Having slept in a little longer than usual, my good servant Diener woke me to the smell of smoked ham, toast with jelly and a good English tea. After a refreshing breakfast, I read through the morning reports to realize the Danes and the Pirates were back in front of the entrance of our harbor. Sending a few officers to check the status of other British ships in port, they returned with a disappointing low number of ready and able vessels. Among the ready, Captain Charles Maxwell was there and willing to attempt a break with me. Leaving port, we saw a closed battle just next to the entrance, with additional ships waiting for prey. Maxwell and I were immediately targeted by two Pirate frigates and forced into an unequal fight. Within range of our foes, I started firing as Captain Maxwell sent me a flag signal to run. Unfortunately, I didn’t take his advice and right before our homeport my Surprise was boarded and taken by a pirate vessel loaded to the gills with men. We had no chance with within the shortest of boarding scrimmages we had lost. Luckily, most of my crew followed me over the side of the ship and swam to shore. Within the harbor, we took another Surprise and send messengers (fishing vessels) to communicate with Captain Maxwell. He had confirmed that he escaped the Pirates and was heading on a Northwesterly course. Asking around the harbor for other officers to join me in another breakout attempt, I was left alone. Heading out of the port, I was confronted with the worst storm, which I had experienced in my life. Visibility was down to roughly two boats length. If the Danes and Pirate ships were there, I couldn’t see them. They on the other hand couldn’t see me. With full sail and on our optimum course to the wind, we normally reached 19-20 knots. In this storm we were lucky to achieve 10 knots due to the size of the waves. Within 5 minutes we were out of the storm and on our way to meet up with Captain Maxwell. Captain Trina was also on his way to our rendezvous and was ahead of me, sailing on my horizon. In Jamaica, Trina, Maxwell and myself formed a small fleet and headed North to Cuba in search of riches. Close to the coast of Southern Cuba, we found a fleet of Spanish trade Cerbs and Brigs. We immediately decided to target them and engaged. We all fought brilliantly, except for the fact that Captain Trina and I both lost our frigates. I was the first to sink, followed by Trina’s. Before going down ourselves, we gave the Spanish as much lead in the form of cannon balls as we had carried with us. Trina fought gallantly and Captain Maxwell, in his Constitution revenged both of our ships by sinking or capturing every one of the 8 cerbs or brigs in the Spanish fleet. Swimming ashore once again today, my crew and I were extremely tired. Coming ashore near a neutral port in Cuba, we bought some bread from a local bakery and read the name of the port. It was Guama Sevilla. Nice place. Wouldn’t want to live there, though. Eating our bread, I thought about the future of my crew. The last life of my second Surprise was now history and checking the local market for ships, I could not afford another Surprise. Taking the next best ship I bought my first Cerb. It only had room for 195 crew, so I paid of 45 of my men, and had to leave them to find their own way on the next trader homeward. The rest of the crew and I headed back out to sea after buying a haul full of Teak logs for 28 gold per log, which I thought was an extremely low price. Setting sail for Jamaica we had land fall at St. Ann’s to find out the local price for teak logs was 22 gold per log. Losing 6 gold per log hurt.
Thereafter, we hit the waves again and rounded the most eastern point of Jamaica to reach an invitation to join a generic battle with 7 other British ships. They were only looking for Frigate sized or larger ships, but they allowed me to participate anyways. It was a war game organized by White House itself and we took the chance to show our fellow officers what we were truly made of. Having the smallest vessel and the least amount of experience, I was quite anxious at the beginning of the battle. We had divided the 8 vessels up into two teams (the Red and Blue Fleets) and commenced in eliminating one another as quickly as possible. There were two constitutions, my Cerb and the rest Frigates. I must have had luck on my side during the battle, or the other team was targeting the larger vessels and ignoring me, because I ended up the last ship on our team. Unfortunately, we did not sink or capture a single ship from the other fleet, which will not look good on our records at White Hall, but through the experience we learned more how to never give up the ship and it was a hell of a lot of fun!
Lt. Maxer der Grosse
Master & Commander in His Majesty’s Royal Navy
On Patrol in the Caribbean