|For other uses, see Black Pearl (disambiguation)|
|For other uses, see Wicked Wench (disambiguation)|
- "Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...what the Black Pearl really is...is freedom."
- ―Jack Sparrow
The Black Pearl was an infamous pirate ship, originally named the Wicked Wench. At one point, it was sold and turned into a merchant vessel before turning back to piracy when it was re-christened. With sails as dark as a moonless night, and a hull painted to match, this legendary ship of the seven seas was every inch a pirate vessel. Built for action, this ghost ship could outsail any other sailing vessels. The Black Pearl was most notably captained by Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa.
The Wench's first captain was Morgan, a pirate who died in a battle with the Spanish Royal Navy. Command was later given to Jack Sparrow, who led the Wench and her crew on several voyages from West Africa to the Caribbean and back for the East India Trading Company on the behalf of Cutler Beckett. However, after Jack liberated a cargo of slaves, Beckett ordered the Wench set alight and sunk and her captain forever branded as a pirate. After failing to rescue the Wench, Jack made a deal with Davy Jones, the ghostly captain of the Flying Dutchman. Jones raised the Wicked Wench from the depths, giving Jack thirteen years as captain, in exchange for one hundred years of service aboard the Dutchman. With the Wench's new charred look, Jack renamed her the Black Pearl. Now a renowned pirate vessel and threat of the Caribbean, the Black Pearl would embark on many adventures on the high seas.
Two years later, during the quest for the cursed treasure of Cortés, Jack Sparrow lost the Pearl by a mutiny led by his first mate, Hector Barbossa. After ten years of being a cursed ship, with stories being told of the ship preying on ships and settlements, the Black Pearl was regained by Jack Sparrow after he killed Barbossa. For the next year, Jack would captain the Pearl until he was reminded of his thirteen year old bargain with Davy Jones, who demanded the debt was due to be paid. This prompted Jack's search for the Dead Man's Chest, which ended with the Kraken dragging both Jack and his beloved Pearl to Davy Jones' Locker. After escaping the Locker, the Black Pearl sailed for Shipwreck Cove, led by both Jack and the resurrected Barbossa, where it became the flagship of the Brethren Court's armada in the fight against Cutler Beckett's Armada. The titanic battle would end with the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, now captained by Will Turner, destroying the HMS Endeavour, achieving the pirates victory.
After the battle, Barbossa once again stole the Pearl from Jack with the intention of using it to find the Fountain of Youth. But the Pearl came under attack by the Queen Anne's Revenge, captained by the notorious pirate Blackbeard. Using his sword, Blackbeard turned the Pearl against Barbossa and his crew. Blackbeard then captured the Black Pearl and made it into one of the many ships enclosed in bottles in a special cabinet in Blackbeard's cabin.
The Black Pearl would eventually be restored to its former glory by Barbossa's use of the Sword of Triton during the search for the Trident of Poseidon with the help of Jack Sparrow, Henry Turner, and Carina Smyth.
The Wicked Wench
- "One ship was trying to escape from the smoke. And then, in the crow's nest, there was this young pirate... Boy! He stood there looking like... like a little bird. And from that day he earned himself a name that would haunt me for the rest of my days. Jack the Sparrow!"
- ―Armando Salazar
It is unknown when the Wicked Wench was built, or when her crew was assembled. It is known, however, that she eventually became a pirate ship. The Wench and her crew joined the pirate fleet that tried to end Armando Salazar's reign of terror when the ruthless Spanish capitán attempted to clean the seas from piracy. In a fierce battle off the coast of the mysterious Devil's Triangle the last pirates in the Caribbean joined forces in an attempt to sink Salazar's ship, the dreaded Silent Mary, but the mighty galleon and her crew proved to be unstoppable. Soon, most of the pirate fleet was burning and sinking, and the Wicked Wench was the only pirate ship left afloat. Mortally wounded, the Wench's captain, Morgan, gave his compass to Jack, an 18-year old boy, giving him command of the ship.
