A Year in Port Polar Bear 2008

 

1-13-08 It seams like a long time since we had our last building meeting. Yesterday we were again at Ronís shop getting work done on our ships improving them for next year. We had a lot of people at the meeting. I have the Washington on the table getting the stern water channeling done. I have the decks cut out and ready to install. All the wiring is done. One more good weekend and sheíll be ready to get sheeted. Tyler had the Minneapolis along to show off. He has made a new superstructure with windows in it. He used a CD case to make the windows. Ben & I were impressed with the windows and canít wait for a stray bb to smash through and kill the bridge crew. Tyler also had a wood DD hull he is working on. Ben was putting things in the hull to find the correct weight, not sure what the results were. Tyler also had a wood hull Derflinger. It has the ribs and water channeling installed, the bottom is glassed and systems installation is starting. He got a wiring lesson and started getting his radio box put together. Tyler has been busy this winter; he got engaged too so he better get those ships done before the wedding. Ben had his NC along and was cleaning off the old balsa. Peter had TMGBC, not sure what he was working on, maybe some pretty superstructure. Heís also looking at installing reversing motors. Mike had the St. Paul and was moving the rudder closer to the props. Steve brought the Bismarck. He could only stay for a little while but is ready to start wiring. He is using one of the lockable plastic boxes from Wal-Mart, looked very nice. He also used a self leveling concrete sealant for his water channeling. It looked good and real easy to install. Moe brought his Lutzow, not sure if he worked on it. Ron had the freighter and was installing the sub deck. He didnít get much done as he helped out John Worley get his wood hull FN Tourville together. Ben was over there sanding and cutting too. Lars brought his Tiger, I didnít see him work on it but with all the people in the shop I might have missed it. Ben was nice enough to buy a couple pizzas for the hungry builders. Peter & I went over how to update the web site. Iím going to try and get some more photos and reports posted. Weíll see how good I get at it. Peter is an html expert. It was like the Matrix were Peter looks at all these letters and symbols and can see what it looks like. I look and see a bunch of random stuff. Our next meeting will be at Benís place for the gun building day. Weíll start at 10 am and go until we finish. I have 32 guns on the list. Bob 5, Tyler 3, Peter 6, Andy 3, Steve 5, Ron 3, Mike 3 & Moe 4.Iíll post reminders and a list of stuff to bring closer to the building day.

 

1-27-08 Gun building day made a good start on the guns. We had Ben, Peter, Mike, Moe, Steve, John, Lars & I working on guns at different times during the day. We got the Tís & elbows milled out for all the guns. The little tubes are cut and soldered in place. There are a few mags left to make but 27 of them are ready to go. All the up-feeds & elbows need to be put together yet. The springs & bushings are ready; pistons are still getting worked on. Then all the guns need to be assembled. Weíll need most of another day to put them together and test them out. Some Saturday or Sunday between now and the next meeting at Ronís on the 24th of February. In the past is has taken almost 2 hours per gun to build one, test it and get it working. I thought we'd have a big drop in that time because of the productivity of making so many at one time. We had good tools with Ben's mill and chop saw, Peters little cutting saw, lots of room and lots of people. I'd guess we put 35 or so hours into building yesterday. I think there's another 20 hours to go. There was really no drop in time at all, nuts. 

2-9-08 Gun Building Day II was Saturday at my house. It was cold, windy and snowing outside but warm in the basement ship yard. Steve Smith brought his Lutzow (or is it the Graff Spee) over to see what needed to be changed since he last battled it in the 90ís. Itís always interesting to see how things were done 10-20 years ago. The guns were the old ball barring interrupters. I had seen these one other time on Kevin K.ís old Lutzow. Steve had changed over to CO2 from Freon so it had some modern stuff in it. I also got to look through some of his old paper work. For sale flyers from years ago telling you how the penny pump is the best pump on the market. A good weekend of work will have Steveís ship back on the water. Meanwhile Peter was hard at work soldering barrels together. This took him all day for the 38(?) barrels. Mike stopped by on his way to work and dropped off some spare parts. Mike was going to work to play the new video game he is making. My kids thought this was a great job, getting to play video games at work! I agreed with them until I remembered the game was ďDancing with the StarsĒ, not a game I would like to play over and over and overÖ Andy and Dave came over and helped get guns together and test them. Dave is taking a DVD to work to try and find a new battler. Sounds like they have a pond right on site we could hold a demo battle at. We ran out of small hose for the guns and ran out of time to test them all. We did get three done for Andy who now has his trip sterns installed. I finished testing guns last night. I think we have 6 of them missing hoses: otherwise they are all done and worked great. Everyone that helped out did a good job. We only had a couple guns that needed a little work. Most of them fired perfectly on the first try. Peter took the barrels home to clean them up. I will bring the guns to the next building meeting 2-24-08 at Ronís shop. We can get them matched up with a barrel and installed into your ship. Bring your $25 per gun if you have not already paid.

 

2-24-08 Spring is almost here. It was warm enough outside to melt a little snow. Inside we had another building meeting at Ronís shop Sunday. Ron & Peter finished trimming the gun barrels and Steve & I finished putting hose and the barrels into the guns. Steve, Ron & Moe all took their guns home. I only have Mikeís guns left to hand out. Moe was at the meeting to talk and pick up his guns, his ship waited at home. Ben stopped by but and to leave to go someplace. Peter had TMGBC on the table but did not seam to be working on it too much. Lars had the dremel out and was working on the Tiger. Steve had the Bismarck to work on. He did some wiring on it. I helped him get the guns bent into place. Ron had made some progress on the freighter, he had the decks in place and some of the superstructure built. He took the old guns out of the Lion and installed the new ones. I had the Washington at the shop and painted the secondary turrets. I have to seal the decks, sheet the ship and assemble the insides. I should be done before the ice melts.The next building meeting will be March 16th at Ronís shop. Weather pending we should be able to battle in mid April. Get your ships ready!

 

3-16-08 Hopefully yesterday was our last building meeting of the season. If weíre lucky next time we get together weíll be battling. We had most of the usual crowd at the meeting. Ron, our host, had the Altmark on the bench getting some Best of Scale superstructure on it. He also was cutting the Life Line trophy for NATS. He had the design on CAD and was cutting it out of aluminum on one of his machines. Lars had Tiger #1 in the shop starting the refit for NATS. If Andy can get time off he will be his dadís wingman, both using Tigers. Peter was working on TMGBC superstructure. Tyler had the Derflinger along and was working on the decks, casements, radio box & internal layout. He found out that there is not a lot of room inside his ship. Even though itís a lot bigger then the USS Mpls there is more stuff to fit inside. Steve was getting the Bismarck closer to battle ready. He had his wiring done and was working on getting the guns mounted. Tom Henchal (Our newest member) had his Scharny hull cut out and ready to start work. We went over the steps to get it together. He is hoping to get it ready for the local spring battles and the Tangler at Engler. I had the Washington in the shop and got most of the sheeting done. I found a flaw in my deck design. The stern deck latch is hitting the large gear post for the rudders. I did not think it was a big deal and left it. But I found that it was bending the post. Iíll have to fix that. We talked about the spring battling schedule. If the weather works out weíll have our first battle April 13th. Or if the weather does not weíll have another building meeting. The next battle will be April 27th. We picked May 11th for a battle but thatís Motherís Day so I donít think that will fly. Maybe the day before on the 10th would work. The next weekend is Blaine Aviation Days at American Wings Museum, the place we are having the NATS banquet. Peter & I stopped by after the building meeting and talked to Len and have a spot to set up our table. The 24th to 26th is the Tangler and Engler. Sound like Peter, Tyler, Tom, Steve & I are making the trip. Lars, Ron and Ben are maybes. Anyone else thinking of going?

