Friday, November 11, 2016
"Pirate Hunters", by Robert Kurson
You need to be obsessed by pirates and be a tough and resilient person with deep pockets, willing to invest a lot time and put family life on the back burner to track down sunken galleons.
In “Pirate Hunters” treasure hunter Tracy Bowden leased water rights off Domingo in the Dominican Republic and has hired John Chatterton and his partner John Mattera to find the “Golden Fleece” a ship commandeered by Joseph Bannister, an English sea captain, who went rogue after many years sailing the water between London and Jamaica. The search is more than about finding a ship it’s about finding a man, Joseph Bannister, a shrewd mad captain who stole the 17th century British cargo vessel and overcame unthinkable odds till the day he was captured and hanged.
Mr. Kurson does a fine job dramatizing what motivated the pirate hunters and how they figured out where the Golden Fleece had careened, laying there with all its promises of riches to discover. The hunt for the impossible dream plainly sends Chatterson and Mattera through thousands of documents and hours of research. Through the narrative backstories are revealed, what drove Chatterson and Mattera to be where they are today, their past careers, their marriages and some interesting anecdotes to entertain us and lighten the mood. It takes a while before the book hit a steady pace but once it does everything flows effortlessly with a richness of information about pirates and their evolution to modern day mercenaries. Adding to the fun is the book’s wealth of maps, photos and illustrations. The author has definitely an eye for details.
With the new international laws to come soon treasure hunting may not be so lucrative in the future. This book offers what could be one of the final acts in such an activity.
This is a fantastic story well delivered