The Wench was heavily damaged and many of her crewmembers were dead, but she was hidden from the Silent Mary behind a wall of smoke from the burning wrecks, and had a chance to escape. However, Jack had another plan, deciding to rid the Seven Seas of Salazar. Climbing into the crow's nest, he shouted to the Spanish capitán to attract his attention, mockingly telling him that he will be spared if he surrendered immediately. Looking like a bird in the rigging, in that moment Jack earned the right to call himself "Jack Sparrow". Steering the Wench right toward the Triangle, Jack performed a bootleg turn at the last moment, tricking Salazar into sailing right into the dark cave where the Spanish ship hit the reefs and exploded, killing the entire Spanish crew. The Wench, and the pirates in the Caribbean, were once again safe. After the battle, every surviving pirate in the Wench's crew gave Jack a tribute, including a hat that would become his favorite.
East India Trading Company ship
- "I have another ship. It's one I actually own. It's an older ship. The shipwrights have told me that converting her hold to haul slaves would be expensive, and rather time-consuming, so I bought her for hauling other cargos. She's called the Wicked Wench. Would you like to sail her for me, Captain Sparrow?"
"Yes, I would, sir. I'd be pleased to do that."
- ―Cutler Beckett and Jack Sparrow
Seven years later, now just an old merchant ship, the Wicked Wench was bought by Cutler Beckett, the Director of West African Affairs for the East India Trading Company. She was docked in Calabar when the Fair Wind, a brig of the EITC, docked in the port. When the First Mate of the Fair Wind, Jack Sparrow, gave Beckett his report about how he saved the ship and most of its cargo from falling into the hands of pirates, Beckett was so impressed that he offered him to become the captain of the Marlin, a slave ship of the Company. Sparrow refused to transport slaves, but as Beckett saw that Sparrow was worthy to be a captain, he gave him command of the Wicked Wench.
Jack Sparrow became very attached to the ship, seeing her as less of a vessel and more a symbol of the freedom he so desired. But when Jack refused to give Beckett the exact location of the lost island of Kerma, and the Shining City of Zerzura with its treasure-filled labyrinth, Beckett ordered Sparrow to transport a boatload of slaves to New Avalon in the Bahamas for Viscount Penwallow, Beckett's immediate supervisor and patron. Jack initially agreed to do so, succumbing to pressure Beckett placed on him and the fact that Beckett promised to sell him the Wench for just one shilling. But after embarking with the cargo of slaves, Jack rebelled. He set the slaves free on the illusion-hidden island of Kerma. Seeing this turn of events, Beckett sent ships and men to track the Wench down. Jack was later caught, imprisoned, and eventually branded with a "P" for "pirate".
Beckett wanted to hit Jack where it hurts the most, so he set the Wicked Wench on fire as his men held Jack by, and made him watch his beloved ship burn. Jack was able to escape from the guards and tried to save the Wench from the flames, but instead was hit by a falling beam of the Wench's burning cabin. Jack found himself in a dream-like state, and, realizing he was dying, summoned Davy Jones and made a deal with the squid-faced captain. Jack would spend one hundred years in service to Jones aboard the Flying Dutchman if he raised the Wicked Wench from the depths and give Jack command of the vessel for thirteen years. Jones kept to his word, and raised the ship from the depths for Jack. Due to her charred appearance, Jack re-christened her the Black Pearl, and painted the ship's hull black and gave her black sails in order to strengthen her image as an infamous pirate ship.
The Black Pearl
Jack captained the Pearl for the next two years, assembling a crew of pirates who became the scourge of the Caribbean, including Hector Barbossa, who became Sparrow's First Mate. During this time, Jack sailed the Pearl around the globe on his search for an extraordinary substance; Shadow Gold. Later on, Jack learned of the location of the mysterious treasure island, Isla de Muerta, and was set to lead his crew there. However, once he told Barbossa of the island's location, the crew mutinied and left Jack marooned on a desert island. The new Captain Barbossa had the Pearl set sail to Isla de Muerta, and to the treasure within.
Misfortune struck the Pearl's crew, however, as the Aztec gold they found in the chest of Cortés was cursed, and turned them into the living dead. Over the next decade, they attempted to reclaim all 882 pieces of Cortés' treasure they had so carelessly frittered away, in order to reverse the effects of the curse. Although The Black Pearl herself was not cursed, she appeared to have been affected by the curse; she now operated with pitch-black sails ripped in many places, yet was still known as the fastest ship in the Caribbean. Further, a shroud of thick fog seemed to follow the Pearl wherever she sailed.
