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South Africa, January 12, 2010

Just a shorty message that I have finally connected back online.

As the Seashepherd people were so stupidly attacked, I had no way of connecting with them as I was in the deep desert/bush/savannah playing with the team of 'Portable Life'. A film you will hear more about. We are shooting this with a team of 5 people + some hands.

Let me say. A dream to shoot. To work on. With the new Canon reflex. A wonderful director, Fleur Boonman, who lives in Bali. And a budget that would make any filmmakers skin crawl. In a good and a bad way. Little money for a feature where the 17-yr old leading lady travels the world looking for things that make real sense rather than a PR job.
She is fantastic, this girl as well. Photography is magic. Sound man is 'beestig' which is a new Flemish word only understood by them.
And the South Africans are just helpful always.

Between the 40°C and the out-of-Africa lake location I play with 2 half year old cheetahs and learn another lesson about the preciousness of wild life. These 2 are left of about 500 of them in the world. Such naughty damn grace. They attack from the back and have speeds of 100km/h if needed. I tend to have an immediate link with most animals and also in this case had one licking my hand after 3 minutes of cool ignoring them.

I also got some right of the bat footage from our DOP who is like another animal altogether as he seems to have tentacles in his eyes and his hands. He photographs like a real lover. And there is much to love in this film.

Of course I race the desert in a Nissan with frontwheel traction on the gravel roads, in my mind preparing for a rally in Italy in May that I hope to drive with my past race team coach (Blue Moon).

Back in Capetown I get on the HD that the dealership there gave me for free as a birthday tour gift. I ride it with even more pleasure. Thank you!

Route 66 you could say. Do I need to say more.

In the evening after the final SA shoot I get a surprise pre-birthday party with a few very sweet presents and handshakes, we have dinner and put a few noses in the whipped cream on the desert and all behave like funny ducks.

Later the young ones want and must and can't be stopped. They want to dance. The reponsible people frown. Some of Capetown is not entirely safe and rape is a very normal thing. Apart from killings that happened a few times with knives.

They go.
No one can stop them. They are that way. It is also the story in the film.
I follow them after 30min. To sniff&scratch.
It is a nice hot place for the free and lonely and not unwealthy. Relaxed stoned teens mostly hanging loosely are filling up the joint. Jeans to jeans. Some blonds with bad tits or hair stand on tables. Lots of big security macho men around.

After, the pilot and crew recognize me and say hello because this is what flying is all about too. You get three days in Capetown. I zoom to my hotel and scrutinize my mail. Skype some.

But as I was saying, Seashepherd. I am so happy for them no one got hurt. I know they just received a 5 million dollar donation before the accident/attack. And I congratulate them on being in the Japanese whalers eye. This will go to court and likely they may win. It will likely be a long case. But I think it will change a few minds and wake them up to the wild life good hearts who spend all their time and energy trying to protect what we should not lose.

Typical that newspapers jump on this and twist the news into 'eco terrorist' terms. I for one know for a hundred percent sure that Paul Watson would never put his crew in harm's way to create press coverage. He is one of the most knowlegable and straightforward sailors with an enormous sense of what is just.
I salute him always.
Good work is what they do.
Period.

Rutger

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