 

4-13-08 The weather beat us again. It was too cold and frozen to battle this weekend so we got together at Ronís for a building day. Ron was working of the NATS trophies, they look very nice. He also had the Lion & St Louis getting tuned up. His new guns where installed in the Lion, also a new stinger motor and some minor electrical work. The St Louis is getting new shafts, they old ones where broken in a fall last year. Lars had the Tiger in the ship getting some hull work cleaned up on it. Mike was working on St Paul super structure. Brandon had his ďNewĒ I-boat along getting the shafts in place and working on water channeling. Ben stopped by and fixed a part on my car. He also told us about the ice boat he was sailing on this winter. Maybe he can design a way for us to really put skates on the ships. I worked on the Lion & St Louis with Ron. I was ready to battle. We missed seeing the members of the Axis fleet. But maybe thatís why we got so much work done. TMGBC was a MGNS (Mighty German No Show). Itís going to be nice this week so we should be able to battle 4-27-08 as scheduled. Get ready. If anyone wants to come over to my place for a ship night let me know.

 

4-27-08 It was a close call with the weather today. A hardy group of battlers still got together for a snowy battle. It had been a building marathon at my ship yard this weekend. Brandon (I-boat) & Andy (Baltimore) were in the basement trying to get their ships ready for the battle on Sunday. Both of them got close but neither made it. Andy & I went down to the pond for a quick sea trial Saturday night with the new Washington and the freshly sheeted Baltimore. Neither ship had ever been wet before. The Washington preformed well. It was balanced, turned well and had some good start/stop power. It looked a little slow but we were too cold to find the test stakes and time it. The Baltimore was also well balanced and turned better then I thought it would. Andy drove around for a while and had a shaft lock up. This had been a problem the last couple of days and would be item #1 to fix Saturday night. Andy said he finally went to bed at 2am, without interior armor. Brandon got the ship sheeted but did not get all of the insides finished.

Sunday morning I got down to the pond about 11am and set up. I had the new Washington, FN Montcalm, USS St Louis & The Bike. Tyler, Steve & Jason Schafer were the first group down to the pond. Jason started building his Prince Eugene back when I started building The Bike (2000). He last battled it a few years ago, 2003 maybe. The first thing he did before the battle was patch the holes from that battle 4+ years ago. Bill, one of my coworkers, stopped by to see what the battling was like and got to take The Bike for a spin. We also had a new prospect, Tim Dorn, come down to watch the battle. I got all of my ships ready and took Bill to find the speed markers to test the Washington. She was slow and 26.5 sec. I took the drag disks off and got it up to 24.5 sec., so Iíll have to get some bigger gears. I also marked the waterline and added some tape. I did not do a good job in the bow and had some ďbelowĒ area above the water. I set Bill up with The Bike by giving him the grand tour of the ship, bbs go here, plug in the battery here. By this time Peter had made it down to the pond and was dressed up like a German Engineer. He had on a long black jacket with gold buttons and some gold arm decorations and a white hat. I think the hat was more Captain & Tenniel then German Navy. He did get the best dressed award for the day. Andy & Dave also made it down as we were setting up. The Baltimore would not make it out but Andy ran the St Louis. It took a while but we got the ships ready to go out for the first battle of the year. Just as we hit the water Lars made it down to the pond. The fleets were split up to be Washington (Bob), The Bike (Bill), Mpls (Tyler) vs Bismarck (Steve), TMGBC (Peter), St Louis (Andy), Prince Eugen (Jason). The PE lost a gear right at the start of battle and was out before things got started.Tyler went after the St Louis. He thought there was no reason for him to use his stern guns on Peterís low freeboard. After playing with the St Louis he found a bigger target in the new Bismarck. I traded sidemounts, for a while with Peter. Then we both had our guns jam with a bb in the barrel. This happened several times during the day. I donít think we had a bad batch of bbs. It must have been some burs left over in the new barrels we made this winter. By the end of the day my guns were working fine. The bbs seamed to run out fast, or the guns jammed up halfway through the magazine. Steve had taken most of the Mpls & Washingtonís stern guns. I practiced my prop washing but may have bummed too hard a couple of times. The Bismarck sank at the end of the sortie. I had wader duty today and went to get the big ship. That thing sure weighs a lot when itís full of water. We found two nice ram holes in the starboard side of the ship, that might have been me. Back to the bench to get ready for the next sortie. Everyone reloaded guns and CO2. There was no need to chill the bottles as the cold temps and fast firing guns had frozen some bottles in place. I could not get mine out of the ship until I dumped some water on it.

A few of us worked on guns, while Steve patched his damage. Jason borrowed one of my spare gears and was ready to fight. Lars had one of his I-boats ready, a handy back up while Tiger II is getting refitted. After a long delay getting things back together we found that the St Louis had lost rudder control and had a little water in the radio box. I thought I found all the cracks but now discovered that I had missed a couple. Andy was going to take it out without the rudder and try to dump his bbs and get off the water. I started putting ships in the water and was soon called to get the sunken St Louis. The servos were twitching and turning off the pump. As soon as I got it on shore another sank. The Bike had also gone down. One of those new guy forgetting to turn the pump on problems. Fleets were Washington & The Bike vs Bismarck, TMGBC, Mpls, I-boat & PE. Just as battle started the Bismarck went dead in the water. I think the PE did too as I donít remember shooting at Jason. I turned for a few stern shots at the Bismarck and then started after the TMGBC & I-boat. Steve was able to fix the problem, not sure what it was. Peter & I traded sidemounts for a while and I chased his triple sterns. He gave me a few good holes on both sides of the ship. While we were playing The Mpls did a good job of picking at my sides. He got some really good shots into me and I was in no position to try and get him back. He did get caught away from the open water and I ran him into the channel closely followed by Peter. The Mpls turned too close to shore and got caught in the weeds.I backed in for some stern shots and also got caught. We both went on 30 sec moss while Peter was able to back in for some free target practice on the Washington. Either his guns were close to empty or not working as the damage was not very heavy. After I cleared the Mplsí props Tyler ran away while I cleared my own. Next time Iíll have to remember to clean my props first. I went back to chasing Peter and the I-boat went down. Lars latter found a clogged pump outlet was the cause to this sink. The lesson here is to always check your pump, even the outlet and hose. TMGBC soon found its favorite place on the bottom of the pond. I pulled him out and got to play with Steve until all his bbs were gone.

Lars said his clogged pump drove him crazy. At first he thought it was a set screw on the impellor that came loose. Lars removed the pump and tested it in the lake. He got the normal gusher of water. Next he put his hex driver into the outlet and pushed out a large piece of silicon.