The Black Pearl's exploits became infamous over the next ten years. Some had heard the stories of the dreaded ship, that she had sailed the waters of the Caribbean, preying on towns and vessels. Without warning, she would appear out of the night and attack, leaving nothing but chaos and destruction in her path. The Black Pearl became a legend, an old ghost story told to young children to scare them. Although Mullroy scoffed upon hearing the ship's name from Jack Sparrow, he argued about if the Pearl was real or not with Murtogg, who claimed to have seen it.
On one occasion, the Black Pearl sunk a British merchant vessel carrying young Will Turner. Unbeknownst to the crew, Turner was actually carrying the final coin needed to lift the curse, though the medallion was later taken by Elizabeth Swann aboard the HMS Dauntless. While taking a look at the medallion, Elizabeth caught movement out of the corner of her eye: a ship with tattered black sails, moving silently through the thick fog, hoisting a flag with a skull. For unknown reasons, around the initial appearance of the Dauntless, the Black Pearl left without getting neither Will nor the coin. Either because of the pirates taking off, discretion being the better part of valor, or they were simply lost in the fog. Alternatively, since the Dauntless was the most feared scourge of pirates and far outgunned the Pearl, they probably didn't want to risk a confrontation.
Attack on Port Royal
- "I know those guns...it's the Pearl."
- ―Jack Sparrow
Will Turner and the crew of the Pearl ultimately crossed paths again 8 years later, following the Pearl's attack on Port Royal. Two of the cursed crewmen, Pintel and Ragetti, captured Turner's love Elizabeth Swann, who had the final cursed coin in her possession at this point. Because of this, as well as Elizabeth's introduction as "Elizabeth Turner", Barbossa believed that she was the child of Bootstrap Bill, who could help lift their curse. And so, Elizabeth was "welcomed" aboard the Pearl for the journey. A few days later, the cursed crew brought her to Isla de Muerta, where Barbossa began the ritual to lift the curse. However it failed, and so the crew realized that Elizabeth wasn't the person they needed.
Later, after Elizabeth escaped with the medallion, the Pearl pursued and engaged in battle with the HMS Interceptor, which ended in the ship's destruction and some damage to the Pearl, much to Jack's annoyance. After the battle, the crew had Will Turner captive to restart the ritual. However, Jack Sparrow intervened, and killed Barbossa moments after the curse was lifted by the actual Turner, William. The remaining members of the crew were captured by the Commodore Norrington and his soldiers of the Royal Navy. During the chaotic battle, Jack's rag-tag crew from Tortuga led by Gibbs made off with the Black Pearl.
At Tortuga, the crew recruited some new members as well as patched up the torn and ragged sails, and repaired the damage the Pearl had suffered during the battle, with the curse lifted the dense fog that had followed the ship for the past ten years dispersed. They then sailed to Port Royal to help Sparrow, who was sentenced for execution at Port Royal for his crimes against the crown, though with the help of Will Turner he managed to escape. He was soon reunited with his crew, and once more took command of the Black Pearl, lovingly caressing the ship's wheel as the wind sighed through her sails in a gesture that showed her relief at having her captain back. He and his ship then set off on a voyage of freedom.
During the following year, the Black Pearl sailed the Seven Seas and her crew fought other pirates, the undead and the Royal Navy, searched for treasures and captured merchant ships. At some point she escaped a Royal Navy ship captained by James Norrington near Tripoli by sailing into a storm. The Navy ship, the HMS Dauntless with Commodore Norrington at the helm, followed her and was sunk.
At some other point, the Navy managed to capture the Black Pearl, her captain Jack Sparrow was thrown in a prison and the ship herself was kept in on a secret Navy outpost somewhere in the Caribbean  while the release orders for her were guarded by a Navy soldier in Port Royal. Sparrow escaped, and with some help, he got the ship back and recruited new crew members. When Sparrow and Will Turner were sentenced to death in Panama, they hoped that the Black Pearl would rescue them, and of course the ship and her crew did.
