September 18, 2005-15 miles from entrance to Sanxenxo

Obviously this has been a very busy time for all of us involved with the Black Pearl. Working 15 hours a day has been the norm for more than a month for most everyone.

The career we have chosen is one which takes us away from home for long periods and leave spouses to act as single parents or in some cases, simply to become a mom.

In July, we welcomed the first newborn Pirate into the family when Sofia Ardern of Sweden, gave birth to Nils. Watch captain Rodney of New Zealand is also a daddy. Ten days ago, Dirk de Ridder of Holland and his wife, Helena, welcomed a little girl named Mareka, into the world. Luckily Dirk was there as we had not yet left for the 2000 miler. Due tomorrow, September 19, is a new little Loof. Freddy is here with us and his wife Maja Elien is holding on tight I suspect hoping Freddy will make it. Later in December, probably during Leg 1, our navigator Jules Salter of Britain and wife, Cabrina, will welcome their first child.

These are certainly important moments in life and ones no one wants to miss. However, we have careers to pursue and therefore responsibilities to the team. In some ways this race is harder for those not onboard the boat.

On behalf of the Black Pearl family we want to wish these newborns and thier moms the very best of health. We also want to acknolwedge that there are 25 other spouses and 16 other children in the Black Pearl family and we want them to know how much we appreciate their understanding, support and tollerance while we pursue our passion.

The Black Pearl

Daily Report, Pirates Of The Caribbean, September 17, 2005

Today will be our last full day at sea. 2000 miles under the keel in a hurry. Chewed up at an alarming rate. This is not like any sailboat I have been on before.

We had a huge day for sail developement today. We got ourselves positioned upwind of Sanxenxo by sailing west all last night. This morning at first light, we sent a man a loft to tighten our jumper rods which hold the tip of the mast from bending too much sideways. Then we starting putting up one spinnaker aftre the other, with and without staysails set underneath. The size and shape of sails for boats that go this fast are different to those that the mainstream of sailboat racing use. They are closer to multi hull sails. We found some that worked well and others that need some work. We have our sail designer Steve Calder, out here with us. This trip has been invaluable to all of us but maybe mostly for the department I call “sail patrol”. “Sail Patrol” is a group of people on the team who primarily focus on sails and that includes the designer, the sail trimmers, the repair guys.

We had everyone up all day working quite hard to get all these sails up and down and tested on a variety of wind angles. Jules and I got the boat positioned for a straight shot into Sanxenxo before dark so we could have an easy evening tonight for the guys. Everyone has been puching hard since long before the Pearl launched.

We now have our boat, intact, fully qualified for the race, at the start point for the race, with our base relocated to the start point for the race and a bunch of very usefull information. The crew got to know eachother well, as you would living together in a 70 foot shoe box for a week, and we are now more of a team than we were last Sunday. Ashore, we have a great group of people from the cooks to the laminators who have worked real hard to get the base relocated while we have been at sea. These people are unsung hero’s who make a huge difference to the outcome of the race. Our work list is long but we can take some comfort in knowing that it is a fairly comprehensive list thanks to 6 days of non-stop sailing at sea.

We will arrive in Sanxenxo about 0700 local time Sunday September 18. We will have a one week work period to address the issues on our work lists. We plan to go back out ot sea for three days at the end of the month.

This will be my last note probably for a couple of days but I will keep you updated even during our non sailing periods.

Paul onboard The Black Pearl 200 miles off the north coast of Spain.

Still rippin it up. We did 480 miles on the Pearl in the past 24 hours and believe me we are trying not to go too fast. She is capable of leaping small buildings if you are not carefull and the landings are a bit brutal. She is not a balerina, more of a belly flopper. Not going to be a comfortable rid around the world. The 60’s were less violent that this baby. Awesome machine through.

We have had the full fire hose conditions most of today and in side it feels like you are getting dragged down a cobble stone street in a 55 gallon drum. All pretty similar to my other experiences. One difference is the constant speed. We are definitely going to get their quicker. The boat is very easily driven and wont need much sail area.

Typing is not easy in these conditions. I end up backspacing and retyping a lot.

