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Action off the coast of San Andres

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Lars Kjaer

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Captains log, 10th of january 1765

 

The royal british navy has been seen operating near the danish-norwegian settlement of San Andres. The british merchant shipping has for some time accused the ports governor of harboring and aiding pyrates. The danish-norwegian navy conducted a full investigation into these wild accusations and found no evidence and the charges were ofcourse summarily dismissed. This prompted an angry response from the governor of Old Providence and the expected penal expedition was spotted on the 9th gathering in the port of Old Providence.

Our ressources are already stretched thin covering ports and escorting merchant shipping from the danish westindies and virgin islands to the ports of central America. It was therefore decided that a small squadron consisting of one 2nd rate, the "Havfruen" along with a contingent of 4th rates would seek out the british retributive fleet and attempt to intercept it. To many this was considered a suicide mission but preferable than watching the port, with its packhouses, residencies and docks burn to the ground. The fleet were entirely voluntary, disregarding the press-ganged sailers from different merchant vessels.

The british fleet were first sighted a little after the third bell and the drums quickly beat for battle order. The signals went up that we would attempt a running engagement, keeping the bulk of the enemy fleet engaged but at a safe distance. Chance would have it though that the british fleet quickly broke into two columns - one going for the port consisting of their heavier ships, the lookout claimed to have seen three 1st rates, but it may have been the excitement and the rum speaking. The second column, consisting of a 2nd rate, a few fourth rates and some fifth rates, engaged our small squadron on the leeway and we quickly found ourselves enmeshed in a deathly battle against an opponent that made up in manouverability what they lacked in broadside weight.

The battle raged for the good part of a bell, and in the end the danish-norwegian squadron came out victorious! I personally lead the charge against a Wasa-class 4th rate and captured her as a prize and a second 4th rate, the "Agamemnon" went to davy jones after a hard battle with some very impressive manouvering on part of the enemy captain. After clearing the ship and making preliminary repairs to the hull and riggings we attempted to leave the area and seek shelter in a cove a bit further down the island. Alas! to the dismay of the crews and captains of the squadron the british fleet that had engaged the defensive fleet in the port of San Andres were leaving the port at the very time we were trying to pass the island. The enemy squadron were engaged as per the danish-norwegian navys rules of engagement that dictates that in the presence of superior forces care should be taken to attempt boarding and capturing of enemy first rate vessels.

The following battle were hard, long and ardous. The british still had two 1st rates that tore through the hulls of our smaller vessels, the sea was thick with blood and debris.. We battled down an enemy 2nd rate, but at a loss of two 4th rates and the tide of the battle were against us.. Luck would however have it! We managed to board one of the first rates whilst battling down the enemy 4th rates, and as they were sinking the last enemy 1st rate were attempting to flee. We quickly gave pursuit and attempted another boarding alas, the captain of the L'Ocean class first rate quickly overcame the boarders and even managed to sink the 2nd rate ship of the line that were attempting to takeover the british first rate. We gave pursuit for a full hour after that and only as the lights on the horizon were dimming did we manage to close the gap sufficiently to engage her in another hard battle. This time we took no chances and consecutive boarding actions were ordered to wither down the enemy crew.

As the last rays of daylight were leaving the hemisfere we hobbled into the port of San Andres. Battered, bruised and with heavy casualties but immensely successfull in the actions of the day. The tally became four 4th rates won, two 1st rates captured and an unknown (as of yet) number of enemy 4th and 5th rates that went to davy jones.

Orders came in as we were docking in the port. Congratulations from the Danish-Norwegian governor and orders to repair and refit and be ready for actions on the 12th of January 1765.

 

/ Lars "Bearwall" Kjaer, off the coast of San Andres aboard her majestys ship "Ribeheksen", 64 guns and 550 crew compliment.

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