- "You have a debt to pay. You've been captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years. That was our agreement."
"Technically I was only captain for two years, then I was viciously mutinied upon."
"Then you were a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless. Have you not introduced yourself all these years as Captain Jack Sparrow?"
- ―Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow
By this time, thirteen years had passed since Davy Jones had raised the Wicked Wench from the depths, and now it was time to call in Jack's debt. However, Jack wasn't intending to surrender his soul to Jones, so he embarked on a quest to find the Dead Man's Chest and gain control of Jones himself. With the legendary Kraken in pursuit, Jack was forced to avoid the open water, and ran the Pearl aground on Pelegosto island. There, Jack and his crew were captured by the Pelegostos, cannibal natives of the island. While they attempted to escape, Pintel and Ragetti tried to salvage the Pearl. The crew arrived back at the ship in time, however, and ultimately employed the pirates onboard the Pearl.
Despite his cunning, Jack could not run from Davy Jones for long, so he first went to Tia Dalma for help and tracked down the Flying Dutchman: on the deck of the Pearl, Jones and Sparrow struck another pact: 100 souls in three days in exchange for Jack's freedom. The Pearl so headed for Tortuga, where Jack found Elizabeth and with her help the black ship set a course for Isla Cruces, where they found the Dead Man's Chest; however, as soon as they came back to the ship, the Dutchman surfaced near the Black Pearl. Although he believed he had Jones' heart in his possession—and thus could exert his influence over him—he found too late that James Norrington had stolen the heart from him on Isla Cruces, where the Dead Man's Chest had been found. Now aboard the Black Pearl, Jack tried to outrun the ghost ship thanks to the wind advantage, but soon was forced to face the wrath of Davy Jones, manifested in the form of the Kraken. Initially, he attempted to leave the Pearl and its crew while he raced for land, but found he could not go through with this cowardly plan, and returned to the Pearl. The ship suffered serious damage by the Kraken, and Jack, with a heavy heart, ordered his crew to abandon ship.
However, Elizabeth Swann realized that they were all in danger as long as Jack remained with Will, herself and the other crewmen of the Pearl. And so, Elizabeth tricked Jack, by kissing him, to the point where she would be able to shackle him to the ship's mast. Then, she left him to his grim fate as the rest of the crew escaped the area on the last of the Pearl's longboats. Although Jack managed to free himself from the ship's mast, he had no time to escape the doomed Pearl, as the Kraken arrived simultaneously of his escape. Instead, Jack pulled out his sword and bravely faced the Kraken in a display of noble heroism and, as a true Captain, went down with his ship.
- "So tell me, what's become of my ship?"
- ―Hector Barbossa
The Kraken dragged the Black Pearl down to Davy Jones' Locker, along with its captain. Both were marooned on a seemingly endless desert. Sparrow was forced to endure a maddening existence leading to hallucinations wherein he saw multiple personifications of his various personalities attempting to crew the Pearl.
During one of the pirate's bouts of hallucinations, a rock Jack had thrown turned into a crab. Other rocks turned into a army of crabs. This force moved the Pearl, with Jack chasing behind before he climbed aboard. The crew of the Hai Peng arrived in the Locker in time to see the Black Pearl, with Jack standing on the Pearl's rigging, slide into the sea. Tia Dalma apparently was responsible for this turn of events.
Jack immediately resumed his captaincy, though found competition in the form of the resurrected Hector Barbossa. His crew was bolstered by Tai Huang and his men, who pledged their allegiance to Sparrow. The Pearl sailed through the seemingly endless doldrums of the Locker, encountering Weatherby Swann and many other dead people in boats along the way. Jack later deciphered the cryptic clues of Sao Feng's navigational charts, and devised a plan to return the Pearl back to the land of the living. He and the rest of the crew tipped the Pearl upside down by rocking her back and forth, assisted by the cannons and cargo shifting below decks, allowing the crew to escape the Locker heralded by a green flash.