After the battle Tyler told me I was shooting high, hitting his pretty superstructure. I ranged my sterns down a little for the next sortie. All of the boat fishing had got my hands and jacket wet; I was getting colder and could not feel my fingers. Itís hard to find the push buttons on your radio when you canít feel them. I found myself pushing the wrong buttons a lot. Lars told me to get my ship out on the water and stop whining about the cold weather. We decided to go out for another sortie without patching. Peter was out with too much damage and some other ship problems. I could feel a cold blast of air and then it started to snow. Just a little at first, then big fluffy flakes. We rushed to get the ships on the water so we could take photos of the battle in the snow. This might have been the first time I was disappointed it stopped snowing. We did get a couple of photos of the Bismarck in the snow.

The fleets should have been the same as the last sortie but this sortie turned into a free for all pretty quick. Lars had been having some radio issues in the 2nd sortie. Jason and Lars both were having radio issues and thought they might be on the same channel. Jason should be on 81, but his transmitter crystal was not labeled. Jason pulled his ship off the water. I held off shooting at The Bike, thereís not that much skin left and we have a few more battles to go to. I took off after Lars with my starboard sidemount, the one Iím use to shooting with. Lars started to have intermittent control problems. The farther away from shore he got the worse it was. He tried to stay close to shore and found a good target in The Bike. He lost control completely and the ship drove itís self under and sank in the channel. Then I used some stern guns and the port sidemount, the one I need practice with on the Bismarck. Tyler had already put a few more holes into him. A little prop washing and she went down again. I pulled it out of the water, along with the I-boat. Then I started chasing the Mpls around the pond. Tyler emptied his stern guns into my bow as I tried to cut him off and get him on my port side. He got behind me once and I was able get rid of my sterns. Tyler saw the next part of the battle like this.

I had a couple of really big ons and enough aboves close to the water line that with the slight starboard list was enough to do me in. When we were fighting for position, Bob ran me over a bit (not quite a ram) but it was enough to push my stern under for a few seconds and I think that let in enough water to be un recoverable. With only 3 ships on the water, I didn't have the luxury of sitting and pumping, so I think Bob kind of chased me under. To add insult to injury, and to show his general distaste for well constructed pretty looking superstructure, he blew off a couple pieces of ABS as I went down.

As the Mpls was going down the bow, like most cruisers, was sticking out of the water. Tyler managed to drive it to shore. It was this trip with the bow bobbing out of the water that was too tempting for me. I had bbs, was on the right side to use them and had to try.I was just a little off target.

We looked at the damage to the I-boat and found all 14 belows on the same side, that sidemount is still on target. Steve was surprised to see big holes in his interior armor. He used plastic carpet cover. It might have worked on a warm day when it was more flexible but in the cold it was too brittle and broken.

We packed up the gear and headed back to the cars. The walk to the car must have warmed us up a little because we sat around and talked ships for half an hour before we all headed home. Lars called home as we all left the parking lot. He was about to leave when he say Tim was still waiting for his wife to pick him up. He let Tim sit in the warm car while they waited.

Scores were: Tyler Mpls 19-2-6 sink,Steve Bismarck 263-19-10 2 sinks, Lars I-boat 65-9-14 sink, Andy St Louis 31-0-0 sink, Bill The Bike 28-1-3, Bob Washington 57-22-23, Peter TMGBC 13-8-7 sink, Jason PE 0-0-0.

One note on the Washingtonís damage. With the Warspite at nationals & regionals I take about the same amount of damage every battle. Itís always around 50-12-20. But locally I never take that many hits. Maybe the local guys are getting better with their guns. Or maybe Iím battling a run n gun ship like a hug n slug ship.

 

5-10-08 Several of us got together at the Chanhassen pond to check speed and play with the ships without sinking them. Peter with TMGBC, Brandon & Chandler w/I-boat, Mike w/ St Paul, Andy w/Baltimore and I had the Montcalm. Tom was working on Scharny in my basement but was not able to run it yet. Chandler had hauled a friend, Todd, along to see the ships in action. Todd is a scale model guy, we tried hard to convert him. He was impressed with the guns firing on the ships. I was only able to stay for an hour and ran two speed tests with the Montcalm. She was 18.5 sec with no drag disk and 21 with 1Ē disk. I hope to get her down to 22 sec with a larger and rounder set of disks. The ones I cut on site are not very round. Brandon needed to gear up the I-boat as it was 28 sec. Peterís new batteries give him more room in his ship, balance it better and allow for more damage before he sinks. His guns were working well too. Though he needs to speed up his reverse props to get closer to speed.Andyís report on Baltimore: I ran out of time to do actual speed tests, other than Mike and Peter thought I was probably too fast.  But, that'd make sense because I put slightly smaller drag disks on.  Since I hadn't measured speed yet, I figured I'd err on the side of too fast.  I should be about right with the same size Bob and I had originally put on.  I might even have to gear down a little bit.  Which is something else Peter and I talked about.  We had hooked up his awesome little current measurer thing up to my radio box to see how much current the Balt was drawing.  Quite astonishing really.  Just putting around, no pumping, I draw 4-5 amps (Peter said if I geared down to a smaller pinion gear I'd probably draw less power just putting around  I THINK I have 13 tooth pinions, might go down to 11 or 12).  Decent enough for a 5ah battery.  Lightly pumping, the Stinger adds another 4-5amps.  Pumping hard, the Stinger alone draws 20+ amps, I think it topped out around 22amps.  So, I figure a 5ah battery will work, but I'll have to really monitor my time and not run my pump except for when I need it.  Maybe I'll look into NiMH batteries so I can have more amp hours.  Anyone have any thoughts there?  Like where they come from?, how much they cost, how much the charger will cost...
   Gun testing was exciting, as always (just so much fun!).  I had one barrel that had a burr or something at the inconvenient end.  Once I got that taken care of, all 3 of my stern guns were working well.  I still need to pick up some good lock tight though so the guns hold their tweak better.  I put the Balt on the water with BBs and air to see where the guns were hitting and was pleased with the results.  They were hitting maybe a little further away than I really want them, I'd say it was 2.5 to maybe 3 feet behind me.  I might bring them in closer to 2 feet.  But from the shore, the spread looked really good.  Seemed to be one big splash, not 3 littlier ones.  I'll have to do some testing in my garage to make sure they really are hitting as close as it looked like.

 

5-17 & 18-08 Blaine Aviation Days was a great recruiting opportunity. Ron, Peter, Mike & I set up a couple tables with our ships and videos on display over the weekend and talked to hundreds of people. We handed out a lot of flyers and a few DVDs. There were a lot of people who said they would be coming to our next battle on June 14th. We had a couple people both days that seam to be interested in getting a ship. On Saturday there were 15 or so warbirds on display. They all took off at noon to do a flyby and then headed off to the state capitol for another flyby. I forgot my camera on Saturday and did not get any pictures. I remembered the camera Sunday but all the warbirds were at another air show. We had a good time talking about the hobby. Mike really liked showing off his special bb. Peter & Ron tried to fly away Sunday for lunch but could not get their plane off the ground. Get yourself signed up for the battle in June, get your ship ready.

 

6-8-08 Ben, Mike & I were at the Edina Model Yacht club yesterday for their Parade of Ships. There were a lot of very nice looking ships on display and on the water. The "highlight" of the day was an 8'+ USS Missouri. It was on the water and was rammed by a 1' long PT boat. Several pieces of pretty stuff was knocked off, kind of funny. I had the Washington on the water and the air turned on. The crowed liked the splashes of the guns but liked the water from the pump the most. We had several interested people that hopefully will come to the battle of the 14th.

 

6-14-08 We had a wonderful day for battling on Sunday. It was warm and sunny with just enough wind to slow the small ships down. The city no longer cuts the grass behind the fence so on Friday I went down to the pond with the weed trimmer and cut down a lot of the grass on the shore. I got down to the pond about 9:30 with the kids and ships. I got the bbs loaded; guns tweaked and was joined by several other battlers. We were surprised to see Ron make it to battle with his St Louis, he thought he was going to his momís place but plans changed and he was able to battle with us. Tom Henchal had his Scharny out on the water for the first time. It did not have any superstructure yet. Just a flat deck with a few cans pointing out of it. Brandon & Chandler were there to battle their I-boat for the first time. It was a lot faster then at the testing day a month ago, about 22 sec. Other captains that were at the battle were: Bob H & Washington & The Bike, Chuck & Lutzow, Mike & St Paul, Andy & Baltimore, Peter & TMGBC and Tyler & Mpls. Tyler also brought his so to be nephew and the Tourville he is building for him. He managed to get the DD heís working on in the car too. In between battles he tested out both of the under construction ships. He was a little disappointed in the Tourvilleís turning and has already changed the shafts around. We had a large group of spectators at the pond. Dale brought a bunch from Rochester and Chris got to ride The Bike in one battle. It took awhile but we finally got on the water for a battle. Fleets were St Louis, Washington, The Bike, St Paul vs TMGBC, Scharny, Lutzow, Baltimore, Scharny & I-boat. Since it took me so long to write the report I donít remember who chased who and how the sinks happened, should have sat down Sunday and put the report together. The first sortie had Tyler & Andy staying on the edge trying to pick off battleships (Me) when I was not looking. I spent most of mine time playing sidemounts with TMGBC & I-boat.Brandon was laughing as he zipped around the battle with his I-boat. He traded off with Chandler for the 2nd sortie. I donít think anyone sank the first sortie. Iím pretty sure at the start of the 2nd sortie is when Andy had his brain freeze moment. He drove behind the Washington, then stopped, backed up and when went forward again. I was close to the right range a fired off Ĺ of my triples. For the most of the sortie I chased Andy around. He was pumping hard and soon was sunk. The St Paul also went down, not sure when, why or how. We decided to do a 3rd sortie instead of patch. Then weíd get lunch and have an afternoon battle. Andy patched and came back in. At some point in this sortie TMGBC also sank. Scores were Flag: St Paul 45-4-15 sink, St Louis 23-0-0, Washington 48-11-29, The Bike Score was lost or not scored. No Flag Lutzow 5-1-4, Scharny 80-0-22, Balt 48-8-0, TMGBC 36-11-24 sink, Mpls 10-3-4, I-Boat 18-2-3. Brandon & Chandler both had to leave to go to a wedding that afternoon. Ron had to head off to some other event. Mike did not battle the St Paul, not sure why. For the afternoon battle we had Lutzow, Scharny, Baltimore & Washington vs TMGBC, Mpls, St Louis, The Bike. Hudson (Tylerís nephew) took The Bike out. Lisa (Tomís girlfriend) took out the St Louis. The only thing I remember from this battle was the spurt from Washingtonís sterns. I turned on Peter and fired. One of the guns spurted most of itís bbs. Too bad most of the hit the deck rim. It did a nice job desheeting that area. This might have been the battle were my barrel ripped a big hole in Peterís bow. In one of the sorties I had to guide in the St Louis after the rudder servo died. In one of the sorties I chased Tyler around the pond. While heading into the wind I was able to catch up to him. He ran enough and had enough holes that he sank. I know he was complaining about some pretty pieces getting shot off.Chuck lost the Lutzow; I think his pump fuse blew. We almost sank the St Louis but Lisa made it off 5. Scores were Washington 34-3-17, Lutzow 13-0-3 sink, Balt (1 sortie only) 9-2-2 vs TMGBC 65-4-18, St Louis 45-5-8, Mpls 26-4-15 sink, The Bike 26-5-6. We did some reverse speed testing and headed home. We had three new ships on the water for there first battle. This always leads to a couple funny moments. I already talked about Brandon super fast I-boat. One of the new captains had this happen to him. He stayed up until 3am working on the ship. Went to bed and woke up to find he left the TX on all night. I was wonder what the beeping was, low battery warning. His guns were ďtweakedĒ only hard enough to get out of the barrels. No waterline. Put the two batteries in terminal to terminal. When he stopped the batteries shorted out and melted the wires off of them. Found out when replacing the batteries in a Spectrum you need to rebind it. He did not have a bind plug or instruction book but managed to get it done. The interior armor was installed per scale, only covering the important stuff, none in the bow or stern of the ship. No bbs or speed loader. But I bet if you asked him it was a day full of fun. Next battle 6-29-08 at Chanhassen.

 

6-29-08†† The last warm up battle before NATS was Sunday, it was a nice day but a little windy for battling. People got down to the pond earlier then I did and were al ready testing their ships. Everyone was waiting for the air to get to the pond so they should start testing guns. Mike was having some gun problems with the St Paul. One of the wires to the solenoids came off and was soldered back on to the switch. This cleared up problem one and the others were taken care of soon after. Tyler and Tom were also at the pond. They had a table with them, a first. As I got set up Peter, Jason, Brandon and Ron all got down to the pond. The one thing that was missing was The Bike. The rudder was hanging up and I tried to fix it Saturday night but could not get it done. Itís the first battle that she has not been to in as long as I can remember. Sides were soon split up into Washington (Bob), NC (Ron), Baltimore (Andy), Scharny (Tom) vs TMGBC (Peter), I-Boat (Brandon), St Paul (Mike) Mpls, (Tyler), Prince Eugene (Jason). Ron & I chased around Brandon for most of the sortie. Brandon had changed gears from the last battle but was still 22-23 sec. He was hard to catch but we did get a few shots into him. Maybe the best pass was Ron & I each on a side with Andy waiting ahead of us. He got a few free shots in as we chased the ďpreyĒ around the pond. Brandon ran out of bbs and called 5. I traded stern guns and sidemounts with TMGBC. Everyone got off the water and reloaded. Chandler took the I-boat out this sortie. I chased him for a while again. He ran a lot farther out in the pond then most people do. As the chase was going on I thought I had stumbled on to Mikeís St Paul. I pulled along side and shot off 7-8 sidemounts before I noticed it was my teammate Andyís Baltimore. I think Peter sank. Tyler sank because his pump outlet fell out of his deck and into the ship. Chandler made it off his 5 but sank before he touched his ship. At the end of the sortie Mike drove through some weeds as I was chasing him and called for a moss check. He said ďOh, 30 sec mossĒ I said ďOh goodĒ and pulled in to line up my sidemounts. I emptied one guns and started to flip sides when he got off moss and off 5. He was close to sinking but not quite there. One of the score sheets for this battle was on my table but was lost sometime during the day. We have the following TMGBC 28-2-17 sink, Mpls 5-0-0 sink, Balt 8-1-2, St Paul 26-5-18, Scharny 35-0-8, NC 18-8-6. Brandon & Ron had to head home, everyone but I patched and got ready for the next battle. Before Ron left we ran his new freighter. The first few sea trials were terrible but we added some weight to the back and now she runs like a champ. We just need to put a little water channeling in the stern so it sinks level again. Peter also has the Red Freighter along and did some testing with it. After a few people got back from a lunch run we started on battle #2. It was Washington, Scharny vs Baltimore, TMGBC, Mpls. Tom & I tried to team up Peter. I was on my 3rd sortie with the same battery and was not moving very fast anymore. We spun around for taking shots at each other for two sorties. At one time I backed up a little too far and almost sank myself. I was pretty close, Peter was a little sad that I did not find the bottom. At the end of the 2nd sortie Tom and I ran a speed test. I was running 34 secs. Iím not sure what Tomí speed was but he pulled a Peter and sank right at the end of his speed test. He got the ship out and tested going back and sank again. Andy also ran a speed test and lost radio single about 3í from the stake. He started to back up across the pond and had to swim after the ship. While Tom was sinking and Andy was swimming Peter came to shore and reloaded. I was watching Tomís ship go down when Peter started stern gunning my ship. After Tom & Andy got their ships I was a willing target for Peter to practice on. We pulled our ships counted and packed up. Scores from the 2nd battle were Baltimore 14-0-0, Mpls 8-3-3, Scharny 95-0-24, TMGBC 43-2-17, Washington (all 4 sorties) 107-21-43. Only 14 days until NATS!!!

