There are a total of ten journals to find in A Pirate’s Life. They are divided up into two sets—one set belonging to the Cursed Captain and the other belonging to Captain Kate Capsize.
All ten of the journals are in Sailor’s Grave, so you don’t need to worry about hunting any journals down in Dead Man’s Grotto. You’ll want to find all ten before placing the Cursed Captain’s skull back on his original body found in his ship in Sailor’s Grave.
Finding all five of the Cursed Captain’s journals will unlock the Tales of the Damned commendation.
Finding all five of Captain Kate Capsize’s journals will unlock The Crew of the Headless Monkey commendation.
If you are looking for a guide to walk you through the Tall Tale and the remaining commendations, head on over to our A Pirate’s Life Tall Tale guide here.
Discover the Cursed Captain’s Journals in Sailor’s Grave
There are five journals written by the Cursed Captain hidden away in Sailor’s Grave. You will want to find them all before you step foot on a rowboat to board the Ferry of the Damned.
The Haul of a Lifetime
This journal, belonging to the Cursed Captain, can be found on the top deck of The Last Stand tavern. You will find The Last Stand tavern on the South side of Sailor’s Grave. The tavern is easily identifiable by the tavern sign hanging from it.
From the Cursed Captain’s cage, face South and walk to the tavern.
Head inside and make your way to the top deck of the shipwreck. Once on the top deck, you should spot the journal sitting on a table.
The Haul of a Lifetime, by the Cursed Captain
After years of scrapin’ by with barely two coins to rub together, we’ve finally struck it rich! Me crew an’ I sailin’ full speed with a hold full of glorious treasure.
They said this ‘Sea of Thieves’ would be packed with plunder – an’ knock me down with a feather if they weren’t tellin’ the truth. Who knew pirates had it in ’em?
But I best be mindful that haven’ a heaping hoard of plunder and keepin’ said hoard are two very different prospects. What I wouldn’t give for a pirate lair o’ me own…
Until I find the proper place to stash me loot, I’ve ordered me crew t’ head far away from the Outposts. We’ll leave the Sea of Thieves and chart a new course if we have to!
Funny thing, though… All these jewels an’ there’s one I can’t seem t’ put down. I found it in me palm again just now. Best t’ hide it from the crew. Best t’ keep it close…
Off the Edge of the Map
This journal, belonging to the Cursed Captain, can be found on a table in the gambling den of one of the shipwrecks on Sailor’s Grave.
You can find the shipwreck with the gambling den just next to The Last Stand tavern.
From the first journal in The Last Stand tavern, make your way down and exit where you entered. You’ll see the entrance to the gambling den to the right as you leave the tavern.
Enter the rear of the shipwreck to find the gambling den. Once inside, you’ll find the journal on a table to the left of the chess game.
Off the Edge of the Map, by the Cursed Captain
Ol’ Warty Wilkins has been at sea for longer’n I’ve been alive, and even he swears he’s never seen anythin’ like the storm we sailed through tonight.
The wind must’ve whipped it up out of nowhere! Strange green flashes o’ lightning, an’ great rolls o’ thunder that soundeed almost like words.
We’re past the squall now, though I’ll not be content ’til we’ve cleared this wretched fog so we can sight land at last, an’ get some badly-needed provisions.
Funny thing, though. I’ve not felt hungry fer days, not since the last o’ me hair fell out. Guess there’s no point foolin’ myself any longer. We’ve all heard tell or pirate curses!
Still, so what if that jewel has started t’ change me? If I’m to be turned into a skeleton, then I’ll be the richest skeleton that ever sailed the seven seas! HAH!
Dissent in the Ranks
This journal, belonging to the Cursed Captain, can be found in the hull of a shipwreck on Sailor’s Grave.
From the Cursed Captain’s cage, walk North to find a wooden path that leads North East to the shipwreck with the journal.
The shipwreck in question is the one broken in half but connected by its mast. It is the shipwreck you originally crossed to reach the Cursed Captain.
Following the wooden path will lead you to a door you can open to gain access to the shipwreck’s hull. Open the door and step inside. You’ll find the journal on a table to the right of the skeleton in the bed.
Dissent in the Ranks, by the Cursed Captain
I wanted a pirate lair, an’ now I’m in charge of a whole pirate town! More ships an’ sailors keep smashin’ into the rocks, bringin’ new arrivals and supplies.
It’s that witless Lighthouse Keeper’s fault fer lettin’ the flame go out so often, but I let the pirates stay just so long as they join me ever-growin’ crew.
I heard on ungrateful cur call this town a Sailor’s Grave, but I say that’s a fine name. Why should we return to the land o’ the livin’ an’ risk losin’ me pludner?
Me greedy First Mate wants to move the whole haul into Dead Man’s Grotto to keep it safe, but I’m not lettin’ so much as a coin out of me sight…
So long as we remain, the treasure will be ours and ours alone. An’ if those scurvy dogs don’t want their share, so be it. I’ll take the whole heap for meself!
