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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 ocean and collision was unlikely to say the least. The fog
clearing led to the unusual sighting of a ostracized orca. Somber in the
thought we have just completed our first week at sea, a briefing with the
Mate instantly raised morale as the news that in the last 24 hours the boat
had sailed a cool 212 miles and Rona II was running first in class! Victory
cries echoed around the boat but in the background the Mayans sounded their
customary war cry. The sound cannot be described but the reader may come
close by picturing Chewbacca being tickled.

A momentous occasion indeed but surpassed by the fact that today was the
Skipper's birthday! Lunch of pizza served by the styled Vikings in full
mother watch battle gear of matching aprons and homemade chef hats. Eat,
Sleep, Conquer, Repeat the Vikings chanted, echoing their aprons'
commandments while preparing chocolate muffins a la 'Tang'. Tang has quickly
become the go-to drink for thirsty sailors; the sugar appears to have given
watch officer George a twitch and heavy drinker Matt Robinson is said to
have been spotted appearing from the heads with orange powder around his
nostrils.

Mother watch took a quick afternoon break in order to commence the first of
many viking spa days courtesy of Matt Woodcock's girlfriend. Face masks were
applied with some calming music in the background and the viking spa was in
full flow. They have been building on the successes of somehow convincing
the mate to let them dye his hair pink the other day. Viking watch's skin
has never looked more radiant and the gentle smell of lotus flower and
willow still lingers in Rona II's saloon. The success of mother watch was
cemented by scoring a hotdog hat trick by somehow managing to get the
mammoth tin into every meal. We all need a week off from Hot Dogs now!

Anyway, I had best finish the blog here. A waterfall is forming in the
saloon and there is a buzz of sodden crew members attempting to plug the
holes. I should probably offer to help before we sink any further.....


Skipper's note: "waterfall" is rather an exaggeration. if we let it
continue, didn't plug it and didn't do any pumping at all we might sink in
around ten years...

Note 2: the crew is now on deck singing "Busted" tunes. Oh dear.

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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

Rona II and a more modern vessel - "El Galeon" -in the background...

 

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