Position: 23,8.63S , 42,22.76W

Speed: 9 knots, Course: 78 deg.

It was a very friendly send off at the dock this morning. Many fans were on hand at Marina Gloria to say good bye to the fleet. The Brazilians were great hosts and did a fantastic job with the stopover.

Onboard the Black Pearl the crew were wearing the yellow jersey’s (the official Brazilian national football teams jerseys complete with our names on them!) that the Brazilian children gave us last Monday after the conclusion of our traditional Pescanova kids day. It was our way of saying thanks to Brazil and taking a piece of Brazil onboard with us.

Maybe it was the jerseys and maybe it was us, but the Black Earl was the first boat around the mark at Copacabana and led the fleet off to the east. It is such a great way to start a leg. Even though there are 4900 miles to go, it helps mentally. Ericsson led the fleet out of the bay followed by the Pirates a couple of boat lengths back but we stayed further offshore going west up Copacabana beach and closed in on Ericsson. Then as they came out from the beach, we could not cross them so we tacked on their lee bow and they fell into our bad air. From there we just herded the fleet and led around the mark.

Initially we were very fast on the run out of Copacabana. At one point we had a one mile lead over Movistar who shortly after the mark passed Ericsson.just faster. We then picked up a large stick on our keel and tried many different ways to get it off but none were successful. So we are slowly loosing to the whole group for a couple of hours.

Then about an hour ago, all of us sailed through a cloud line and parked. Anthony Merrington dove in and got the stick off. However, Movistar got by us and so did ABN 2, not by much.

Currently we are very close to Movistar, ABN2 and Ericsson. There is only 5 knots of wind and the forecast is very light tonight. We are about 20 miles from Cabo Frio which present an opportunity to turn left about 30 degrees.

It looks like a long and slow couple of days ahead as we battle to overtake the wake of an old cold front. After that we will get the southeast trades and should make good progress.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean