Legacy Content

Reliving Fond Memories: The Black Pearl
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by David Mink (archives)
October 5, 2006
David gets to visit the "set" of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 filming off the coast of Redondo Beach.

Through the generosity of a friend in August I was given the opportunity to see The Black Pearl as filming the third installment of The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise continued.

It was a beautiful grey day as our launch headed out from Delzano’s restaurant. The water was a little choppy. We had a long way to go. The Black Pearl was anchored about a mile from shore. The boat was filled with about one hundred passengers. We passed boats filled with camera equipment and crew. The salt water spraying in our face; a very pirate-y moment. The only thing missing was waving some cutlasses and hearing the boom of cannon across the water.

Along for the ride was a film crew member who could answer our questions once we reached the set.

Through the morning mist as we drove past the buoys loaded with sleeping seals, I could make out a black outline. Others began pointing and reaching for their cameras. It was the Black Pearl, straight ahead. Thar she be!

The were filming on the "poop deck"
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The crew member mentioned that all the cast was aboard today. The women all stood up, squinting, wishing they had telephoto lenses on their digital cameras. Diffusion cloths were hung in the rigging, and there were a lot of people on board, especially on the poop deck.

This was as close as were allowed to go. The boat cut the motors so we could take pictures and take in the scene. The water was choppy, and after squinting through the camera aperture, I was feeling a little light headed. The Black Pearl itself was rocking back and forth mightily. I imagine there must be a crate of Dramamine on board.

Camera men were in boats
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The original Black Pearl, from the first movie, had been built on a barge, which would then be towed around. This new Black Pearl was built in Alabama, then sailed to the Caribbean for some filming, then sailed to the west coast for further filming. For the next two movies, the producer’s opted to build a functional ship. The Flying Dutchman, still in the Gulf of Mexico, was also built on a barge.

Once filming is completed, the ship will be put into storage somewhere in the area. The crew member conceded that, as of that Tuesday (This was August), worldwide booty of “Dead Man’s Chest? will exceed one billion dollars. This could possibly mean a fourth movie in the series. With a franchise making that kind of money, producers naturally won’t let it go easily. So The Black Pearl won’t be scuttled.

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-- Posted May 30, 2006
-- Text by David Mink
-- Photos by Heather Sheets.