The Gojira crew now waits to see if the Nisshin Maru will slow down. Even with the chain, the bulkier prop fouling line is no match for the massive size of the Nisshin Maru.
The Japanese factory ship is headed into the ice.
Gojira’s Captain, Locky MacLean makes the unbelievable decision to continue on and follow the ship. He's risking the fiberglass-built vessel and his crew to do whatever they can to stop Japanese whaling.
If they don't keep the Nisshin in their sights, they may lose the chance to stop any further whaling for the season.
There is ice everywhere. It’s like a mine field of ice in every direction.
Captain McLean decides to use the Gojira’s speed to go through an area with much less ice to get ahead of them. It works. But they are far from out of danger from the lead manufacturing ship.
This aggressive move on the Gojira's part has again annoyed the Nisshin...to the point of considering some sort of retaliation.
There’s a lot of boat coming at the Gojira. Although the Gojira has made it through the ice, the Nisshin is 'full speed ahead' with its sights on the Gojira.
There is no mistaking their intent. The factory ship is going to ram into and through the Gojira, once and for all. The Nisshin Maru is here for the whaling season. It’s time to harpoon more whales. The Gojira is merely like a gnat in its way. If they can't get back to harpooning whales, they will lose a great deal of money.
For the Nisshin, loss of revenue is not an option.
The Nisshin is bearing down on the Gojira. Eyes wide as saucers, the Gojira crew have nowhere to run. There's no way to outrun the Nisshin. They brace themselves for the inevitable.
Suddenly, and with quick-thinking, Captain McLean shoots a flare gun, creating a bright orange line, trailing in the sky above both vessels. It is the only hope they have to avoid losing the Gojira and possibly losing lives.
With the flare visible in the air, the Nisshin Maru veers away at the last second and heads into more ice. The Gojira escapes without injury to ship or crew.
(Sometime later: The Nisshin Maru releases a statement indicating that the Gojira was provoking them, causing the ship to take offensive action.)
Meanwhile, the Japanese manufacturing ship is distancing itself away from the Gojira and moving closer to icy waters. The Gojira cannot continue tracking the Nisshin. Before long, the ship is almost out of sight.
Finally and unexpectedly, the crew of the Gojira catch a break.
Through their binoculars, crew members catch sight of the Bob Barker.
This Sea Shepherd vessel will now be able to take the lead, pursuing the Nisshin and protecting the whales from being slaughtered by Japanese harpoons.
Cheers come from both vessels. The Gojira slows down and radios the Bob Barker, letting the captain know that the Gojira will remain in the clear waters until they hear otherwise.
As the Bob Barker moves ahead, passing by the Gojira within a few hundred feet, crew members from both vessels cheer and wave at each other.
The Bob Barker is the lead ship now and the guardian of all whales in the southern ocean. But their celebration is short-lived as another vessel comes into view.
The Yushin Maru 3 is headed towards the Bob Barker at 14.1 miles an hour. At this speed, the Bob Barker knows all too well that there is a score to settle.
Both vessels from the Sea Shepherd fleet have cost the Japanese a great deal of time and money. They know the Yushin Maru 3 will not hesitate to do whatever it needs to do to protect its manufacturing ship.
The last time the Yushin and the Bob Barker were in close proximity, the Bob Barker was the cause of problems for the Yushin’s propellers.
Meanwhile, the Bob Barker has some of its clients to protect. A pod of sperm whales is nearby. Sperm whales were driven to the brink of extinction worldwide - all for the oil that the sea creatures can supply.
However, the Nisshin cannot attack these whales with the Bob Barker so close. For now, the family of whales is safe.
And as the Yushin Maru 3 approaches, the Bob Barker crew has no intention of giving way to any assault leveraged by the Yushin. Even as the crew of the Bob Barker grows anxious, they will protect the pod of sperm whales at any cost.
Images of the last encounter with the Yushin Maru 3 come flooding back. The last time the Yushin decided to attack, the two ships collided, causing a gash that ripped right through the metal on one side of the Bob Barker.
Now the Bob Barker crew realize they may be seconds away from reliving this all over again.
No time to look in the past. The Yushin is growing closer and closer and is now moving directly toward the side of the Bob Barker.
The Bob Barker sounds the alarm. Crew members zoom through the ship, grabbing hard hats, helmets as well as items they can use to throw onboard the Yushin.
No more time!
The ship’s collision warning blares throughout the Bob Barker.
Seconds before the impending collision, the Bob Barker resolves to maintain its position, blocking the slip way of the Nisshin Maru and preventing any of its fleet to transfer whale carcasses onto the manufacturing ship.
They have held this position for about 12 hours now. There is no way they will yield with sperm whales directly in harm's way.
Suddenly, the Yushin Maru 3 slides alongside the Bob Barker. Crew members from both ships look at one another. If they wanted to, they could easily carry on a conversation.
But instead of colliding with the Bob Barker, the Yushin quickly adjusts its course. Were they merely trying to scare the Bob Barker?
No. In fact, the Yushin Maru 3 came in close to see if they could actually transfer a whale from one Japanese vessel to another.
However, with the Bob Barker in its current position, the two ships don’t have the room they will need unless the ship decides to ram the Bob Barker.
Now, this pending game of 'chicken' may have a new outcome. It's time to prepare for the final blow against Japanese whaling, once and for all!
To see what happens next, tune in Friday, August 12th at 9:00pm eastern.
Additional "Whale Wars" articles available: