Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Aug 2015 - Solo Mission - I'm Only Envious of Glory - The Hothead

  1. #1
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default Aug 2015 - Solo Mission - I'm Only Envious of Glory - The Hothead

    Aug 2015 I’m Only Envious of Glory – The Hothead

    It’s a long story and one that has elements that I’m not proud of Hermione but come and sit by the fire and I’ll confess something I’ve never told another soul. Yes Baptiste you’re right but only because it’s so cold tonight, a large 98 Brandy would prove some antidote to this bad weather we’ve been experiencing recently and of course you are most welcome to sit here with us.

    Pierre doesn’t seem to be in evidence tonight, that must be some relief for you Hermione, not having to avoid his doe eyed glances all the time, it must be quite trying. I know he means well but really if he was a little bolder, more like myself I dare say, he would make a concerted attempt on your heart and you could at least repulse him with honour and finality but these half hearted attempts are almost too much for me to bear.

    Ahh thank you Baptiste, sit and I will tell you of my first independent command when I was a 3rd Lieutenant on the Sibylle, yes that’s right the same Sibylle I told you about the last time we met. I had been promoted swiftly from the lowly rank of Aspirant and we had captured a small sloop called the Alligator, an ugly name for a ship but Capitaine de Fregate Robert Auclaire in recognition of my prowess had asked me to take command of her.

    Name:  001 P1460277 700.jpg
Views: 28
Size:  42.0 KB
    We were sailing in company when to the North West we perceived a British Frigate heading along the coast westwards and so Capitaine Auclaire crammed on full sails but he had instructed me to raise no more than battle sails, which was probably wise. What do you mean Baptiste, well it’s fairly obvious, I had the faster ship and would gain all the glory because I would attack any enemy sooner than the Sibylle, that would be good for my reputation but alarmingly bad for the good Auclaire to be bested by a lowly lieutenant.

    Do you understand now, ahh I thought so.

    Name:  002 P1460278.jpg
Views: 29
Size:  47.8 KB
    Auclaire raised a signal, instructing me to shadow Sibylle as we tried to head off the Rosbif’s escape, but almost immediately it became clear that he was not trying to run but instead turning to engage us.

    I will say this for Johnny Rosbif, he has no idea about food, wine, or l’amour but he does know how to fight, I think it’s the small brain, short legs and big jaw of the Bulldog he so resembles that give him this trait.

    Name:  003 P1460279.jpg
Views: 30
Size:  40.7 KB
    Let me show you how we stood, pass the beer bottles, well done Baptiste you selected the empties, my training has not been in vain, come Hermione, don’t laugh at your Father it is unbecoming in a dutiful daughter.

    Captain Auclaire ordered the guns to fire, this was a mistake in my opinion, Sibylle was at long range and only the starboard forward battery could bring their guns to bear. They did little damage as was to be expected but I think he was trying to gain the glory for himself and show his mettle, a vain and pompous man at times.

    Name:  004 P1460280.jpg
Views: 29
Size:  48.5 KB
    The Rosbif then fired his guns, also at a disadvantage but caused great execution amongst Sibylle’s crew. I however had brought Alligators full broadside to bear on the Rosbif and with a well judged shot we took away his foremast. I was jubilant and promised a reward to the gun crew that had made the judicious shot. There was a cheer when I promised the same reward to the gun crew that brought the next mast down. Such a shouting and hullabalooing I don’t think I’ve seen on such a small ship before or since.

    Name:  005 P1460281.jpg
Views: 30
Size:  50.1 KB
    It was hard for me to see what happened next but when Sibylle’s larboard batteries were re-loaded they commenced a tremendous volley, putting a hole through the Rosbif’s hull and then the Marines were in musket range and they also caused casualties. My men were serving the guns as fast as ever they could be served but we could not have fired even if the men had worked like Trojans because Sibylle was between us and our enemy. There was some talk of this later but I’ll come to that in good time.