Sparrow and Barbossa's command
Following their escape from the locker, the crew of the Pearl sailed to a small island in order to stock up on fresh water. Jack and Barbossa led the party on land, while Will Turner stayed on board the ship along with Elizabeth and most of the crew. Once on the island however the Pearl was ambushed by the Empress, and command was handed over to the East India Trading Company, thanks to Sao Feng's deal with Lord Beckett. However, Barbossa convinced Feng to aid the crew, and the Pearl launched an attack on the HMS Endeavour while Feng fled. Jack and Barbossa were free to command the Pearl once more and made for Shipwreck Island. Journeying to the island, and through the Devil's Throat, the Black Pearl arrived to Shipwreck Cove, where Jack and Barbossa would meet with the other Pirate Lords.
The Brethren Court agreed to go to war, led by the newly-voted Pirate King, Elizabeth Swann, and the Black Pearl sailed out as the flagship of the pirate armada. After the parley with their opponents, the Brethren prepared for battle. Onboard, Barbossa and the Pearl's crewmen released Calypso from Tia Dalma's body, showering the deck with millions of crabs before creating a massive maelstrom that served as the battlefield between the pirates and Lord Beckett's forces. As the maelstrom formed, Barbossa took the helm and took command as he steered the Pearl into the whirlpool to battle.
The Pearl itself fought directly, engaging the Flying Dutchman in single combat with Barbossa at the helm. Both ships circled the whirlpool and ended up with their masts stuck, balancing each other on the edge of the abyss while their crews swung from one to another. Fighting broke out on the deck of the Pearl, during which Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner were married by Barbossa. By the end of the battle, Davy Jones was killed, and Will Turner replaced him as captain of the Dutchman. Jack turned to give his orders to the crew, while Barbossa took the helm of the Black Pearl for their next move. Both the Pearl and the Dutchman launched a synchronized assault on the Endeavour, with the Pearl pummeling her port side, which was destroyed under the combined firepower.
With the war over, Elizabeth disembarked and Jack sailed the Black Pearl to Tortuga, promising Scarlett and Giselle a ride in his ship. However, upon returning to the docks, Jack found the Pearl gone; stolen yet again by Barbossa, under circumstances that could only be described as mutiny, along with every crew member except for Joshamee Gibbs. As the Black Pearl sailed through the seas, Pintel, Ragetti and several other crewmen confronted Barbossa on the decision to leaving Jack behind and requested to see the item of intrigue, which Barbossa said was in Sao Feng's navigational charts. But it was Jack who gained the upper hand when Barbossa realized he had cut the map out of the charts for himself. Though Barbossa had the Pearl in his possession, Jack sailed in a small vessel to find the Fountain of Youth.
Ship in a Bottle
Barbossa and his crew continued their pirate activities in the time that followed. One night, while sailing through the coast of Hispaniola, the Black Pearl was suddenly attacked by the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. The Pearl was peppered by cannonfire from the Revenge. The sea beneath the Pearl began to roil while the Pearl itself was pitching and yawing to where the ship itself couldn't be maneuvered. Witnessing all of this tempted Barbossa to give the order to abandon ship. But it was too late, as Blackbeard used his sword to turn the Black Pearl against the crew. Every plank, rail and spar aboard the Pearl began to creak a hellish noise as the rigging came to life: the Pearl, though not of her own volition, had turned on her own crew. Barbossa's crew were tangled by the ropes, unable to fight as they were wrapped around like snakes. One of the ropes would wrap around Barbossa's right leg. Not wanting his fate changed, Barbossa used his sword to cut off his own leg. Barbossa was able to escape the rest of the attack, but with the knowledge of having lost the Black Pearl, and his right leg, to Blackbeard.
As A Prize
- "The Black Pearl in a bottle? Why is the Black Pearl in a bottle?"
- ―Jack Sparrow
From this point, Barbossa would have no knowledge of the Black Pearl's further fate, only believing that it was sunk. In reality, Blackbeard had, instead of allowing her a dignified rest on the ocean floor, magically shrunk the Pearl and placed it in a glass bottle, where it would sail on a shrunken, churning ocean. Cotton's Parrot and Jack the Monkey could be seen inside of the bottle. The Pearl in a bottle would be placed in a special cabinet, filled with Blackbeard's collection ships in bottles, found in the captain's cabin aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. Only Blackbeard's beloved daughter Angelica knew of this cabinet and its contents. A while after he was shanghaied aboard Blackbeard's infamous vessel, Jack Sparrow was shown the cabinet by Angelica as an offer in return in helping her find the Fountain of Youth. This was where Jack found out the current state of the Pearl, only days after learning from Barbossa that the Pearl was "lost" and sunk in battle. Jack was stunned to see his ship trapped in bottle and wanted to free it.
