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Bermuda Here We Come!

EPIC RACE ENDING - Bermuda here we come!

After a stressful day of racing with very little wind, we felt that a Rona
II aft deck spa date was essential. Face and foot masks, a homemade hair
salon and massage circle, and a stunning sunset finished our final full day
of racing.

Mother watch were rudely awoken at 4am by a mizzen staysail dropped down the
hatch, and "A spinnaker in 5". A busy morning for blue watch on deck
continued as we tried to keep moving in the wind hole - 4 spinnakers wooled
by midday! A low point was reached when a Portuguese man o'war jellyfish
overtook us, so we took all sails down and managed to overtake it again. An
uneventful finish to a fantastic race as we counted down to midday ships
time and the race ended. The roar of the engine accompanied our cheers as we
took our finishing position and started heading for Bermuda! We're all sad
not to reach the finish line under sail, but are looking forward to spending
time in Bermuda rather than drifting in a wind hole for several more days.

At happy hour we celebrated finishing the race with lemonade and an
incredible zebra cake made by Alexa, decorated with a map of the Atlantic
and paper boats. One thing we hadn't achieved yet which we were all really
excited about was swimming in the middle of the Atlantic, and we had been
contemplating it all morning only put off by the regular man o'wars drifting
past. However, there was much excitement at the end of happy hour when
skipper announced that instead of our regular salt water shower time we
could have bath time today!

The pinnacle of the last few days (and possibly the entire trip) occurred
when we all jumped into the 5000m deep, mirror blue ocean, only to hear
cries of 'WHALE!' We've been hoping for a whale all trip, and here it was
blow spouts and breaches and all as we all swam next to the boat (skipper
and mate took shifts). Happily the jellyfish and whales left us alone as we
enjoyed swimming, washing and jumping off the boat, before eating a dinner
of spag bol together on deck. A real high to finish the race on - with
Bermuda a mere 500 miles to go!

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Rona II blog 23rd Aug 2017

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No sailing, but a busy day aboard Rona II

This was a very French start to a very French day: at 0900 the Tricolor was
hoisted to signify the start of Bastille Day onboard Rona II. Our culinary
stars for the day, mother watch the Mayans, started well, with them
presenting the crew with great pancakes and only a small galley incident
that the mother watch insisted was "flambéing."

Matt (Woodcock - we've got three Matts...) was woken up for his watch to the
merry sound of mother watch singing Bonne Anniversaire and providing "le
porridge" to start his birthday. His card, beautifully drawn by Watch
Officer Nathan's sons Tay and Cai before we left, was also presented. Mother
watch in fact kept themselves very busy today by baking various cakes, three
excellent meals, and three varieties of bread, including a plaited loaf
"they quickly whipped up" between meals!

The skipper's quiz started today with a political history round featuring
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Spa day aboard the resolutely masculine Rona II...

As the sun crests the horizon, the crew of the Rona II are rousing and
the Mongols, on deck, begin thawing. Unknown to the majority of the crew,
bread that had been prepared the night before under the cover of darkness
slipped back into the oven for a 2nd bake. Unfortunately, due to
unprecedented size of the mammoth loaves the centre had not baked properly
and even Lewis turned his head when offered the gooey core. Ed unexpectedly
perked up, suddenly very interested in the doomed loaf, his watch confusedly
looking on as their watch leader began mumbling strange vaguely scientific
words as he tried to nurse the clearly undercooked bread. Was he dreaming he
was a real physicist? I think not, instead in a sleepy haze he had mistook
the bread for a volcano.

A little later, sweeping fast moving fog engulfed the boat, reducing
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AIS. The radar was fired up but it dawned on the crew that we're in the
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