    You will see and understand Hermione that both Sibylle and Alligator are standing directly into the wind and by judicious use of sail and rudder we were moving slowly in reverse, the sails were backed and were driving us effectively in reverse. You may not understand but let me explain, it takes a most skilful helmsman to be able to execute this manoeuvre with style and panache, usually on being driven back a ship will cock one way or the other and fall off the wind to starboard or larboard. Jules de Verne my helmsman was a man of such distinction, I did have to advise on occasion but not often and I don’t think I’ve seen his like since, he was a pearl of a helmsman.
    Of course off duty he was a drunken sot but one can’t have everything in a Helmsman.

    Name:  006 P1460282.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  45.7 KB
    Sibylle fell off the wind and took a port tack, falling foul of Amelia, for that was Johnny Rosbif’s ship’s name but Jules kept us heading directly into the wind and Alligator slowly fell back, enabling us to fire another full broadside into our enemy, but better yet we were able to rake him from stem to stern. I saw a fire break out, as well as huge subsidiary damage caused from our small calibre guns.

    Name:  007 P1460283.jpg
Views: 32
Size:  44.9 KB
    Then disaster struck, I saw a cannonball take away poor Jules’s head, I was standing no more than a metre from him and was covered in his good French blood. In the confusion the wheel slipped from his lifeless hands and Alligator commenced to fall off the wind to her larboard side, the Amelia seemed to be out of control and she bore down on us, colliding with our stern and her Marines firing from the tops were giving as good as we gave them.

    Name:  008.JPG
Views: 31
Size:  71.9 KB
    We had barely suffered any damage apart from amongst the crew, brave men one and all, but I could see that Amelia was in a sorry state and with a bit of effort we could take her.

    Name:  009 P1460286.jpg
Views: 34
Size:  46.8 KB
    In the collision Amelia’s bowsprit had tangled with our stern sail, do you know Hermione I can’t for the life of me remember what the stern sail is called, every rope, sail, mast and bit of wood on a sailing ship has a name and I could remember them all in my youth, but not now. Merde. Life is hell getting old, although of course not that old you understand.

    The Marine’s musket’s spoke again and the greater number of Amelia’s crew began to tell on my valiant men. We were taking too many casualties and I resolved to break off the contact for my crew’s sake.

    Name:  010 P1460287.jpg
Views: 34
Size:  42.9 KB
    Sibylle came about and fired a most ineffectual salvo, if I didn’t know better I would have thought she wasn’t trying to help at all.

    They men looked to me for leadership, could I save their lives with a humanitarian act, trying to cut us free from the entangling Bowsprit.

    No I could not. Not even to save their lives, it would bring shame and dishonour on them. Follow me I shouted and everyone of my men followed like the true hero’s they were. We dashed onto Amelia’s deck, but the odds were stacked against us, as well as the rules of the game. The last I remember is some burly bosun’s mate raising his arm and hitting me with a belaying pin, then it all went black and I remember no more until I awoke some while later, covered in blood and aching all over.

    Name:  011 P1460288.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  42.1 KB
    With my apparently lifeless body laying on the enemy deck my crew lost heart, and who can blame them, they surrendered to a man, although there were not many alive to surrender.

    The Rosbif’s Captain put a small prize crew onboard Alligator but when Sibylle fired her next salvo, it caused much consternation and Amelia’s crew pulled down their colours and surrendered their ship. Unfortunately with a lucky return shot they had carried away Sibylle’s mizzen mast and until she could effect repairs she could not take up the chase after Alligator.

    There was much jubilation onboard Sibylle when they discovered my lifeless body laying on Amelia’s deck was not actually lifeless.

    Even though I had lost my ship it was in a glorious act of aggression that everyone recognised and approved of, except maybe Captain Auclaire. It’s understandable that a man in his position would feel over shadowed by a junior officer who was so brave and bold, with such an acute sense of tactics and that is why I faced my first and most terrifying court martial and the mortal shame that I carry even to this day.

