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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 say that I think everyone on
the boat is going a little stir crazy and as such today has taken what i
would describe as a slightly odd turn. Chinese New Year on the boat has
kicked off the Year of the Beast and to celebrate this today Rona II has
hosted the first "Beastlympics". At the point of writing the score is The
Beast: 1 and The Crew: 2 with events consisting so far of holding a coiled
rope out in front of yourself for as long as possible (turns out Watch
Officers Nathan Meager and George Hopkins are pretty beasty themselves), a
lemon juice drinking competition and challenge involving moving peanuts from
one bowl to another with chopsticks and then eating them as fast as
possible. Little did I know spice girl Sam Nathan, named because he puts
Tabasco in literally every meal he's involved with, had spiked the peanuts
with some extremely spicy flavouring so all the crew came out begging for
water. I'm just letting my watch's creativity go a bit wild and just seeing
where it goes. But I'd like to give the crew of Rona II one piece of advice:
you don't mess with the Beast and come out the other side in one piece.
Watch this space...

Viking Chieftain Paul Wayman surprised everyone when he pulled 23 pairs of
chopsticks out of his bag this morning and challenged everyone to eat their
risotto lunch with these implements. 22 of the crew took this completely in
their stride and wolfed down their delicious lunch, however Matt Robinson
proved he is completely culturally unaware when he requested 3 pairs of
chopsticks just for himself. From these he held 4 in one hand and made some
kind of spoon-like implement and then held 2 in the other and used these as
a fork. He thought this was an ingenious idea despite the amount of abuse
being chucked at him.

We do dabble in some sailing too. We've been storming along today with the
top speed being 13.4kts, and have been consistently sailing above 9kts for
most of the day. Spinnakers have been up and down and we've tested out the
white sails as well. It's been a cracking day on deck made all the better
for seeing the sun for the first time in 6 days. This was much to the
excitement of everyone and before we knew it there were sunglasses, sextants
and mankinis out on deck. Looks at the moment like we're due in on the 17th,
we've got some exciting sailing ahead to say the least.

Calls of "Summon the Beast" are now echoing around the saloon and I can see
four bowls of cheesecake and Lewis tying back his hair. Something tells me
this is the challenge that they told me would require me to shower after.
Beast out.

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Rona II blog 23rd Aug 2017

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Rona II - Current Tactics

Greetings from Rona II. It's early morning on Monday, still dark, and has been a busy night as we've changed steadily down from genoa, staysail, full main and mizzen, to no 2 yankee, staysail, second reef and mizzen. The wind has come aft a little and we are trucking along. Tactically over the next couple of days we're trying to play to Rona II's strengths. She's an absolute weapon with the wind a little aft of the beam and around 18 knots of breeze, so with more wind (and a higher sea state) to the north west, and less of both to the south east, we're adjusting our (generally north east) course to try and keep ourselves in exactly that much wind. Ultimately it looks like we'll go quite a long way north before turning east, covering a longer distance in order to stay in Rona II's sweet spot for as long as possible. It's too early to properly know what the rest of the fleet is doing but we suspect we're the most north