By Commodore Gully
To the Honorable Governor Wynkok, whose magnificence knows no boundsPort Awesomeness, Dutch East India Company
Here follows the summary and account of the sailing of the frigate Beowulf, in the service of the Governor and the East India Company. Commanded by Commodore Gully, Commander of the Dutch fleet, in the year of our lord 1713.
As the year began, news came to use through the Captain of the Les Bain Horas of charts showing the Pirate Cove, scourge of the Caribbean and home base to their fleet of raiders. For a small stake and a Dutch Letter of Marque the charts were ours for the glory.
Port Awesomeness, home of Governor Wyndyk, bustled as the merchant fleet gathered cargo and readied to sail with the tide. The fleet would sail south to the British colony in search of trade. The Beowulf would sail to east with the wind to intercept a large fleet approaching from the French colony. If war was what they wanted the Beowulf would be happy to oblige. First Mate Michael, chief navigator, set an intercept course and the Beowulf set sail!
We made signals with the French Admiral as to their purpose. Once assured of their trade mission the fleet was allowed to pass. Behind the fleet a surprise awaited. Pirate raiders were swooping in to engage the French merchants. As a show of good faith we swung into the fray and challenged one of the raiders. Failing to show any colors or good indication of purpose First Mate Micheal leveled a full broadside and a raider was sent to the bottom. One lone survivor was pulled from the wreckage. The Lady Kijrstie was our prisoner. For I know, the good Governor Hornkok, had tasked the fleet to return with pretty ladies… The Lady Kirjste gave her word to act as one of the crew. It is well we did as she turned out to be a Master Gunner!
News of the war with France and England reached us just as we approached the French Port. The port was empty of ships and ripe for the plunder. First Mate Micheal and Master Gunner Kirjste were ecstatic at the thought of combat and loot. Bloodthirsty lot they are. Just as we were bringing our guns to bear the short lived war ended…. Much to the chagrin of my crew. On we sailed following our charts to the Pirate Cove.
Land Ho!! The island was spotted and the crew brought to station. Our guns were charged and ready. Verdomme! there was no Pirate cove, no secret port, no docks, only a single figure stranded on the beach. Away went the boat for our lone prisoner. He gave no name, only said with a sly look “I am everywhere and nowhere, and so are you! You have been deceived by the Le Bain Horas. This island is full of cannibals!” Overboard he went, before we could stop him.
A quick look at the island showed no hint of glory, loot or treasure. The cannibals were gone and the island was desolate. It is said that we were lucky. I believe the heathens had no stomach for a man ‘o war, a pair of bloodthirsty First Mates and a ready crew.
Frustrated and seeing an empty ocean we set a course west south west to the British Colonies, for we had word of the Le Bain Horas sailing in those waters. We would have our revenge.
And it came soon. The treacherous Captain was taking a prize when we sailed upon them. Recognizing the Le Bain Horas we made sail for pursuit. Our bow chasers blazing under the command of Master Gunner Kirjste. The Dutch flag on her mast would not keep us from blowing her out of the water. One wrong turn and the Le Bain Horas was in our broadside. Terms were offered and refused. Fire!! Master Gunner Kirjste let loose a devastating broadside and the Le Bain Horas shattered. The broken hull and her lying captain went to Davy Jones Locker! We had our revenge for the glory of the Beowulf and Governor Winlyk.
Sailing into the southern waters we encountered a Portuguese trader of questionable origin. Our bow chasers made the first signal and Master Gunner Kirjste got their attention. Terms were under way when the crashing sound of rocks grated on our hull. Gatverdamme! First Mate Michael, Master Navigator was at the wheel, but his judgment clouded by bottles of Yenever, had put us on the rocks. With a wave and a grin the Portuguese trader made sail despite the best efforts of our Master Gunner and the few guns we could bring to bear.
With much effort and work we lightened our load and heaved the Beowulf from the rocks. A short sail away was the British Colony. We would make port, do repair, gather news and look to the wind for glory and a prize to take back to our Governor!
Land Ho! The British Colony was in sight. A man ‘o war was sitting outside the harbor. Her guns were closed. My glass spied one of our Dutch merchants in port. Things looked peaceful, but I was not sure of our current relations with the British. On the outskirts of the harbor we moved to investigate a small sloop of dubious origin. No response to our hails came from the sloop so First Mate Michael prepared a rescue/boarding party. For we were determined to take a prize.
Just as the boarding party gathered, smoke came from the hold of the sloop, then an explosion of flame and debris! Stunned by the trickery of a British bombship at the harbor entrance, we turned to see the British 5th rate roll out her guns! Ack! We were caught by trickery and deceit. So much for British Honor. We had no choice, but send myself and my First Mates ashore when the “Honor Guard” summoned us to the British Governor’s presence.
As the longboat docked and we were ‘escorted’ ashore we noticed our fellow Dutch merchant alongside the pier. She had been stripped of her guns and was manned with a British crew. I feared that we would be next. That was not to be. First Mate Michael had connections in this port. A few good words, some gold coin and the little incidence was forgotten on their part.
We made hasty repairs, with a wary eye on the port and the British Governor. I was not leaving the ship easy pickings to a Governor willing to use lies and trickery.
We were soon joined by Captain Wiser, one of our Dutch Merchants. He had come to buy back the stolen ship. With coin and cargo the deal was made. With all haste we prepared to leave with the morning tide. Happy to be away with our own ships intact. It was time to leave this den of dishonor and sail to Port Awesomeness.
As the year ended our flotilla returned to Port Awesomeness with the Beowulf in the lead. With a final reckoning and payday First Mate Michael and Master Gunner Kirkste moved on to seek their glory.
Commodore Gully, commander of the Dutch Fleet was promoted by the Honorable Governor Wynkok, to ‘Rear Admiral’. A deserving title and commission with the Dutch East India company.
Rear Admiral Gully,
Port Awesomeness, Dutch East India Company
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(Editors note: Thanks to Jeff Gullion for the logs to the Beowulf and his Photos.)