2021 A Year in Port Polar Bear

Brouhaha Sat/Sun March 27,28 2021

Brouhaha 2020 (13th annual) was attended by Bob (Nagato), Andy (Nagato), Mike (Seydlitz), and Brandon (Zach’s Nagato, honorary PPB member).




PPB Memorial Day Battle May 29/30, 2021

Port Polar Bear held our typical Memorial Weekend Battle. The 2 day event saw multiple of the usual participants with a few less common faces as well. The captains who made it out were: Tyler (Yamato, first battle in her), McCoy (Zara), Bob (Nagato), Zach (Nagato), Andy (Nagato), Matthew (Nagato), Bryan (Texas), Peter (Erin), Mike (Seydlitz), Clint (Invincible); from Missouri Tom (QE) and Rick (Jamaica) came up; Kas (Washington) came from Michigan; and Nate (WV) came from Pennsylvania.


On Saturday we did 6 sorties (3 complete battles). The teams were fairly stable for the whole day: Tyler, Zach, Kas, Mike, Peter, McCoy vs Bob, Andy, Tom, Nate, Bryan, Rick.  Peter forgot his battery connecters and superstructure so got into the first battle late with red duct tape over the center portion of his ship. Matthew arrived for the 2nd battle. Bryan had to leave before the 3rd battle. Andy and Zach went toe to toe and sank each other in an epic side by side trigger pull race in the 2nd battle. We had McDonald’s for lunch. The team with Bob/Andy won the first two battles by 2500 or so points and the last by 800.


The Yamato worked pretty well for the first battle, it was extremely nimble for how big it is. It took 190 aboves, 8 on, 74 below and seemed to shrug it off. Tyler had a bit of a hard time getting used to how it handled, where the guns hit, and learning how aggressive to be in it. However she had electrical gremlins which plagued her for the rest of the weened, the 2nd battle it really only had functional stern sidemounts. It was thought to be low voltage into the solenoids so it was rewired Saturday night to use a separate solenoid battery at a higher voltage, but it didn’t solve the issues, next step is to crack the box again and rework the firing boards. Tyler used the Tourville and played cruiser games with McCoy for the 3rd battle. At the end of the 3rd battle McCoy was trying to push into Bob’s Nagato to hold it still for Tyler when the battle was basically over and he ended up rolling him over and sank it, he blamed his dad. The gang went to Bob’s after the battle and did boat work and had Pizza.


On Sunday we were very slow to get going, it rained off and on in the morning somewhat lightly but it seemed like people’s motivations were similar to the weather. The teams were fairly similar with a few flips. Once the Yamato was determined to be a no-go, Tyler grabbed Andy’s Nagato since he wasn’t expected to be at the pond until noon. Clint’s Invinvible was essentially reconstructed the night before and finished pond side, it battled the first battle. I’m not sure what failed but it didn’t make it back out for the 2nd. Really early on in the first battle Zach blew a main gun hose line and was out, and Matthew had lost control prior to the battle and wasn’t able to launch leaving Bob’s team significantly short handed. At one point Bob was mentally driving Andy’s Nagato (captained by Tyler) and blasted an entire magazine into the water off his starboard side while the same stern sidemount in the ship captained by Tyler was actually ripping his ship apart, both laughed pretty hard at it and said afterwards that they though it was odd the other guy was just sitting there and not moving. Bob had notable buoyancy issues and sank twice. Making matters worse Tom also was 5 out of control at one point. Tyler enjoyed playing in Andy’s Nagato, it seemed bow heavy and had a hard time recovering from turns even without significant damage, so with a bunch of fooling around, the forward most pump was moved to stern, the batteries, radio box, and bottle were moved to stern, and some lead was added to the stern as well as ditching one of the five 10 amp hour NiMH batteries to go to 4. The balance seemed much better and when Andy took it back over he liked how it handled. The superstructure still seems a bit heavy but otherwise it worked well. Steve Dickow showed up as he was passing through town and said he plans to get a ship back on the water soon. McCoy’s Zara rubbed with another ship, chucked a blade, lost rudder control, and loosened the prop strut – luckily it was all relatively easy to fix.


Andy went to Taco Bell and came back with a huge bag with roughly 1000 tacos for lunch. Zach left for a graduation party (he graduated high school Friday night) and Clint took his Nagato out. Tyler went back to musical boats and battled the Tourville and did cruiser things with McCoy again. McCoy was fairly close to Clint in the Nagato when it sank, so he got credit for the sink, which is how it always works: whoever is closest to the ship when it goes down gets credit for the sink. Kas had to get to Chicago so left after the 2nd battle. Partially because we are getting old and fatigue easily and partially because of the late start we opted to call it quits and head to Bob’s house and eventually Buffalo Wild Wings for supper.


