VERO BEACH – A commercial vessel – named the Roselyn G and docked in the Indian River Lagoon – raised the curiosity of locals recently, and records reveal a tale of drugs and international intrigue associated with the boat and its captain, Paul A. Greyshock.
But a peek into the scientific activities that Greyshock said he and the Roselyn G are up to today is about as intriguing.
The 58-foot, 80-ton boat is not the type commonly seen by motorists passing over the Barber Bridge.
It stands out in the Indian River Lagoon among the liveaboards on sailboats or tourists out for a day of fishing or cruising.
The 1998 vintage craft is classified as a “research vessel” and is of American registry.
“I’ll assure you that there’s nothing illegal going on now,” said Ephraim “E.R.” Newmark, owner of Barbeque Charlie’s Fish Camp just north of the Barber Bridge.
The Roselyn G is tied to the fish camp dock.
“We have a lot of police officers who frequent the fish camp. Nothing would go on at the fish camp that wouldn’t go on in the chief of police’s office in Vero Beach,” Newmark said.
Newmark, an attorney from Georgia, said he was unaware of the checkered past of Greyshock and the vessel, but was aware it came from Africa.
“He’s a highly intelligent man, an inventor and he’s a friend of mine,” Newmark said. “He built the boat and brought it from Madagascar.”
After seeing the Roselyn G, a Vero Beach 32963 reader checked on the background of the boat, turning up African news stories about Greyshock, who was described as an “American pirate.”
Greyshock himself does not shrink from that description.
“I’m an olde pirate, but I never hurt anyone,” Greyshock, 57, told Vero Beach 32963.
Federal court documents reveal Greyshock pleaded guilty to drug-related charges and was sentenced in 1989 to 12 years in prison.
He later unsuccessfully sued the Coast Guard, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department for the release of classified documents related to the case.
The drug charges, he said, stemmed from his getting caught with marijuana.
How much marijuana?
Four tons, he concedes.
He was young, he said, and it was not a violent crime. And no member of the crew of the boat involved in that incident even had a gun.
After serving the minimum eight of those 12 years, Greyshock again appears in headlines, this time in Africa.
The Namibian newspaper reported July 27, 1999, that “The US captain of a fishing vessel, which was seized by Fisheries inspectors after illegally crossing into Namibian waters, has escaped from custody and fled the country. Paul Greyshock, who skippered the American vessel ‘Roselyn G,’ slipped Police custody and steered the boat to an unknown destination after he was denied bail by the Luderitz Magistrate Court on Friday.”
Two days later, law enforcement gave up the search, the paper said.
“Police and Fisheries officials involved in the hunt for the escaped captain of an American pirate fishing vessel have given up hope of tracking him at sea,” The Namibian reported on July 29, 1999. “The officials who spoke to The Namibian yesterday said they had combed the Namibian and South African waters for Paul Greyshock (45) since Saturday but to no avail.”
Greyshock said the whole fugitive on the lam thing was a big misunderstanding, that he was just a fisherman fishing in disputed waters, and was picked up for being on the wrong side of a territorial line. He said he was cleared of Namibian charges in 2000.
“Myself and two other boats were in a designated gray area, you could call it,” he said.
The Roselyn G is registered to the Costa Mesa, California-based F/V (Fishing Vessel) Roselyn G LLC, of which Anthony Greyshock is listed as the only “member.”
Anthony is one of his brothers, Paul Greyshock said.
Greyshock said he came to Vero Beach seven months ago from South Africa, and the Roselyn G was docked at the Vero Beach Marina until he met Newmark, who asked him to keep the boat at Barbeque Charlie’s to help keep vandals and thieves away from the property.
These days, Paul Greyshock said he is focusing on alternative energy and innovative mechanical devices.
The South African political climate, he said, wasn’t conducive to fostering entrepreneurship in alternative energy.
Since arriving in Vero Beach, he has been fine-tuning a patented device which harnesses the power of the Gulf Stream current and turns it into energy, he said.
He’s got a two-foot-long prototype model which generates about 1.8 kilowatt hours of electricity via turbines and he hopes to be able to manufacture a six-foot model that would produce 75 to 85 kilowatt hours.
The turbine generator could have applications for homes, ships and waterfront restaurants. It could also be used to produce electricity for transmission, Greyshock said.
He said he received a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Central Florida to work on his device, and it took three years to get the patent, which Greyshock said was granted last week.
He said Florida Atlantic University is helping him navigate the regulatory morass and test the invention.
“As we get a little money, we add to what we have,” Greyshock said. “We were one of 10 selected in Florida for the $10,000 grant and in November we will go up against the other nine to try to get a $100,000 grant and to represent the state of Florida at the National Renewable Energy Lab.”
“You could mention that he’s looking for investors and that would really help him out,” Newmark added.
With regard to his latest invention, Greyshock said his criminal history did come out when he applied for the DOE grant through the Megawatt Ventures program, but it didn’t prevent him from qualifying for funding.
“They do a background check, but when you’ve served your time and you’re a free man, they don’t hold it against you,” he said.