The Deck – Week 39

I took photos on three days of the last week (from last Friday to this Thursday) but most of it is not worth even processing.  The day that I took this photograph was eventful, so I will mention some of that after I put the photograph up.  I was going to just put the photo up and leave the rest of the story out, but many people are expecting the story, so I will put some of it up.

The photograph is one of those Sunsets where the area around the sun is now warming up (so to speak) and the remainder of the sky is a cooler blue.

Kingston seashore, Georgetown Guyana. 5:37pm, September 28, 2010

Nikhil and I were out on the Kingston seashore photographing driftwood, waves, and whatever else caught our eye, including the setting sun and the resulting effects in the sky.  Approximately 10 minutes after I took this photograph, we were back on the Promenade area around the area by the “Roundhouse”, there are usually some homeless men living in the Roundhouse.  We were looking in that area for other things to photograph when we noticed that the sunset had changed to a much more orange and red cast and decided that we would return to the end of the promenade to photograph it.  Just about this time two young men on bicycled passed us and stopped their cycles on at the end of the Roundhouse and disappeared behind the wall there.  As we approached the end to photographed the sunset, we noticed that they were urinating and we naturally averted our gaze and concentrated on the sunset.

We were focused on the scene before us when they finished their business and walked behind us towards their bicycles, the next thing I knew I was falling to the ground and being attacked about my body by one of the men who now had a piece of wood in his hand.  We were being robbed.  My spectacles had fallen off  and I could barely make out the man now shouting at me and hitting me, I told him to stop hitting and just  take whatever it was he wanted, we were not going to fight them.  It seemed he didn’t believe me and shouted to his companion to throw the gun.  I repeated myself and seemed to get through to him, he searched my pants pockets and took all my cash and my cellular phone.  He threw my wallet and licence on the ground and demanded that I not get up and try to follow them.

Nikhil helped me to my feet and also to find my spectacles, I really am useless without them.  Some of the homeless men were returning to the Roundhouse after their evening bath in the sea and were shocked that in the short space of time that they had gone, we were attacked and robbed.  Of course, we then called for help using the cellular phone that I had in my shirt pocket which they missed, we went to the Police and now one of them men has been captured.  I learnt from NIkhil that although he was not assaulted with a piece of wood, the man who robbed him had a pistol.  Amazingly, I still had my camera, but Nikhil’s camera was gone.

Fortuitously, one of the photographs I had taken earlier had captured the two men when they had passed us, that photograph assisted the police to identify the men and thus far apprehend one of them.

We are both fortunate to be alive.  I have always been told by people wiser than myself that in a robbery, do not be a hero!  Give them what they want and live.  Some of that advice must have sunk in since that is what I did after the initial resistance.  Of course, a few blows to the back of the head and neck puts one in a more submissive mood.

The photograph may not be great, but it certainly is not the last Sunset that I have seen.

35 thoughts on “The Deck – Week 39

  1. Annie

    I love this pic, been looking at it for like 5 mins now. LOVE the dividing line that’s made with the water and the shore which continues up into the sky with that division of blue and golds and that little bit of sun peeking out and…okay instead of going on about what i like i’ll just say that i cant find a single thing i dont like about it:)

    That incident was very unfortunate and i know it angered allot of people. Thank God you are both relatively Okay…its hard not to think about how differently it could have turned out. Its good to know that at least one was captured and Nik got his camera back and hopefully son the other guy will be captured too.

  2. Rose

    When all is said and done this is a beautiful shot. Love the color. Like Nik I would have gone for all the shades of yellow and gold and would have missed this view of the setting sun.
    Putting into words what you went through on Tuesday must have been just as hard as taking the best picture you could in a given circumstance or situation. As you said, I am happy that it was not your last sunset. Gives me chills just to read that line. Happy that you will continue to regale us with the wonder you see when you look through your camera’s view finder/LCD and the stories you write in your blog that give us all something to look forward to. Keep well Mike and do look after your injuries like you would your camera. 🙂 Blessings

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of this incident! How scary that must have been. It’s good to hear one has been captured. I’m glad you both escaped without serious injury. The shot is lovely, I think. Especially knowing the nstory behind it.

  4. Beautiful photograph. Really well done.

    Regarding the robbery. Sorry to hear that happened to you. That’s terrible. 😦 I’m glad they caught one of them and hope they catch the other guy as well. Hopefully it won’t put you off going out and getting these great shots.

  5. Neville Singh

    I`m sorry to learn of the assault and robbery, Michael and hope you are recovering well.
    I know this area having worked at the Roads Dept ( PWD,Kingston) building for many years and watched the ships going to & fro (port/Ocean).
    Your photo would be looking towards Demerara River mouth and captures the colour, beauty and drama of sunset very well.
    I`ve thought of a visit to Guyana and your incident reminds me of the need for vigilance everywhere.
    Best regards, Neville

  6. Dwayne Hackett

    Mike, my eyes water as I read this post. I can’t imagine the trauma both physical and mental that this has caused you. Get well soon Mike, you came so close to seeing your last sunset indeed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Nik.


  7. Cythia Preston

    I love the photo Michael, and I believe Marie Rose is right in saying their is an Angel in it! I am so glad it was not your last sunset. Marie Rose had sent a link to the newspaper article but I could find it on the sight, what I did read grieved me very much, my mother and her father would be even more so to see what is becoming of their country. Keep taking your beautiful pictures, send them to your news papers make people remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but beauty in the heart is more important and is a goal all of Guyanas people need to remember. Poverty and social upheaval can only be overcome by emphasising and promoting in ourselves and each other the best each of us.

  8. Cythia Preston

    I’ve been looking at some of the other pictures in? the Deck, and I wonder if you could put names to some of the fruits and veg some I recognise, like the eddo, and eggplant(yick, never could acquire the taste always makes me want to upchuck!) Also the photo of the Bora, is that something you eat? what is it used for, Educate the ignorant Canadian 🙂 sil vous plais?

  9. davidsobik

    Michael thats just terrible. I am so glad your both OK. Yes it can happen any place any time. Glad the cops got one of them.

    Great image though. I am sure each time you look at it you will be grateful that thinks turned out OK and you will see and photograph many more sunsets.

    Cheers mate.

  10. Michael, I’m so sorry to hear about you being robbed, what a story. Your life is more important than your camera, but God was watching over you so that you were both alive. Wow, I wanted to comment on the beautiful photo and I read your story. I hope this never happens again!

  11. Wow! just read your post Michael. Traumatic to say the least. Weird that they did not take your camera – not too swift me thinks. The fact that you could help identify them with an image is poetic justice. It will likely take a while to ‘heal’ from such an attack but glad you are not letting it stop you and Nikhil from doing your art.

    1. Thanks Sheila,
      the good news for today is that they’ve caught the second (alleged) crook 🙂 Both Nikhil and I were there to identify him.
      Poetic Justice is right. I believe that they were hurried to get what they could before other people showed up. Nikhil’s post today has his take on the story 🙂

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  13. Sorry to hear this happend. I’m always aware when I’m walking round with my DSLR.

    Glad to hear you got out of it without more serious injury. Like you say, at least you’ll be seeing more sunsets…

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