Next day, the Fri
sailed on to her next port of call—Green Bay. Moodie and his frazzled crew were
glad to get back to sea. As the Fri chugged out of Saginaw Bay, the skipper
stood at the wheel in his yellow slicker, looking as tough and commanding as
Captain Ahab. Yet when it came time to change course, he called a crew meeting
to arrive at a consensus on whether or not he should shift from the starboard
to the port tack. At one point, he yelled, "All right you guys, if you feel
like it, you can start pulling on those ropes." For all of McAllister's
talk of military discipline, Greenpeacers can be as antiauthoritarian as they
shut down the engine, and all hands fell gratefully into the seagoing routine.
It was a motley crew. Kevin Downing, 30, is a former merchant seaman who
studied marine biology at Northeastern University. "I was on the Warrior
the last five years of the seal campaign," he said. "Up in the ice,
following Canadian icebreakers through. We got frozen in a few times, once for
a month. There were millions of seals all around. They'd go what sounded like
'ma-ma' all night long. It drove you nuts."
Ortquist is a
former sailor on Pete Seeger's Hudson River sloop, Clearwater. Two summers ago,
she worked in Nicaragua chopping cotton. "My father is a minister who has
always worked with the poor," she said. "Normally I teach retarded and
genetically damaged children. This is vacation for me—adventure."
Harris, 34, quiet, skinny and bearded, is a free spirit who has worked as a
farmhand, carpenter, Alaskan-salmon fisherman and steel-mill hand and was
proprietor of a music store for a while. "I work long enough to get me a
stake," he said. "Then I hit the road again. Greenpeace doesn't pay us
anything—just room and board, such as it is. But it's worth it for the travel
and the excitement."
No one could be
happier that the Fri was under way again than Karen Roberts, pregnant mother of
two of the three kids aboard. In port, she had worried that copycat divers with
magnetic mines might do to the Fri what others had apparently done to Rainbow
Warrior. Once on the water, there were different concerns. Her son Dylan, 4�,
loved to make risky climbs into the rigging and swing from the halyards. Her
other son, Tristan, 2�, squabbled in the rubber rafts with Helena Moodie, 3�,
the skipper's browneyed, bullying daughter, who was born aboard the Fri and
considers it her private playpen. "I could write a book about child safety
aboard ship," sighed Karen. She was reading quite another kind of
book—Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. Her husband, Mark Jackson, 32, was
reading Watership Down.
On arrival in
Green Bay, the Fri's doughty crew began a public protest of what they claimed
was the dumping of PCBs into the Fox River by the Fort Howard Paper Company.
The confrontation came off peacefully. One 'Peacer was arrested for trespass
when he stepped ashore onto company property. Banners were strung, newspaper
photos taken, TV cameras given the usual workout. But the mission wasn't as
exciting or as successful, in terms of confrontation and publicity, as the Dow
adventure. About the worst the enemies of the 'Peacers could do was decorate
car bumpers with stickers that read: NUKE AN UNBORN BABY GAY WHALE FOR
Back on the Fri,
David Moodie summed up his personal view of a Greenpeacer's lot in life:
"When I was debating whether or not to go to college, my father warned me,
whatever I did, not to become a dilettante. In an odd way, that's just what
I've become. I gave up architecture to major in English lit at Syracuse—class
of '69. Now we go to these different places—Namibia, Nicaragua, Green Bay—and
learn a little about them very fast. Then we sail on. It's not as if we knew it
all. Say, can I bum a smoke?"