The weather was cool and as a group the cold drinks were not heavily used. Bob, Andy, Mike, Matthew went to the pond to test cruisers on Monday morning.


Nats is July 12-16 in Oakboro, NC. Tyler, McCoy, Bob, Zach, Andy, Peter, Mike are all planning to go. We have nailed down the date for the Fall 2 day battle on September 11,12, which is the weekend after Labor Day.




NATS July 12-16, 2021

The weeklong national event was held in Oakboro, North Carolina. Multiple Port Polar Bear captains made the trip as follows: Tyler (Yamato), McCoy (Zara), Bob (Nagato), Zach (Nagato), Andy (Nagato), Matthew (Nagato), Peter (Erin), Mike (Seydlitz). Mike, Peter, and Matthew flew while the rest took 2 vehicles and 25 ships (8 primaries, 4 secondary cruisers, 2 secondary pre-dreads, and 11 convoy ships). The Axis/Allies roster was scrapped well before Nats and for the first time ever Nats was a Red vs Blue fleet battle from the onset. Tyler was the Blue Fleet Admiral and the 7 others were likewise on the Blue Fleet. Control of the water was in favor of the Blue fleet for the first 3 battles (5k, 400, 9k point victories) as was the first campaign by 15k. The 4th and 5th fleet battles were won by the Red fleet by about 2k as was Thursday campaign by 7k. The Blue fleet carried the week by 19,000 points.


Campaign strategy from the Blue fleet was to essentially not launch any warships or try to sink enemy convoy ships at all, focusing instead on heard based protection and rapid patching/turnaround which lead to a total of 175 or so completed convoy ship runs. We had 20 convoy ships running continuously with only 1 captain on the team that didn’t have a convoy ship to run. This should help lead to passing a newly proposed rule to limit convoy ship run attempts.


On Wednesday Tyler, McCoy, Bob, Zach, Andy, Mike, and Peter went to the USS North Carolina after 2 full cruiser battles that were held in the morning. It was a 2.5 to 3 hour drive but was deemed well worth it by all. No PPB members attended night battle.


Dinner in town was pretty hit and miss. Neither of the home style BBQ joints in town were open, though we did get BBQ for lunch one day at the pond as well as at the awards banquet. We had Japanese/sushi one night that was fantastic. Another time we went to a local sports bar that was out of pretzel bites, rum, one of the draught beers, and whiskey.


Various awards were won by Port Polar Bear members. McCoy won high points class 3 (tie). Andy won high points class 6 (tie with Mark). Tyler won high points class 7 (tie with Jeff). Bob won best ram. Tyler won “Swiss Cheese” which is most damage with a sink (214 above, 39 on, 67 below). Tyler won the “Alien” award which is most damage without a sink (181 above, 37 on, 43 below). Tyler won most feared Axis. Tyler was the winning admiral.


PPB Ice Breaker Fall Battle September 11/12, 2021

Labor Day tends to get busy for us so we will occasionally battle the weekend after. We had a 2 day event with multiple out of town finds joining us. Participants were Tyler (Yamato), McCoy (Zara), Addie (Tourville), Bob (Nagato), Andy (Nagato), Matthew (Nagato), Peter (Erin), Mike (Seydlitz); from KC, Missouri Tom (Alaska) and Rick (Jamaica); from Reno, Nevada Brandon (Caio Dulio); from Atlanta, Georgia Lou (Zach’s Nagato). Tyler, McCoy, and Addie battled only on Sunday. At the ripe old age of 8, this was Addie’s first battle ever, she struggled a bit in understanding how to drive the ship when it was oriented towards the shore but seemed to slowly figure out how to get it to move where she wanted as the day wore on, and she only sank 1 time because she forgot to turn the pump on, she said it was because her dad never told her to turn it on when it was launched.


From my perspective on Sunday, there were a few ship break downs: Yamato had a pump clog twice and she sank in the first two battles on Sunday with modest but not extreme damage, on the third battle she lost a drive motor that was quickly replaced. Alaska had electrical gremlins on Saturday and missed a battle. Matthew had a panel of balsa come loose from the bottom of the hull and sank easily one battle. Generally, it was relatively minor stuff that was fixed within 20-30 minutes and didn’t seem to slow us down much. We were able to do 3 full two sortie battles on both Saturday and Sunday. Bob grilled foot-longs for lunch. McCoy had 4 bites of hotdog and 3 cookies.