The peaceful moment John and I were sharing yesterday overlooking the harbour lasted all of 5 minutes as we were rounded up for a group photo at the cove.
On route we stopped at the Dolphin Base. I hate seeing the dolphins in these small shallow pens, but my initial reaction surprised me. Watching them struggle to survive the typhoon the day before had been so traumatic that I felt relief at seeing them "safe". But I can promise you that thought quickly vanished ... When we looked closer we saw debris floating everywhere,..... plastic had blown in and got wrapped on fins...tails were being bashed in frustration... Omg it's an awful place.
There is only one place they should be, and that is swimming free...
With no dolphins in the cove and the boats in the harbour it was an opportunity to escape Taiji for a couple of hours and head to the hills for pizza. This meal with the CGs was do different to the one on our first night. This time people chatted happily and jokes were cracked.
I'm here for the third time and I know how oppressive Taiji is, so I love to see people "come alive" as they escape it for a while, John and I included.
It's Tuesday morning 5:04. We have been watching for for the dolphin hunters to arrive since 4, the police have been to say hello and gone. I'm drinking soup and typing this now as I have an awful feeling there won't be time to do it later .....The cove is netted again, the sea is flat and I can't imagine for a moment they will not be hunting today...
It's now 7:50pm and I'm so very happy to be wrong ... the boats did go out, but it was a lot choppier further out to sea than we thought and, from our vantage point, we could see the 12 boats pitching over the waves ... It made me think of the dolphins in the sea pens during the typhoon, except the hunters were there by choice.
But the crap wasn't just all around the dolphins ... I watched in horror today as a trainer put her arm down the throat of a dolphin and bring out a handful of rubbish, and then again bringing out a second handful, then opening his mouth to check it was all removed before making him do tricks for his food. But how much debris did he swallow as he struggled to survive the typhoon?? How much is in his stomach??? I had heard this happens from other Cove Guardians, but I had never witnessed it before. I hope I never do again.
The weather looks similar for tomorrow, we expect it to be choppy further out at sea where they hunt, but we don't think it is wavy enough to keep them in ... so an early night for John and I.