Throughout the quest for the Fountain of Youth, the Black Pearl remained with the other ships in bottles aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, which soon made anchor on the cove of a mysterious island. By the end of the quest, Jack Sparrow's loyal comrade Joshamee Gibbs found the Revenge with the help of Jack's compass, given to him by Jack himself, and climbed aboard to retrieve the Pearl for Jack. Once he found the shrunken Pearl in a bottle, Gibbs also summarily stole all of Blackbeard's collection of shrunken ships in bottles and put them in a sack, claiming that it was a shame to leave an entire fleet behind. Gibbs later met with Jack on the island, who took a look at his beloved Pearl, and discussed if he had any idea of how to get the Pearl out of the bottle. Holding the bottle, Jack would keep the Pearl in his possession.
Quest for the Trident of Poseidon
One year later, Jack Sparrow would still have the Pearl in his possession, with no means of getting it out of the bottle. Hector Barbossa and his crew encountered Jack, Henry Turner, and Carina Smyth on the island of Hangman's Bay by interrupting an unwanted wedding. Before leaving to continue on the search for the Trident of Poseidon, Barbossa ensured that the Black Pearl was first restored to its former glory. To do this, he stabbed through the ship's bottle with the Sword of Triton. Jack and the others ran to get the Pearl to the water before the ship would start to grow larger. Although the Pearl did grow larger in size than before, its size wasn't large enough. Barbossa then threw the Pearl into the water, which at first seemed to make the impression that the ship just simply drowned without any reason, to Jack's dismay. However, the Pearl rose from the water and grew back to its proper size.
- "The Black Pearl! She sails again!"
- ―Joshamee Gibbs upon seeing the restored vessel
Looking upon the restored Pearl, Jack was overjoyed at the sight of his vessel before Barbossa pulled out his pistol and quickly held Jack and company captive, establishing command of the ship once more. When the crew boarded the ship, Barbossa had Jack tied to the foremast and Henry and Carina to the wooden stand for ship's bell. With the Pearl on the open sea, Barbossa tried to find the island where the Trident was supposedly hidden on his own while ignoring Carina's warnings about his maps being incomplete. However, after some time he realized he needed her help so he let her take the helm to locate the Black rock island by using the stars as a map. After sailing for a while, the Royal Navy caught up with the Pearl in the form of Lieutenant Scarfield and the Essex. As they prepared to fire on the Pearl, the Essex was crushed and destroyed by the Silent Mary, which then sailed alongside the Pearl. The ghost crew boarded the ship and engaged Barbossa's crew in combat. Luckily, the crew of the Dying Gull who had escaped the Navy had spotted the restored ship and backed them up in battle. Carina located the island a few moments before the dawn, steering the ship right into the beach, grounding the Pearl which caused the crew of the Silent Mary to hastily retreat (capturing Henry as well) and steer their ship into the open sea.
With the ship and the crew safe for the time being Jack, Barbossa and Carina disembarked. After Carina placed the ruby down and the sea split in half, revealing the Trident in Poseidon's Tomb at the bottom of the sea, where she and Jack fell through while Barbossa returned to the ship. After he returned, the crew of the Pearl managed to refloat the ship and quickly mounted a rescue operation. With Gibbs at the helm the Pearl sailed on the edge of one of the rapidly closing walls of water, with the crew dropping the anchor down so Jack, Henry and Carina could climb up. In the ensuing battle, Barbossa sacrificed himself to kill Salazar, and the anchor was brought above the water, saving the others.
After the fight had ended, the Pearl sailed back to Henry's home where he and Carina were dropped off. From his ship with a spyglass, Jack watched the reunion of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann as well as the new union of Henry and Carina.
Jack soon departed with the crew of the Dying Gull and what was left of Barbossa's crew who all accepted him as captain. The Black Pearl was once again captained by Jack Sparrow. With his precious vessel returned to him, Jack stated that they would follow the stars, and the Pearl sailed off into the sunset. The ship's further fate is unknown.
Design and appearance
The Black Pearl was a three-masted galleon. As the Wicked Wench, she had a golden yellow hull and flew sails of pure white which carried the colors of the East India Trading Company. As a pirate vessel, the Black Pearl's most obvious and infamous features were her tattered black sails and soot colored hull. Aside from the obvious psychological implications of a black ship in a superstitious world, her coloring enabled the crew to effectively hide in the dark of night by dousing the lamps scattered around the deck. This ability was used by Captain Barbossa to infiltrate the harbor of Port Royal, and later by Captain Sparrow when he sent Will Turner to investigate a wrecked ship in search of the key to the Dead Man's Chest.
Aside from her striking visual features, the Pearl was believed to be extremely fast, at least by those who knew of her existence. In fact, when she sailed with the wind, she was the fastest ship in the Caribbean, indicating that her speed may be derived from the large amount of canvas she carried. Under Barbossa and his cursed crew, galley-style oars, or "sweeps", were a primary method of boosting the Pearl's speed when going against the wind or pursuing very fast prey.
- "The Black Pearl can outrun the Dutchman?"
"That ain't a natural ship. It can sail direct against the wind, into a hurricane and not lose speed. That's how she takes her prey. But with the wind..."
"We rob her advantage."
"Aye. The Pearl is the only ship Davy Jones fears. With reason."
- ―William Turner Jr. and Joshamee Gibbs
The rigging of the Black Pearl had three masts: the fore, the mizzen, and the main. The fore and main masts were rigged with a course, a topsail and a topgallant, while the mizzen had a topsail and a lateen. At the bow were the fore stay-sail and flying jib, anchored with the bowsprit, both used for steering. The capstan, used to raise and lower the anchor and various cargoes, was found on the main deck, combined with the mainmast. The jolly boats, used for going ashore, were found here too. The Pearl had deck guns on the main deck as well as the lower gun deck.
At the aft of the ship beneath the helm, was the captain's quarters. The captain's quarters were very spacious compared to the crew's quarters. The captain used their quarters to dine, hold private conversations, and navigate. It could also have been used as a surgery area or even gundeck, if needed. Above the captain's quarters was the upper deck. The wheel was found here as was the belfry. The belfry contains a bell that was rung on the hour.
The crew's quarters were near the middle of the ship. This area was filled with hammocks that the crew slept in. The crew's quarters also had a few of the ship's cannons. The lowest part of the ship was used as storage. Among the supplies kept there were ammunition, food, and, most importantly in the eyes of the crew, rum. Dead weight was also sometimes used here in order to keep the ship balanced, During Jack Sparrow's second captaincy a small flock of (presumably stolen) sheep were also kept in the storage area. The Black Pearl also had a brig comprised of two cells. The brig was most likely near the storage area because leaking water seemed to have been a problem here, at least during Captain Barbossa's first captaincy.
The Black Pearl was armed with 32 twelve-pound cannons: fourteen on the upper deck and eighteen on the lower gun deck. She had no cannons on the bow or stern, leaving her at a disadvantage during a pursuit. While the Black Pearl did have some amount of supernatural associated with it, the ship still could be damaged or sunk, and a 100-gun ship like the Dauntless would turn it into kindling. Nevertheless, her firepower is strong enough to damage a ship gravely or even sink it, and her high speed negates this handicap partially. The Black Pearl was the only known ship that could outrun the Flying Dutchman, as long as it sailed with the wind rather than against, which the Dutchman was the fastest. As the Wicked Wench, she was armed with 14 twelve-pounders, 2 nine-pounders, and 3 swivel guns.
Behind the scenes
- Many Black Pearls were used throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
- In The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Pearl was a set on a barge. Another one was built on the sound-stage set to achieve better control over fog machines. When principal photography commenced on October 9, 2002, the first two weeks of production were spent on stages, including the moody interior of the captain's cabin of the Black Pearl at KABC, a local news affiliate to the Walt Disney Company in Glendale, California.
