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View Full Version : AAR - September’s Solo Mission – ‘Fishermans Shoals’



Union Jack
11-06-2015, 14:14
“OK Mr Ellington let’s keep the Frenchie guessing. If we can get a shoal between him and us we might just get....”, Jack broke off as a cry came from the mast head,

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“Sail ho”.

“Tell that clot we can see, is he drunk?”

“Sail ho, off the bow”.

“Off the bow! Damnation. CAN YOU MAKE HER OUT?” Jack shouted aloft.

“ ’Nother French frigate sir”

“OK. Belay my last Mr Ellington. We’ll have to think fast otherwise we will be trapped.”

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The chase had begun yesterday as HMS Dunkirk , under command of Captain Jack Union, had come around the point and spied 4 French 74’s at anchor. No sooner had they come about when a French frigate had started to give chase. No doubt trying to keep secret the French ships at anchor from prying British eyes. Jack had to get the information to the fleet. So had begun the stern chase and long it had been. Jack had managed to keep the French frigate out of cannon range. For every now and then the Frenchman fired off a bow chaser. All it would take was a lucky shot and a spar or mast might be hit and then they were done for. Jack remembered the tales of Fishermans Shoals and had decided to elude his chaser amongst the myriad of sandbars and Fishermans Island itself.
Now it would seem the French captains aim had been to drive him towards a second French frigate. No doubt alerted by the regular sound of shot and coming to investigate. Now he was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! Devil take the hindmost thought Jack, they won’t stop us nor will they win the day. The last he had spoken aloud and the after deck had turned towards him as he spoke.

“Actions speak louder than words men. And our actions this day will speak volumes where the French will come to nought”. His men gave a hearty cheer and this rippled through the ship, although none forward of the afterdeck knew what it was in reply too. Perhaps some words of encouragement from their captain. Many thought so and were glad of it. If the captain wasn’t afraid then why should they.

“Sand bar off the port bow, clear water to starboard”; came the cry from the lookout in the bows. “we’ll sail as close as we dare to that sand bar. Hopefully the French frigate won’t see it and will come to grief”. Jack said to his 1st Officer who nodded in agreement.

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“The French frigate for’ard has altered course and is crossing our bow to port. Still aways afore he’s in range though”. Came another cry from the masthead.

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“Haul off and put her on the port tack we’ll go round to the north of Fishermans Island Mr Ellington”.

“Aye, aye Sir. Helmsman put the wheel hard over bring her round the sand bar.”

The chase was on. The following frigate had tacked southward and had to negotiate the sand bar across her path. Jack sailed the Dunkirk around the island and not a shot had been fired as such. Clearing the island Jack could see that the second frigate had come to grief and was stuck , grounded on a shallow sand bar.

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Jack ordered his guns to fire as they came within range of the French frigate stuck hard on the sand bar. Even as they passed though he could see that the surging waves were lifting her clear and over the other side. The masthead lookouts cry came from aloft

“ ’Tother French frigate is coming round the island after us”.

Jack could just see the tops of her masts as Dunkirk sailed further south. “Are we clear of that sandbar yet”, Jack shouted the length of the ship.

“Clear now sir”, came the call.

“Put her over to port again Mr Ellington let’s put some clear water between us and the Frenchies!”.

“Aye. Aye. Sir”. Mr Ellington replied in a relieved voice. HMS Dunkirk turned to port and sailing between the Giants Stepping Stones, huge rock pillars that soared out of the sea, made her way north as the two French frigates continued south to pass round the sand bar.

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Dunkirk managed a long range broadside in answer to one of the French frigates in a parting shot as the two French men of war gave up the chase. HMS Dunkirk slowly tacked her way against the wind until she was in safe waters before heading off north east and a rendezvous with the Squadron.

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Butchers Bill:
What butchers bill? Only one French frigate took damage and HMS Dunkirk took minor damage too. This proved to be more a scenario of seamanship than marksmanship.

Bligh
11-07-2015, 05:09
That's the beauty of this Scenario Neil. There are as many ways of playing it out as there are paths through the sand bars.
It was nothing like the AAR that I wrote.
The scenario was inspired. I will give rep when the system allows me to.
Rob.