As the Sea Shepherd prep for their next campaign in the Southern Ocean this December, speculation grows over whether a successor to the speedy (and sunk) Ady Gil might join them.
We already mentioned some hints that Paul Watson dropped (and later retracted) earlier this summer — and now there’s some additional info to pass on. At the Sea Shepherd’s A Seattle Evening for the Oceans fundraiser, Paul Watson said, “What we’re raising money for right now is a replacement for the Ady Gil. We found a vessel. It will do about 35 knots, it’s bigger, and far more efficient than the Ady Gil. And we need to raise about $1 million dollars to get it.”
I spoke with Pete Bethune regarding Watson’s comments and he said that while he didn’t know anything about the new boat, he said it would have to much smaller than the Gil to be more efficient. (Check out Pete’s wishlist for the AG2 here.) He also mentioned that Watson and him we’re meeting this week to “try and hatch a plan” regarding a future boat under his design.
“I would like to build a really amazing boat that would be perfect for Sea Shepherd work, but getting everyone to agree to it will be a challenge — let alone raising the cash,” he wrote. “But there is a lot of support for a new vessel, so i think we can pull it together.”
Pete also confirmed that the real Ady Gil was very interested in contributing to helping to fund the construction of the new high-tech boat.
So, we’ll have to keep guessing. The Sea Shepherd may very well purchase a “cheap” replacement to assist down in the Southern Ocean this season while fundraising for the true successor to the Gil. Or, just abandon the new boat idea in favor of using those millions towards other projects. Stay tuned.