Position: 25,30.60S , 44,13.59W

Speed: 11 knots, Course: 40 deg.

After the last sked we came to a grinding halt. It was depressing to see that Brasil1 and ABN AMRO Two had made big gains and were in the new wind while we were becalmed. Shortly thereafter we got hit with a squall. It was all hands for about 30 minutes as we had to shift from light air mode – all sails forward.to 25 knot mode – all sails aft. Not to mention that we had to get a spinnaker up and the jib down and bagged.

After we got under control we looked around and saw a boat about 6 miles behind. We are not sure who it is of the three that were behind. We have since put about 4 miles on them and can no longer see them. We are currently still being dictated to by this massive cloud line although it is only blowing 13 knots now.

It is going to be long night. The situation is very volatile with this front passing over the fleet and all the associated squalls. There can be 50 degree wind changes and 10 knots difference in wind speed. Big gains and losses!


Pirates of the Caribbean

Position: 27,54.18S , 44,43.83W

Speed: 10 knots, Course: 342 deg.

Just slogging away upwind in 15 knots today. The good news is that there has been more wind than the forecast but still upwind which is slow going. Beautiful weather though – clear skies – sailing in our shorts and T-shirts. Fairly smooth sea. Nice moon at night now too – about three quarters.

The GRIB predicts that those behind will gain on us all the way to the finish. We have to negotiate one more high pressure cell tomorrow. Looks like ABN AMRO One might sneak through ahead of the high widening – but we may yet catch the worst which would allow those following to make big gains in a short period of time. However – that is just a forecast. It could all be different tomorrow and we might skate through as well. One thing it is not is straight forward and simple. We will just have to deal with it whatever it is.

In any case it appears that we will finish sometime on Saturday. I think we will be ready for that. It really is a long way from the Horn to a Rio.

Going to get some rest now if I can. It is really hot inside the boat. Sea temp is 27.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Position: 32,34.83S , 47,11.37W

Speed: 11 knots, Course: 26 deg.

The fleet has had very light wind for the past 48 hours. We have gone through two transitions; one around a disintegrating low pressure cell and last night traversing a high pressure cell that moved across the course from west to east. The team onboard the Black Pearl have done a nice job of getting through both and maintained our second place position.

I thought we would have made bigger gains on ABN1 but they are doing a nice job up there.

Each of these transitions requires a huge amount of work for Jules and I.. Before the transition comes we work on all the possible realities. Is it coming earlier? If so, what will that mean to the optimal route we should take. Is it coming later? What if the whole wind field shifted east? Check the satellite pictures. Check the Chilean chart. Check the Brazilian chart. Verify the position of the feature on the GRIB. The uncertainty posed by any change requires thorough investigation.

So we work intensely for four hours together then give the crew guidelines and then we get some rest. It is now 11:56 UTC so I am up having my breakfast and getting ready to download the latest weather which comes at 1200. The weather comes every six hours at; 000, 0600, 1200 and 1800. The skeds come at 0400, 1000, 1600 and 2200. When the skeds come we get more

weather information by deducing what the other boats have from their performance over the past 6 hours as well as an instantaneous reading of what they had at the moment they were polled which is 5 minutes before each sked is issued. So there is basically always something to work on.

I went for the shower yesterday and new clothes. What a great feeling. The best part is to have clean hair. I can actually run my fingers through my hair now. Before it was as thick as one of those bristle door mats you have outside your front door. two weeks of salt water, etc.

The sailing has been intense but fairly easy for the last two days. The wind has never blown over 12 knots. The temperatures are beautiful.27 air and 25 sea temp. The nights have been spectacular. Clear skies with stars a bright as you can ever see. I love to just sit on deck in the middle of the night and take it all in. These are special days.very hard to come by.

It looks like it will be about three more days for us to do the last 600 miles.pretty slow given the speed of these boats. There will be at least one more transition and then possibly a park up in front of Rio depending on what time of day we get there. We will have to transition from whatever gradient wind we have to the local breeze (sea breeze or night breeze) in order to get into the Bay. You need a bit of luck there not to get caught out.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Numbers games are what we play out here. It’s all about numbers!

Pressures, angles, days, grams, minutes, calories, codes, watches, deniers, millibars, legs, degrees….you name it we count it, graph it, record it, bag it, everything it.

Didn’t really see that much in the way of wild life closing into the Horn. The last few days were building and wild so can’t even remember if I even had me bloody eyes open!! It was wet and fast, grey and socked in most of the time. Normally the bird life hangs out around the wave tops, but we didn’t see much for those few day. Sea life=nil also. They must go deep or there’s free beer somewhere else or something!!

Situation changes around the corner of course. Temp goes up a few degrees and the Falkland Islands etc are huge breed grounds for tons of species especially cobbers the Alby gliders. It’s a PLEASURE to see the abundance of these all appear in blended company and plenty of them. Big ones, little ones, all shapes. Falklands current underneath our keel pushing us north-ish and obviously provides good pickings for the birdlife. Not much visible in the way of fish in fact not even a fishing boat.

Anyways as the water temp has shot way up now to 75f 30c (pool temp) these bird crowds have changed and diminished which is sad. Guess a bloke will have to plan another trip down to visit these wonderful comrade observers of our panic stricken furious noisy dramatic passages thru their latitudes.

Feel a bit empty now they have gone. Saw the last albatross yesterday around 35deg South latitude.

Looking for more company (not VOR70) but pretty quiet at the moment. Passed our first sea litter 2 1/2 days ago, looked like a shampoo bottle. We were going too fast to grab it unfortunately. Just a harsh reminder we are coming back out of the pure Southern Ocean into civilized waters!! Grrr Such a shame to have to endure these sights.

Every bit helps we can all try harder!! Pollution on board is reaching Geiger level as the warm conditions are igniting cultures and blending bouquets into gagging fumes. Our mid boat is every bit the dog pound and words CANNOT describe the ablution amenities. Decorum will stop us there.

No names will be mentioned as international sensitivities are important to protect and should remain intact. However I should urge any customs and frontier personnel coming aboard in a few days to at least “bring a hankie” !!

Yep that’s it if you got this far you are stoic beyond words or need to get a life…… A WILDLIFE !!!

Eco-watch out

The adventures of Paul Cayard and the Pirates of the Caribbean in the Volvo Ocean Race continue with the upcoming finish of Leg 4 later this week. As the team races from Wellington to

Rio de Janeiro, the Pirates have had an advantage over the other teams. Thanks to Pelloni Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), the team benefited from having the finest and most famous

cheese in the world onboard.

“Racing around the world is very demanding both physically and mentally,” commented Paul Cayard, Skipper of The Pirates of the Caribbean, “Parmigiano is a great food as it is easy to eat

and provides a great amount of protein and energy. We are fortunate to have Pelloni as our exclusive supplier of Parmigiano.”

Pelloni has produced the new single-dose Parmi Fit snacks especially for The Pirates of the Caribbean, and Cayard and the Pirates will have these on board for the rest of the Volvo Ocean

Race. Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) is a fundamental food for any diet, as it is rich in protein and easily digestible. Its characteristics make it a basic food in the diet of all sportsmen who are

aiming for the best possible performance. It is no coincidence that also the astronauts from NASA use it during their missions into space.

One more novelty from Pelloni is Parmi Kid, a single-dose snack for children. Pelloni will be providing samples of Parmi Kid at the events organised by Pescanova, the Team’s Official


“We believed in this project from the very beginning,” say Athos and Aurora Pelloni, the company’s owners. “We’re thrilled to be supplying such an energetic and natural product to the

Pirates. We’re certain that we’ll be able to give an extra boost to their performance. The opportunity to introduce Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) to children is also something we’re

very proud of, as it’s important to learn that a healthy diet is fundamental for a healthy life.”



Paul Cayard

was the first American skipper to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, in 1998, on EF Language. He is a seven-time sailing world champion, a five-time America’s Cup veteran and a two time Olympian. His accolades include election to the Sailing World Hall of Fame in 2002 and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1998. For more information, please visit www.cayardsailing.com

The Black Pearl

entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 is the result of a unique film marketing partnership between The Walt Disney Company and the Volvo Ocean Race. The Pirates of the Caribbean team, skippered by Paul Cayard, combines experienced sailors from six nations with five previous wins of this demanding race. For more information on the team, visit: www.blackpearlracing.com

The Volvo Ocean Race

takes eight months, covers 31,250 nautical miles of the globe

Position: 38,41.73S , 47,12.70W

Speed: 11 knots, Course: 27 deg

It has been a back and forth battle with all the boats during the past 24 hours. Each has his moment depending on where he is positioned and the shift of the moment. We have improved out position a bit passing ABN2 and moving into second. The over all picture is for very light wind all the way to the finish which could still be five days away even though we have less than 950 miles to go.

