War?!

Two Portuguese war ships monitor the movements of the Borndiep during 24 hours to prevent the ship from entering national waters. The captain continues to ask for permission to enter the harbor of Figueira da Foz. Unfortunately the harbor authorities are not responding to its attempt to communicate.

The main Portuguese television channels have chartered a little boat to be able to visit the ship in international waters. Rebecca and Cristina join them and also take water and food for the crew on the Borndiep. Even though the weather is pleasant enough as the shuttle boat leaves, once the warships come into view it becomes gray and dark, and the sea choppy. It is almost as if the weather is supplementing the bleak and bleary outlook of the amount of help that can be offered to the Portuguese women calling the hotline.

The weather is so rough that it is difficult to board the little rubber dinky that has been launched to approach the ship close enough to be able to transfer the bags with food. Throwing plastic bags of food onboard was not a very difficult maneuver. Bringing Portuguese women onto the ship however, is a much more difficult problem. Not only are there obvious problems with seasickness on small boats rolling on the ocean, but also it is also hard to convince ship owners that even though there are huge military boats observing every move they make, it is perfectly legal to board a Dutch ship in international waters.

Ana, portuguese reporter: I'm so ashamed that my government is not allowing Borndiep to enter Portuguese territorial waters, not only because it is in complete conflict with European regulations, but also because it is a complete misrepresentation of the Portuguese public opinion. If the government now also decides not to allow people to board the ship while it is in international waters, they scandalously cross the line of their authority and damage their reputation as competent leaders of a country irreversibly.

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Supplying the Ms. Borndiep
29th of August, 2004: Bringing fresh food to the crew of the Ms. Borndiep. Photo by Nadya Peek for Women on Waves.
Scurvy begone!
29th of August 2004: Portuguese journalists observing the Ms. Borndiep being supplied with fresh food. Photo by Nadya Peek for Women on Waves.
Shuttle boat returns from Ms. Borndiep
Journalists and supporters welcome the shuttle boat, which has just returned from supplying the Ms. Borndiep. Photo by Willem Velthoven for Women on Waves.
Borndiep on the horizon
After a two hour voyage from the harbor of Figueira da Foz, we finally spot Ms. Borndiep outside territorial waters. Photo by Nadya Peek for Women on Waves.
Warships
Warships stop Ms. Borndiep 15 miles from Portugese coast
29-08-04, 17:15 hours: The Portugese Navy circles the Women on Waves ship and orders the ship to stop approaching Portugal. Photo: Nadya Peek for Women on Waves.

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