A different job in Japan

When I was living in South Korea I received a proposal to take part in a different job. By indication from Luis Manuel the people from the Sea Shepherd Organization contacted me asking if I was interested in surveying a ship that they were interested to buy to increase their anti-whalers fleet. The problem was that the vessel was in Japan and if the Japanese government suspected that it would be used by the Sea Shepherd, the negotiation would be suspended immediately. The story that was told to the Japanese broker was that I was contracted by an American agent representing a millionaire who was interested to transform the ship in a luxury yacht.

I am not sure if the broker believed in the story, or if he was more interested in selling the vessel, but the date of the inspection was set. I took a plane from Busan to Fukuoka and then a train to Shimonoseki where the ship was docked. I didn't have any idea of the condition of the vessel and I was worried that it was not good. A few years ago Roberto Barros and I surveyed a sailing boat that had some problems and made a report to our client indicating what we had found. In the end both the client and the broker were unhappy, the first because he liked the boat and was disappointed that we had spoiled his dream, and the second because he lost the deal and thought we could be less rigorous about the report.

The Seifu Maru, later to be rebaptised Sam Simon, at the dock in Shimonoseki.

In the end the survey was very good. The ship was in good shape and my feedback was positive. The negotiation went through and the purchase was finalized. The vessel was renamed and now is helping the NGO fight against the Japanese whalers fleet. Best even is that out team mate Luis Manuel Pinho was appointed the captain of the vessel in its first season.