If you’ve read many Think Tasmania articles, you’ll know we love the sight of cruise ships in Hobart. Not only do they look pretty, they also bring hordes of tourists to Tasmanian shores to spend their holiday dollar. It can’t be considered anything but good for all the local business owners.
Brigette Bardot Comes to Hobart
The Hobart waterfront in general is a just nice place to be. During the Wooden Boat Festival in early February, the Tasmanian capital turned on some fabulous weather and treated the crowds to a brilliant display. Locals and visitors mingled amongst the wooden boats, demonstrations and stall-holders in a carnival atmosphere.
But every day can be a party in Hobart, regardless of the weather or current events. Dining out on local seafood at iconic Tasmanian restaurants such as Mures, located right next to a working fisherman’s dock is a special experience, any day of the week.
Hobart Waterfront Stage
That’s why we chose to show-off the precinct to Kerrie Dodson (our guest reporter) when she returned from her 10-day trip with Franklin River Rafting. We spent the morning at MONA, then enjoyed a very pleasant meal and de-brief about the adventure tour. And we couldn’t help notice another lovely lady moored nearby at Elizabeth Street Pier.
The Brigette Bardot is a scout or interceptor vessel for the fleet of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships. She is designed to undertake a similar mission to her famous predecessor, the Ady Gil, once a state-of-the-art trimaran worth $1.5 million. The Ady Gil was scuttled after an altercation with a Japanese whaling vessel caused extensive damage. It sank to the bottom of the Southern Ocean in January 2010.
Tough Gig for the Ady Gil and the Brigette Bardot
These days the Brigette Bardot looks much less menacing than its Ady Gil counterpart, which was black and sleek and looked like something from a Batman movie. Hopefully this vessel won’t suffer the same fate as the last, although she is required to battle some ferocious conditions at sea. Early last year, she spent three months in dry dock in Fremantle (Western Australia) after a huge wave in the Southern Ocean caused heavy damage.
She also had a brief stint in Hobart last month suffering engine trouble. After minor repairs, the crew of the Brigette Bardot quickly refuelled, gathered fresh supplies and returned to join the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin in the fight against the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters.
Brigette Bardot: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
At the time, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was using the Brigette Bardot in its latest anti-whaling expedition in the Southern Ocean dubbed “Operation No Compromise”. The 35-metre monohull trimaran was originally painted black and called Gojira, which apparently means Godzilla in Japanese (if you can believe everything you read on the Internet, that is!).
In May 2011, the former ocean racer was renamed in honour of the famous French movie actress and sex symbol of the 50s and 60s. These days, the former actress is equally well-known as a staunch animal rights activist, having launched the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals in 1986 more than ten years after her retirement from acting.
Heavily involved in the campaign against Japanese whaling, Bardot refers to Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd organisation as her “brother in arms” and offered to take his place in jail when he was arrested in Germany. No wonder they renamed the boat.
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