    Name:  12.jpg
Views: 31
Size:  61.8 KB
    Yes Hermione, a Court Martial is a terrible thing for a sailor, in essence his actions are judged by his peers and if he is found wanting the sentence is severe. Of course if you look at the naval histories of the great fighting sailors, the men who accept battle no matter the odds then you will find they have to answer for their brave deeds much more often than the timid sailor who ventures nothing but remains safe all his life. I despise these men, they are nothing but worms, especially when they sit in judgement on a Captain, bolder and more imaginative than themselves, but this is the law of the Navy and must be obeyed.

    Sometimes you have to embellish the truth in life if not in fiction and I have to admit to you I was concerned that my action in attacking and boarding Amelia might be looked on as foolhardy, the actions of a Hothead and one not to be trusted with a ship at sea. Yes we were a sloop and could not be expected to take a frigate by boarding. I had such faith in my crew, as they did in me, that at the time I was sure we could succeed. In hindsight maybe that was a little optimistic of me and so I recounted to the court that the entanglement was an accident caused by the loss of my Helmsman at a critical time in the action. The reality was that I had the men prepare grapples and had issued cutlasses all round and fully intended to attack, board and take Amelia.

    That did not happen and so my statement was the truth but was also disingenuous and to a man of honour that has been a hard thing to live with all these years. Of course my fellow officers knew how things stood in a fight at sea where instant and bold decisions are called for.

    I was acquitted with honour and awarded a medal for bravery. I forget which one as there have been so many over the years, but they thought it was well deserved, and I imagine they were right.

    Name:  013.JPG
Views: 33
Size:  70.9 KB
    All I can say in my defence Hermione is that France didn’t lose one of her greatest sailors in that court martial, and so maybe my lie was for the best.
    My wounds were grievous from that fight and the scars livid, even today they are red and angry but I survived to fight again for my glorious France. Hermione a man such as I does not go round showing his scars in every bar and cafe, I am shocked you should ask, maybe one day.

    It is but one of many that criss cross this gaunt body of mine it is the one I regard with most affection, the first gained leading men in action from a ship I was in command of.

    Well Baptiste another glass of the 98 and I will be on the road, home to my bed, these tales of my seafaring life seem to take it out of me, more now than when I was enacting them in my youth.

    Like Paul (ShadowDragon) I’m using Dobbs AI system and what I found interesting was that I commanded the Sibylle and the AI the Alligator. We started in the same position relative to the Amelia and for the first maybe 6 moves the AI shadowed my exact moves. This proves, either I am a master sailor and tactician (just like Dobbs) or the AI is absolute rubbish if it's following my moves, I’ll leave you to judge the truth of the matter.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 02-19-2021 at 13:47.

  2. #2

    Default

    It’s lucky for us readers that the Hothead was doubly lucky in surviving a ‘killing’ blow and a career ending court martial lest the stories end with foolhardy Alligator commander.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Another fantastic chapter in the story of young Vagabond. I can hardly wait to see what scrape he gets into on the next mission. You are indeed becoming a wordsmith of repute yourself John. One day I hope we can meet up at a show somewhere to chew the fat over a G&t and a bottle of the 98 for yourself!
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  4. #4
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Another fantastic chapter in the story of young Vagabond. I can hardly wait to see what scrape he gets into on the next mission. You are indeed becoming a wordsmith of repute yourself John. One day I hope we can meet up at a show somewhere to chew the fat over a G&t and a bottle of the 98 for yourself!
    Rob.
    The house decoration is going ahead at a tremendous pace, certainly for me and so I'm hopeful this stage will be complete in about a week's time and once I've had sufficient beauty sleep (that's a lot in my case) I hope to be back to sea. I had my jab the other day and I'm sure things will ease over the year so a G & T with a 98 brandy may well be on the cards.

