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Rona II rocking the waves again...............................

Today were are heading back to The Hamble, home of the Rona Sailing Project.
The morning started with a breakfast cooked by the Mongols which consisted
of cereals and scrambled eggs with all day breakfast; which is to a much
higher standard than previous years. Before we set sail, the boat was
refueled at the berth that was a mere boat length away (that's roughly 68
foot) whilst the motherwatch crew stayed below decks emptying and sorting
all of the food lockers so that it is possible to cook a meal without waking
every possible member of crew.

We left Sutton Lock Marina at 0930 and have been traveling east along a
course which the crew still seems to think as optional, much to the
disappointment of the Skipper. However, our average speed is about 10 knots,
and our most recent YellowBrick shows us at 12.3. We would all like to thank
Sutton Marina and Plymouth for their kind reception and hospitality, and
would kindly request that any videos featuring the afterguard in OMG not be
posted publicly.

As part of a training exercise, every man on the boat will be trialing the
position above their own, with crew becoming Watch Leaders, Watch Leaders
becoming Watch Officers (or becoming crew in the case of Ed "Rocks" Clark),
etc. One of the duties that differs from crew to WL is taking charge of
cooking when on motherwatch. Today was Angus Elliman's turn to show his
culinary strengths, and the other watches were impressed. For a morning
snack, the Mongols planned to makes cheese twists for the rest of the crew.
This proved to be very difficult, as all the recipes we could find either
required premade puff pastry, or butter that was not already a liquid.
However, this seemed not to matter, and all three watches were very happy
with the slightly undercooked snack. Lunch was a ham and vegetable risotto
with a start (or follow up, depending which watch you were in) of leek and
potato soup; although this meal was slightly late, it was very enjoyable and
had many of the crew asking for seconds. The final meal of the day was
ex-constructed burgers with ratatouille, and a desert of deconstructed
constructed cheesecake. We really do try to keep the food in one piece, but
when you're trying to divide a 10" cheesecake by 24 people, it tends to
crumble. Luckily, Gareth Parker is no longer on the boat, as he was most
annoyed when receiving deconstructed food.

The Skipper, Andy Wright, has also been sharing his expertise with the
Mayans by teaching them how to get their day skipper qualification. These
lessons are useful prior knowledge before the crew and watch leaders embark
on their Day Skipper Theory course over the coming years. Each Mayan has
been given a specific subject to revise before Andy gives one of many
lectures, possibly later this evening. It's not only the Skipper that has
been sharing his knowledge, however, as many crewmembers have been very
helpful towards their colleagues by educating them on items such as points
of sail and navigation marks.

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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
> …

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 politici…

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…