 

8-24-08 It was a beautiful day for battling on Sunday, 80s and sunny. It was very calm early in the day but got windier in the afternoon. I got down to the pond at 9:30. I tested the guns on all three of my ships and talked to one of the guys using the archery range. I was starting to get lonely when Brandon started to walk down the hill. He had the I-Boat ready to go and tried my lite weight regulator to see if that helped his bow heavy ship. He ran a speed test and started testing his guns. Tom, Paul & Shelby also came down and started to set up. Tom and Brandon brought their own tables! Tom had parts of his superstructure put together but not installed on his ship. Jason had his Prince Eugene but needed a battery for his transmitter. I was helping Brandon get his guns working and had Paul run to my house to get my spare radio. Shortly after Paul left we discovered the problem with Brandon guns. The tubes going into the bottom caps were completely crushed. I tried cutting them down with a Dremel but the bit was too dull and did not work. When Paul came back I took the van home and got three caps from the Warspite. This made the guns work much better. Itís always more fun when the guns work. Tyler & Hudson set up and started putting the Tourville together. We borrowed Brandonís regulator, Mike Cís guns, my bottle and a couple of my solenoids to get the new cruiser on the water. Steve and finally Peter also made it to the pond to get ships ready. We had enough ships to do an Axis vs Allied battle, the first large scale Axis/Allied battle in PPB history. The fleets were Axis: Steve Bismarck, Peter TMGBC, Tom Scharny, Shebly Molke & Jason PE. Allies: Bob Washington, Brandon I-Boat, Paul Rividavia, Tyler Mpls, Hudson Tourville. Before battle could get started Shelby rammed her dad and Paul had to pull the ship out to repair the large hole. This was the first of 5 sorties we would do during the day. Each sortie was close to the same. The cruisers did a good job staying at the edge and taking shots as they came. Hudson did a good job following Tyler around and staying out of trouble. Tom, Peter & Steve tried to get guns on the Washington and the I-boat ran around in-between the big ships. I did not take a lot of shots at Peter and tried to use my sidemounts on Tom with stern guns going to Bismarck. I ran out of bbs really fast and called 5, one of the few times Iíve got off the water before the other ships. Dave Terpstra arrived towards the end of the battle and would take control of The Bike for Sortie #2. This sortie saw sinks for Tomís Scharny, Steveís Bismarck and Brandonís I-boat. The I-boat sank with a clogged pump 70-5-0. Steve 238-10-29 and Tom 87-8-50 took enough bbs to put their ships down.Tom did have a lot of junk under his pump and might have made it a little longer with a better screen. Steve was doing alright until he started to run around and run himself under. Brandon had to head home. Tyler headed out to get lunch and I help Steve & Tom patch their ships. The other ships did not patch and headed out again. Jasonís main battery, the only one he owns, died and left him floating near the shore. The Allies were too busy with the big ships to find him until it was too late. After this sortie Dave had to take off and Jason took over The Bike. Heís using Molex connectors and did not match up with our Deans & Power Pole connectors. I think after this battle Paul and Shelby left, but they might have been in the 4th sortie and left after that. Steve & Tom sunk again in the 4th sortie and headed home after we were done. In the 5th sortie Peter & I teamed up against the 3 cruisers. We were both in bad shape and could not run after them. I tried backing up a few times and almost sunk myself. I think I turned on Peter with the rest of my sidemounts, but I shoot at Peter so much I donít remember. He sank and pulled his ship out. The cruisers ended the day by trying to prop wash the Washington under. They didnít have enough props to wash me under. Scores for the battle were: Jason 1-0-0, Steve ?-?-?, The Bike 3-0-0, Tom 80-9-50 sink, Tyler 20-2-12, Hudson 22-9-12, Bob 155-29-42, Paul 16-1-3, Shelby 34-1-5, Peter 99-12-29 sink, Next battle the Fall Fray, locally weíll be battling again 9-28-08 in Chanhassen.

 

9-27 & 28 By Tyler: On the way home from battling 10 sorties at the Fall Fray in Springfield MO, Bob, Steve, and I were pumped up and decided that the next local battle should be a two day event. As summer comes to a close, we all realize that it wonít be long until our battling season is done for the long winter as the ponds freeze over. But for now, letís battle hard.

I had a commitment on Friday night so decided to make the 3 hour drive from Duluth to Chanhassen the morning of the battle. When I awoke at 5:30 to hit the road for the 9am projected start time I realized that I was in the middle of a dream about battling. In it I was taunting Ron for some reason and he didnít take too kindly to it so he drove his NC up and sank my new Derfflinger. You should have seen the look on his face when I said ďRon I had a dream about you last night.Ē

Saturday morning it rained on and off the whole drive down. When I got to the pond it was chilly, foggy, and looked like rain. I couldnít wait to get started. I could barely contain my excitement when I turned on to the park road that leads down to the pond. When I got there Bob and Andy were already set up and getting the boats ready. I crowded under the tent with the two of them until Paul came with another one and extra table space. As we were getting our boats ready John W (who is building a Tourville) showed up. Bob has had the Bike for a while now and several of the newer captains who are in our local club have battled it before their boats were ready (including myself).

The first sortie was Axis vs Allies with Bob (Washington), Andy (Baltimore), John (Bike) vs Tyler (Derfflinger) and Paul (Rivedavia). I donít remember too much about what happened on the water during the entire day. It is tough to remember two days of battling. I do remember that Bob and I went right for each other and Andy did a nice job working around us and backing down on me when the time was right. Since I have a new ship and want to use it, I found that a common theme for me this weekend was getting myself in trouble behind Bobís trip sterns while trying to get a shot lined up with my sidemounts. Itís probably not a good habit to fall into but I had to shoot at someone and knew it was pointless to chase the cruisers. I remember Paul having some kind of gun problems and at some point in the battle he got stuck behind some trip sterns that opened up his freeboard fairly nicely. Shortly after, the Rivedavia went down with 52-4-3.