It is pretty easy sailing cruising along at 10-12 knots of speed. The water temperature took a big step up today jumping up to 22 C. So all the cold clothes are now stuffed into one of our old food bags to keep them tidy and smelling just in one area. But there is plenty of other smell to go around. Thanks to one competitors objection, we were not allowed to launder the sleeping bags in Wellington. We are really appreciating that now. It smells like a kennel again all the wet and musty now being “cooked” a bit. NICE!

The forecasts (GRIBS) are proving to be a bit less accurate lately so Jules and I have been spending about 4 hours out of every six just on weather together trying to figure out what is really going to happen. We are dealing with a decaying low pressure system right now and then heading for some decent southwest gradient along the coast over the next 24 hours. After that is looks bleak.

I am sitting in the nav station watching the radar and waiting for the 000 weather. We sure waiting for the wind to lift just a bit more then we will gybe onto port and head toward the shore. The game here is to try to get the biggest shift without getting so close to the center of the low that we loose too much wind. This is made trickier by the fact that this low pressure system is decaying and possibly spreading out. So we could gybe safe and it could spread over us. This is the game of the navigator and skipper-to figure this out better than the others. We watch the barometer,

satellite pictures, the wind the others have on the skeds as well as the GRIBS of course. We tacked a bit too early a few days ago when dealing with a high pressure ridge so we want to make sure we are in this one solidly.

Other than that, life is good. We have plenty of food and diesel so that is good news. If it takes forever to get there, so be it. We just want to win this leg and we are prepared to stay out here for how ever long it takes to get the job done.


Pirates of the Caribbean


Reports are trickling in that the Black Pearl has been carrying a serious mechanical calamity since Cape Horn. At this stage information is sketchy due to the sensitive stature that these grand prix crews have about the proprietary aspects of their technical systems.However it is understood that they have been dealing with a ram failure which is potentially disastrous on these boats.

The on board Trauma Unit for Ram Damage(turd) consisting of Merino Master J “gumboots” Smith LeicesterLover Williams Corriedale Satterthwaite and FlyBlow Ferris have been working trielessly around the clock to rectum-fy the problem. Noticably absent from the unit is former chairman Ram-Rod Ardern who has stepped down in order to pursue similar study om reindeer. His position was offered to Julian Salter who respectfully declined as he prefers cow(e)s.

It is understood that the boat was sailing fully canted in a average Cape Horn Triple overhead seaway and a very loud squeak was heard from the interior and upon rapid TURD inpections it was found that the backup ram on board had baa baa’d its last breathe.

Initial diagnostics have revealed a split in the main casing which has rendereed the unit “unserviceable” The TURDs are still optimistic that the unit can be partially restored to a limited capacity.

It is still unknown as to the racing status of the boat but it is believed that there are several crew members from the LAND of the WRONG WHITE CROWD who are emotionally distraught. It is hoped that technical descriptions may finally be released by the team in the near future.


In this episode there are several plots playing out.

The show open with a dishevelled and demented individual (played by Juggy Clougher) wandering aimlessly around la-la land (foredeck) and he is struck

by lightning probably from God (paperclipped around babystay on a 30kt surf) He is found alternately wailing in agony and muttering unintelligably and brought to the E.R.where he is de-rided and scorned by the personnel (whole boat crew) for being a grubby untidy hill-billy of questionable morals and dubious character. Still in such injured state he is tended to by a mysterious Euro(played by deRidder) who is actually a total faker masquerading as MedicalProfessional to satiate his sick pleasure to inflict pain on others.

In another scene we see a sorry citizen with a obscure sickness emerging late in his life. In his first guest starring role we see exciting new talent Jeremy Smith play a poor bloke in a tormented and drugged state (nicotine narcossis from choofing hard on Cape Horn cigars) try and commit suicide by diving onto a lamp post ( drilled into grinder on another 30 kts surf) and incur shocking chest injuries. He was treated for psychological dis-orders as well as rib contusions and kept in over night for observations (confined to bunk) but made a miraculous recovery and discharged himself from the ward upon seeing deRidder sicko doing his morning rounds and gloving up with a DOUBLE BUNGER suppository in his hand!!

Also doing his rounds we see the cool suave new intern surgeon suture specialist (played by Ferris) who is actually never yet seen to put a stitch in anything despite his alleged credentials !! Interestingly enough there is NO nurses in this ward ????? What’s up with that??

