Skip to comments.A Cold, Abrupt End To A Honeymoon ('Eco-Friendly' Cruise Ship Hits Iceberg, Pollutes Antarctica)
Posted on 11/29/2007 7:02:00 PM PST by DogByte6RER
A cold, abrupt end to a honeymoon
By: DAVE DOWNEY - Staff Writer
Encinitas couple that fled Witch Creek fire returns home after cruise ship sinks off Antarctica
ENCINITAS -- Three times since marrying June 11 in a beachside ceremony at La Jolla Cove, Trevor Takayama and Torrey Trust have dodged disaster.
In August, the Encinitas couple fled an approaching hurricane while camping in a Costa Rican rain forest, on a summerlong honeymoon tour of Central and South America.
In October, the Witch Creek fire forced the newlyweds to evacuate the hilltop three-bedroom home she grew up in, near Manchester Avenue and El Camino Real in Encinitas.
Then, the day after Thanksgiving, rescuers plucked them from a lifeboat after the ecotourist cruise ship they shared with 152 others rammed an iceberg and slowly sank into the sea off Antarctica.
"We keep it interesting," joked Torrey Trust, 22, a recent UC San Diego film production graduate, in an interview Wednesday.
But after shivering in subfreezing temperatures for four or five hours in a lifeboat until a luxury cruise ship responded to the sinking MS Explorer's distress call, the honeymooners are glad to be back in San Diego County. They flew home Tuesday night.
"It's so good to be back," said Trevor Takayama, a 26-year-old biochemist. "When we got back it was sunny and 70. It was sunny and maybe 30 there."
The ecology-oriented cruise around Antarctica was part two of their global honeymooning tour. It was something Takayama's young wife had wanted to do for a long time.
"I really like penguins," Trust said. And, she said, "I wanted to see the ice before it melts because of global warming."
Little did she know, as it turned out, that global warming would possibly play a role in cutting short the cruise on the 12th day of what was to be a 19-day voyage.
In an Associated Press report of the rescue, Guillermo Tarapow, captain of the Argentine navy icebreaker Almirante Irizar said he had seen a huge increase in the number of icebergs roaming in the waters off Antarctica the last two decades. And he blamed climate change for that.
Takayama, who obtained a biochemistry degree from UC San Diego in 2003, said, "They say a lot more ice is coming out now, especially from the shelves."
Trust said the couple saw many icebergs.
"We saw one that was 26 nautical miles long that they believe was a part of the Larsen Ice Shelf that had broken off and had already drifted off to sea," Trust said. "It was still big and penguins were living on it."
Trust said the Explorer began its trek at Ushuaia, a port on the southern tip of Argentina. The ship cruised past the Falkland Islands as well as the icy continent of Antarctica.
According to G.A.P. Adventures of Toronto, the ship's owner, the voyage was inspired by the polar travels of Ernest Shackleton, the famed expedition leader who made repeated forays there before dying of a heart attack while trying to sail around the continent in 1922.
On this month's voyage, Trust and Takayama visited a beach on the Falkland Islands that is home to a half million black-browed albatross, followed southern right whales for hours and saw countless penguins on Antarctica.
"The wildlife was just so incredible," Trust said. "And the glaciers and the scenery were just unbelievable."
Everything was environmentally oriented. The ship avoided dumping human waste, according to Trust. Each day's events included four lectures on wildlife and a movie. One night, Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" filled the screen.
Trust was having the time of her life. So it was hard to believe when, at about midnight on Thanksgiving night, an obnoxiously loud alarm went off.
"Next thing we knew, the captain's yelling, 'Abandon ship, abandon ship!' over the loudspeaker," she Trust said. "And we were rushed into lifeboats."
There was nowhere to go.
"We had oars," Trust said. "But it was absolutely pointless to use them." She said the boats were packed so tightly with human bodies that oars could not be turned to move them.
Passengers and crew members huddled and waited in the darkness and cold. It helped that it was summer in the Southern Hemisphere, as the sun soon rose. Still, it was eerie looking over at the Explorer, still resting partly on the iceberg it had struck.
For a moment, Trust said, her thoughts flashed to a scene in the "Titanic" movie of the ship disaster that occurred nearly a century ago. But there was a huge difference: While the Titanic broke up and disappeared quickly from sight, the Explorer just sat there, sinking ever so slowly. And everyone safely made it to a lifeboat.
