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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 !

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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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