In April of 2008 we heard from Gary
Gero, owner of Sea Pirate. Of his trusty vessel he tells us:
...I've owned Sea Pirate about 15 years. I had a great 1934 30ft Rhodes yawl (TRUANT) for about 15
years before that...
Sea Pirate was built and owned
by the Langdons from Glendale – Doc and Virginia and kids. A fantastic family. They sailed her extensively in the local southern Calif. waters.
Doc religiously maintained her himself for all those years until he contracted cancer.
I knew the Langdons from the WHYC and was saddened
when I learned about Docs situation. I always wanted a Sea Witch and when
I heard she might be available I talked to Virginia... Doc put
me through months of scrutiny, interviews, qualifying, testing, before
agreeing to turn her over to me. I was totally vetted. Both Doc and I were
comfortable with the exchange. Needless to say it was a sad day when I
picked her up. Lots of mixed feelings all around.
She lived in Dana Pt. along with two other Sea
Witches for several years. We sailed her locally and south. When it came time to take her north to
her current home in Rouche Harbor, I did a makeover. New diesel, sails,
electronics, dinghy, deck caulking, head, autopilot, etc. She surveyed
A1 and off we went.
The heavy seas tested her pretty well on the way and by
the time we got to Washington she had a new rudder post, rebuilt rudder,
refastened chain plates, much new rigging and a long list of things that
should be changed. In the next months she got a new fuel tank, all new
bronze through hull fittings, new plumbing, new bronze cast chain plates
(stainless chain plates on an old boat are dangerous – they fail without
warning. I know from experience.) and lots of other dodads.
The NW is a fantastic place to cruise. We've been to all the islands and great little
coves in the sound and north into BC. Maybe Alaska this summer.
(continued below the
...She is an amazing work of art. I believe that Choey Lee in the 60's was one of the few boat builders at the
pinnacle of the craft. After thousands of years of wooden boat building,
the best builders in the 60's were the state of the art at the end of the
evolution of this ancient craft. I believe that boats made of wood will
still be built but without the commercial market, the skills will not be
maintained, advanced and passed on as they would in a world where men by the thousands spent careers totally involved in the wooden boats
and yards. They passed their skills and knowledge along over years to others who learned them over years.
Every age for thousands of years, from
the stone age, made incremental advances in the art of wooden boat building which culminated in our lifetime, in our boats. Some boats will
still use wood in their construction and some boats containing wood will
be better, but they will be better only because of the new materials available.
Ours boats are important. They are treasures. I know and we know why
people have always felt so close to their boats. Sea Pirate is a beautifully crafted Teak treasure. She keeps me safe in a
threatening environment at it's worst. She keeps me warm with her woodburner when it's cold up there. She creates an environment that
promotes relationships. She forgives me for minor neglect. She makes me
happy. She makes me proud.
When I come back to her after long absence she seems to be hibernating.
She's cold and the diesel has taken over the environment. The otters that
live on her when I'm gone, sleeping in the coils, creating racetracks around the decks and over the house, and filling the litter box I leave
for 'em make their impression. One day, one night, 6 hours under sail and
she's alive again. Warm, friendly, smiling. Safe.
Together, with best friends, we have been from Baja Calif. to wild places
in British Columbia. The best friends and the best times. We have lots of
places to go yet.
Gary. Well said – and we appreciate your insights into the beauty,
utility, and downright faithfulness and loyalty of a vessel such as the
Sea Pirate. Webmaster