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Firework Night aboard Rona II.

The 9th of August on board Rona II has been a generally wet and windless
day, that has seemed to drag on longer than waiting for your cup of tea when
the Mongols are on mother watch. However the ever Omni-benevolent Mayans
watch realising this have been busy all day devising meal time
entertainment, to rejuvenate a damp and depressed crew. It is bonfire night
in our own personal year in three weeks boat calendar. First off a
cardboard firework display mixed with dance routine awed spectators into
stitches of laughter after a damp and slow morning. Reviews have been
nothing but positive as there's little else been going on. Rumours have been
heard that the Mayan director of performing arts, Harry Normanton, has
composed a Mayan watch song to repost the Vikings' propaganda performance.
The Mongols have yet to put forward an entry in this particular musical
inter watch skirmish. The Mayans were once again tested during washing up
when the pump to drain the sink broke. The resourceful Mayans were half way
to fixing said problem using a knife, super glue, some twine and duck tape
when it was pointed out that there was a replacement pump handle in the
spares box. Admitting that using a new one was probably easier the pump was
fixed and the ever growing washing up was finished.

In other watch news, watch officer of the Mongols, George Hopkins spotted a
whale, later reflecting that they are "bloody big". Some on board believe
this statement to be a major breakthrough in marine biology knowledge - our
resident David Attenborough (Cameron Fall-Everett) is less certain ...

During the Vikings' four hour watch they decided that the asymmetric
spinnaker that we had rigged was a bit too much effort (the wind dropped and
went round in circles for a while) for them so proceeded to take it down and
force an already busy Mayan watch to stop all their important galley work in
order to wool and bag the spinnaker. However, as ever, the Mayans handled
their first spinnaker packing with easy grace that only comes with
competence and great leadership! Cameron commented that the spinnaker had
been an easier ordeal than he'd expected when he first saw the saloon packed
with folds of sail that seemed to continually engulf the crew that tried to
sort it.

After lunch the Vikings cracked out the cards and proceeded to confuse each
other with different names for the same game before proceeding to play
"sevens" or "gap filler". The mate then wowed the entire crew with a magic
trick that left the crew reeling.

The Mayans are now preparing dinner of mushroom and chicken pie with
assorted vegetables and sweet potato chips. With only 30 minutes to go
until dinner we are sailing in Force 4 WSW winds with the number 1 Genoa up,
the staysail, mainsail, mizzen and mizzen staysail to try to squeeze the
maximum speed from the winds on a course of 110 degrees magnetic. The
skipper and the mate have just dressed in full wet weather gear and the call
for a spinnaker has just been heard!

The Forepeak, an in depth description and experience :
The forepeak is the forward most inhabitable cabin on Rona II, it has a
volume of 22.12 metres cubed, the bunks are 1.9 meters long. It sleeps eight
and contains the only two heads (toilets) on the boat. Just imagine the
rich soup of odours that can be accomplished in such ripe conditions over
one night with the hatch eternally sealed to prevent sinking. All stowed kit
is beneath the bunks so to retrieve your ear plugs (anti Angus technology -
he snores!) at 2 am is the 13th task of Hercules and is normally met with a
sleepy yet heartfelt string of profanities. This all before getting back in
your bunk which will inevitably result in you waking at least one more of
the sleep deprived crew with a poorly aimed foot in the dark. Despite the
smell and inconvenience of the forepeak it is a favorite place of rest and
recuperation between watches as it protects against the sound of mother
watch and the smell of the super potent onions that Rona II has somehow
created. Another endearing feature of the forepeak is the low water tight
bulkhead door which promises to begin or end your trip to the fore peak with
some delightful four letter word as it catches you in the head or on the
ankle as it swings shut behind you.

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