Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Call of the Sea - guest author - Joseph O'Steen
Joseph O’Steen creator of the Nathan Beauchamp series is intrigued with the history of piracy:
“I first went to sea at the age of four. As the son of a commercial fisherman I spent my early youth with him on the shrimping grounds off Florida.
Usually we only went out in good weather but one trip caught the boat on the edge of a hurricane. The adults were frightened but for a seven year old, tied in the wheelhouse chair, riding the 30-foot waves it was like a carnival ride. They were the happiest times of my childhood.
But when I reached the age of eleven, everything changed.
In 1961 I sailed into St Augustine, Florida with my father who was captain of the shrimp trawler Rodonsetta.
My mother had escaped him some years before, so now my care was placed with one of his female friends.
One night while he was away, I woke up alone.
I never saw his girl friend again and I only saw him one other time after the O’Steen family took me in and I settled into a life ashore.
I heard about my Dad a few years later. He had sailed to the west coast of Florida, gone on a drinking binge and sold the boat he was captain of at the time.
And the Feds were looking for him for piracy - it seems the vessel was not his.
So I guess that makes me the son of a pirate!
But that was the best thing for me, as I stayed with the O’Steen’s until I joined the navy. That was when I took their name.
I have not told this story to many, but I think of it more as I grow older.
And now I think, perhaps that may be why I am drawn to the history of piracy.”
To read more about Joe, his books and his love of everything nautical visit his website at http://josephlosteen.com/