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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
questions such as " A Norwegian politician became a puppet leader of his
country during the second world war, and his name became a byword for
treachery. Who was he?" As you would imagine we of course knew the answer...

The highlight of Bastille Day for many was a surprisingly tuneful and
well-acted performance of 'Confrontation' from Les Miserables, performed by
a mixture of Mayans and Vikings, but mainly Normantons.

Many of the crew decided to have their first cold salt water shower on the
aft deck and now the boat resembles a launderette, covered in drying boxers
and towels.

Also starting today was "An Audience With...", where Milo presented a
lecture on some of the finer points of photography, using subjects such as
dolphins, Rona II's crew and our current companion vessel Gulden Leeuw.

Our quote of the day started when the mate, Andy Wright, started talking
about his wife's horse riding, commented that "Horses bite at the front,
kick at the rear and are pretty tricky in the middle". This uncontroversial
statement was followed by Lewis' perhaps more controversial suggestion that
this may be the same for people's other halves. We report it without
comment, other than that it got q big laugh at the time. [Here it should be
noted that Lewis and the Leg 5 crew do not represent the sole views or
opinions of themselves, the Rona Sailing Project, the entire male gender or
any other affiliated parties.]

Sailing update: As you may be have been able to tell by all the extra things
going on today we are still motoring to the new start line, where we hope to
set off under sail within 24 hours of Friday at 1800 GMT.

Today's blog comes to you mainly courtesy of Alex and Olly. Stay tuned!

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Rona II blog 23rd Aug 2017

> Disaster strikes! After arriving in the visitor marina of Le Havre at
> 0430,
> Rona II drove over a stray rope which had been left in the water.
> This tangled around the propeller, causing the Skipper to call for the
> anchor to be dropped a mere 10 metres from our intended mooring position.
> The crew then had to inflate the rubber dinghy and set world class rower
> Theo Darlow to take a line to shore where himself and Dr Sam Wareing
> pulled
> the boat in.
>
> In the morning, the afterguard set off to find a commercial diver to cut
> the
> rope free from the propeller. They located a man named Patrick, who
> arrived
> to the scene of the incident at about 1500 donning full scuba gear; he
> quickly got into the water and began working away at the stern of Rona II.
> After roughly 45 minutes of fishing bits of rope from the marina water,
> the
> crew saw Patrick emerge victorious. Angus Elliman used his bilingual
> …

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
visibility to under 50 meters whilst phantom fishing boats flickered on the
AIS. The radar was fired up but it dawned on the crew that we're in the
middle of the…