The Black Pearl
Columbia native and commercial realtor Captain George S. Meetze is a saltwater fishing enthusiast. As with most saltwater fishermen, George has had several boats over the years. However, none of George’s boats have been as storied as the Black Pearl (a/k/a Revival). The Black Pearl is a 28–foot Bertram offshore fishing vessel. George found the Black Pearl’s hull sitting on blocks at a Charleston marina about ten years ago and has spent the better part of his adult life refurbishing the Pearl. Much of the labor George has performed himself without any professional assistance. No doubt, George’s personal refurbishment efforts are what make the Pearl unique. In saying unique, I mean to say the Pearl rarely works and is in part responsible for the success of the Sea Tow Company along the South Carolina coast. Nick Papadea, Tyler Fairey, Will Buyck, Brook Moore, Henry Moore, and others have all experienced long days in the sun aboard the Pearl. Nevertheless, George and his crew fish on—summer after summer.
The history of the Black Pearl is important to understanding the significance of the pictures provided by Captain Meetze. I have always heard that “every dog has his day.” On this day in 2006, Captain Meetze and his crew had theirs. ou see, on that day in 2006, the Black Pearl left the dock in Georgetown with two engines and all equipment working. Later that same day, the Pearl returned to the dock in Georgetown with two engines and all other equipment working. In the meantime, the Pearl caught fish. Not just any fish, but rather unbelievably, fish the Pearl’s crew was trying to catch. Tyler Fairey is pictured below with wahoo and dolphin. Also pictured, Captain Meetze aboard the Black Pearl.
By way of contrast, I have also included pictures from the summer of 2009. We (including the author) left the dock in Georgetown aboard the Pearl only to break down before getting out of Winyah Bay. Captain Meetze limped the Pearl to a spot within the Bay where crew member Nick Papadea had previously caught redfish. In typical fashion, the crew was only able to find stingrays that day, and returned to the dock with an empty cooler (in more ways than one).