Sarael's crew of women are much like their captain, outcasts of outcasts, desperate young and not-so-young women with no home other than the ship, broken by the world, and a bit skeptical of this new boy who plans to help them find their ultimate fortune.
At first, Thomas is nothing but irritating, and Sarael and her crew don't make the job they ask from Tom much easier. He needs to ask around, go to libraries, survey lands, and study. They have jobs in between playing archeologist and lawmen to flee from and the kid won't get the lead out.
But together, Thomas learns a measure of strength determination alone does not provide and a wisdom not found in books, the pirates begin to remember life is more than just survival from one moment to the next, but Sarael and Thomas both find someone they can respect and view as equals with eachother.
The story is one of episodic discovery with a overreaching plot arcs in the background that come to a head at key points. The pirates and even Thomas prove willing to fight to protect themselves, but are even more keen on using their wits and intelligence to overcome physically superior foes to teach brains over brawn. And ultimately, Thomas, and the message in the series is about discovery of both the wonders of the world around you (even those that seem well-tread) and discovery about oneself.
In my mind if I made this a series, I'd tease Tom and Sarael's growing relationship in somewhat subtle ways to get past the censors. The common gesture of affection is Sarael dropping her hat on Thomas to quiet him. And while this wouldn't be be popular in this thread, to keep censors happy; there'd be a girl Thomas' age (maybe still just a little older) meant to be teased as a love interest, and an all-female crew can include hints or even outright lesbian relations to score LGBT community points.