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Thread: An affair in Morocco . July Mission:- Sounding out the enemy.(Part One.)

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    Default An affair in Morocco . July Mission:- Sounding out the enemy.(Part One.)

    Characters introduced into the story thus far.
    Algerine and Moroccan Persona.

    The Dey of Gizzanoffa: Kamel Mudanyaei.
    His Vizier: Amin Giffar.
    The Dey’s: Admiral Kulin Bey.
    The late Captain of the Al Mukabir: Camel Mujadine
    The new Captain of the Al Mukabir: Rashid Suleiman

    American persona.
    The Squadron commander: Commodore Silas Goldberg.
    The captain of USS Constitution: David Frazer.
    The captain of USS Essex: Andrew Millington.
    First Officer: Paul Swift.
    Sailing Master: Hezekiah Bramley.
    Essex’s Captain of Marines: Davy Weiss.
    Essex’s Master Gunner: Hamish Fyffe.
    Essex’s Master Carpenter: Amos Grady

    The captain of USS Syren: Lieutenant Gregory Hardman.
    Lieutenant Guy Falconer.
    Sailing Master: Simeon Prentice.
    The Captain of USS John Adams: Cyrus Gregory
    John Adam’ First Officer: James Stone.
    John Adams’ Gun Captain: Will Bridewell.

    Captain of the USS Schooner Enterprise: Lieutenant Andrew Sterett.
    Captain of an unknown Algerine ship: Mustapha Kamil.
    Sterett’s second ic: Lt. Jim Prentiss.
    Ships Master: George Varley.
    Master Gunner: Jim Cowley.
    Ship’s carpenter: George Temple.

    Schooner: Captain Richard Glover (nicknamed Iron fist amongst the hands.)
    His ships Master Gunner : Ralph Watson.(“ Old deaf head” to his mates.)
    New persona:-
    Schooner: Nautilus: Lieutenant Richard Somers.
    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.

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    The Briefing.


    Commodore Silas Goldberg read over the Dispatches which had arrived from Congress on the latest addition to his Squadron, the schooner Nautilus Lieutenant Richard Somers stood to one side, as the Other Officers summoned by the Commodore filed into the Great cabin of the USS Constitution. When the final Officer had arrived the gathering comprised, Goldberg’s own Captain, David Frazer, the captain of USS Essex: Andrew Millington, his
    First Officer Paul Swift, Essex’s Captain of Marines, Davy Weiss, and her Sailing Master, Hezekiah Bramley. After introductions had been made to young Lieutenant Somers, who was now feeling rather out of his depth in the present company, Goldberg got down to business by reading out the Dispatches to the assembled officers.
    The gist of the Dispatches were instructions to continue to blockade Kamel Mudanyaei in the port of Gizzanoffa, but to dispatch a small unit of ships to Tripoli where the Pasha Yusuf Karamanli had been demanding a tribute of $225,000 Dollars from the new American Administration as protection money for their merchant shipping in the area. This was refused and the Pasha declared war on the United States. Congress had now instructed all American armed vessels to seize all shipping and goods of the Pasha and carry out any other actions justified by the state of war existing between the two protagonists. Commodore Prebble was about to be dispatched to the area in command of an expanded force, and it was therefore, important to scout out the approaches to Tripoli in advance of any considered action there.
    To this end the Frigate Essex accompanied by the schooner Nautilus was to survey and take soundings on the approaches to the port.
    Two days after the meeting on the Constitution Captain Millington and Lieutenant Richard Somers sailed in their ships for Tripoli, hoping to improve on the old 1740 chart with which they had been provided.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:58.
    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.

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    A week later both ships were off Tripoli just below the horizon to any observer from the town. Andrew Millington had decided that prior to risking Lieutenant Somers frail schooner to any unknown perils close inshore, he would trail his own coat-tails to try and draw out any unexpected nasty surprises which the Pasha may have prepared.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:58.
    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.

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    To this end with the wind in his favour, on the following morning Andrew approached the outer limits of the outer shoals, and launched a ships boat commanded by his First Officer Paul Smith, and Midshipman George Green to begin taking soundings along the shoals.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:59.
    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.

