Mentawai boat cap’n on the time he was robbed and lined up to be shot, execution-style…
Having the barrel of a gun shoved into your head is a helluva game. Years back, on Australia’s Gold Coast, I was robbed at gunpoint, the villain pushing the barrel of his shotgun into my gut, first, and, later, when I baulked at handing over my precious twenty-dollar bill (this was the nineties! I was poor!) into my forehead.
That feeling of a person you’ve never met having the ability to extinguish your life in an instant is something I never want to feel again. The hopelessness, the stupidity, the injustice.
And just when you think you’re about to die, you have a thought: if he ever gets caught, he’ll weep for the judge, be out in ten years, while I rot in the dirt.
Anyway, two weeks ago I was enjoying the company of the very well-regarded international boat captain, John Shawcross, during a Mentawai vay-cay.
Captain John Shawcross, now don’t that have a regal ring to it!
For many years, he was the super-yacht captain billionaires begged to hire. First, Shawcross skippered the 114-metre $100 million Octopus in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Later, a very rich Russian for whom no words can be spoken nor written due to a confidentiality agreement, sought his rule. In a darker time, let’s say a century ago, this master mariner would be hauling Sperm Whales alongside for slaughter.
In the wheelhouse of the Mentawai-plying vessel the Ratu Motu (formerly the Indies Trader IV) Shawcross told me about the time he woke up on the super yacht he was skippering for a German billionaire with a gun to his head.
At one point, he, the crew and the dozen or so guests were told to kneel and prepare for execution.
Yeah, he’s here, so he didn’t get it, but what a story!