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Getting to Bermuda Looking Bermutiful...

What a difference 48 hours makes. Very early morning of the 27th saw Rona
roaring along in gusty breeze with not one but two reefs in. Dodging the
waves that came crashing over the bow became a sport for the night watches
in the cockpit. Someone was having too much fun and 'accidently' left the
hatch open and ended up involving the sleeping watches. A red card was
definitely in order!

The boat was jumping over the waves and heeled over at about 25 degrees
consistently all morning. When Mother Watch grasped the opportunity to pop
their heads up on deck they were forgiven for asking if we were in the
Solent. There wasn't a speck of blue sky in sight, the clouds were low and
grey and Red Watch were in full oillies yet still soaked to the bone. That's
what happens when you do a sail change with ocean waves that a desperate to
join you on deck. Chris and Len positioned themselves strategically in the
cockpit behind two wave breakers. Poor Libby and Harry just needed a break
from the waves. When the heavens opened it definitely felt more like the
approach to Blighty than Bermuda.

During this spell the boat covered a serious amount of distance and nothing
would have been more perfect than to keep going and get to Bermuda faster.
But sadly the wind can't be caught and just like the weatherman predicted at
12 o'clock in the afternoon it slipped through our fingers. Rona gave a sigh
of relief as she slowed down and leveled off. OK, maybe the sigh was from
mother watch. The engine was kicked into gear and we have been motoring
steadily ever since. The arrival time bets have been crossed off one by one
as the clock keeps ticking.

Our aim today is to get Rona to Bermuda looking Bermutiful (get it?). All
hands have been on deck, quite literally I had a sponge in mine, to get Rona
looking spick and span. Windows have been cleaned, lines pulled from the
lazarette, fenders retrieved from the bilges and the sail locker delicately
rearranged. Even the crew had compulsory showers last night. We left land as
women, became salty sea dogs and must now wash it all off and become ladies
once more.

At midday a collection of white shapes could be seen on the horizon. Land
Ahoy! Bermuda! Life! Just in time for Mr Mate to win the $21 prize money
from our bets. After weeks travelling across an Ocean, arguably one of the
most remote places on Planet Earth, the crew are anxious to catch up on news
and get back into civilisation. Let's hope civilisation is ready for us!

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Rona II blog 23rd Aug 2017

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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