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    The work had been underway for about an hour, when the masthead lookout reported the sighting of a ship rounding the nearby headland.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:59.
    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.

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    It was seen to be a 50 or 60 gun ship and obviously hostile as it was proceeding well within the range of the towns formidable batteries.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:59.
    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.

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    Andrew instantly heaved to, and recalled the ships boat, clearing for action as he did so.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 08:59.
    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.

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    Getting underway again as quickly as he could he noticed that the enemy ship was trying to claw its way off the rocky shoals and obtain the wind gauge by sailing as close to the wind as possible.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:00.
    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.

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    As both ships closed Andrew instructed the ship’s Sailing Master, Hezekiah Bramley to feint towards the shoals to deceive the enemy captain as to his real intention, which was to turn hard a starboard and close the enemy broadside on as it luffed, to pass the eye of the wind, in its quest for the wind gauge. Both ships took this moment to reduce to fighting sails.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:00.
    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.

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    The 50 must have been incapable of completing both actions as she missed stays completely and was taken aback in complete disarray.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:00.
    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.

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    Too late to alter his orders, Andrew found Essex crossing the enemy ships bows instead of coming alongside.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:01.
    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.

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    Not wishing to miss the opportunity, although he did not have a perfect raking angle, Essex’s Master Gunner, Hamish Fyffe, gave the order to “fire as you bear”.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:01.
    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.

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    Essex’s first carefully loaded double broadside crashed out!
    As the smoke rolled away, the result from the excellently trained was impressive if they had observed it.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:01.
    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.

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    The gun crews were, however, already feverishly engaged in preparing for another salvo. So much so that they hardly noticed that the fortification on the point had opened fire.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:02.
    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.

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    The enemy 50 was still in irons and the devastating broadside had wrought even more disorder amongst the crew. Many of the key hands having been cut down were having to be replaced by other less experienced hands.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:02.
    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.

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    Consequently the Essex’s gun crew who were all well trained gunners got in a second round of fire whilst still in the perfect position.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:03.
    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.

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    Although it was only a single broadside this one did rake the bows of the 50 gun ship and this time a ball passing down the length of the gundeck damaged the ships steering cables which then had to be spliced.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:03.
    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.

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    At this moment the wind veered and strengthened so it was a good thing that both ships were running under battle sails.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:05.
    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.

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    The change in wind actually helped the enemy ship out of irons and allowed it to complete its turn as it slowly got underway. Not only did this once again thwart Andrew’s intention of closing the ship whose colours, now in view for the first time proclaiming it to be Tripolitanian, but also allowed its stern most guns to play on the Essex, causing far more damage than anticipated.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:06.
    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.

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    Not only did the superstructure take several hits, but a lucky shot took out the Main Foretopsail, and a fire was also started on the upper deck where a keg of priming powder had been split open.
    The island castle now added its fire to that of the 50, and Captain Millington was forced to wrestle with regaining steerage way, whilst fighting a fire and trying to keep his ship out of range of this new threat.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:06.
    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.

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    The Tripolitanian captain now took the opportunity to extricate himself from the situation and crowed on as much sail as he could within the limitations of the wind.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:06.
    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.

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    By the time that the trailing mast and rigging was cut away and Hezekiah Bramley had restored way on the Enterprise
    The 70 had a head start.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:07.
    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.

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    The wind did nothing to change the situation and continued to blow hard to the East North East.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:07.
    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.

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    Finally the Essex got under way and turned to chase the enemy ship.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:08.
    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.

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    The 50 was already taking in sail in order to navigate the only practical route through the sandbanks and rocks shielding the harbour by the time Essex started to overhaul it.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:08.
    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.

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    Just when it mattered most the Tripolitanian crew managed the only well made manoeuvre of the whole episode and executed a perfect tack between the shoals.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:09.
    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.

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    Once inside the protection of the barrier, their captain crowded on sail once more and headed for the security of the guns of the fortress.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:09.
    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.

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    It was at this point that Captain Millington ordered an abandonment of the chase and now that the danger had been nullified, he returned to the job of taking soundings along the shoals.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:09.
    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.

