We’ve stepped up our game here in Dumai and have returned to the scene of our first paint job this morning: the Gran Couva. After returning to the Esperanza for a break, some boat cleaning and a spot of lunch (who says direct action can’t be civilised?), a team returned to the palm oil tanker but this time the action hinges on just one man, and he’s currently attached to the Gran Couva’s anchor chain.
A Greenpeace climber has made his way up the chain and positioned himself so they can’t lift the anchor. This means the ship can’t leave the port and this will cause considerable inconvenience to Wilmar, the company that owns the cargo of palm oil.
It’s exactly what we want because, although Wilmar is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, there’s nothing sustainable about the company’s practice of tearing up forests and peatlands to grow its oil palms.
Given how enthusiastic the Gran Couva’s crew were with the hosepipes earlier on, it was no surprise that he got a good drenching but the sustained barrage went on for 30 minutes.
Never the less, he’s still hanging on and that’s in no small part thanks to the incredible negotiation skills of our electrician Paul. He’d gone along to assist in the boats but it was his ability to speak Hindi which persuaded the Indian crew members manning the hoses to turn them off.
Meanwhile, we’ve heard from the harbour master who has us to stop our activities and the police have just arrived at the tanker to see what’s going on. We’ll see what comes of that, but for now our climber is still on the anchor chain and the Gran Couva isn’t going anywhere.
posted by Jamie on the Esperanza