Strange, Yet Familiar
This journal, belonging to the Cursed Captain, can be found on a small bookshelf near the top of the stone lighthouse in Sailor’s Grave. You can visit the lighthouse after freeing the Cursed Captain and bringing him to the lighthouse bridge. The Cursed Captain will help you raise the bridge to gain access to the lighthouse.
Climb to the top of the lighthouse. On the same floor of the lighthouse where you’ll place the Cursed Captain to summon the Ferryman will be the small bookshelf. On the bookshelf is the journal you are looking to read.
Strange, Yet Familiar, by the Cursed Captain
Just when I thought I was doomed to be bored out o’ me skull by this endless fog, I heard Ol’ Warty cry ‘land ho’, though he didn’t sound happy about it.
There was land looming up ahead, sure enough, though we’d no time to change course before we were onto the rocks, good an’ scuppered.
After explorin’ the grotto, we emerged t’ see yet more ruined ships, an’ a great lighthouse, too! It’s the oddest thing, me crew swears it weren’t there before.
Well, we got her beacon burnin’ bright an’ I appointed one o’ me crew to be the Lighthouse Keeper, so long as that light shines, we’re sure to be rescued.
Until then, I’ve set the crew t’ makin’ us some shelters out o’ these scuttled ships, and maybe even a tavern. Funny how this already feels like home…
This journal, belonging to the Cursed Captain, can be found in the Cursed Captain’s ship, the Golden Hare.
You can visit the Golden Hare after summoning the Ferryman from the lighthouse. After you call the Ferryman, the Cursed Captain will ask to be taken back to his ship.
Bring the Cursed Captain’s skull with you to the giant shipwreck North of the lighthouse with the red sails. Place the Cursed Captain on the skeleton body outside the door to the ship, and he will let you in.
Pirates, Ye Be Warned:
Once you place the Cursed Captain’s head on his original body in the Captain’s Cabin of his ship, you will no longer be able to reach the Headless Monkey journals.
So, if you’d like to read those journals, do not honor the Cursed Captain’s wishes just yet and place him on his body.
Make your way up the ship into the Captain’s Cabin. You will find the fifth journal in the Captain’s Cabin on a bookshelf to the right.
Lights Out, by the Cursed Captain
Treachery abounds! First me own cabin boy makes off with a box full o’ cursed trinkets, an’ now me crew are plotting to betray me an’ save their own hides!
Someone in these parts has been fillin’ their heads with tales of a Ferryman. Promisin’ that one day he’ll come to take their souls back to the livin’ world.
An’ when that day comes, surely they’ll make off with me precious treasure! Well, I’ll not make it easy for any scurvy wretch that’s plannin’ to jump ship.
If ships can’t make it to town in the dark without scuttlin’ themselves on the rocks, it stands t’ reason there’ll be no Ferry to rescue them neither.
It’s settled then – tonight I’ll be indulgin’ in a little treachery o’ me own! Then we’ll see if Mister Ferryman is still so keen to visit Sailor’s Grave…
Discover the Journals of the Headless Monkey’s Captain
You will have to put in some work before gaining access to the Headless Monkey shipwreck where all five journals are located.
If you want to gain access to the shipwreck and journals, make sure you do not place the Cursed Captain on his final body in his Captain’s Quarters on the Golden Hare.
You will not be able to reach the journals if you complete that part of the Tall Tale.
Steps to Gain Access to Journals
As we mentioned, to find the Headless Monkey Captain’s journals and complete ‘The Crew of the Headless Monkey’ commendation, you’ll need to complete five other commendations first.
‘The Crew of the Headless Monkey’ belongs to a series of six commendations. The six commendations are all connected, and you must complete them sequentially in a single visit to Sailor’s Grave!
The series includes the following commendations, in this order:
- A Powerful Thirst
- Raising the Dead
- Treasure for the Dead
- Ship of Thieves
- Secret of the Grave
- The Crew of the Headless Monkey
You must first complete ‘A Powerful Thirst,’ ‘Raising the Dead,’ ‘Treasure for the Dead,’ ‘Ship of Thieves,’ and ‘Secret of the Grave’—in this same session at sea.
Without completing those five commendations, you will not be able to reach the shipwreck with the journals and unlock the ‘The Crew of the Headless Monkey.’
So, if you have not done so already, make sure you’ve completed the previous five commendations. Once you have and you’ve arrived at the Secret of the Grave, you’ll be ready to unlock ‘The Crew of the Headless Monkey!’
Journals of the Headless Monkey’s Captain
There are five journals written by the Captain Kate Capsize hidden away in Sailor’s Grave. You will want to find them all before you step foot on a rowboat to board the Ferry of the Damned.
Somewhere in the Caribbean
Once aboard the Headless Monkey shipwreck, you will find this journal by the helm.
Somewhere in the Caribbean, by Captain Kate Capsize.
Today, with more than a little reluctance, I sold my beautiful glass-bottomed boat.
I could hardly bear to let her go, but she’s too small and too slow for the kind of lengthy sea journey I’ll be embarking on. So it’s bye-bye boat.