We decided that we were going to go for the patented Port Polar Bear style battle where we go as many sorties as we can, patch when we sink, and see how far our batteries will take us. As Paul patched and tried to work on his stern sidemount Peter Geary (a prospective captain) showed up. Since I had the Minneapolis nearly battle ready, I decided to borrow a regulator and bottle from Shelbyís Moltke so we could have another ship on the water. Until I come up with something more creative, I think I will call it the Bike2. At about the same time, Ron came down with the NC. Since we were getting crushed, we decided to keep the Bike2 on the Allies and take Ron on the Axis side.

Sortie two was Bob (Washington), Andy (Baltimore), John (Bike), Peter (Bike2) vs Tyler (Derfflinger), Paul (Rivedavia), Ron (North Carolina). Right after battles started, I was having gun/CO2 problems. I think the test switch was being pushed and held open by the wiring. I grabbed my boat to go refill CO2 and try to move the wires around in my boat so it wouldnít happen again. By the time I got back down there had been some maneuvering and shooting but Iím not sure what. The action I was involved in during the rest of the sortie seemed to be Ron and I going after Bob as Andy and the loaner cruisers worked to peck at us. I think it was at about the same point in the battle that Paul, still having gun problems found himself on the receiving end of some more gun fire and went down again with a score of 71-4-4. Towards the end of the battle I started to appreciate how many aboves I had. I wasnít pumping all that hard until I started moving. A few times I was trying to get position and almost sank. Bobís prop washing probably didnít help. When the pump stream got strong, I tried to stay put and on a few occasions I nearly sank. If the pump outlet was flush with the deck I probably would have but to everyoneís amazement (including my own) I was able to pump out time several times in a row. Eventually I realized my time on the top of the water was probably limited. I just knew I wanted to get rid of as much ammo as I could before I went down. Again Ron and I headed after Bob who had taken a fair amount of damage by now too. I ate more triples and had a ton of quality above damage. It didnít take much maneuvering to put all of those aboves (along with some fresh ones) under and I went down with a score of 75-3-17. In tangling with Bob and the cruisers, Ron also took enough damage to find his way to the bottom of the pond with a score of 50-9-27.

I think part of the reason the aboves hurt me so bad is that I had changed the balance in my boat by moving the bottle foreword in the boat to make room for the bow sidemount. After this battle I changed back to the way I originally had it and it seemed to help the balance. We all reloaded, refilled, Ron, Paul and I patched and we headed out again. Same fleets as before. Ron, Paul and I had fresh skin. There was only one thing to do. Sink Bob was the theme of the 3rd sortie for the Axis plus Ron fleet. Bob had a fair amount of damage but for his Washington usually takes, it was fairly light. Paul was playing with stern guns again and after taking 47-7-5 went down with a beautiful sink. Unfortunately for Bob, it was such a beautiful sink that he couldnít take his eyes off of it to see his Washington driving itself under in reverse. Bob sank himself (with a little help from us) with a score of 38-11-38.

After this sortie, Bob and Paul patched and we went again. I donít remember much of what happened but the bbís must have been flying. Just ask Paul, he sank with 49-1-7 and had to be done for the day. There were other people taking holes too because during the 5th sortie which quickly followed, both Bob (94-20-45) and I sank (64-11-36). I remember at one point we had Bob hurting and he didnít have much choice but to sit fairly still so he wouldnít drive himself under and try to shoot back at the pursuing ships, which was OK for Ron since he had at some point during the day thrown a prop and was forced to put a small one on with poor acceleration and I had more aboves than would allow me to really pursue someone for very long. Ron and I were not working together very well and kept pushing each other out of the way to get our chance to shoot at Bob. I like the bloodlust but itís nice to work together, maybe next time.

It was a good long day of battling and we decided to quit for the day. It seemed like the gusts that were driving the Bike and Bike2 had a good time and I know that the ďregularsĒ had a great time. I had fun getting to know my new boat even more. Bob had fun shooting at me. Ron had fun shooting at Bob. Andy had fun staying out of trouble and finding his good shots (Iím pretty sure he came out ahead on the day as he only took 21-1-0 all day). And Paul was ecstatic with his perfect 4 sinks in 4 sorties record on the day. We packed up and headed for home. Bob and I had work to do. I patched the Washington, Derfflinger, Minneapolis, and the bike. Bob repaired the Bikeís rudder box that had taken on some water during the day but kept working (this is why you dig the water box a little deeper than it needs to be). And then he added push buttons to my radio. We watched some of the video one of the onlookers had filmed of the battle and it was time for bed.

Sunday morning, Bob and I headed down to the pond for a 9am start time. It was a slow going morning as battlers slowly arrived. Andy came down third followed by Paul and Shelby and eventually Peter (who of course hadnít patched since the last battle). John W also showed up again. Since we were slow going, Bob and I did a bunch of pump tests as we timed how long it took our boats to pump out on level ground with one gallon of water dumped into it. We tested the Washington and Derfflinger (which were both about 28 some seconds for the gallon) and the Minneapolis, Baltimore and the Bike (which were closer to 50 seconds for the gallon) and the Montcalm (which was around 75 seconds for the gallon I think). Andy also was doing some pond side tests when he discovered that he was skipping some of his shots off his deck.

When we finally hit the water, we decided to once again battle Axis vs. Allies. Fleets were Tyler (Derfflinger), Peter (TMGBC), Shelby (Moltke) vs. Bob (Washington), Paul (Rivedavia), Andy (Baltimore), John (Bike), I think. Again I was feeling a little too giddy to go shoot at Bob and I chased his trip sterns. I drove around a little and sunk with a ton of giant aboves in the bow.

After the first sortie I patched aboves only and counted 50 of them, all in the front 4 inches or so. When I was patching Ron and Jason showed up. Also, Robbie (a perspective captain) came out and was pumped to know we were going to let him ride the Bike 2. It was already close to noon so we hustled to get everyone on the water for sortie 2. When we were getting close Lars came down. Since we were already antsy, we all agreed to start without him and let him come out as soon as he was ready.

Since it worked for us on Saturday, we went Axis and Ron vs Allies. Fleets were Tyler (Derfflinger), Peter (TMGBC), Shelby (Moltke), Jason (PE), Ron (NC) vs. Bob (Washington), Paul (Rivedavia), Andy (Baltimore), Lars (Tiger), John (Bike), Robbie (Bike 2). Right away Peter, Ron and I got to work on Bob while Jason chased the three Allied cruisers around to try to keep them off of the battleships. Our hard work paid off (probably partially because Lars wasnít on the water yet) and it didnít take too much longer before Bobís NC slowly slipped beneath the waves. At one point Ron said ďBob, why are you pumping so hard?Ē and Bob replied with a laugh, ďTyler and I just shot the snot out of each other.Ē I had pulled up next to him with my haymaker vs his A turret. We both had what we thought was a good shot so neither of us moved. We both just sat there blasting away for about 30 rounds until finally I disengaged. At least he earned his sink with 76-18-60, thatís a lot of belows. When Bob was retrieving his Washington, Peter and I decided to go after John in the Bike since he had been talking quite loudly about how he hadnít been shot very much today. Let his 53-5-10 sink be an example what not to do if you think you are battling really well. When Lars hit the water, I was about the only one who had saved some bbís for him. We tangled until I emptied my magazines. He still had some left but he and Andy couldnít pin me down long enough to shoot me up too bad. Itís tough to say but I think the exchange was close to a tie.