Around 7 a.m. or so, the 154 who had been aboard the Explorer were rescued by a cruise ship and taken to the Chilean Air Force Base on Antarctica. After spending the night in cots in a gymnasium, they were flown to Punta Arenas, Chile, on a Hercules C-130 military cargo plane.
Then Trust and Takayama flew home.
As chilling as the ordeal was, Trust said, "The fire was way more traumatic." After all, the 198,000-acre Witch Creek blaze forced the couple to evacuate for three days in October, as they sat by a television anxiously awaiting news of their home's fate.
"I grew up in this house. It was built a month before I was born," she said. "We had no idea where the fire was."
As usual with all liberals, all that matters is that they have "good intentions."
If Global warming does not break up all the ice bergs, liberals cruising around them will.
Well, one less copy of Gore's movie to pollute minds.
Well, at least until it stank...er...sank.
They should drug test the skipper and the crew. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were smoking the herb or dropping acid during this hippie cruise...
Can you imagine all those poor penguins smelling of patrulli oil and tripping on blotter acid.
Grateful Dead and Phish CDs litering the beaches...
“when, at about midnight on Thanksgiving night” with their hippie bellies stuffed with Tofurkey and organic, free ranch cranberry sauce...
This story reminded me of my favorite Wilbur Smith novel, “Hungry as the Sea”. The first part dealt with a cruise ship in trouble in the Southern Ocean and the efforts of a tugboat captain to save them.
The guys on the Exxon Valdez were mere pikers compared to these dirty eco-hippies and their washed ashore paraphernalia.
I wish they had been environmentally consistent and insisted on rowing back to Argentina. Think of all the carbon wasted rescuing these morons and bringing them back to civilization.
By the way, notice the eco-tourists’ ship has a big red star on top. Coincidence? I doubt it.
A poster on the newspaper’s blog site wrote this:
Ships Aren’t ‘Eco’
[-] wrote on Nov 29, 2007 4:49 PM:
Remember how some folks were against allowing Mexican trucks cross the border, due to questions on whether those trucks were as well maintained and therefore as safe as US trucks? It’s kind of the same thing with ships. If you have a leaky, aging rustbucket, you just register it in some country with easy regulations (like Liberia)—then you’re free to sail it wherever you want. Such as to Antarctica. The MS Explorer was built almost 20 years ago as a reasearch vessel for the Soviet Union, and has had five changes of ownership since then. The website for the ship’s latest owners describes it as quite a luxurious ship, but doesn’t say where the ship is registered.
do these people ever think that IF global warming is caused
by evil human beings driving cars, flying airplanes, cruising
that their expense of these precious resources is contributing to
" ... cutting short the cruise on the 12th day of what was to be a 19-day voyage."
Do these people work for a living?
" ... a recent UC San Diego film production graduate ... "
I guess the biochemist husband is an academic, getting the entire summer off and three weeks in the fall off.
Maybe they are French.
Do bongs sink or float?
The ship was MS Explorer — anyone who has ever used Windows would know it was bound to crash.
Luckily for this couple, it wasn’t a fatal error.
Trevor and Torrey had better buy a lot carbon credits to cover their latest shenanigans. People ARE watching.
I noticed how many disasters were befalling that newly married couple. I would NOT want them as my neighbors; a tornado would hit right after the moved in.
That's nice, did they scoop up all the penguin poop too..
The Antartic has its own version of "blue screen of death". LOL
Global warming pleasure cruise hits an iceberg and sinks. I hope this is a metaphor for the entire global warming movement.
What a great photo op. Penguins on icebergs and eco friendlies in lifeboats.
You’d never read this in the mainstream media: The owner of MS Explorer that sank, leaving a huge carbon footprint at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean Friday is an acolyte of teensy-weensy carbon footprint crusader Al Gore.
G.A.P. Adventures CEO and Explorer owner, Bruce Poon Tip and Gore have similar ideals, “filling their schedules with speaking engagements on environmental change to educate global audiences.” And that’s straight off of www.gapadventures.com. In fact, as recently as last April, both Poon Tip and Gore gave presentations at the Green Living Show in Toronto.
