Ah, the open sea. An adventurous captain’s dream, we sail the vast oceans of the world. I’ve got this big old scow, sailing from port to port, loading up with merchandise, goods and raw materials to deliver to buyers from sellers around the globe.
Been doing it for time immemorial. Pretty simple, logical procedure really. No rocket science here. I simply pay attention, think and do the right thing. A responsible professional must never let his guard down and will always be prepared. Captain Nuge, reporting for duty. The last Boy Scout lives.
My ship is always maintained in tip-top shape for the grueling conditions that Mother Nature hits us with constantly. Fresh paint every other year or so, and I must keep my engines purring, rudder strong, propeller sturdy and straight and anchors and chains ready to do their jobs. Lifeboats and floatation gear for all on board are checked and double checked regularly.
My crew is the best there is: tough, rugged, jacks of all trade, professional sailors, ready, willing and capable to accomplish any task an angry sea could bring our way. Standard operating procedures all.
Our cook is the best there is. He always has fresh fruits and vegetables, quality beef, pork, poultry and all our favorite seafoods. He has quite the touch in the galley, preparing hearty meals for a hearty band of seafarers, so we can remain healthy and strong during our extended voyages.
We have never had a fire on board, but we do make certain that all the fire extinguishers, strategically located throughout the ship, are charged up to the max and that everyone knows how to handle them, just in case.
As captain of my ship, it is my duty to study weather conditions, political variations in all the geographical zones of our travels, and keep in constant touch with my government agencies so that I can avoid dangerous conditions, whether they be weather or politically related.
For example, though self defense is the most basic of human instincts, and no individual, much less a ship cruising international waters in these uncertain times would ever accept the irresponsible condition of unarmed helplessness, it is our routes along the coast of Somalia that demand my maximum attentiveness in these days of global terrorism.
Everyone knows about the horrors of Blackhawk Down, and this coastal hell zone of voodoo gangs is more unstable now than ever, virtually overrun with the lowest forms of life, the worst terrorist evildoers the world has ever known.
Knowing of this outrageously dangerous state of affairs, made that much more volatile by increased, nonstop attacks on shipping vessels by Somalian pirates, threatening lives, kidnapping and demanding enormous ransoms, I took the prudent steps to adequately protect myself, crew, ship and cargo. That other countries have made the insane mistake of emboldening these pirates by paying their ransoms, I knew it would just be a matter of time before these punk gangs would attack a ship sailing under the American flag. Bring it.
So, awhile back, after a briefing with my fellow sailors, we increased our artillery and ammunition on board and trained more diligently for a worse case scenario.
Each man on board has his own M-16 and 2000 rounds of ammo. Every third sailor is also equipped with a standard M-37 grenade launcher attached to his M-16 with a gross of grenades. And because the lives of my crew are sacred, I found a small company right here in the good old US of A that makes kits to protect them. I bought four, two fore and aft and two port and starboard. They are armored plate and sandbags, with a nice swivel mount for something on top. They didn’t cost much: about what I’d pay for a really good guitar.
And so, on top of the ones fore and aft is mounted a .Ma Deuce .50 caliber machinegun with 10,000 rounds, protecting our freedom one half-inch at a time. Port and starboard we have quad mounts of M-240 .30 cal machineguns with 10,000 rounds each. Every crew member is trained extensively in mastering each weapon, and these boys are all-American Sgt. York sniper marksmen, I assure you. We are not Navy SEALs, but we do our best.
We train diligently trained and keep a ten-man rotating 24 hour red alert watch detail, with instructions to identify any vessel approaching within 1000 yards of our ship, sound an “all hands on deck” alarm, fire one 20-round .50 cal burst across the bow of any invader vessel, then if it does not turn back, to literally blow it out of the water. Seems like the prudent thing to do.
Just as God gave us the individual right to keep and her arms to protect ourselves, our family and our homes, that self evident truth logic clearly applies to my ship and crew as well. We have a flag flying under our American flag with a coiled yellow snake that reads — "Don’t tread and me.” It is not just a cool phrase: we actually mean it.
I, for the life of me, cannot fathom the soulless mindset of choosing unarmed helplessness. It goes against the very pulse of mankind. This is my life, this is my ship, these men and this cargo are in my care. Helplessness invites and promotes evil to do as evil does.
On my ship of life, just the opposite message resonates. Keep your little terrorist dinghy at home boys, or I will turn you into shark food. Bon voyage.
(PS: As a very fortunate man, privileged and honored to train and hangout with the greatest warriors the world has ever known, it comes as no surprise to me that the mighty US Navy SEALs came through in this recent pirating of a US Merchant Martine ship, saved the kidnapped captain, killed three bad guys and captured a fourth. Those of us who cherish justice and good over evil salute the heroes of the American special ops and a Commander in Chief who gave the green light to do the right thing. God bless the warriors.)