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20 November 2010

Sea Shepherd returns to Bondi Beach; King Neptune comes to life, by Greg Tingle - 20th November 2010

Last night the famed environmental group Sea Shepherd returned to eco aware hotspot Bondi Beach, under the fearless leadership of Captain Paul Watson.

Bondi Pavilion's High Tide Room was the venue for the long awaited return of 'The Shepherd', for it had been about 3 years since the group had held a big gig at Sydney's most famous beach.

No Compromise! was a wonderful collaboration between Sea Shepherd and an army of supporters.

It was a sold out affair that saw a crowd of 300 plus in attendance lap up a great night of entertainment, education, presentations, arts, memorabilia exhibits and collaboration between like minded souls.

Nights like this one serve a few purposes for Sea Shepherd. Watson and his spokesperson was quick to point out the importance of awareness, education and fundraising, via news media, the internet and events.

Watson, not only a world class environmentalist, but also a seasoned media campaigner, has generated headlines around the world with his "direct action" tactics in response to the attack on whales and other creatures of the worlds oceans.

One of the most unusual elements incorporated into the evenings offerings was the brainchild of Human Statue Bodyart director, Eva Rinaldi. Ms Rinaldi made quite an appearance at the happening with her 'King Neptune' (Martin Vadam) and 'Son Of Neptune' (Lui Cantali) human statues, flanked by her favorite photographers Peter Carrette and Marek Jezierski, both themselves passionate environmentalists.

Perhaps the biggest media scoop, or at least one of the most colourful on the night was the revelation that the Sea Shepherd's most recent support vessel, the Ocean Adventurer, may very well be renamed 'Godzilla', which of course ties in beautiful with the Shepherd's vigilant opposing of the ongoing Japanese whaling massacre.

According to a number of international news articles and leaks, only will 'Godzilla' become the 1 million dollar vessel's official name if a new major sponsor comes on board. For the uninitiated 'Godzilla' is a daikaijū, a Japanese movie monster, first appearing in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has gone on to become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co., Ltd. The monster has appeared in numerous other media incarnations including video games, novels, comic books, television series, and an American remake. Some movies portray Godzilla in the role of a hero, while later movies returned to depicting the character as a destructive monster. It's safe to say that Watson's Godzilla is a hero to Sea Shepherd's environmental army and supporters, and poses some sort of threat to the Japanese whale killers, and the news media from Japan who play the Government "stay on message" whale research tactics. Don't the the Gozilla themes fool you that this is just fun and games, mixed in with Hollywood themes. It's well reported that over the years that aggressive Sea Shepherd campaigns against Japanese whaling have been the trigger point for a number of death threats, but neither side is currently prepared to go on record with this, despite it being quite the open secret. The enduring and often drawn out and expensive legal battles with Sea Shepherd are also no laughing matter.

In an interesting twist, it is currently understood that a Guinness World Record was broken on the night. What for you ask. How about most expensive beer, with one lucky punter purchasing some Antarctic Nail Ale for an astonishing $1850. Insiders tipped us off that there were some seriously cashed up folks attending the gig, so it appears some of them were very generous of spirit, making a real difference to the 'The Shepherd's' bottom line.

A number of guests were overheard to say that the 'King Neptune' statue was the most eye catching exhibits on the night, and a rumour circulated that a young Miss was interested to make an offer to date and take home 'The King', perhaps inspired from other exhibits that were up for live auction later in the evening. Whatever the case, a warm vibe rippled throughout the room, and you could feel the genuine warmth and love, both for mankind and the oceans creatures.

The night also featured a good spread of food, drinks, and eco aware musical performances, including by those by Bondi Beach band, Mojanda, one of Sydney's hottest and most exciting rock groups.

Whether you were a passionate environmentalist, surfer, art lover, socialite, or just curious, the night offered something for everyone.

Operation No Compromise is the Sea Shepherd's 7th Antarctic based campaign and the focus is protecting the whales in the Southern Ocean.

*The writer is a resident of Bondi Beach and a long time supporter of Sea Shepherd

Websites Of Reference:

Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd: Bondi Beach

Human Statue Bodyart

Media Man Profiles

Human Statue Bodyart

Sea Shepherd

Captain Paul Watson

Eva Rinaldi

Greg Tingle

Media Man

Bondi Beach