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The Battle at Whitecap Bay was a mermaid hunt that took place during the quest for the Fountain of Youth. It was attempted by Blackbeard and his crew, as a mermaid's tear was required for the Profane Ritual to set the rejuvenating forces of the Fountain to work. The battle was fought on Whitecap Bay, a cove on a mysterious island where the Fountain of Youth was located.
With the Queen Anne's Revenge moored offshore, Blackbeard sent a longboat full of his crew members as bait. Legend has it that man-made light and song attract the mermaids, so the boat was lit by the beam of the lighthouse and Scrum was forced to sing a swaying sea shanty. On the verge of luring a mermaid for her tears, Tamara and her lethally-minded sisters of the sea appeared and Blackbeard's crew found themselves surrounded by vengeful foes. What seemed like an innocent moment soon became a slaughter that cost the lives of several pirates. The battle ended with Jack Sparrow blowing up the lighthouse to scare away the mermaids. Although there were casualties, the mermaid hunt was nonetheless successful, as with the help of a young missionary named Philip Swift, Blackbeard's crew was able to capture a mermaid named Syrena.
Arriving to Whitecap Bay
- "All hands on deck! Set to the longboats!"
- ―Blackbeard to his crew
After the unsuccessful mutiny on the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard led his ship to Whitecap Bay, a mermaid nesting place on an uncharted island. Several longboats made their way from the Queen Anne's Revenge toward an ancient pier on Whitecap Bay. Blackbeard's men quickly rowed to shore, deploying a fishing nets in the shallow water. Blackbeard and some of his men made their way to the top of the old lighthouse, where Salaman got it in working condition in order to attract mermaids. Blackbeard had hatched a plan to catch a mermaid, but he wouldn't do the fishing himself, so he handpicked members of his crew for the dangerous job; the ones he can do without.
Among the longboats launched in the water, there was one boat with Philip Swift, Scrum, the Cabin Boy, and the Gunner crewing one of them. Their purpose was to serve as a living bait for the mermaids. Soon, Gunner pointed his pistol at Scrum, forcing him to start singing to attract the mermaids. As the longboats drifted in the bay, Scrum and some of the other pirates began singing the sea shanty My Jolly Sailor Bold.
After singing for almost an hour, the crew dozed off, though Philip and Scrum stayed awake long enough to hear a rippling sound coming from the water. The two of them leaned over, barely seeing a figure in the water swim around them. They turn around to see a luminescent mermaid, Tamara, leaning on the edge of their boat. Philip awakens his crewmates, alarming them to the mermaid's presence. Ezekiel pulls out a knife in an attempt to kill Tamara, forcing the mermaid to distance herself from the pirates, but was stopped by Scrum, who then tried to make conversation with the mermaid. Swimming back to the boat, Tamara entranced Scrum with her beauty.
Despite the warning of his crewmates, Scrum came close to Tamara, who started to sing Scrum's song. As Tamara sang, six other mermaids appeared out of the water all around the longboat. Each mermaid entranced the pirate crew with their beauty, with even Ezekiel falling under the spell. Still singing, Tamara grabbed Scrum, who was puckering up for to kiss, and pulled him underwater. But instead of a kiss, she revealed her deadly fangs for a bite; but not before Ezekiel jabs her away with an oar.
- "Out upon it! It has begun!"
Immediately, all the mermaids started to attack the sailors in the boats. Though Scrum managed to move out of Tamara's way, the mermaids still attacked the crew fiercely with casualties. As soon as Scrum broke away from Tamara's grip the other mermaids leaped back into the water and began an attack. They swam swiftly and one of them leaped out and claimed Derrick,one of the sailors, then the other mermaids jumped out and began clawing at the sailors but the sailors tried their best to fight them away. The mermaids began punching and scratching the driftwood until the sailors fell off the boat altogether and the mermaids charged at them. Purser started to throw gunpowder caskets in the water, causing numerous explosions which killed some of the mermaids. But most of the boats were soon capsized by the mermaids, most notably Purser's, and their crews dead. Scrum, Philip, the Gunner, Ezekiel, and the Cabin Boy evaded death only by quickly swimming to shore.
In order to draw the mermaids towards the onshore crew, Blackbeard used his sword to launch the Queen Anne's Revenge on the mermaids, which blasted out heavy Greek fire on them. The mermaids began to attack the onshore crew by using ropes of seaweed to pull them into the sea. Some of the crewmen tried to escape inland but Blackbeard personally shot them, forcing the rest to stay in the water. Angelica was pulled by one of the mermaids' seaweed ropes and was nearly drawn in just as the dock where she stood on collapsed, leaving Jack Sparrow to save her.
Destruction of the lighthouse
- "Did everyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again."
- ―Jack Sparrow, after blowing up the lighthouse.
Jack then came up with an idea. He ran towards the lighthouse evading all forms of attacks from the vicious mermaids. As he reached the summit, he began to hit a metal casket full of oil until the entire content of oil in it poured out into the fire, which caused an explosion. Jack quickly escaped into the sea with the fire following him downward. The fire scared off the mermaids further, who Jack viewed swimming away whilst underwater.
Capture of Syrena
Meanwhile Philip Swift, who managed to escape the mermaids, sees a mermaid's tail thrashing about. He follows it and traps it by stabbing it in the fin with his sword. The mermaid, Syrena, instantly surfaces, staring at him in fear, while struggling to get her tail free. Philip removed the sword as they stare at each other in admiration. Then a net is thrown and Syrena hisses as the Quartermaster ties it up. Blackbeard gave Philip his compliment for catching the mermaid, though Philip regretted it. Jack Sparrow makes it back with the group just when Blackbeard ordered to make sail to a protected cove.
Attack on the Providence
Blackbeard made way with Syrena, the mermaid captured, and ordered all the wounded to be taken aboard the ship. The next day, the crew of the HMS Providence, led by Hector Barbossa, reached Whitecap Bay. Barbossa brought a team consisting of Theodore Groves, Gillette, Joshamee Gibbs, and a handful of other men ashore, only to find remains of what happened the previous night. As a storm came, the crew on the beach soon witnessed the complete and quick submerging of the HMS Providence by the mermaids, killing those who remained aboard the ship.
- The name "battle at Whitecap Bay" was taken from The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- In the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides screenplay, Blackbeard offered a gold doubloon to the first person who captures a mermaid during the battle. This was cut from the final version of the On Stranger Tides movie, but it was included in the film's junior novelization.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides