Race 5 of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is over, but apart from one day off, the crews have continued to send in reports of their activities on land and sea leading up to the final Regatta port event in Le Havre. Here are their latest updates … and a video we shot of one of the vessels spotted out at sea over the weekend …
Champagne finish: Rona II
Sunday 20 August: We finished the race at around 2am on Friday morning and immediately celebrated with six bottles of champagne. Most of it was sprayed over the crew by the skipper, who retaliated admirably to the general delight of the crew.
We spent the next morning cleaning and tidying the boat and making it presentable to friends, family and the public. As you can imagine, this took some time, and we were all very ready for our first showers in 17 days that afternoon, allowing us to get rid of that lingering smell of champagne among other less desirable scents!
We spent the rest of the day exploring Plymouth, where Sam made his costume as piratical as possible, with a hoop earring, a black and white striped shirt, and a sail tie as a belt. The entire crew went out for bacon cheeseburgers, but we can’t tell you whether or not they were good because we were so hungry that we practically inhaled them. Dessert was proper cheesecake, which the skipper told us was how our own packet ‘deconstructed’ cheesecakes should have looked. When the evening came some of us went out to celebrate further whilst others were too tired and slept instead.
This morning Gareth left to go back to work for a week, his role as skipperwas replaced by Andy, who showed his reluctance by sporting a T-shirt with the word ‘Skipper’ in bold on the back.
Later on we went for a coastal walk across the border in Cornwall after a ferry ride. I’m still not sure we ever found the correct path because we spent most the time scrambling over rocks.
Angus still hasn’t had a haircut, a fact which the crew are keen to change.
The next two weeks will be great fun, filled with sailing, parties and use of shore based heads after the Mongols have been let loose in the galley.
Rocking the Waves Again: Rona II
20 August: 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 Yellow Brick 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 after guard 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 Watch Leader 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 pre-made 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 under cooked 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 crew members have been very helpful towards their colleagues by educating them on items such as points of sail and navigation marks.
Return to Universe and familiar waters: Rona II
21 August: Rona II 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 II 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!
Catching up: Max, Alexander von Humboldt II
15 August: Normal day on board Alexander Von Humboldt II, nothing special happened. The weather is cloudy with okay winds. Average speed is 4,9 knots, slow day.
16 August: Normal day on board, nothing special happened. The weather is relatively sunny with fluctuating winds. Average speed from 4 – 7 knots.
17 August: Normal day on board, nothing special happened. The weather is still sunny but we are expecting rain and good winds. Today the average wind speed is five knots, time is moving fast.
18 August: Today the weather changed from warm and sunny to cold, rainy and windy. Despite this grey weather, winds are in our favour at seven knots on average.
19 August: Today was the Captains’ birthday so we all celebrated with cake, that was fun! It is still very cold and wet but we are moving at an average ofeight knots which is very good.
20 August:Weather is still grey but winds are also still in our favor at approximately 6 – 8 knots (fluxuating). Our ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) is set for tomorrow so hopefully winds prevail!
Enjoying land activities: Camryn Sock, Gulden Leeuw
21 August: We did not write any morning reports because we were on shore for two days in Falmouth, England. We had a fun time and ate food and just relaxed. The first day the facilitators put us in groups of four and let us explore the town of Falmouth. Some went to castles and others went to the beach and there were those who explored downtown. I enjoyed it very much because of the scenery and amazing food. I got to buy my twin’s birthday gift which it great I hope she likes it. I ate a pulled pork sandwich that day which changed my life. I could not help but feel so happy that day.
The second day we traveled to the Eden Project in Par, England. The Eden Project is an educational charity which showcases various different ecosystems from around the world and has a big dome that actually has real plants. The Eden Project also includes a seasonal exhibit and this season it is an educational and interactive exhibit about space.
Later that day, we got Gulden Leeuw ready to leave the port. It took a lot of teamwork but we got the job done.
When it was time for my night shift (20:00 – 22:00) We needed to set the sails so more hands were needed on deck. It was super cool to see all my peers work together. We ended our shift coiling a lot of ropes. I enjoyed night shift a lot.We are now sailing away from Falmouth. I wonder what the next journey is in store for our group.
Melo googoo Brennan told me to shout you out so shout out to Brennan”s mom. P.S Hi mom and Mais and Nicola I miss u and everyone.
No Minke Whale Race (out off) control: Arjen Töller, Gulden Leeuw
We just left Falmouth for a nice night sail to the channel islands when race control was hooked with his pink ring.The ring took off more skin then anyone likes to see. First aid has been done by the Captain. Today the doctor of Alderney made nine stiches to repair race control Peter’s Pink/ Captain and race control are fine (again).
Banner and feature image: Mayan Watch on Rona II – spotted on The Solent. Sail Training International.