Always one to cast his fate to the wind, he has lived aboard many different sailboats for over 30 years. His current vessel, a 65 foot double masted schooner named the Flying Dragon, has taken him to the Bahamas and up and down the US Eastern seaboard. Bill uses his boat as a training ship, taking Montessori School kids and Boy Scouts for week-long excursions where he teaches them seamanship and boating safety. He is also a pirate re-enactor who teaches and entertains at pirate festivals around the southeast. He sings traditional sea shanties to anyone who will listen. Unlike many pirates, Bill has a strong conscience and has weathered many storms including Hurricanes Opel, Charlie, Dennis, Katrina and Matthew. Because of Flying Dragon’s steel hull and 30 tons of weight, Bill recognized in high wind she might become a battering ram if she broke from her moorings. With Hurricane Irma breathing down his neck, Bill decided not to moor near other vessels or marinas and chose the safer route, finding a hurricane hole in Capers Creek north of the Isle of Palms in S.C. He lay out 120 feet of chain and set two 66 lb. anchors. Irma’s violence was no match for those anchors and Bill and the Flying Dragon suddenly found themselves riding the storm surge that flooded Charleston, SC. Seeing that he would be driven into the marsh by high winds and the surge, he was forced to run the boat aground because his anchors weren’t holding. As the water receded, the Flying Dragon was left “high and dry” on an uninhabited ’spoil” island. Pirate Bill does not want to abandon his home and see the Flying Dragon succumb to the torches and cutting tools of salvers. The Flying Dragon is still seaworthy and he wants to keep her where she belongs. He spent the last 6 years getting her in good shape and doesn’t want to lose her for sentimental reasons as well as the investment.
It appears that the cost of getting Pirate Bill back to safe waters is going to be between $25,000 and $35,000, money which this old pirate does not have. At the moment, he’s pitching a tent next to his boat to protect her from looters and other pirates. Bill needs our help to raise the funds necessary to sail the ocean again. We are asking, on behalf of Pirate Bill, that you give what you can to help him float the Flying Dragon, once again. Please pass this on to your friends, family, fellow veterans and all the pirates among us.
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