January: The maiden voyage of the Sea Shepherd under the command of Watson is a journey across the Atlantic accomplished in two weeks and the ship arrives at the Port of Boston in mid-January. Two fishermen who had been hired to help deliver the ship attempt to sabotage the vessel. Both men are arrested and escorted from the ship. The crew then begins the task of preparing the ship for the first Sea Shepherd campaign.
March: The Sea Shepherd is the first ship to go to the ice for the purpose of protecting seals. Sea Shepherd crewmembers save over a thousand baby seals on the Eastern Coast of Canada by spraying their white pelts with an indelible organic dye to render them commercially worthless. Watson and his crew spray red dye on over a thousand seals before being arrested.
April: The Sea Shepherd departs from Boston to Bermuda to prepare for a campaign to hunt down the pirate whaler Sierra. In the early 1970’s, this killing ship was credited with nearly destroying the humpback population in the Caribbean (despite an international ban on commercial whaling).
June: The Sea Shepherd returns to Boston from Bermuda to recruit crew for the campaign to hunt down the Sierra.
July: After infiltrating the international criminal operation bankrolling the activities of the pirate whaler Sierra, Captain Paul Watson takes the Sea Shepherd to sea to hunt down the pirate whaler Sierra. He finds the notorious whaling ship in Portuguese waters. On July 16, he rams the pirate twice and disables it. The Sierra limps into dock at Leixoes, Portugal, and the Sea Shepherd surrenders to the Portuguese Navy. The story makes headlines worldwide and exposes the operations of the world’s pirate whalers and the Japanese and Norwegian connections to these illegal activities. The Port Captain rules that there will be no charges against Captain Watson and his crew for the attack on the pirate whaler.
November: Captain Watson travels to Lisbon to discover the Sierra being repaired at dockside. He also discovers that the Sea Shepherd has been ordered confiscated without charges, a court hearing, or a defense allowed. This was a decision by a Portuguese judge who had been bribed by the Sierra Trading Company. Attempts to appeal are denied.
December: Captain Watson and his crew board the Sea Shepherd on Christmas day and discover that Portuguese authorities had looted the ship. To prevent the ship from being handed over to the Sierra Trading Company, Captain Watson and Chief Engineer Peter Woof scuttle the SeaShepherd on New Year’s Eve in Leixoes harbor.