were whale skeletons hanging on the whale and one with real whale skin.

On the second floor there were fetuses of Risso dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Orcas, Blue whales and Humpback whales. There was a head of a bottlenose dolphin completely cut off in a round glass jar. There was whale tongue, a whale eye chunk, whale heart, whale teeth. The worst part to me inside the museum is the many whale and dolphin fetuses in big glass jars, lots of them. They had baby bottlenose dolphin fetuses beginning at 2 months gestation all the way to near birth. This was the saddest part from inside the museum.

On the third floor was all about the harpoons, ships they used for hunting, the men and women who were celebrities doing this and the different stages of the harpoon changed over time:
1st stage) metal arrow attached to stick pole
2nd stage) gun that shot the harpoon
3rd stage) three harpoons launched from a gun
4th stage) actual harpoon launcher which when shot into the whale opens up three prongs that expand inside the whale causing massive pain and injury
5th stage) exploding shock harpoon – easy to fire, metal, attached to ship.

I know why I don’t ever want to eat any kind of meat again, especially after seeing all this.

Now on to the outside part of the whale museum…

When we went to the outside I saw dolphins in the smallest dolphinarium I have ever seen. The dolphins were squeaking and talking. Three compartments, two dolphins in one, three in the other and a single dolphin alone. My Mom was crying terribly and I don’t blame her. We now know where these dolphins come from – not even a football field away thousands of dolphins are driven into the cove, most are killed and the others are brought here or shipped to some faraway place to live in a concrete tank. This is more than terrible and I hope no-one will ever go to a dolphin or whale show ever again. These animals do not deserve this. Two dolphins came up to my Mom. I was kind of jealous. They knew she was sad and I think they can tell human emotion. I know they feel sad – the two dolphins stayed with my Mom for a long time, rolled on their side even. They were talking to each other. It was sad but it was special. My Mom promised she would never give up trying to help them. Their entire family was killed and now they live in a small concrete jail. My Mom was crying so hard and kept saying she was so sorry for what has happened to them. I have not seen my Mom that sad and upset since we got to Taiji. I want to live here to change things and so does my Mom if we can get our pets back home to Japan. I saw spinner dolphins. They were jumping, squeaking. I stuck my hand out and they came right up to me and even nibbled on my finger. I was going out of bounds but I wanted so bad to connect with them, and I did. My Mom wonders how any of these wonderful dolphins and pilot whales could EVER trust a human after what they have been through. Gosh, their entire family has been torn away from them – killed right in front of them. The same humans who killed their family are the same group of people who feed them to do tricks for human entertainment. I know I am just a kid but this is wrong. I think Taiji is the “broker” (as my Mom calls it) for most of the captive dolphin trade industry.

We went towards the trainers. My Mom’s goal before getting to the museum was to ask the trainers what happened to the 9 babies brought to the museum after last week’s slaughter. They said they didn’t know. Then they began to run away. My Mom was mad. They completely lied. The 9 babies were brought to the whale museum last week. We think the 9 babies were killed or slaughtered. I don’t think we will ever know. These trainers will never tell the truth and I doubt the fisherman will ever tell the truth.

Please do whatever you can to help the dolphins.

Thank you for reading again.

Over and out,
William DeBord

Day 3 – Cove Guardian Report by William…

21 11 2010

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Today was another great day in Taiji, no dolphins were killed. My Mom and I pray each day that God would be a hedge a protection around them and keep them away from the fishermen. I went down to the rocks to explore again. It’s really a rocky shore where I can see and hear the fisherman’s orders as they come into port. I was able to take some really good pictures.

We observed a man who looked official climbing around rocks that we had been exploring yesterday and the day before. He appeared to be looking for something. We assume it was someone trying to figure out if we had planted anything secret to keep away the dolphins. The good news is, our hands are clean. This person would not talk with us. He just went about doing whatever he came to do. The last we saw him he went down a dirt path. Don’t know what he was up to but it looked fishy. Get it?

My Mom and I went to Glenda’s mountain and saw the inside of the killing cove for the first time. It was hard to see but we pushed hard enough against the ropes to get a picture. They really do a lot to make it difficult now. We saw the blue tarps which they roll out to cover their blood trail when the slaughters are happening. This is to block people from being able to see the fisherman killing the dolphins. They put up signs that warn people of falling rocks. I don’t think that is really what they are talking about. There is another cliff on the other side with absolutely no warning signs. What do you think?

Two Japanese people from Tokyo came tonight and we all had dinner together. They are very nice and will be with us tomorrow at the cove. They visited the Taiji Whale Museum today and showed pictures and video of the dolphins and whale carcasses. They had baby whale and dolphin fetus in glass jars on display. It was disturbing how a whale museum is showing that. It looked like they ripped it out of the Mothers stomach and we suppose it’s from one of the many dolphins killed in the cove. From the video are live performances of dolphins and I am sure they are survivors of the slaughters from Taiji. The captivity trade is driving the slaughter of dolphins. This is proof.

Please visit Sea Shepherd’s website and you might see a picture I took from the fisherman coming back into port today (click here).

Once again, this is William DeBord signing out.