2012 A Year in Port Polar Bear

Saturday May 12, 2012

Port Polar Bear had a battle last Saturday, May 12. The weather was sunny in the 70's and really calm for most of the day. I showed up early to get the loaner cruiser Sister of the Bike, AKA SOB, AKA USS Minneapolis ready. She had a winter refit and came out a little lighter than in the past, and the props were repositioned. Hudson's Kongo also needed a little tweaking. With full size drag disks on it actually turns really well, but the prop wash in reverse prevents it from getting into a full reverse speed very quickly, so they had to be trimmed out.

It wasn't long until Hudson, Bob, Zach, and Kim showed up. We battled Japs vs everyone: Tyler (Nagato), Hudson (Kongo) vs Kim (NC), Bob (Goben), Zach (Minneapolis). Hudson caught Zach's cruiser in a bad place and shot a bunch of haymaker into his bow, the fist shot spurted a little so there was a fairly nice linear hole and about 10 more evenly spaced ones that were normal shots, unfortunately they were all aboves, he has to get used to his range a little more. Kim was having propulsion issues and couldn't really get to speed (turns out a set screw came loose on the shaft gear). Hudson and I focused mostly on Bob and gave his tired hull skin a few more reasons to leak. Bob ended up sinking but not before giving Hudson a fair amount of damage.

2nd sortie was the same teams, except Tom (Scharnhorst showed up and joined the mix/match fleet to try to overthrow the Japs. Tom's Scharnhorst had a massive winter refit this year as well. New water channeling, new battery and bottle and solenoid holders, new internal armor, completely re-wired, new deck latching system, superstructure completed. All of this and there of course were issues. The hose for the bow sidemount wasn't long enough so pinched off and wouldn't fire. The ESC is a car ESC and was temperamental, you needed to turn the whole system on for a while before it would initiate, plus since it is an RC car ESC it has a reverse break in it (time to switch that one out). At any rate he hit the water with the triples
ready. Hudson was doing well again but ended up taking too much damage fairly early on, I think it was mostly from when he was playing sidemounts with the Goben. That left a 4 on 1 for Me. I bounced around quite a bit trying to keep the others from lining up a perfect shot. I was able to shoot up Bob some more and he sank, but took a bunch stern gun holes in the bow from Kim, Tom, and Zach. Fairly soon Hudson had patched a few holes and put it back out with a 1/2 load of BB's left. I helped him chase down and try to pin the NC and the Scharnhorst but we weren't very successful, and I ended up sinking from chasing after all the bow damage.

Everyone patched. Kim was having trouble with his rudder posts flexing and decided to call it a day. He has really been working hard to shake out his new NC. Since the last battle he had pulled off 3-4 lbs of lead from the bottom that he didn't realize was there. He said when he got home from the last battle he was disappointed that he wasn't taking as much damage as he thought he should. He put his NC on the scale and it came out to 42 lbs. Then he remembered that one of the prior owner of that boat had put lead on the bottom for ballast, so he pulled it all off and came down to a reasonable battle weight. Zach had to head for home too.

We hit the water again with Bob and Hudson vs Tyler and Tom. Basically they chased Tom's Scharnhorst until he sank with around 30 belows. Bob took some damage again and I think he sank. We pulled them off to do a quick reload and get another sortie in. Tom had lost rudder control but put it out anyway. Bob could barely keep water out with his beat up hull skin and sank again. Hudson kept trying to shoot Tom and ignore Me. We pulled them out again. Since it was time to resheet for the Tangler anyway, Hudson and I kept doing one on one for a few more rounds. Hudson sank and patched some holes so he could go longer, then I lost drive for some reason and Hudson came in to shoot me up. Overall another great day at the pond.



Saturday April 14, 2012

Port Polar Bear had a battle on Saturday 4/14. Bob (Goben), Zach (Bike/USS Minneapolis), Kim (Washington), Tyler (Nagato), Hudson-Tyler's Nephew (Kongo) showed up and did a sortie before Andy (NC) showed up. The weather was really nice, it rained and was chilly the day before, but on Saturday we had 70's. First sunburn of the year for Tyler.

We had a prospects show up too, one of them Scott had a really nice camera and took like 300 pictures and a few seconds of video. There must be some keepers in there.

First sortie was Tyler and Hudson vs Bob, Kim, and Zach. Bob was hoping not to have to resheet the bike for nats so he told Zach not to get shot up too bad. Zach was coming off a long winter of not battling and made a few mistakes. A few times he got too close to shore or drove next to Tyler and took a bunch of holes, the Bike is sturdy though and made it through the rest of the day without sinking. Tyler mixed it up with Kim the times when he wasn't shooting zach. Kim worked on Tyler and Bob. Bob and Hudson mixed it up. This was Hudson's second battle with his new Kongo and did a good job of holding his own, but Bob and Kim were able to sink him.

Second sortie Andy joined the fun. Teams were adjusted. It was Bob, Tyler vs Kim, Andy, Hudson, Zach. Early on Tyler and Hudson went side to side and traded. Hudson scored a few nice groupings and Tyler sank very early in the sortie. He quick patched 3 groupings/large holes and on the shore and threw it back out. Meanwhile Bob dove into the channel to maximize his maneuverability advantage and minimize the speed advantage of the 24 second ships. He was nearly sunk when Tyler made it back out. Tyler was able to distract the others while Bob pumped out. Tyler went for revenge and sank Hudson. Kim played sidemounts too much and sank as well. I think Andy sank too but I can't remember, he had old hull skin.

Everyone Patched quick. Andy fixed a bushing on his drive motor. New guy Scott got to take out Kim's cruiser. This battle was Bob, Tyler, Zach vs Kim, Andy, Hudson, Scott. Right before battle Hudson's prop had issues, so he was reduced to just one drive prop for the battle. The NC's were doing their thing with the stern guns but since it was a local battle wanted to get in and work on sidemount skills. The action all happened close to shore and the carnage was nasty. The new guy actually did pretty well and got some nice shots off. I can't remember who all sank, but I think a lot of us did.

Bob and Zach had to leave early, but Kim, Andy, Hudson, Tyler all stayed around to play sidemounts. Hudson's prop was repaired but the wrong handedness of prop was put on, so propulsion was not very effective. Plus his rudder died and was stuck with very poor maneuverability. Tyler and Hudson worked together. The NC's tried to get to the Kongo's not armed quadrant and stay at range but Tyler did OK keeping them off. Tyler and Andy traded sidemounts until Andy sank again with relatively light damage but really old hull skin. Kim was looking really rough at one point but escaped. Kim later came back to the action after pumping out a bit. Tyler tried to push Hudson's Kongo into Kim so he could use some of his ammo but that didn't really work. At the end Tyler allowed his nephew to get some shots in and the two Jap ships traded sidemounts until they both sank.

Overall we had a great time. We must be getting better because everyone sank a bunch, and I know it's not because we have soft ships on the water. I was really impressed with Hudson. Though he sank a few times he was really doing a nice job for a 14 year old in his second battle with a sidemount ship.

Next battle is May 12.