Sea people, the pride of the land,
Strong of the spirit and rough of the hand;
Sea people the waters command,
From their rocky old steeds of the strand.
When news broke of the sinking of the replica tall ship HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy, in a region of sea people, it didn't take long to hear from someone close to home who had a connection with the ship. And what a connection he has. Ray Boutilier of Moncton was a member of the crew on the maiden voyage of the Bounty back in 1960. He was 19 years old at the time. Destination: Tahiti, for the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty.
Ray came into the studio this week with a warm smile, photo album and scrapbook tucked under his arm. I was eager to talk about how he ended up on the ship, his experience once they set sail, how he convinced Marlon Brando to sign a photograph for him and the months he spent on the film set. But I had to begin by talking about a sad event: the loss of the Bounty. I could tell by the emotions that crossed his face, by the change in tone of his voice, that he felt the loss of the ship profoundly and has just as many questions as everyone else on why she was out there in that storm.
As we moved into the stories about his time on the ship, it became poignantly clear why he "was shocked" when he heard the Bounty had gone down. "I'm 71 years old now and there's not a day goes by, never a day goes that I don't think of the Bounty." For someone who'd never been on a ship prior to 1960, Boutilier sounds like a sea person to me. The interview is posted on our website and facebook page, along with the many comments we received in response to the interview, full of admiration for the Bounty but moreover for Ray Boutilier and the stories he so eloquently shared.
Our condolences to the families of the two crew members who lost their lives when The Bounty went down.