We are honing in on 1500 of the 2000 required miles as I type this. We should arrive in Sanxenxo sometime around midnight tomorrow night by the looks of the forecast. Plenty of breeze off Finistare…force 8! We will try to line up correctly for that. No upwind testing there.

The crew are in good spirits and we continue to learn a lot about the Pearl each day. We will be at the dock in Sanxenxo and the boat will be just 12 days old, having done the roll over test and 2000 miles of sailing. Putting the pressure on the team to get this done this fast has jump started our program. Now we have a huge list of things to do to the boat, nothing major, but lots of little jobs that have to be done to make this a race ready yacht.

We have already sent our jobs lists created onboard off to our shore team so they can buy needed parts and schedule the jobs to be done.

While we have been at sea, the shore team led by Kimo Worthington have set up a new base of operations for us in Sanxenxo, Spain. New Pirates are waiting there for us…our team cooks, Mark and Jo Rehana. Mark was the head chef at AmericaOne in 2000 in Auckland. Mark’s assistant Harry is the cook for Telefonica MovieStar, the Spanish VOR 70 competing in the race.

It is dark and a bit squally tongiht on the Bay of Biscaye and I am on radar watch. We are coming up on the straight line between Finistare and Brest so we will be dodging some ships as we were last night. Naturally we are going through these lanes in the dark at 20 knots of speed.

Enjoy your Friday night. Have a glass of wine for us.

The weather routing we did yesterday worked out perfectly. It was like taking the chairlift up to the top of the hill for the big burn down. We rode some nice southwesterlies up to the north west side of Ireland yesterday and this morning. The wind slowly turned from south to west over 4 hours this morning. Then the wind direction went from west to north in 2 minutes when the front passed us. It happend so fast that all we did was turn the boat 90 degress and nothing had to be adjusted. Soon after, we set the kite (spinnaker) and sent it. 30 knots of boatspeed for the Pearl in 27 knots of wind. These boats are weapons! Got some firehosing going and plenty of green water over the deck. We shot some good video of the day which our friends at Disney will be happy to see.

We spent most of the day trying three different sails that we wanted to look at and burning through 200 miles in 10 hours. We are now in throttle back mode for the night only hitting 25 every once in a while. We sailed around the bottom of Ireland and are heading for the Scilly Isles off the southwest tip of England. Hope fully we wont have to gybe there tonight and we can keep ripping toward Brest, France. We will gybe there tomorrow and send it back out into the Atlantic for about 500 miles and then head into Vigo hopefully on Sunday if the wind holds. Right now the weather models look good for us.

The work list is getting long as is always the case with new boats. But here we are pushing the hell out of this boat one week after it very first sail. Overall, she seems to be a sound structure and the big elements like the keel and mast all seem to be solid. We do need to do some serious pounding upwind before we can give the final verdict.

I just finished up cooking dinner for the guys and am now writing up my worklist. Everyone is writing up their worklist now so we can email it to our shore team tomorrow so they can prepare for next week. Time is critical to this campaign so we have to make every hour count.

Back to the work list.

Paul onboard The Black Pearl

We have pushed the boat a bit more in the past 24 hours. Last night we were heading north toward the east coast of Ireland and got a bit more wind than expected. The sea got rough and the boat started slamming so I decided to tack and reach off toward France and lighter winds as I did not want to put the boat through her first big structural test in the dark where visual inspection is much harder.

Today in the light have been smashing around in the waves a bit more and all seems solid. We have been working our way to the north and west as we are expecting a low pressure to pass to our north tomorrow around 1200 UTC. This will bring northly winds after the front passes so getting north now is like getting to the top of the ski slope on the chair lift. We have southwesterly winds now preceeding the front.

This “2000 mile qualification race or passage” is required by the race organizers to make sure that eah yacht has been thuroughly tested in ocean conditons before the start. The Race office is polling us every 15 minute just like they will during the race to produce the position reports that you will al read, so they ar tracking us to make sure we do the 2000 miles. You don’t have to go anywhere in particular so as we did 8 years ago on EF, we are using this period of time to test sails and sail combinations. We don’t have the advantage of having a second boat to test against as we did in EF, boat nonetheless, we can acquire data that is very usefull.

Tommorrow with the north wind, we will look at our spinnakers and probably see some pretty high boat speeds. Winds are supposed to be around 25 to 30 knots so the boat will be doing about the same.

My first impressions of this boat is that it s much more powerfull that the 60’s were. It is a bit daunting actually. It will take some good sail handling techniques to keep the manouvers safe and efficient duing the race. We have been learning a lot these first few days.

Life onboard is reminiscint of the other parts of the Volvo oceann race I have done….damp clothes all the time, difficult sleeping, always hungry, freeze dried food actually tasted pretty good this time thanks to Dry Tech, salty hair, beard growing out… I’ll probably look like Santa Claus this time. Curtis got us the really good sleeping bags from North Face so we can burrough in when those moments come along.

In 24 hours time I will have a better idea if this thing is VOR 60 squared or cubed.

The Black Pearl is off. Following a very busy day…loading provisions for 2000 miles, a press conference, and a christening, we are now out in the middle of the English Channel on the way to the northwest corner of France.

The Christening went well with Lady Gabriela Winsor doing the honors and much to everyones pleasure, crushing the bottle on the first swing. We left imediately following the ceremony, doing a few “fly-bys” for some of our guests, who followed us out into the Southampton water for a few miles.

Once we got out, I had a little meeting to thank the crew for their part in getting the boat to this stage this quickly. Then we had a short saftey briefing by the Minister of Health and Safety, Justin Clougher. Then Freddy Loof, fresh from the Etchell World Championship in San Francisco yesterday cooked up our first meal…Pasta Bolognese by Dry Tech. Jerry Kirby ad I were commentting on how much better the food tasted than 8 years ago. After dinner, I brought a few treats that Kimo Worthington organized for us today, brownies an cookies, not normal fare on the round the world race but very nice for this special occasion! It is very light wind tonight so I decided to run a small crew on deck and get everyone some extra sleep. I will have to amend this behavior soon or this crew will get the wrong idea about me.

The big push to get the boat ready for the 2000 mile qualifiction passage (reqired by the Volvo Ocean Race rules) has really jump started this campaign. Just a week ago we launched the boat and complete the roll over test. We sailed two days later for the first time and now we are fully loaded and heading out to sea for what will be about a week or 8 days of sailing and getting to know the boat.

These boats are fairly complex with the canting keel mechanism, which is primarily hydraulic, dagger boards, plus all thte regular systems like generators, water makers, main engine, electornics, navigation equipment, navigation and routing software, peformance software, radar, and a few others. The goal of this 2000 mile sail is to test all these systems make adustments that we can while we are ouut here and undobtedly return to the dock with a long list of things to fix and work on. We also have or sail designer onboard, Steve Calder, so we will be looking at the sizing and shape of or first sail inventory and trying to decide on modifications for them. We have a sewing machine onboard and can make small adjustments even out here on the boat.

Meanwhile, our shoreteam led by Kimo Worthington and Curt Oetking, will be setting up camp in Sanxenxo, Spain so that when we arrive there next Monday or Tuesday we are fully operational. The shore team has done an incredible job of getting the boat finished, all logistics set up, containers fitted out, shipping and trucking organized, housing sorted, offices set up, networks set up, and a number of other tasks. It is truly impressive what goes into organiizing these campaigns. The logistics are complicated because of all the constant moving of venues. We on the crew could not possibly do this race without a great shore team supporting everything we do.

Well, that’s about it for my inagural email from onboard the Black Pearl. Many more to follow.

(Southampton, England) September 12, 2005 — The Black Pearl, official entry in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier round the world race for mono-hull sailboats, was christened today at Maritime Walk, Ocean Village in Southampton, England. The event was hosted by Robert Mitchell, Managing Director, Buena Vista International UK, and Skipper of The Black Pearl, Paul Cayard.

The Black Pearl entry is part of a unique marketing partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Volvo Ocean Race supporting the July 2006 feature film release of Walt Disney Pictures’/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

“This is an exciting moment as we embark upon uniting the exhilaration of a world class sporting event with what will certainly be one of the most anticipated films of next year, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” commented Mitchell. “There will be plenty of high seas adventures both on screen and off for the next ten months.”

The Black Pearl is a Volvo 70 class yacht and one of seven entries in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06, which begins in Vigo, Spain in November of this year and ends in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2006.

Skippering The Black Pearl is renowned sailor, Paul Cayard, the first American skipper to win the race in 1998. He has returned with the energy, determination and sheer passion of the sport to lead his highly experienced and competitive Pirates of the Caribbean team around the globe with stops in 10 of the world’s most exotic locales.

Said Mitchell, “We are thrilled that Paul Cayard will be our very own modern day

No wind this weekend so we kept working on the list. Plenty to do. These boats are complex and there are a lot of systems that need sorting out. Everyone has been pulling long hours trying to make up for our late start with the project.

Monday we will have the christening of the Black Pearl at Ocean Village. This will mark the culmination of five fast paced months to pull this program together and get the boat into the water. Disney is hosting the event so it should be a good show. We are hoping to head off on our 2000 mile qualfication sail right after the christening Monday evening. We have been organizing everything from the food, clothes, canting keel machinery, generator, water maker, head, and media station not to mention normal things like sails and running rigging.

We have been lucky with the weather here. No rain in the last two weeks which is great for working outside. Also, we are growing in numbers each day. Today Rodney Adern arrived from Alinghi along with Carol Nicolau, and tomorrow Jerry Kriby arrives from the USA.

All going well.

Another big day for the Black Pearl. She went for her maiden voyage and all went well. It was a beautiful, sunny, 12 knots day on the Solent and we got through about 5 different sails, ran the keel system, tuned the rig, and run other various checks. We had all the experts of the various departments onboard plus the crew. It doesn’t take long to realize these boats are going to be a handful. Further, the size of the sails makes for heavy work everywhere weather you are getting them up and down or grinding them in.

Where are the other 7 guys?

The boat sails effortlessly, not creating a big wake as you would imagine for a 14 ton-70 foot long boat.

Definitely generated a work list today. The forecast for the week is gradually increasing wind which is just perfect for us to build our

confidence day by day in the boat. I think we will have a work day tomorrow and then sail again Friday. Supposed to be raining and windy on Friday.

We had a huge day yesterday and a good one today.

Yesterday, Monday September 5th, we executed the “roll over” test as required by the VOR 70 class rule. Each boat must demonstrate that it is

capable of righting itself from a fully inverted positon. So we used a crane to roll the boat over by tying a strap onto the bulb and simply lifting the boat by its keel. Once upside down, we canted the keel manually about 6 degrees, and she righted herself. The rule requires that the Person in Charge, and two other crewmembers be inside while the roll is performed. So I was in there with Juggy and Nigel. It was an interesting experience. Very dark inside a carbon boat that is upside down.

Next big event of the day was to step the mast. This went perfectly. Everything fit, the lengths were just right. Craig Satterthwaite, our project manager for the mast and boom has done a great job of coordinating all that with Hall Spars Holland who also did a greatjob of deleivering what they said they would when they said they would. So that was another huge step forward without any glitches.

And the final piece of good news of September 5th was the Dirk De Ridder and his wife happily welcomed into this world their second daughter. Here is an excerpt from his email:


Last night at 3:55 am our second daughter was born. She is 50 cm and weighs 3110gr and is healthy. Helena did a great job and evrything is fine with here as well. Here name is Anne Marieke de Ridder and we call her Marieke.

Later, Dirk

Today’s goal was to get the boat ready to go for its first sail tomorrow. This meant getting all the machinery working…main engine, generator, get the hydraulic keel mechanism full working, tune the rig, running rigging set, tune up the winches, check the sails, etc. A big day and we are still here at 20:00.

Tomorrow we plan to dock out at 12:00. Forecast is 10 kntos from the SSW.

Perfect conditions for a first sail. The Pearl is coming alive.