In a side plot beady eyed lawyer ambulance chaser and his partner (Salter and Cayard) are plotting to catch ABN EMS VOR70 Inc vehicles somehow but they haven’t figured out exactly how yet!

Innocent bystander (Pearl Williams) is hit and run by a bus (massive wave in 30 ts surf while steering and sustains debilitating leg injuries( hyper-extended knee joint) but amazingly manages to make his own way to the clinic where he is given a comprehensive order of anti-inflams and painkillers from the dispensary. The team tried to give him a hug as well but he doesn’t seem to go for that sort of thing ??

The tea lady (played by Anthony Merrington) does a brisk business around the ward and the cart is always empty before closing time. Merrington actually trully skinned his own finger in order to gain access to the set and the crew liked his commitment so much they kept him there. Funny thing is his finger is still skinned and hurts like hell HAHA. Orderly (Ardern) is leaving the show at the end of this episode sadly as he has a new part in another simply titled show…the A.C.


The open ocean keel sea weed casting world series participated by Williams (defending champion says he) Ferris and Juggy. The conditions were ok and there was weed to be got but the 3 contestants were ABSOLUTELY h-o-p-e-l-e-s-s and couldn’t catch JACK. What a woe-full display to be seen at this level !! The spectators we treated to an extremely colourful dialogue of vulgar expletives and got the full jist of the deal by all the EXPERTS methodology (of clearly what NOT to do)

I don’t think there will be much interest in this sport in the near future.


Tonight we are going be treated to a special running of the previously never released DIRECTORS CUT of Erles Exciting Adventures on Flyer

Lost souls on board the Black Pearl

Even more important …

….this is TOP SECRET !!

I do NOT have the faintest clue what PBO is either.

Lost Soul POTC racing and wrecking crew.

Today has been an interesting as well as frustrating day on the Black Pearl. We are sailing parallel to the Argentinean coast in a drag race with our competitors who are all within 50 miles of us. We are reaching with the wind from the north west all heading the same course as we speed for the next weather obstacle in our path to Rio, a ridge of high pressure that we will negotiate on Sunday.

As all the boats are heading in the same direction with similar wind speeds and angles it is a good time to assess our boats performance in these conditions. We have not been able to do much of this on the Pearl so far so we are learning a lot but some of the lessons are harsh. Our guide to performance as the boats are not in sight of each other is the data we glean from the six hourly sked or position reports on how the other boats have gone- we have been taking a few hits in mileage losses as we try out sail combinations to see what gives us our best speeds and sweet spots with each sail. As these boats are so fast the difference in being well set up with the right sail can be measured in whole knots which can translate to miles in a 6 hour period. This is a non stop around the clock activity – as the pirates are working hard on deck trimming and tweaking theses massive sail aerofoil’s for each gust of wind below decks we are also analyzing the data we record on board to deduce what set up works and what does not. We compare this with our previous performance data and relative gains and losses on the fleet to make our judgments. This is a scientific process in that we apply some sophisticated software and measuring tools but becomes a more holistic affair when we add in the many variables we cannot measure. There are rarely clear cut answers just degrees of fast and slow. We note down what we think increases performance sail by sail. Everyone has an opinion so there are some interesting discussions. The sail chart which is the quick guide or map to our sail selection started as a theoretical neat and ordered color coded sheet but now looks like something Jackson Pollock would be proud of. The blue coded sail has been making gains in areas we did not first envisage and light green is proving itself to be a costly item with a very small range.

We cannot just change sails as you would on a small keelboat to test them, we are 10 pirates who have been at this for 2 weeks now so you can’t just call a sail change every few minutes because the one you have up is not quite right. Changing sails is hard work an also costs miles. The reaching sails weigh 100 kilos when wet on the rail so take some manhandling. It is no coincidence we refer to ourselves as ‘dung beetles’ as we roll and push these things around. When not flying these sails fulfill a vital role in helping trim the boat fore and aft which is another one of the many elements to setting up one of these complex beasts to be fast. Each sail change takes about 20 minutes to set the new one and drop the old one and needs the 4 on watch and ideally the 2 guys coming off or on plus skipper or navigator to do efficiently.

The day ends a bit better than it began with a small part of the sail crossover puzzle solved on this vessel and a few miles gained rather than lost to our competitors. The process will roll on through the night as subtle changes in wind, waves and angle will open up more of the conundrum to making this machine go fast.

