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Saturday, 17-Oct-1715

Maxer der Grosse



Lieutenant Grosse in His Majesties Vessel the Surprise, 38 guns.
Together with Captain Maxwell and Commodore Magnum we waited outside a neutral port for other British vessels in route. It was magnificent when the other officers Woodes Rogers, Trina, Sir Sinkalot, and Palo Esteehause joined up with us to create the Fleet. All were in frigates, or surprise except for the Commodore in his 74. We headed north as a group and quickly had to change course due to the wind in order to make way. Adjusting the number of sail each vessel carried we matched our speeds to curse roughly at 10 knots per hour. Along our journey, the flag signals were constantly spelling out the size and nationality of the ships we sighted on the horizons around us. Near Port St. Nic, we caught sight of a French fleet of 6 ships of the line. All of them were carrying 74 guns. Captain Maxwell gave the command to engage and we closed up our ranks. The battle was glorious. The French lined up North of us and with the wind on this side. We, the British Fleet, dove directly into their line cutting it apart. There was no hesitation at all, except that lower officers in my Surprise over reacted, as I requested to drop speed and sail behind the British vessels. My ship stopped moving until I realized the misunderstanding and set the ship in motion again. By now the others had engaged the French and two were already preparing to board the enemy. Sailing right between three main groups of ships I fired a broadside into at 74 at close range while he was engaged with Captain Maxwell. Sailing past him, I saw a yacht join the battle and start crossing my path to the next 74. The 74 had just starting jibing towards another British vessel and I wanted to rank his stern. The yacht that I had just glanced had singled my Surprise out as the most likely to not sink him and engaged me. Turning into him, I wanted to push him out of the way and rank the 74 before it was too late. Instead of pushing, my Surprise hit the yacht full in the middle and climbed up on her. My ship should have simply cut the yacht in two, but somehow she survived my assault and lie side by side off my starboard side. Enraged, that I had lost so my timing with this small ship, I fired my broadside into her. Not staying to finish her off I moved towards the 74 to attempt my rake. Looking down towards the water, I noticed we were taking on water. It appeared that in the heat of battle, one or more of the 74s had targeted us and ramming the yacht had also done more damage that expected. Within a minute my Surprise sank without us getting another shot off. It was a freak accident that happens in war. We took our long boats to the Port of St Nic and observed the continuation of the battle along our long row in. It was a sad chain of events that lead up to the lost of my second Surprise, but the feeling of being in my first fleet action surpassed by far any remorse I might have felt. It was simply grand to be fighting side by side with such British officers as Maxwell, Magnum, Rogers, Trina, Sinkalot and Esteehause.
Lt. Maxer der Grosse
Lieutenant in His Majesties Royal Navy
Home port of Jeremie, Haiti



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