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Captain Will Gates to turn over command of Maryland Dove

Posted at 12:21 PM, Jun 05, 2024

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. — After 34 years of dedicated service, Captain Will Gates will be turning over command of the Maryland Dove.

Angela Laaro, a St. Mary's County native, will assume duties from Captain Gates as master of the Maryland Dove.

Over his 34-year career, Captain Gates oversaw the build of a new Maryland Dove and a new dock, he also educated people on maritime history and sailing.

Before graduating from Clark University with high honors, he was an Archaeology intern, and then he volunteered as an excavation supervisor for two additional summers.

He became Captain of the Maryland Dove in 1989 after serving as a rigger for the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

After retiring from St. Mary's City in December, Captain Gates dedicated his time volunteering to help ease the transition for Laaro.

The new master of the Maryland Dove began her journey at the Historic St. Mary's City Terra Mariae Society home-school program.

She volunteered at the plantation exhibit before coming to the Maryland Dove under the mentorship of Captain Gates.

Laaro previously held positions as the sailing yacht charter chef and Captain at Paradise Yacht Management.

“I am beyond excited to bring my maritime career full circle with HSMC! Captain Gates has, throughout my career, been an incredible friend and mentor.” wrote Angela Laaro. “ From the early days of teaching me to tie a bowline with my eyes closed, to providing support, resources, and connections while I grew and studied for my licenses, Will has always made me at home onboard Dove and at home on the water. Will has always inspired a family-like crew atmosphere, building us up, teaching new skills, and providing opportunities to encourage growth as a mariner. I hope to continue in his footsteps, providing opportunities for other mariners, young and old, to explore the freedom of the water and the fantastic history of this region we call home.”

A change of command ceremony will be held on July 13th at 10:30 am at the Historic St. Mary's City waterfront.