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    By the time he had come about the 50 had anchored in front of a small fort on the coast, drawing David’s attention to it as another potential threat to be added to the chart.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:49.
    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.

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    The longboat was once again lowered and the survey continued.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:10.
    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.

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    The only other enemy ship in the offing was a small Galley, and this posed no real threat with the guns of Essex covering the longboat as it worked.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:11.
    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.

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    The survey and soundings continued all along the reef until Essex started to attract the attention of the harbour battery once more, at which point he recalled the ship’s boat and turned out to sea, well satisfied with his day’s work.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:11.
    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.

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    Having rendezvoused with the Nautilus, the two captains spent the evening over a glass or two of Canary conferring over the charts and plotting the positions of shoals, and uncovered batteries with their ranges, which the enemy gunners had so kindly supplied by opening fire.





    The next part of the mission would be carried out by the Nautilus.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:11.
    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.

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    Butcher’s Bill.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 09:16.
    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.

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    For those of you who noticed the absence of Nautilus, which was to have been in the control of Captain Smythe, unfortunately the good captain had a misshap with some boarding netting and could not sail until his back improved. Hopefully he will be able to complete his part of the mission when he returns to duty on Tuesday. Betimes he is taking fortifying liquids to kill the pain.

    Bligh.
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-11-2021 at 12:29.
    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.

  36. #36
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    Nice action. Well done!

  37. #37
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Thanks Jonas.
    I seem to be a lonely voice crying in the wilderness again as far as AAR's go.

    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.

  38. #38
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    Yes. There's been someone else posting a while ago, but I haven't sailed in something like two years now.

    And I'm just one AAR from a medal too...

  39. #39
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    It is incredible how many shipmates dropped out with just a small shortfall.
    If you look at the Solo Campaign posts over all the years, quite a few have four AAR's for the year when just one more would have got them the medal.

    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.

  40. #40
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    I think I have five of each at least, but I know that I have played all six of most of them, but then the last one drags out from when I played it and then I cant make the text and pictures match and when my memory fails due to it being too long since I played it... I think I ended up only posting five of some of the bimonthly campaigns. It's enough for the medal but still feels a bit unfinished.

    I have even played and not written a scenario I will have to replay to be able to put it together that would earn me that AAR medal.

  41. #41
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I will check all the Campaign senarios for you Jonas.
    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.

  42. #42
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    Don't worry, Rob. You have already checked that before and not much have happened for a long time.

  43. #43
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    I really like your shoals, Rob. I'd like to imitate them. Is there anything under the sand or is it glued directly to the base (it kind of looks like there's a bit of a hump in the pictures)? I sure wouldn't mind some close ups.

  44. #44
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Hi Dobbs.

    For the shoals i progressed as follows by cutting out a print of the contours taken from the map in today's episode of the story. I blew it up to the size required and stuck it with Prit-Stick to Plasticard. Then cut out the shape on my scroll saw, and removed the paper template. Taking some large pebbles from the rock garden, I ground one side flat on my Belt Linishing machine and superglued it in place on the Plasticard. After a coat of watered down PVA on the rest of the card I painted the blue seascape, adding sand coloured patches and green algae with very thin green inks both in the water and onto crevices in the rocks. Next comes another watered down PVA layer to which Railway modellers sand and small stones from their wagon ballast packs. I only put the PVA where I want the sandbar above the waterline. No sand should go on the seascape parts. You can repeat this process when the PVA is dry with another layer until you get the required height. Finally paint the sea parts with Satin coat varnish. Also any areas you want to appear wet such as the tide line on the beach or wave swept rocks, standing pools etc. All that leaves is dry brushing the rocky outcrops to taste.

    I will get som pictures up tomorrow for you.

    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.

  45. #45
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Here you go Dobbs.
    Attached Images Attached Images       
    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.

  46. #46
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    The big advantage of coming to this late is that I have a series of stories to read. Excellent.

    Essex had a fortunate opening to the battle, 2 unretrurned broadsides is hard to come back from.

    Now for the rest of the action.

  47. #47
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    Captain Smithers did recover in time for the next action as you will see John. he had actually put his back out gardening and could not drive his car.
    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.

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