Jules Salter


Position: 51,55.95S , 56,10.24W

Speed: 7 knots, Course: 33 deg.

We are slipping along at 7 knots in 4 knots of wind thanks to our Code 0. These powerful sails make light air incredibly less painful. We are just passing east of the Falklands. Our router has us staying quite east for the first two thirds of the leg to Rio.

The five day forecast shows a very tricky leg to Rio. We will have about 5 transitions.leaving one weather system and entering or being over taken by another.. to deal with. The first was yesterday after rounding the Cape, ABN1 and Pirates sailed into a stalled bit of cloud that was hanging off the land. The both of us parked pretty firmly while the others sailed up in the 30 knots of wind around the Cape. We took a huge hit on one sked..50 miles to Brasil and about 0 to each of Ericsson and ABN2. Then as Brasil got to the area that we parked in, the cloud band moved off to the east and they were able to slip in along the coast and go through the La Mare straight, all the while enjoying more wind and more lifted direction. They paid a bit back today as they had to come down east to go around the Falklands like the rest of us. Tonight we are going through a small bubble of high pressure. The wind has dropped steadily all after noon and now we are literally coasting along. There appears to be no wind on the water, it is a clear night and you can see the reflection of the stars in the water like a plate of glass. Really a pretty night and the stars are so bright when you are out here away from the loom of any city. Again, and experience few ever get.

Tomorrow and Sunday should be good mileage days as we pick up westerly’s again early in the morning. Sunday night we will sail through a high pressure ridge. This could be another moment of reshuffling. After that we pick up southeasterly’s on the west side of a low pressure cell that is forming right now near Buenos Aires and will drift out to sea over the next 48 hours. Don’t know if you are that much into weather so sorry for the information over load if you aren’t. But that is basically what I do. I, along with Jules have to analyze the information we get, decide if it is accurate, if not, adjust the models, then run the right weather through the routing software which then spits out a bunch of numbers. We then take all that and make a strategy that includes the location of our competitors what they are likely to do or be able to do from their position with the weather that they will have.

Apart from all the work, I caught up on some sleep today, 24 hour sessions and worked on my sail cross over chart, making notes on what we have learned about our sails and when to use them, angles and wind speeds.

I also treated my self to my other, fresh, pair of base layer. Yes, that’s right, I have been wearing the same clothes for 12 days. I gave myself a shower of sorts, lots of baby wipes, then I slid into the fresh smelling long johns and top. Man, what a difference that made. I still have the same socks because I have a complicated sock system and I have only one set up. That is a wool inner sock, a gortex sock, and then another wool sock. I had to run light weight boots on this leg as the really heavy duty boots, which are made of rubber, are too small for my feet and the cold was going right through them. So I took a bit of a gamble wearing my Musto goretex inshore boots in the Southern Ocean, but I made it!

We compile our work list onboard the boat as the leg goes on so today I sent that off tour shore team so they can get prepared before our arrival. There is all the normal maintenance plus a few bigger jobs. I want to mentionthat none of the major repairs we have had to do on this boat have ever come back to bother us. Our shore team long with the builders at Green Marine who have constantly looked after even though our boat long since left their yard, and our designer at Farr Yacht Design, have down a very good job of identifying the problems and solving them in a proper way. Thanks to everyone for that!

I am looking forward to getting to Rio. Rio is one of those cities that has an exotic image. I first went to Rio in 1977, the same year I graduated from high school. The Laser World Championship was in Cabo Frio, just up the coast from Rio. I met many nice people like the Bruns and the Adler’s who helped me and looked after me. I really like Rio. I have been there several times since, but the memories that I have of the Yacht Club, the city, Sugar Loaf, Copacabana and Ipanema from 30 years ago, have left the strongest impressions in my mind. I am looking forward to visiting all those same places and probably some new ones and seeing all my friends who live in that great city.

Torben Greal and his team are staging a great comeback in this leg. You can almost feel Brasil pulling them in like gravity. For the Volvo Ocean Race to have an athlete with Torben’s record, participating, putting his name on the line, adds a great deal of quality and stature to the event. Brasil knows how to celebrate and I am sure they will turn out in droves to welcome home their team after this long race from New Zealand.

We haven’t sailed much in these very light conditions so I am going to go up on deck and sail the boat for awhile to try to learn something.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Position: 56,3.22S , 67,6.61W

Speed: 25 knots, Course: 56 deg.

Ten happy Pirates heading north!

More later.


Pirates of the Caribbean