  5. #5
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    It will be two weeks on Wednesday since we had our first jab John, so we should be O.K. to venture out a bit more although we will still be observing the rules for the sake of others.
    Hopefully by October we will be able to hold some sort of yearly gathering.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  6. #6
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    It’s lucky for us readers that the Hothead was doubly lucky in surviving a ‘killing’ blow and a career ending court martial lest the stories end with foolhardy Alligator commander.
    It will take more than a Bosuns Mate swinging a belaying pin to give me a killing blow. My ribs are of steel and my heads made of the finest, densest ebony.

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    It will take more than a Bosuns Mate swinging a belaying pin to give me a killing blow. My ribs are of steel and my heads made of the finest, densest ebony.
    With a modesty to match!
    Bligh.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  8. #8
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    With a modesty to match!
    Bligh.
    Bravado Rob, don't forget the bravado, there's the athleticism as well, and also the charm, indeed modesty is only one of the many attrubutes of Jean le Vagabond.

  9. #9
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Indeed there is John, please forgive me for being so remiss in my summation of the many facets of John's accomplishments, and we did not even touch on his abilities in the area of imbibing spirits.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Indeed there is John, please forgive me for being so remiss in my summation of the many facets of John's accomplishments, and we did not even touch on his abilities in the area of imbibing spirits.
    Rob.
    I would advise not touching his brandy lest you experience a sailor’s fury.

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Thanks for the warning Paul. Oops! Too late.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Thanks for the warning Paul. Oops! Too late.

    Rob.
    I'll join you.... hic!

    Say, that '98 IS good stuff.

  13. #13
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Do you mean like this Paul? It really is that good.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  14. #14
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default

    You two can find your own supply of the 98 brandy, the stuff I'm drinking is 1798 not 1998 and isn't really for sharing, you may join me but you will be drinking from the blue 98 bottle not the green 98 bottle.


  15. #15
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    18,276
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    You are safe with me John. I used to love a Brandy and cigar. You should see the size of the Brandy Balloon that Captain Smithers bought me for my 21st birthday. However, after I got a stomach ulcer about the mid eighties, I canít drink Brandy anymore as it burns the scar tissue in my Oesophagus. I am now a confirmed G&t drinker.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    You two can find your own supply of the 98 brandy, the stuff I'm drinking is 1798 not 1998 and isn't really for sharing, you may join me but you will be drinking from the blue 98 bottle not the green 98 bottle.

    I think the green demon has you, Jean. We'll need to wait a couple of centuries 1998. The stuff we've been quaffing is from a cask of the 1698.

    Which reminds me of a trip to Cognac where we visited a small producer and tasted some stuff - right from the cask - that was 40 years old.

  17. #17
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    321
    Name
    John

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    I think the green demon has you, Jean. We'll need to wait a couple of centuries 1998. The stuff we've been quaffing is from a cask of the 1698.

    Which reminds me of a trip to Cognac where we visited a small producer and tasted some stuff - right from the cask - that was 40 years old.
    You have the 1698 brandy, I can only dream of the 1698. Indeed ever since my poor sweet Eunice set her self on fire in the cellar of Vagabond Manor back at the turn on the century and the 1698 burned like a chandelier in the Louvre I haven't seen a drop of the benificial liquid. Mon Dieu you are a man of such luck that I could almost expect you to beat Dobbs AI system one day. Not soon you understand but one day.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    You have the 1698 brandy, I can only dream of the 1698. Indeed ever since my poor sweet Eunice set her self on fire in the cellar of Vagabond Manor back at the turn on the century and the 1698 burned like a chandelier in the Louvre I haven't seen a drop of the benificial liquid. Mon Dieu you are a man of such luck that I could almost expect you to beat Dobbs AI system one day. Not soon you understand but one day.
    Benefits of piracy, Jean. Purloined it off that last Spanish galleon.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •