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Blog Post - 2017-04-10

The day started in Dieppe with the first #runtheatlantic run of the trip - nobody was persuaded  to join him, so the mate did 6k on his own. While he did his run, a shore party picked up some croissants and pains-au-chocolate.

A chap approached Rona II, and then someone called Charlie to come up on deck, assuming it was a dockmaster. Charlie said 'bonjour monsieur, Ca Va' etc. etc. [essentially being envious of Harry's french skills which he used last night to call the harbour over the VHF]. The guy turned out to be the english skipper of the next door yacht and said 'you are really getting into the speaking french thing!' and then asked about Rona, so we explained to him about the project and the tall ships race.

The crew got in the 3 S's - to be clear - Showers, Shopping and Sightseeing, while the afterguard went for a quick coffee ashore, along with Toby the ship's mascot. For readers less versed in the terms we use - 'Afterguard' means basically the Skipper, the Mate, the Watch Officers and the Watch Leaders.

We then slipped from Dieppe, hosted the main and the number one genoa, and sailed up towards Boulogne. Rona II with the new Genoa is FAST and points HIGH.

Lunch was Pizzas made expertly by Mother Watch. Annoyingly (or predictably - it seems to be The Curse Of Blue Watch) the wind died and so the Iron Staysail was hoisted (meaning we turned on the engine).

After lunch of course was Happy Hour. It is Tom's birthday…. Which one? Well, for some reason, White Watch has three Toms and a Dom, and Tom got a cake for his 20th Birthday. After cake, we were entertained expertly by Tom and Dom where certain aspects of their teenage lives were expertly acted out by the other Toms and Becky.

Joke of the day - 'what happens if you park your frog on a double yellow line? you get toad'. Most people groaned very loudly, Skipper didn't get the joke and had to have it explained to him. Twice.

Supper was Carbonara A La Vegitarianne - basically Will forgot to put Ham into the Pasta-with-Ham.

After dark, we began picking up the lights of Boulogne, and so dropped sails and motored in. The nav lights in the Harbour seem to have little in common with the charts / almanac etc., so we proceeded slowly…

We didn't find anywhere to moor up, so we tied up next to the fireengine-boat on the customs pontoon.


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Rona II blog 23rd Aug 2017

> Disaster strikes! After arriving in the visitor marina of Le Havre at > 0430, > Rona II drove over a stray rope which had been left in the water. > This tangled around the propeller, causing the Skipper to call for the > anchor to be dropped a mere 10 metres from our intended mooring position. > The crew then had to inflate the rubber dinghy and set world class rower > Theo Darlow to take a line to shore where himself and Dr Sam Wareing > pulled > the boat in. > > In the morning, the afterguard set off to find a commercial diver to cut > the > rope free from the propeller. They located a man named Patrick, who > arrived > to the scene of the incident at about 1500 donning full scuba gear; he > quickly got into the water and began working away at the stern of Rona II. > After roughly 45 minutes of fishing bits of rope from the marina water, > the > crew saw Patrick emerge victorious. Angus Elliman used his

Rona II and a more modern vessel - "El Galeon" -in the background...

 

Rona II - Current Tactics

Greetings from Rona II. It's early morning on Monday, still dark, and has been a busy night as we've changed steadily down from genoa, staysail, full main and mizzen, to no 2 yankee, staysail, second reef and mizzen. The wind has come aft a little and we are trucking along. Tactically over the next couple of days we're trying to play to Rona II's strengths. She's an absolute weapon with the wind a little aft of the beam and around 18 knots of breeze, so with more wind (and a higher sea state) to the north west, and less of both to the south east, we're adjusting our (generally north east) course to try and keep ourselves in exactly that much wind. Ultimately it looks like we'll go quite a long way north before turning east, covering a longer distance in order to stay in Rona II's sweet spot for as long as possible. It's too early to properly know what the rest of the fleet is doing but we suspect we're the most north