I have a pressing need for a galleon, something that will see me through thick and thin as I head out on a journey to find the man who framed me.
Luckily, that same man once chartered my glass-bottomed boat and led me to the location of a particularly spectacular shipwreck.
It’s a shipwreck I intend to salvage, repair, and use to track down the dolt who had me sent to jail in his stead. A dolt named Guybrush Threepwood.
Raising the Mad Monkey
Once aboard the Headless Monkey shipwreck, you will find this journal on the broken mast in front of the helm.
Raising the Mad Monkey, by Captain Kate Capsize.
If I’m to locate Threepwood and teach him a very pointy lesson about having innocent people locked up so you can steal their beverages, I’ll need help.
I knew I’d need the help of the local authorities, but infuriatingly, Governor Marley turned out to have eloped with non other than Threepwood himself. Yuck!
Fortunately, if there is one thing we’re not lacking in this part of the world, it’s bureaucrats. Governor Phatt was ready and willing to meet with me.
I must confess that it turns my stomach to think of my pieces of eight going to feed that man’s endless gluttony, but I’m willing to do what must be done.
Besides, if what I hear about Threepwood’s honeymoon destination is true, I’ll soon have more than enough treasure in my hold…
A Headless Monkey
Once aboard the Headless Monkey shipwreck, you will find this journal by the broken main mast in the middle of the shipwreck.
A Headless Monkey, by Captain Kate Capsize.
THREEPWOOD! A name I shall take great pleasure in etching into a gravestone with my own dagger for what he did to my new ship’s pride and joy.
I’d quite forgotten that the witless, hopeless, clueless buffoon previously removed the head of the figurehead that gives the Mad Monkey its name!
One day I shall take great pleasure in tying the selfish swindler to what remains of the figurehead and parading him around the port, but until then…
Making do, I have returned from the shipwright with a new nameplate for our ship. Together, my new crew and I shall sail on the Headless Monkey!
That’s a name that a certain Guybrush Threepwood, pirate pretender, and his job-ditching bride Governor Elaine would do well to remember…
A Fateful Pursuit
Once aboard the Headless Monkey shipwreck, you will want to find the Headless Monkey Key. You can find the key by the skeleton at the helm of the shipwreck. This key will open the door to Captain’s Cabin, which you can find on the Northside of the shipwreck.
Enter the Captain’s Cabin, and you’ll find the journal on the table.
A Fateful Pursuit, by Captain Kate Capsize.
Did Guybrush Threepwood make it to the Sea of Thieves? I may never know for sure. I, on the other hand, never arrived. Also, I think I might be slightly dead.
The Headless Monkey is a wreck once again, already part of the weird pirate town they’ve got going on here. There’ll be no salvaging her this time.
I do still have a ship, though – my little glass-bottomed boat! How can it be here, in this strange not-life fully of ghostly voices? Maybe I shouldn’t ask.
My crew are off in the tavern, and I don’t think they’ll be leaving any time soon. They’re at home here in a way that I can never be. I miss the sunlight!
I am going to set sail, find a way back to life and then… Well, let’s see what the seas have in store! I’ve realized revenge isn’t worth living, and certainly not dying, for.
While you are in the Captain’s Cabin, look to the left of the fourth journal to find the fifth journal sitting on a bookshelf.
Fresh Waters, by Captain Kate Capsize.
I have a ship, she has a name. I have a crew, we have our course!
The Sea of Thieves is a legendary pirate paradise, home to some of the most feared marauders to ever sail the seas – or so the stories go.
Naturally, only Threepwood would be arrogant enough to presume he has a place there, let alone treat it as a romantic getaway spot for his honeymoon.
If he’d been sailing alone I’m sure he’d be marooned by now, but while Elaine has seriously bad taste in husbands, she’s a capable pirate.
I have to assume that Threepwood somehow made it to the Sea of Thieves. And that means I must do the same.
Can’t light the last beacon mentioned in this guide. I’m shining light from the lighthouse on it but it won’t light up. Am I doing something wrong?
Did you move the mast so the light will hit the beacon?
Nice guide bro.
Cheers! Hope you found it helpful and collected all the journals! Happy sailing pirate!
I found a way around it even if you placed the head on accident. Although you dont get the key from the chess game, i went to the bow and on the right(as you face it) and jumped on the rock to the helm. I took screen shots if you need them.
You can get to the monkey area after you put the head of the captain back onto his body, but it is a pain in the butt to get there. You can hop from the rowboat onto the rocks behind the ship.
Can’t seem to dig up Poor Dougie’s Treasure, even though I was standing in the place the screenshots showed. Any way to know exactly where it is?
EDIT: Same with Dougie himself
Hmm…that’s weird. We haven’t had that issue before. You can confirm it here in our YouTube video. Have you opened the cage for the Cursed Captain yet? Maybe that needs to happen first?
That YT video helped immensely. Thank you!
Any time! Were you in the wrong place? If so, we will update our text description to be more clear about where you need to be.
I was, yes. From the screenshot, it made the chest area look like it was significantly further back from where it was