Bob patched up and we went out again for sortie 3, this time with Lars joining us from get go and Kim M taking over the Bike. This was a busy sortie. Since Bob was fresh, he decided to chase down Jason. Jason had been to battles all summer, not always having a completely functional ship. There had been a few times throughout the summer that his ship would be sitting somewhere out of control on five and we left him alone. Bob figured that since we spared him before and now his ship was working, he was fair game. Bob chased him up and down the pond. Jason kept running around and not letting Bob and Andy get him in a really terrible place and trying to lead Bob and Andy back into Ron, Peter, and my guns. At one point in the battle I remember saying to Ron, ďI hate to do it to my own boat, but the Minneapolis is in a tough spot there.Ē Ron and I jumped on the Bike 2 with our A turrets and sandwiched the new guy who had managed to get his bow pointed towards shore in the middle of a bunch of battleships. We didnít sink him then, but we shot him enough to satisfy our craving for shooting a helpless cruiser in the wrong spot at the wrong time. He sank a little while later with 52-0-10. Later, since I had been shooting at Bob all weekend, I thought it was time for my Derfflinger to play with its only known natural predator, the Tiger. At one point we were driving parallel to shore and I pulled up on his starboard side to shoot my haymaker in return for his bow sidemount. As we were driving at about the same speed I could see my haymaker hitting right on the waterline for about 5 shots in a row where it was blowing out a huge hole. It is really cool to see damage happening before your eyes. With this hole and some others (I think Peter was shooting at him earlier) Lars went down with 45-11-28, with one large blow out on the waterline from me and another large blowout above in the bow from someone else. This sortie also saw sinks from Shelby 47-5-3, Ron ?-?-?and Tyler 75-8-14. My pump stream looked wimpy but for some reason I never checked it. I figured that since I had tangled with Bob and Lars plenty this and last sortie that they had given me enough damage to sink me. I wish I would have because when I got home I did check it to find a bunch of junk that had slipped through my screens. Who knows if that would have been the difference between just making it and sinking?

As a few of us patched, others thought it was time to head home. Andy and Ron both took off and we decided to switch the fleets around again. Somehow we decided to go with Peter (TMGBC), Shelby (Moltke), Jason (PE), Lars (Tiger) vs. Bob (Washington), Tyler (Derfflinger), John (Bike), Paul (Rivedavia). Bob was still obsessed with sinking Jason, which left Peter and I to play. At one point he didnít respect my single stern gun and just sat there taking about 15 rounds. This was another time where you could see damage happening as a small hole in his bow slowly became a big hole in his bow. I donít remember what else happened but it was the first time I exchanged fire with Peter in my new boat. Eventually he sank 50-3-45, though I donít give much of credit to me since he had a bunch of damage from an earlier sortie. Meanwhile Bob was chasing Jason and though he never did catch him and put the hurt on all at once, he did manage to win the war of attrition as he got a few holes in him here and there; Jason finally sank 25-13-8, no thanks to a nasty list that he couldnít seem to get rid of.

By now most people were ready to be done but I thought I needed one more sortie to make my weekend complete. I talked Jason and Peter into going out again and Bob decided to take the Frog for a whirl. I donít remember what happened but somehow in the end Jason and I were the last two on the water screwing around and he was letting me shoot at him to see what type of damage he could take. Again, my pump stream started looking weak and I went down. Just as Jason was about to claim victory, he sank too.

It was a long weekend that saw for some of us 10 sorties. My Derfflinger has now seen 20 sorties (thatís 2 Nats fleet battle equivalents) since I launched her on the 13th of September. Driving back the 3 hours to Duluth my mind raced thinking about how much fun I had over the weekend and sadly how it wouldnít be long before we will have to put the boats on the shelf until the ice melts (or at least until the ice is thin enough to chip off the pond) next spring. Hopefully we will be able to squeeze one more battle in before winter forces me to sit around all winter building anticipation for all the great battles that are sure to come next summer.

 

10-19-08 The battle Sunday really started Saturday morning at 10:30am. Tom & Tyler both came over to my house to work on Tomís Scharny. We wanted to work on the guns, move the rudders and prop shaft. When we saw the ship we also needed to reinstall the subdeck. Taking the subdeck out was easy as it was almost completely broken out. After we removed the rudders Tyler started cutting out the prop shaft.Tom & I started playing with the size and shape of the rudders. We found something that looked good and made paper cutouts of them. Tom cut out new pieces of wood to make the rudders and got them glued together. Tyler had the prop shaft back in place and we found the right spots for the rudders. While Tyler reinstalled those I took the guns and started playing with the triples. Tom took The Bike and Washington to the garage and patched them. I put push buttons on Tomís radio and the radio for the Minneapolis. The last battle Tom did not have his black plastic covering on the guns and got two bb dents in one of them. I got most of the dents out with a nail. The rest I got out by firing a bb down the magazine. I kept playing with the guns trying to get them to not spurt. I replaced the springs and pistons but could not get all three of them to work right. I even rebent the magazines with no luck. We then mixed up epoxy and put the subdeck back in. Tom & Tyler headed out around 10pm. Tom went home and put the sealing epoxy on the sub deck, I think he got to bed around midnight.

Sunday I got down to the pond at 11am and found Steve, Tyler and Hudson already there. As I started to unpack Paul & Shelby pulled in. We got set up at the pond and soon had Peter, Ron, Tom, Andy D & Lars to add to our captainís list. Lars brought two people he knows from work, Chris & Zach, they would run The Bike and Bike 2. We had enough ships and a good split in units to do an Axis vs Allies battle. The fleets would be Washington (Bob), NC (Ron), Tiger (Lars) Andy D (I-Boat), The Bike (Chris) & Bike 2 (Zach) vs Bismarck (Steve), TMGBC (Peter), Scharny (Tom), Dungflinger (Tyler), Moltke (Shelby) Tourville (Hudson).We were going to try and battle with good strategy. That means staying away from Tylerís haymaker and following the #1 rule of boat battling. ďDonít chase sterns!Ē The Allied fleet started on the left with the Axis on the right into the channel.We kept our sterns at the Axis and tried to point out the Axis ships to the new guys. Lars 7 Andy dove into the channel to tangle with Peter. Ron & I kept our sterns pointed at Tyler. Peter broke off and traded sidemounts with Ron and was able to spin around and give him a couple trips. I started after Peter and took some sterns from Tom. Ron & Tyler started to trade bow sidemounts. So much for playing with good strategy. Lars got Tom in a hook with his starboard sidemount. Ron took advantage and backed in with his sterns. He did not see Tyler and started eating stern sidemount. This was very bad as Tyler opened up two very large holes in the NCís side. Shelby had taken a few sterns from the cruisers, pink is easy to ID in battle, and started to list into them and slowly sink. Since I had forgotten my waders Paul was going to retrieve ships today. He asked Shelby to drive a little closer to shore before she sunk. She got a little closer to shore and went down. While he was getting the ship Ron was being pushed around by his pump stream. Shortly after battle started again Ronís NC went down. Almost at the same time Andy forgot to turn on his pump and also sank. Lars had called 5 earlier, our cruisers were already off 5 and I was left as the lone Allied BB on the water. This would have been a good time to call 5, you know that strategy thing, but I chose fun and stayed to slug it out. Thankfully Tyler had dumped most of his sidemounts into Ron. I had most of my ammo left but one of my trips sounded like it was jammed in the barrel. I latter found that the bypass tube had come off the elbow. Steve lost rudder control and Tyler called 5, Tom, Peter & I traded shots and also got off the water. I fixed my gun tube. Ron counted and patched the thumb sized holes in his bow. Steve tried to get the rudders working again. They work on the bench but would fail on the water latter on.

