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Rona returns to Universal and familiar waters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 21st of August on Rona 2 saw the Mayans on mother watch again. Leaving
the hard job of motoring from Swanage Bay to Portsmouth to the Vikings and
Mongols. Luckily moods were high as last night around 10 pm Ed Clark's
parents kayaked out, whilst we were at anchor in Swanage Bay in the heavy
rain to see their precious child and drop off a care package of Ed's mums
famous flapjacks. Something that the crew has been looking forward to
eagerly all day.

The day also consisted of a trip up the mast for crew member Theo Darlow to
retrieve the burgee and fix some minor problems with the head of the
mainsail. He later commented, "it's a lot higher than it looks", yet
maintains he wishes he'd been able to go higher. Whilst Theo was up the
mast, occasionally, dropping things on his unsuspecting crew who had winched
him up the mast, Rona 2 was skillfully steered up the Hamble River to
Universal Shipyard. On arrival at Universal the torn spinnakers where taken
off along with the one surviving spinnaker that the Mongols had not managed
to get their hands on. As we neared our home berth we were warmly greeted
by Mark our Shipwright and the protector of all innocents, Ann Bowers. As
well as this repairs to the boat were made and replacements were found for
all broken and missing equipment such as the disappearing red boat hook.
The Main suspect for this heinous crime is George Hopkins as he was reported
saying he, "never liked the red boat hooks". After the boat was returned to
its rightful state the Mayans produced a lunch of calzone and garlic bread
which was met with nothing but good remarks from the crew and our esteemed
guests'. The crew then set about storing all the fresh food acquired at the
Tesco near Universal Shipyards then set out for Portsmouth. Whilst under
motor the main halyard was replaced a skilful and risky task as it can leave
you with no useable main halyard, luckily the task was competently managed
by newly appointed watch officer Mathew Woodcock and the new halyard hangs
in place inside the mast as you read this. Once we reached Portsmouth we
where escorted to our berth by project watch officer Claire Smith in her
rib!

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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…