Skip to main content

Life onboard Rona II - A Snapshot

Temperamental winds mean that helming on night watch is tricky. Keeping the
spinnaker full at all times is a struggle, with the sail collapsing
intermittently when the wind deserts us.

We discover that the fleet has edged ahead of us during the course of the
evening so the Mate decides to give the on watch a spinnaker trim master
class to pull back the miles.

The air is humid with rain showers interspersed with scorching sun; dark,
thick clouds loom on the horizon, marking what we believe to be the effects
of the high pressure system.

We have the deck watch on rotation every thirty minutes. Katie is on the
helm steering with fully extended arms like Captain Pugwash. Alice is at the
winch holding the classic 'yachtie' pose, with one hand on the winch whilst
scanning the horizon. Across the cockpit, Minna is shielding her eyes from
the sun while she watches the head of the sail and calls the trim on the
spinnaker. Roz and Sophia are discussing tactics on how they will move the
spinnaker pole in the coming hours, while Georgina is hunting for her
sunglasses that are most probably buried underneath someone asleep in the
off watch.


~1830 life on board snapshot ~

Starting from the aft-deck (back of the boat) you will normally find someone
writing a diary, brushing their teeth, fishing or washing themselves in salt
water.

Moving forward into the cockpit you have the on deck watch with Abby
controlling the sheets as Louisa, Kirsty and Harriett feverishly pull in a
4000sqft spinnaker, trying to stop it going in the water, before feeding it
down a 2ft hatch.

Drop down the ladder with the spinnaker into the main saloon and look left
to see the Skipper plotting the fleet positions on the chart and the mate
analysing weather data. Look right to see Mother Watch working away over a
steaming hob, then hastily dropping their duties in preparation of wooling
the spinnaker that is being shoved hurriedly through the hatch.

On through the watertight bulkhead door are the heads (toilets), also
situated in the forepeak are 8 bunks , where people are attempting to catch
up on sleep in sauna temperatures.

Climb up through the fore hatch to surprise Libby stood over the spinnaker
winch controlling how much sail the cockpit watch are given to push down the
hatch. A few feet away Lorna is overseeing the whole evolution.

Who would have thought you could cram all this into 68ft of boat - welcome
to life on board Rona II !

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Leg 5 is off! Excited crew... Excited parents too we suspect...

Come Sail with the RSP - and get wet...

You know that feeling where you're trying to go to sleep but a trickle of
water is falling on your head? That feeling where your bed leans back and
forth at angles of up to thirty degrees, and every tilt brings a fresh gush
of water onto your sleeping bag with the volume and intensity of a small
power shower? When you are on your bunk one moment and one metre above it
the next? That simultaneously funny and sickening moment when a crack team
of soggy sailors rushes into your bedroom to pump out the ever-increasing
tide of seawater under your bunk? No? Come sail with the Rona Sailing
Project, and all this could be yours. Yes, we have finally reached that
long-awaited stage of the voyage where the helmsman and lookouts must wear
ski goggles to see through the spray, the widely agreed marker for the
apogee of excitement in any sailing trip. Last night we encountered winds of
up to gale force nine, building until midnight. Luminescence made this
moment all the more memora…

Rona II vs The Beast

If I'd written "Rona vs. The Beast" at the beginning of the trip you would
probably have thought I would be referring to the Atlantic as "The Beast".
But, this really isn't the case. For some unknown reason Viking Watch Leader
Matt Woodcock has decided to give me, Olly Jones, this nickname. Claiming he
overheard me making some outlandish claims on the foredeck such as "I'm the
strongest man on the boat" and "I'll beat you all in a strength contest"
this nickname has stuck. I'm regularly welcomed onto night watch with
screams of "UNLEASH THE BEAST" and when we need a a sail hoisted they will
shout "WE SUMMON THE BEAST". Fully embracing this title I've shown the
little whippersnappers of Viking watch how to properly do a racing headsail
change and sheet in the spinnaker.

Today happens to be my boat birthday and also Chinese New Year according to
the boat calendar. At this point I'd like to…