It did not look good for the Allies in this battle. Lars was having gun issues and while we traded Class 4 sinks we had lost a Class 6 and did not deliver a ton of damage to any one ship. Early in the 2nd sortie Lars got rammed and missed a little time patching. Tyler, not remembering what my 5 year old knows, chased my sterns and paid with some nice shots up front. I spun around and dumped a few sidemounts in the Moltke. Peter backed in and drove me off with a nice group of stern shoots. Tom & Steve also came to help protect Shelby. Meanwhile Tyler came in to blast away at Andy near the shore. Ron swung in and soon Tyler was looking a little low in the water. Tom & Peter also started to look low. All three battle cruisers soon found the bottom of the pond. Something must be wrong with their bloody ships today. While I was prop washing Peter under Hudson tossed a bunch of sterns into Andy, then with a little coaching from Tyler prop washed the I-boat under. Lars & I still had a few bbs left so we tried to put them into Steve. He drove into the every end of the channel and got mossed up. Lars & I soon followed. Everyone had a hard time moving around, Larsí guns were giving him problems and Steve was 7 min into his 5 min. We pulled the ships and counted. Scores were: Washington 75-16-15, NC 14-8-32 (Sink), The Bike 13-3-7, Bike II 10-1-0, Tiger 35-5-13, I-Boat 17-4-14 (Sinkx2) vs Bismarck 42-6-18, TMGBC 28-2-12 (Sink), Dungflinger 38-2-5 (Sink), Tourville 0-0-0, Scharny 70-6-25 (Sink), Moltke 35-4-9 (Sinkx2). Total score gave the Allies a 1,065 point victory!

It was odd that Tyler, Tom & Peter sank as they typically take a lot more damage then that. Peter had a standard motor instead of a Stinger; the Stinger had died a smoky death at the last battle. He also found a bunch of long balsa splinters inside his pump screen. The other two sinks are more of a mystery as neither had large quality holes or clogged pumps. We had several people who had to leave before the 2nd battle. Steve & Andy had to go to work, Peter is getting over having his tonsil removed, Paul & Shelby also had to go after the 1st sortie. The rest of us patched and headed back onto the water. This battle would be the BCs & Tourville vs the BBs & CAs. Washington, NC, The Bike & Bike 2 vs Tiger, Dungflinger, Tourville, Molkte & Scharny. Paul took over the controls of the Moltke for this battle. Ron & I stay back and tossed some sterns at Tom & Lars. Tyler had a solenoid stick open was quickly out of the fight. Ron and I jumped in and started putting sidemounts into Tom & Lars. The Tiger could not take it and soon sank. We pulled the ships and took Tylerís solenoid apart only to find it was a switch problem and was quickly corrected. Ron, Chris & Zach all had to take off and we had to flip fleets around again. Instead of patching the Tiger Lars took out the I-Boat. Since Hudson had been telling all of us how heíd taken 0 holes so far today it seamed like a good idea to sink Hudson. Since none of us could catch him I got the Montcalm ready to battle. I donít remember if we had real fleets this battle or not. I spent the whole time chasing Hudson around. He out turned the Montcalm and got a few shoots into it. I had crawled up his side in a turn and heard his props hitting my hull. After the battle we found some nice big cuts that made it through the balsa. It was a long chase around the pond. At times it looked like I was the target for Tyler & Tom. After I dumped my ammo in the Frog I put the Washington out to try and finish Hudson. I had not put too many holes into him but I had worn that battery down with all the chasing. The Tourville had a list to port that had a ĹĒ of red area out of the water. It was almost exactly like the last battle when I chased Jason around. I chased Hudson some more and then started to dump sidemounts into Tom. He started to sink and tried to drive it into shore. He didnít make it very far, Tom had to go out and get his ship out of the water. I was after Hudson again. Tyler tried to block me but ended up blocking Hudson. I spun around and lit him up with my trips. There were some nice big holes below the water line. If only I could get them under water. Hudson managed to keep away from me until I was out of ammo. He also was able to move enough to avoid my prop wash. We pulled the ships and counted. Tyler wanted to go back out and play sidemounts, but then one or both of us would have had to get wet. Scores for those two sorties were Washington 24-11-10, Montcalm 4-3-2, NC 12-5-16, The Bike 2-0-5, Bike 2 5-3-6, Tiger 33-12-19 (sink), Dungflinger 18-1-1, I-boat 15-1-8, Scharny 72-15-40 (sink), Moltke ?-?-?, Tourville 30-9-36.

 

11-23-08 The ponds are already frozen, how sad. We should have battled 11-2 as it was in the upper 60s. We were at Ronís shop again for our first building meeting of the winter on Sunday. Tyler & his wife stopped by on their way back to Duluth. Tyler got his bow sidemount bent and installed into his B turret. He also consulted with Ron on the Jap convoy ship he is building. Peter brought TMGBC to strip off the skin. Ben stopped in to say hi and helped me pulled the skin of my slightly used VDT. I pulled the skin, from 2007, off of the Warspite. It needs a lot of fiberglass repair again. It also needs new drive shafts, gear boxes, guns, decks, wiring, radio box, rudder boxÖ Almost the whole ship needs work. Lars had his AD on the table with his fiberglass sub deck ready to install. Ron stripped the skin off his NC and replaced a sleeve on of the motors in the St Louis. I took the St Louis home to wire up a new radio box. This is the first meeting in a long time that no rookies showed up to. The vets found it a little odd, but we did get a ton of work done. Towards the end of the meeting Ron came out with a large print of the HMS Warspite (attached) and a smaller frame with a couple of photos of me in it. I was surprised to see them. Ron said it was from the Port Polar Bear Fleet in appreciation for all the things I do for you guys. It really made my day/year! Thanks a lot you guys! The small frame had two of my favorite photos in it, both from NATS 04 one of Becket blasting me the other of me pulling the Warspite out after a sink. I could not put it in the boat room as I was afraid it would get shot. I did manage to convince Renae it should go by the bar. Next building meeting is at Ronís on 12-7-08, Remember Pearl Harbor!

 

12-6-08 Our Pearl Harbor day meeting was moved to Saturday to avoid a birthday conflict. Hope no one showed up to build on Sunday. At the meeting Ron was working on the NC getting it ready for resheeting. Lars had his LST & Tiger 1 on the table working on drive shafts. I had 3 radio boxes that I got cut up and taped together. I was hoping the Vikings would blow out the Lions Sunday so I could get them glued together, but that did not happen. The guy who got the most work done was Steve. He had his Brooklyn hull on the bench and cut all the windows out. He also cut the slots for the drive shafts. Greg & Ed also stopped by the meeting latter in the day to look at prints and maybe get one picked out for a build yet this winter. There is not much time left, only 94 days left until we leave for the Brewhaha in the Bayou.Next meeting is 1-11-08 at Ronís shop. Bring your ship and get it ready to go.