“I expressed my admiration for Mr. Gore’s commitment and leadership which spans more than 20 years,” commented Poon Tip. “I also invited him aboard our legendary polar expedition ship, the MS Explorer to visit the Arctic.”
The legendary polar expedition ship…”had at least five faults at its last inspection,” according to Greenpeace spokeswoman Bunny McDiarmid. “Maritime records show the MV Explorer has completed more than 40 cruises to the ice, but has lately been suffering maintenance and safety problems.”
Maintenance and safety problems never kept the MS Explorer from setting out for the Antarctica two weeks ago.
Good thing Gore was otherwise occupied when 154 passengers and crew had to be rescued at sea when their eco-cruise ship struck ice in the Antarctic Ocean and started to sink early Friday morning. (None of the eco warriors aboard MS Explorer were identified in weekend media coverage).
Twelve Canadians—10 tourists and two expedition guides on the eco-adventure cruise—spent anxious frigid hours in lifeboats once they were evacuated from the Explorer.
In addition to the 12 Canadians were travelers from the United States, Britain, Australia, France and several other countries on board the ship.
There was little mention in the mainstream media that the passengers were comprised of eco warriors or that they had spent thousands of dollars to see ice at a much closer range than they ever dreamed.
Making it a Thanksgiving Day to remember, the polar cruise came with that sinking feeling of a miniature Titanic. Passengers and crew aboard the Canadian cruise liner waited in frigid temperatures for some two hours before pick up in a part of the ocean with no land in sight.
How the vessel sustained a “fist-sized hole” is a mystery taken down to the ocean floor.
The 38-year-old vessel was sold by Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) to G.A.P Adventures in 2004. A&K has since acquired Explorer II, now called “Minerva”.
A well-known ship in marine circles, the 75-metre Explorer was built in 1969 and was specifically designed with a reinforced double hull to withstand ice and other environmental challenges.
Near the South Shetland Islands, the ship began to take on water and a distress call was made. The Explorer’s pumps managed the incoming water while passengers and expedition staff were gathered in the ship’s lecture hall and informed of the emergency. All eco warrior passengers had received evacuation training on their first day at sea, and news reports indicated that nobody panicked when things started to go wrong.
As the Los Angeles Times described it: “The first cruise ship built to ply the frigid waters of Antarctica became the first to sink there Friday. The red-hulled Explorer struck ice, taking water as 154 passengers and crew members scrambled to safety aboard lifeboats and rafts. The ship later went to the bottom.”
According to one blogger who plans an Antarctica trip, “apparently, most (Explorer passengers) did not have wallets or passports with them,” adding in a Note to Self: “Wear identification belt at all times.”
Passengers and crew were taken to a Chilean military base on King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, from which they were flown home yesterday.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace believes tourism in Antarctica should be strictly limited because of the fate of MS Explorer, but the silence is deafening from Poon Tip and Gore about the huge carbon footprint left on the ocean floor.
“”I wanted to see the ice before it melts because of global warming.””
This is where I quit reading.
30 years ago i’m sure these same hippies parents were on an Antartic cruise to check out the water before it all froze from Global Cooling.
What? Old Navy was not involved?
LOL. Nope, Old Navy doesn’t do Russian rustbuckets.
This is hard for me to square with my desk research. Start with this MODIS view from 11/25/07. You can see King George Island ( near which the ship sank ) in a cloud gap along the 60 degree longitude line, which starts in the upper left corner. The island is just north of the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen Ice Shelf is on the eastern shore of the A.P. and can't be discerned because of the clouds, which seem to be perennial based on my perusal of the MODIS images.
Furthermore, note that the entire Weddell Sea, to the east of the A.P., is filled with pack ice, which can be discerned through cloud gaps. I doesn't seem plausible that a piece of the Larsen Ice Shelf could barge it's way through this sea ice and make it's way to open water.
~~ AGW ping~~
Wouldn’t it be more enviromentally friendly just to let them freeze to death or to drown and then become part of the food chain?
Yes, that was my subtle point. The chicklette said rowing was futile because the lifeboats were so crowded.
Until it started sinking, at which point all the "human waste" was loaded into the lifeboats, where it waited to be picked up by another cruise ship.
I'll refrain from even commenting on the remarkable stupidity of the newlyweds, or question how it is that they can afford so much time off, travel, etc.
I have always said that by killing themselves, enviromentalists could do alot to save nature.