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Nautical Tour

An HISTORY of the BATTLE of  WAIDRING JULY 2008

 

Naval Log : August 4th., 2008.                 aboard H.M.S. Windblower          Somewhere at Sea.

 

TO ALL HANDS

 

So at last the final confrontation with the Austrian Grand Fleet was upon us.

Our first engagement with the schooner S.S. Going, the man-o’-war leading

the enemy flotilla, began head-on in good spirits and high morale - upwards of fifty hands, trusty weapons at the ready, eager for the fray. 
 
The white V-shapes of the Men’s shirts gleamed against their black DJs
like unto the teeth of the deadly black Bluecoat basking shark [denizen of  the deep dark districts of  the Outer Reaches of Nottingham & environs, where not even the most gnarled of  Ancient Mariners would venture ] – a battle flag more fearsome than The Jolly Roger itself.
 

Cap’n Keiron knew we would not let him down, lads, that the Oboes and arrows,

supported by the elite Corps Anglais, Bassooner or later would prevail - that he would win the day. Marshalling all the weapons in his armoury, rapier in hand, leading from the front, the Cap’n unleashed a Fusillade of Flutes, a Cannonade of Clarinets armed to the teeth with Arpeggios and Stiletto heels [ a sharp but lethal combination ], and a Serenade of Saxophones, bombarding her with a Broadside of Brass the while.
 
Owing to the Low Brass showing their mettle, the enemy were fooled by our apparent strength – totally unaware that certain of the crew were cunningly firing blanks and miming.
 

The Percussioneers, a motley band of Pressed Men much given to carousing,

highly versed in the dark arts of the Tympanic Acoustic and charged with powering the vessel straight ahead to the sound of the guns, courageously supported this assault with splendid resonance.
 

Boarding S.S. Going  with ease, armed with sharp staves, securing our position

with bow-lines, bar lines, leger lines and powerful chords, we smote them with vigour.
 

The Cap’n, ever a fast driving Master Mariner, was, in an instant, transposed

into a Lightning Conductor, summoning down from the Heavens an electrifying discharge of dramatic natural effects. The sails were alive with the sound of Thunder & Lightning.

 
The deluge was upon us.
 
When the Going got rough, there was much skulking in the scuppers, resembling bilge-rats scuttling to escape the pounding seas, until our intrepid Admiral Frogson mustered every man-jack to hoist the Mainsail, hence providing a haven of cover surpassing the Parting of the Red Sea,
and to carry out a daring salvage of music, instruments and cases, thus assuredly rescuing us from certain calamity. The whole scurvy bunch were glad she was on our poop-deck and not the adversaries’.
 

The Quartermaster who, with the Purser, had skilfully navigated the supply barge

across the length of western Europe, to his great peril, now hove-to alongside.

Displaying masterly  seamanship, he rallied many hands to assist in stowing the cargo aboard his vessel, in sore danger of capsizing, earning him a well-deserved Mention in Dispatches.
 

We were obliged to abandon the good ship Going, me lads, as she were dead in the water – but in an orderly naval manner, sustaining no casualties, in a brilliantly smooth withdrawal manoeuvre under cover of darkness, to the enormous grief of the foe, who could do no better than scurry away, muttering, beneath their wretched umbrella canopy.

 

With S.S. Going  gone, there soon followed the remainder of the enemy fleet.

 

A warning from the trombo’sun of Misty weather served merely to inspire the crew to great valour. With an “Aargh aargh” here, and an “Aargh aargh” there, here an “Aargh”, there an “Aargh”, their blood-curdling war cry echoed beyond the yard-arms, striking mighty dread into the loins of all within earshot, chilling the very marrow of their bones, me ‘earties.

 
We took S.S. Kaprun Castle by storm, with only one minor casualty whose foot slipped whilst climbing the rigging. S.S. Gilgen fell victim in short order, leaving only a sloppy sloop, S.S. Waidring, pride of the Austrian Navy, between our gallant warriors and certain victory.
 
Our Ace in the Hole, our secret weapon [code-named Harmless Nocturne

by our Master-at-Arms, ] was deceptively smooth and easy, delivered with searing saxophonic precision, holing the Austrian Man-o’- War below the waterline.

 
That was when we knew that the battle was in our hands.
 
In a final Coup-de-Grace, the Cap’n invited Wolfgang Wagner von Waidring,

Unter-Admiral of S.S. Waidring, to lead us in one last triumph, proffering his rapier in the time-honoured ultimate gesture of courtesy to a defeated but gallant foe.

 
We emerged victorious from the final affray, in time to avoid a second flood,

leaving a handful of  swinging skirmishers to entertain us all, friend and foe alike

from the quarter-deck of our captured prize, the rest of us braving the storm to consume various medicinal potions freely bestowed upon us by the grateful citizens.

 
Thereafter we repaired to S.S. Waidringerhof, Flagship of the Austrian Navy,

a stately Galleon of the Four-star Class, captured well-nigh single-handedly

during an earlier engagement by our doughty Admiral Frogson - a trim enough craft but a wretched crew, landlubbers to a man; not given to nauticality; not much call for it at 2553 feet - not a lot of oceans up them mountains, d’ye see!! There followed much revelry and merry-making amid a bevy of comely maidens – a veritable multitude of pulchritude yet not unseemly, nay, with much dignity and propriety, as befits the British Navy; quaffing quantities of wine, bier and divers refreshing beverages the while.
 
Rumour abounded of a Gal who Can’t Say “No!”, but I never set eyes on ‘er, ye spalpeens, not unless ‘er were that ‘un with the flaxen hair, as I been thinkin’ were called Amazin’ Grace. At the height of the jollifications, a communiqué was signalled to the front line that Mr. Midshipman Paul Squire had received a Commendation with Distinction in Grade Five, occasioning immense jubilation. This honour  thus qualifies him to add after his name the letters D.S.O., which same denominate Distinguished Saxophone Operator.
 
The mainbrace thus being suitably spliced, we weighed anchor to wend our way

with full sail and a fair wind, to the less inhospitable waters of our home port, under the command of the redoubtable Admiral Frogson, at length dropping anchor in the safe harbour of Bluecoat.

 

Three cheers for H.M.S. Windblower.  May God bless her and all who sail in her.
 

Long live the Admiral.

Steady as she goes.

God save  the Queen.

Signed,                                                                                             

Ensign Cal Boneblower, [C-man 2nd Class]  
 
Cal Boneblower
                                                    

TODAY SALZBURG – TOMORROW the WORLD.