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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-20
  • Publisher: Textstream
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David Roberts is a cashed-up escapee from the world of big business and dot-com fortunes who settles into a peaceful coastal environment in New South Wales, Australia, and waits for something to turn up. Something does. An encounter with a trapped whale sets him on a path which will lead to his first real defense of ocean life. He decides to go hunting those who before had been the hunters, and to take some direct and affirmative action in an attempt to convince them to seek alternative employment. He receives little sympathy and no assistance from politicians or government resources, so is compelled to carry out his special project in secret, using his own expertise and funding. His escapades finally focus some unwanted attention on his group and he needs to do some defending of his own, both on shore and at sea. A climactic battle in the South Atlantic is followed closely by an all-out attack on his base by a force of mercenaries, but all ends well and even the politicians are satisfied with the result.


The unpleasant patch of water between Tasmania and New Zealand was nobody's favourite sea. As ill-tempered as the early Dutch navigator who also gave his name to Tasmania, the Tasman Sea was usually grey and annoyingly lumpy. Today, however, the sun was shining and things were easy. The Kronos had been driving south into a surprisingly placid Tasman for the past nine hours, ahead of a wake that could have been ruled by a celestial navigator with a heavenly parallel, so straight was it. A white, gently widening slash across the deep blue of the strangely quiet water, it was being carved by the powerful jet motor of the thirty-metre aluminium and fiberglass craft named not for a music group, or a science fiction hero, or even an ancient mythological god, but for one of Australia's prehistoric marine megafauna called Kronosaurus. It was a boat with a difference, for the main central hull was flanked on opposite sides by large outriggers containing living quarters for the crew of eleven. It had a top speed of forty-two knots, and was currently cruising at thirty-five, due to the benign state of the sea. It was painted a startling, all-over bright red. 'Even the Tasman can enjoy summer at times', thought Callie Fraser, as she swept her eyes over the slave instruments on the dashboard of her elevated steering station – compass heading, speed, engine revs and fuel situation. "How soon before we raise the whalers, Neville?" she asked the navigator, Neville Ray. He was an old sea dog, grey, grizzled and fifty-seven, but he had been with Callie as her navigator on the last eight Sydney-Hobart yacht races, and was happiest with his head down and nose buried in his instrument array in the nav. station. He was never seasick. "At this rate, Callie, we should raise the two chasers in thirty-two minutes, give or take. The mother ship is a further thirty miles south." Callie, fit, strong, capable and one hundred and eighty centimetres tall, was the master of this unusual vessel, due to her experience as a lifelong mariner and her history in the previous thirteen Sydney-Hobarts, in all of which she had competed and in two of which she had been on the winning yacht. But it wasn't only her blue-water credentials which had landed her the command of the Kronos. For many years now Callie had been a lecturer in marine biology at the University of New South Wales, and had become well-known for her stance on the need for marine conservation, with a particular focus on the whaling industry that was no longer supposed to exist. Although a blue-water sailor, she eagerly accepted the offer of command of the power boat Kronos because it was a vessel capable of joining the campaign against the Japanese whalers being fought by Sea Shepherd on the Steve Irwin.

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