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.