COLCHESTER, Vt. — Merchant marine Captain Richard Phillips arrives for an interview fresh from a game of pick-up basketball and a trip to the town dump. At 58, stockily built with a salt-and-pepper goatee, he looks much the way he did four years ago, when his rescue from the hands of Somali pirates made international headlines — and turned Phillips into a folk hero, albeit a reluctant one.
Phillips has been back to sea half a dozen times since. The sea captain’s life is his “normal,” as he puts it, where he is most comfortable. Aboard ship, “I’m treated the same, which I like,” he says. “Back here at home, in my other life, probably not.”