Today we did a really nice thing with Disney and Pescanova for the children of Vigo.

Pescanova, the Spanish fish company that had an entry in the 1993 Whitbread Round the World Race, organized a special day for the children of Vigo at their shipyard today. 500 children were invited to come and meet the Pirates of the Caribbean and see the Black Pearl. At 12:00 local time, the Black Pearl sailed into Punto Lagoa Marina with a salute of six cannons and multiple fireworks. The 500 children were all seated in a large, covered, tribune. The Pearl slipped into her dock to the tune from the “Curse of he Black Pearl”, and the cheers of the children. The crew was met at the dock by the mayor of Vigo Corina Porro, Manuel Fernandez Souza – CEO of Pescanova and his wife and Santiago Dominguez – General Director of Sport in the region of Galicia and Abel Cabaolero – President of the Port of Vigo.

As the Pirates walked up the gang way, the Spanish bagpipes were playing. The Pirates shook hands with all the young fans and proceeded to “take the Marina” by hoisting their flag on the highest mast in the port.

Next everyone proceeded into a shed, in fact the exact shed where the Pearl was refit last week, which was now completely done up as a conference hall. Mega screens, large stage, black drapes, and Pirates of the Caribbean flags hung everywhere. The children were dressed in special wet weather gear and hats supplied by Pescanova.

A few speeches were made, namely the mayor stating how proud they were to be the host city for the Start of the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race and how the city and the children would follow the Black Pearl all the way and “be with us” in their hearts.

A few trailers from the upcoming “Dead Man’s Chest” were shown which the kids loved.

Next the Pirates took the stage. First lesson of the day…an English lesson…”It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Repeat after me…I had the kids chanting; “It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Then we gave them a video of life onboard, followed by a little geography; illustrating the course around the world and the various ports of call and the big capes that we round. Finally, Juggy, our Tazmanian Pirate, came out on stage all geared up in Southern Ocean garb and disrobed so that everyone could appreciate how much gear we have to wear down south.

We took a few questions from the floor. The kids were very enthusiastic and genuine in their interest. As much as the day was meant for the kids, I have to say, it was a great day for us. We were all touched by how interested and excited these kids were to see us. These children were well behaved, very attentive and appreciative…just beautiful to see young kids like that.

Thank you to the children of Vigo. You are all officially Pirates. Come and see us on the 12th of November!

Captain Paul

Pirates of the Caribbean