The Moby Dick, the only ship in operation that is owned by Greenpeace -- the international environmental group -- is spending the holidays docked in Fells Point while its crew awaits instructions on its next mission.
The ship, a converted 83-foot side trawler built in the Netherlands in 1959, arrived in Baltimore on Dec. 3 from New Bedford, Mass. It is working its way south after spending the summer and fall on a tour of the Great Lakes to warn of the harmful effects of toxic and radioactive pollution on humans and wildlife. The Moby Dick was last in Baltimore in 1991.
The Moby Dick is docked at the foot of Ann Street across from the Broadway Pier. It will be open to the public from noon until 5 p.m. Saturday. Its international six-member crew, which includes residents of the United States, Spain, Greece, New Zealand and Sweden, will conduct tours and offer briefings on Greenpeace projects.
Capt. Ulf Birgander said he has not been informed yet of the exact itinerary for the ship's next mission, but it will most likely head for Florida or Texas before embarking for Mexico and Central America. Then, he expects the ship to go through the Panama Canal and continue up the West Coast.
Captain Birgander said Baltimore was chosen for the holiday layover because of its location. "It's close to the Washington office," U.S. headquarters for Greenpeace. "It's on the way from New Bedford to Texas or Florida, wherever we're going."
Greenpeace's four-ship fleet was cut by half Sept. 1, when the French government seized the Rainbow Warrior and the Greenpeace after activists on the two ships tried to prevent nuclear testing on the Moruroa atoll in French Polynesia.
A third Greenpeace ship is in dry dock in Hamburg, Germany.