2020 A Year in Port Polar Bear
Brouhaha Sat/Sun March 21,22 2020
Brouhaha 2020 (12th annual) was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tyler, Bob, Andy, Peter were planning to go.
PPB Memorial Day Battle May 25, 2020
We had initially planned on a 3 day battle over Memorial Weekend but due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the uncertainty surrounding work and travel as well as forecasted rainy weather, we ultimately decided on a 1 day event on Memorial Day Monday. The usual out of town guys were not able to come. Tyler (Derfflinger 2), Bob (Nagato), Peter (Erin), Zach (Kongo), Bryan (Texas), McCoy (Zara) were able to come out. Matthew came out with his drone and experimented with taking overhead video. We set up our tents at least 50 feet from each other and the lower turnout made for easier social distancing.
We battled 3 vs 3 – Bob, Zach, Bryan vs Tyler, Peter, McCoy. The battling was pure carnage, all ships are set up for close range combat (both battlecruisers run 3 sidemounts, Bob’s Nagato has 3 sidemounts and a funny gun, Peter has a single stern gun, McCoy’s cruiser has two stern guns, Bryan’s Texas was set up with 2 stern sidemounts and 2 elevated turret bow guns).
Additionally, we all were pretty interested in getting right into combat and slugging it out. Both Tyler and Bob had ships that had never battled before. Both were too heavy as built and each ship dropped a battery pack, Bob’s was dropped after sinking with light damage in the first battle (22-9-20). Tyler’s was dropped after he float tested and drove it around, realizing that it would probably swamp itself. After the change in battery configuration the Derfflinger 2, it took the first sortie to figure out that the batteries needed to shift slightly due to balance issues with sinking, even while listing heavily it took a pounding in the first sortie to put it down and she sank with 9-7-45.
Every one sank in the first battle. As stated above, Bob was too heavy and Tyler was out of balance, though took enough damage to sink any way. McCoy had his batteries die so took a bunch of sidemount fire. Zach has hull skin from last year and is pretty beat up, I think it went through both Nats and the Ice breaker 2019. Peter’s ship was working well and he earned his sink. Bryan seemed to have electrical issues all day and wasn’t getting consistent performance from his ship.
We had lunch, patched, and did a second battle in the afternoon. The damage was again heavy. Peter once again earned a sink (54-20-33). Bryan took a lot more damage but still had some systems not working quite right (34-4-23), he admittedly has some systems problems due to it being his first ship and is working on his 2nd right now, an Idaho, and planning to rework the Texas later. The drive/rudder setup needs some love but we were able to get the guns going fairly well. By the end of the day his fire control wasn’t working and the pump switch fried, requiring it to be hot wired constantly on. Bob said he felt fairly comfortable with 23-18-47 and thought he could drive around and maneuver without sinking himself, and probably could have kept battling if he needed to. Tyler was again pounded and took 25-11-61, the ship was taking good holes and was surprised to see that much damage but it really did take the last few holes and prop washing to get her to sink. Tyler’s Derfflingers seem to have a funny characteristic in which they seem close to sinking but just ride low and make it way longer than it would seem they should. McCoy forgot to turn his pump on but otherwise did fairly well. Zach again had difficulty with buoyancy due to poor hull skin.
Bob/Zach/Bryan won by 1800 points in the first battle and 350 points the second battle.
Ice Breaker, Labort Day Weekend September 5,6 2020
Port Polar Bear battled Labor Day weekend Saturday and Sunday. We did 3 battles each day. Mike (NC), Bob (Nagato), Matthew (Nagato), Hudson (Barham), Andy (Barham), Bryan (Idaho) Tom (Alaska), Tyler (Tiger), Zach (Kongo), Peter (Erin), Clint (Invincible), McCoy (Zara), Rick (Jamaica) were all on the water at some point.
Saturday: It was a bit slow going initially. There was road construction so Tyler, Hudson, McCoy took a funky detour and showed up at 9 instead of a little after 8. We split fleets and kept them the same for the day. Tyler, Hudson, Mike, Peter, Tom, McCoy vs Bob, Zach, Andy, Matthew, Bryan, Rick. Clint was there later in the day with the Invincible but wasn't able to get the last few things together to get it on the water for battle. Tyler had the Tiger out for the first time, as of 2020 it gets 3 sidemounts but the middle turret is really far forward in the ship and it is difficult to get gun depression on it and it doesn't' turn very well, as is a trend for the 24 second class 4 battle cruisers, I'd say that it performs similarly to a Kongo. Bryan's Idaho was out for the first time, the super firing stern sidemount needs more depression and he is going to go to full 2 pumps rather than the 1 and 1/2 pumps as to ditch the dual bow guns and go to a "funny gun" and put one of the stern sidemounts up from 50 to 75 rounds, it could probably use 1.75 inch rather than 1.5 inch props as well. Bob, Andy, Matthew were having more than typical boat break downs and their team was less competitive then they should have been. Bob's and Andy's batteries were not pushing enough voltage to consistently fire the solenoids and Matthew's ballast was off center frequently. Hudson lost a drive motor but didn't' cost him much damage as it was late in a battle. On the last battle McCoy lost reverse. There were in general a lot of little things breaking down between battles that were needing to be fixed. We ended up not leaving the pond until after 6PM. We had hot dogs pond side for lunch. The weather was warm and sunny, in the low 80's and still. Most of the guys hung out at Bob's afterwards in the garage for boat work/talk/pizza.
Sunday: We flipped teams for Sunday, participation was a bit spotty for a variety of issues. Andy missed the first battle. Bob, Hudson, Tom, Peter, Bryan, Rick vs Tyler, Mike, Matthew, Zach, McCoy, Clint. The HMS Invincible was out on its maiden voyage. I thought it looked pretty good after we took a lot of energy getting all of the little things sorted out (radio endpoints, solenoid plugged in correctly, guns worked out). Later Andy showed up and joined the Tyler/Mike team. Mike and Brian left after the 2nd battle and Tyler, Bob, Zach were having ship issues that lead to missing all or part of the 3rd battle. The day was warm and dry, a little muddy at the bank due to over night rain and fairly windy. we had 2 tents plow over before it was decided we should steak them.
We will not be battle Monday. We will try to get another local battle in this Fall. Since the Brouhaha was canceled in March, some of the guys are making plans to travel in November to New Orleans instead.
Turkey Shoot, November 7,8 2020
Since the Brouhaha was canceled in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, a make up battle was scheduled for November in Boutte Louisiana. Bob (Nagato), Andy (Barham), Matthew (Nagato), Mike (North Carolina), and Brandon (Bob’s Kongo) were all able to go.