Almost there.

Position: 50,23.18N , 2,26.5W

Speed: 20 knots, Course: 70 deg.

We are currently 50 miles from Portsmouth and the end of Leg 7. As you know, I enjoy all the experiences that the Volvo Ocean Race has to hand out, from cold, wet and windy to the tropics – big speed to light air. But I have to say that this leg was not a lot fun and I will be happy to arrive in port safely with all my men and the boat in one piece.

There was the tragedy of May 18. We will never forget that night, being on the end of a computer terminal getting instructions and information about the horror just 50 miles away in the pitch black dark of night. Our crew had a few bangs and bruises and we got thrashed around the deck pretty good.

The boat got slammed around pretty hard right in the beginning of the leg up along Cape Cod and Nova Scotia and we had rough weather for nearly the entire last 1000 miles. You are never completely comfortable in these boats when they are slamming hard as the violence of the motion seems enough to destroy anything.

There were a few good moments, we finally cracked 40 knots of boat speed but even that as scary as we landed with a huge slam and cracking sound.

As for the racing, it is yet another solid podium performance for the Black Pearl. We are going to finish third cross the line, about 40 minute behind Ericsson. With Brasil1 and movistar behind us, we will add space to our second place overall position. There will likely be a hearing to redress the boats who suspended racing for a time to render assistance to ABN Amro Two during the tragedy. We and Brasil1 are two of the boats who did render assistance.

It will be a busy time during the next seven days as we must do a very thorough inspection of the structure of the boat, make any necessary repairs, do regular maintenance, and the train for the in-port race on Monday the 29th. We will also be hosting 1000 kids for our hallmark Pescanova Kids Day on Thursday the 26th.

So we have got a bit on this week.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean