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blog 23rd april

Noon day position- 22nd april lat: 43 36 N Long: 10 13 W
23rd april lat: 41 41 N long: 9 50 W

After we came storming out of the Bay of Biscay the wind dropped
significantly and we were sailing along at around 2-3 knots. This felt like
we were almost sitting ducks as we had reached speeds of 16.3 knots through the
bay of Biscay.

When we enter a new country's waters, we have to raise a 'courtesy flag' -
a little version of their country's flag, which acknowledges that we know we are under
their laws and customs. So we hoisted the [closest approximation we could
find to] the Spanish flag on the signal halyard. We were also constantly
taking up and down a variety of sails to find the best solution to the
annoying problem of there being very little wind. We tried all three
spinnakers but settled on using the big one as it was most effective in our
current light wind sailing conditions which required skill and hard work but
was easily overcome from the crew onboard.

Happy hour consisted of a delicious surprise - bacon sandwiches - and some
entertainment in the form of a watch against watch game of call, them all.
The game became very competitive but ended in blue watch being victorious and
a whole lot of laughs.
We had half cooked lasagna for dinner with pasta which could break anyone's teeth,
however mother watch was forgiven after making a crew favorite for pudding -
angel delight, and their fantastic cinnamon-fruit bread, which is like a hot
cross bun crossed with a malt loaf. Noms.

The crew were in good spirits to find Rona II was first on the water, ahead
[temporarily] of Peter Von Danzig on the evening radio phone-in.

Night watch was a long one - punctuated for the most part with the eating of
haribo sweets. although a minor problem occurred during the early hours of the
morning, the spinnaker halyard parted at the head - the mate being woken at 2am by the news the big spinnaker had taken itself down. Much accusation about who tied the bowline was put to rest when we realized the knot had chafed through. Note to selves - put the kite up with a few
inches from the top to the knot! this problem was quickly and calmly solved
by red watch. We were pleasantly greeted by a few dolphins in the morning
which was the perfect boost for white watch during their four hour watch.

Dawn and the big kite went up again - only to be taken down for a 'gybe'
consisting of a drop, hoofing the pole around, and a rehoist. Breakfast was
a tasty concoction of bacon and poached eggs.

The morning radio showed PvD to be a few miles ahead of us, and no wind.
With no wind, the crew had to make non-sailing entertainment, so we saw the
climbers vs the gym goers on pull-ups and muscle-ups. Alex, the wild-card,
beat them all!

So that's where we are at midday on sunday - 350 miles to go, crew well
drilled and in good spirits. Bring on Sines and the delights of Portugal.

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