- For Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, a more sea-worthy Black Pearl was built around the ship Sunset by Rick Heinrichs's production team. Another version of the Pearl, mounted on a gimbal, was built for filming the Maelstrom battle in At World's End. Some scenes were also filmed at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank: the Pearl's gun and hold decks were filmed at Stage 1, while the captain's cabins of both the Black Pearl and Edinburgh Trader were constructed on Stage 5.
- In On Stranger Tides, a ship-in-a-bottle version of the Black Pearl was meticulously built under the supervision of U.S. property master Kirk Corwin, and was later animated by Charles Gibson's visual effects department for maximum effect. With the Black Pearl being a ship in a bottle, the Sunset was redesigned as the Queen Anne's Revenge for On Stranger Tides.
- For Dead Men Tell No Tales, the deck of the Wicked Wench/Black Pearl was constructed on top of a gimbal; with the rest of the ship completed with CGI. This was done to save time and money, as opposed to using the Sunset.
- The Black Pearl is the only ship to appear in all five Pirates of the Caribbean films.
- The name Wicked Wench came from the pirate ship of the same name found at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland.
- In the first screenplay draft of The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Black Pearl was described as both a schooner and galleon; the portion of the script stating that the Pearl was a galleon would also appear in The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean. It was also said, by Joshamee Gibbs, that Jack Sparrow commissioned the Pearl when he was a cartographer in England.
- During At World's End, the Pearl seemed to have many errors during the film. During the previous film, the Captain's quarters rear windows were broken open by the Flying Dutchman, along with the doors. At some shots during At World's End, the rear windows would bear the damage they received from the Dutchman, and sometimes they would be perfectly repaired. It is most likely that the damage was left, due to the deleted scene Two Captains, One Ship, where Barbossa comments on the damage in the Captain's quarters, which Jack Sparrow replies, "What, this? Tis ventilating. To clear out the stench of the previous occupant."
- Speculation of the Black Pearl being a ship in a bottle arose while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was underway in July 2010. It was made ever since they saw Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) holding a bottle on set of On Stranger Tides. This was shown to be true as revealed in the film.
- A frigate called the Black Pearl appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean video game but this ship isn't Jack Sparrow's Black Pearl. This ship was destroyed in 1631 by Nathaniel Hawk and Danielle Greene.
- The Black Pearl is one of the locations that can be visited in the Port Royal world of Kingdom Hearts II.
- In the Pirates portion of the Disney Infinity video game, the player can customise their ship resembling both the normal and cursed verion of the Black Pearl.
- The Pirates of the Caribbean PocketModel game features four versions of her, three times as the Black Pearl and one time as the Wicked Wench. In all of them she is armed with 40 guns and flies Barbossa's Jolly Roger flag.
- At least two real-world ships called the Black Pearl exist; a brigantine located in Olcott, New York, USA, and a boat a team called Pirates of the Caribbean used in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race.
- A pirate ship remarkably similar to the Black Pearl appears in the trailer for the video game Port Royale 3.
- The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- The Buccaneer's Heart!
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Disney Magical World
- Disney Infinity
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Master of the Seas Strategy Game
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Notes and references
- The Price of Freedom
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- The Price of Freedom, Chapter 4, "Cutler Beckett"
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Legends of the Brethren Court: Rising in the East
- Six Sea Shanties: Strangers Bearing Gifts
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- The Price of Freedom, Chapter 6, "The Wicked Wench"
- Wordplay: Pirates of the Caribbean first draft screenplay
- Pirates of the Carribean presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- In an interview for Empire Magazine Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that Jack Sparrow was 18 when he trapped Salazar in the Devil's Triangle. He was 25 when Cutler Beckett gave him command of the Wicked Wench in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom.
- Pirate 101: "Figure Head"
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (junior novelization), p.48
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (junior novelization), p.22
- The Curse of the Black Pearl Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
- Various Disney Adventures comics
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
- As evidenced by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Movie Graphic Novel, the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales are set in 1751.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
- IGN: Pirates 2: Welcome Aboard the Black Pearl
- POTC2 Presskit
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- KeepToTheCode - View topic - News POTC 4- DISCUSSION ONLY- SPOILERS! KEEPER
|Pirate ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|
|East India Trading Company ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|
|v • d • eCursed Crew|