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