10 Lessons Pro Mariners Can Learn From Whale Wars

Ok, who is the idiot that just wrote a post on the blog stating that we, professional mariners, could actually [I][B]learn a few lessons [/B][/I]from those *#&@ over at Sea Shepard?

Wait… was that me??

John - well said. 10 lessons to live by. There is method to Paul Watson’s maddness.

i don’t think there’s anything useful to come out of that southern ocean debacle even for professional mariners like us other then the fact that suddenly we are all considered “experts” by our friends! our totem pole placement has just gotten (briefly alas) higher.

going to have to give John an A+ for his effort…although it doesn’t matter whether you dress a pig in victoria secret and put lipstick on it or not…the fact of matter it is still a pig!!

omg seadog! you do that too? i thought I was the only one who liked to dress up my little piggy.
oh wait… i mean…

Sent in via email by Steve Reicher:

<meta http-equiv=“content-type” content=“text/html; charset=utf-8”>I tried to add a comment to the “10 things…sea shepard” but I’m apparently not on the list. As a former US Able Seaman I spent lots of time reading at sea and Melville’s MOBY DICK impressed me with accounts of whaling and the horrors (IMO) and waste of the industry in the 19th century. I suppose it was necessary to get oil to light the lamps back home but there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to kill those sea-going mammals today. I can’t help being sympathetic to these people who feel so strongly about an issue that they would challenge a steel-hulled ship with a flimsy plastic boat.

I recall my many trips on union, American ships and I know that we were supported almost wholly by our military supply mission both before, during and after Vietnam. Oh sure, we brought beer back from Holland but mostly we were riding around half empty bringing soldiers’ cars here and napalm there. Even the Big U was mostly bringing military families to and from Germany near the end of her sea-going days. So what’s my point? I think that most seamen love the sea and are proud of the ancient traditions and skills but I kind of envy the innocence of these Sea Shepard sailors and enjoyed what I think is gCaptain’s tribute to their efficiency and motivation.

I think you could convince most, that a pig is actually Angelina Jolie with the pen. I would never doubt anyone’s commitment, particularly when not getting paid and running in ice infested waters, but I do take decisions made with a grain of salt by any Captain that has the luxury of having an editing process and the ability of a “retake”, or “cut” - at any time.
I often wonder of the things that do not make it to public consumption considering what we get to see now as viewers. All reality TV shows are slanted, if anything, for the audience, ratings, and to emphasize the greater good of the side with the camera.
As far as the crew, It’s the simple tasks that make me cringe at times, not the overall commitment, or the big picture of what Captain Kangaroo and company are trying to do - their purpose. No problem with that (kinda), at least until someone gets killed. Several scenes would have lead to terminations in the real world just for that reason.
I do agree that there are a few things professional mariners can learn from Watson, maybe even ten of them, but as you become a more experienced seasoned mariner, you realize that the most important lessons are the ones of what not to do. In that sense, I have learned a few things…maybe more than I wanted to know.

While John’s article suggests that Watson might be someone we can learn from as a good leader, a good mentor, a “captain” who doesn’t jump in and fix the problem right away, this is a man who in his capacity as a leader has publicly and deliberately chosen to put young people who trust him into danger. While this happens all the time in many areas, (military leaders, police officials, licensed captains and mates, corporate executives etc.), Watson’s choices irrevocably negate all of his leadership qualities, because he is none of these and carries no official mandate other than his own, and a plastic badge.

A true leader humbles him or herself and leads by example. A true leader’s charges know that their leader would be willing to make the same sacrifices and take the same risks that are being asked of them. Watson, rather than leading, is manipulating. He has proven his skills in that area, and if one was to consider writing an article about 10 qualities of an effective manipulator, Watson would indeed be a man worthy of study.

There are many out there who exhibit the 10 qualities John highlights and then some. I have sailed with some of them, and would be happier to see an article written about one of them. But Watson currently occupies a very bright spotlight and in our society any PR is good PR. gCaptain just gave Watson a pat on the back that he doesn’t deserve. I’m disappointed. I imagine Watson is thrilled.

I’ve always said that you can learn something from everyone - with some, it’s what you want to do, with others, it’s what you don’t want to do. Personally, I believe the Sea Shepards and Watson fall into the latter category. Unfortunately, gCaptain has just endorsed this clown’s behavior - at least in part…bad mojo.

hey uberturtle I disagree. far from endorsing his behavoir it seems as though gcaptain has merely indicated mr watson’s amazing leadership capabilities. life is education, learning from others successes and failures is part of that education.

these guys has been trying to harm fishing vessels and there crews for years,I am glad they got some of there own medicine. I am sorry,they are they ones wh need to be on trial and locked up,not the fisherman

Hey richard8000milesaway - there’s a line between leadership and fanaticism - guess which side I think Watson and the Sea Shepards are on?

ubertuntle: i understand what you’re saying. but no doubt even a fanatic - if a leader - can have strong leadership skills. in fact, perhaps more then most due to his extreme vision? for example Hitler, although of questionable sanity (in my opinion) was in some ways an extraordinary leader.
at any rate this watson character led is crew into a dangerous and life threatening situation, so he does not qualify as a great allround leader to me, just someone able to inspire.
perhaps thats it: being able to inspire as compared to actual leadership. i don’t know. sorry for rambling before i catch some zzz off watch.

Lets be careful the words we use… I do not think Watson is a good leader, in that i think his decisions are not sound. I do however agree that he’s effective, in that his crew doesn’t question them… but that’s not unusual when your job is something you’re blindly passionate about…

Hitler was not a good leader, but he was effective.

[quote=yeehawherb;24433]Lets be careful the words we use… I do not think Watson is a good leader, in that i think his decisions are not sound. I do however agree that he’s effective, in that his crew doesn’t question them… but that’s not unusual when your job is something you’re blindly passionate about…

Hitler was not a good leader, but he was effective.[/quote]

Yep… David Koresh, Jim Jones, Mussolini, Hitler, Charles Manson, Watson… all were effective, but evil. Small-minded people are lemmings by nature and will follow a charismatic leader.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups…

I didn’t find one thing you could take from that ego monger that I would use with a crew of mariners or Divers. Now hunting down whales has been done for decades by the Japanese and Eskimos. Where is the out rage in Alaska? I find his first mate to be nothing more than a techno geek that wings it and his crew of tree huggers make me want to slap my mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me mum, but this guy needs to be arrested for the actions he takes. Hmmmmmmmm ever seen those star trac clowns at a convention? I mean for real, making a klingon language and badges for the star fleet? I think Paul(I will not recongnise him as a Capt of any sorts) attended a convention of wannabe Capts who like to be cops!!! Look into his Queerpeace days and you’ll see why the @^#^%@ @!&^@ planted limpets on the rainbow warrior. Good job @*%

Seriousley though, as those of use who consider the sea our home, have lived on her all our lives, it pisses me off that this guy is allowed to run rouge and place unexperienced passengers at risk for Whales. This should be left to the proper authorities and experts. As we have seen, this fat, lazy, lame, egotistical *$&% almost seen his last days, he caused the collision as the video shows and like a spoiled rotten, self loating I wannabe a hero *%@% that he is, blamed the Capt of the Japanese vessel for it.

Hey paul, whats it going to take, you killing a rookie to get your fat ass arrested? Dude for real, I just want to bitch slap you %% $@#

My apologises to all the real Capts out there, and to the memories of seas sailed.
I have had the honor as a Deepsea Diver and Salvage Diver to be in your presence and to have worked side by side with the professionals of the sea!

Any comments can be sent via e-mail to

Isn’t the shit the Sea Shepherd is doing illegal? Doesn’t it constitute piracy?

Any group that would paint flags on the side of their ship denoting how many vessels it claims to have sunk, is at best criminal.

I’ve never watched the show and not particularly planning to anytime soon. The source of the writing aside. John, very excellent points and salient ideas. I know I work with a few people and am managed by some that if they used some of the experience and knowledge expressed by your viewpoint many, many things would improve.

Would it be possible to add a facebook link for the article so I can share it easily with some of the aforementioned people (they would be more likely to read an article posted on facebook than if I provide them a direct link and email it to them).