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The Day the Phones got reception... briefly.

24th April
Position 39 06' N 10 07' W

Today consisted of spinnaker hoisting, cake making and dolphin watching.
Happy hour was blue watch's interpretation of the bible, an alternative view
that left the crew in stitches with Harry bagging all the laughs. This was
followed by a cake impressively decorated with a picture of Rona II.

A brief interlude of mobile reception left the crew's phones going mad whilst
the skipper's phone remained noticeably quiet...
There was a bit of crew rough housing once red watch found out blue watch
had eaten their Easter eggs, but this was quickly halted by the sighting of
our class rivals Peter Von Danzig on AIS.

A spinnaker change left us tying the newly dropped spinnaker in wool to look
like a Mercedes badge; this means that when we hoist it the kite does not
fill and power up, allowing us to quickly hoist the kite in the safest
manner.

Lunch was risotto which at least one person described as 'well good'.

Having the spinnaker up comes with a new set of challenges. These problems
start with the hoist, which requires some of the mother watch up on deck to
assist. It is no wonder we need extra people on deck when you consider how
many jobs there are to get the spinnaker up and flying.

These jobs are:
1. Hoisting and lowering the inboard spinnaker halyard as required
(continuous line that move one end of the spinnaker up and down the mast).
2. Hoisting and lowering the outboard spinnaker halyard. (This requires both
a pole up and a pole down haul to trim pole. When trimming the pole it is
good to aim for about a 90 degree angle off the mast.)
3. Positioning the pole using the guy and down haul. (We can then crank the
pole backwards and forward to help power up the spinnaker).
4. Once all this is set we can trim the spinnaker with the sheet just like
any other sail on the boat.
5. Finally we have to remember to get it right up to the top of the mast,
this requires people to make lots of grunting noises whilst tugging on a
rope!

As well as all of these new jobs the crew still has to complete all the
other jobs that go with sailing a boat without a spinnaker. As I'm sure you
can imagine there is a lot of teamwork (and shouting) required.

We were also accompanied by a pod of around 15 dolphins for the afternoon. This seemed to
annoy the skipper - I quote "dolphins are boring" - however an ominous
sighting of 2 sharks feeding got the skipper happy again. The crew were more
excited by the sighting of dolphins and thoroughly enjoyed the dolphins
playing in the bow wave of the boat throughout the day.

Dinner was massive bowls of chilli con carne, with nachos and cheese. We
kept the big spinnaker up all night, changing to the smaller "Bar Med" spinnaker this morning.



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