The Whale Warriors is a fantastic and important book, and remains one of my all-time favorites. It’s an adventure tale to rival any other for daring and lunacy, about a ship that flies the Jolly Roger, sailing the dangerous seas of international politics, with a crew willing to die for their beliefs. It’s an eloquent travelogue and celebration of nature at her grandest and most intimate, and an execration of our wanton destruction of the oceanic ecosystem. At its center lies the tragic torture and killing of the world’s most amazing animals - whales that carry some of the symbolic weight of Moby Dick - and a captain (Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd) who bears more than a slight resemblance to an anti-Ahab. In the ten years since The Whale Warriors was published, Sea Shepherd has become a major global force for conservation, in a battle whose stakes have only intensified. As Heller says in his new afterword, “If [Watson] was notorious when I first met him, he was legendary now.” With career-spanning coverage of life and sports on and in the water, with his role in The Cove (Heller was one of 5 surfers who paddled into the cove when a pod of pilot whales was being slaughtered and his footage can be seen in the movie), and with this masterful account of Watson and Sea Shepherd, Peter Heller has played a powerful role of his own in advocating for life in the seas.
— Sara, Atlanta
In the tradition of The Perfect Storm, The Whale Warriors takes us on a hair-raising journey aboard a whale-saving pirate ship with a vigilante crew whose mission is to stop illegal Japanese whaling in the stormy remote seas off Antarctica. For two months, journalist Peter Heller rode aboard the vegan pirate ship Farley Mowat as it stalked its prey-a Japanese whaling fleet-through the storms and ice of Antarctica. The ship is black, flies under a jolly roger, and carries members of the Sea Shepherd Society, a radical environmental group who are willing to die to stop illegal whale hunting. The Sea Shepherd ship, led by the charismatic Captain Paul Watson-a modern-day anti-Ahab-takes extreme risks in defense of whales and ratchets up the stakes. The ship is almost sunk twice, once in a force gale. Heller re-creates a nail-biting showdown when Watson and the crew attempt to ram an enormous Japanese whaling ship on the high seas, trying to tear open its hull with a steel blade called a "can opener." The crews on board both ships know that there will be no assistance in this desolate part of the ocean. In thirty-five-foot seas, it is a deadly game of Antarctic chicken and a fast-paced, rollicking adventure in which the stakes cannot be higher.
About the Author
Peter Heller is a seasoned adventure journalist and a senior contributor to "Outside" magazine.
James Boles is an accomplished audiobook narrator and an award-winning stage actor.
"Heller's writing is energetic and bold, at times a swashbuckling adventure, at others a portrait of a determined eco-warrior, at others a heart-rending expose on the cruelty of whalers." ---Publishers Weekly