Statement by 2nd Lieutenant Mighty Bouff of HMS Azure at Little Inagua 26th January 2016
I hereby transmit to you, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, an account of our fleet engagement against the villainous pirates currently inhabiting the Bahamas.
Having received notice of increased pirate activity in the Bahamas a fleet of British West India Trading Company ships departed Port Morant and made towards St. Nicholas. The journey was largely uneventful, a single captain misread signals and had to return to port after accidentally hoisting pirate colours, I have no doubt their Lordships will quickly return him to genteel British conversation and colours.
Our fleet formed to the North West of St. Nicholas where we chased away a number of pirate cutters harassing the local fishermen. A passing picket ship gave notice that one of his Majesty’s Third Rate Ship of the Line had suffered a bout of sickness and was beating upwind near Matthew Town. Admiral Zak called for immediate deployment and we made full sail on a North by North West heading.
On arriving in the shallows around Matthew Town the scale of the pirate infestation of these waters was evident. We quickly slighted the Third Rate who was now being engaged by 5 pirates. Showing his effective decision making Admiral Zac called for the entire fleet to enter battle once the pirate ships had placed themselves in combat. A quick victory was won with 4 pirate ships sunk. All crew of the pirate ships were strung up immediately.
The Third Rate had important information relating to an attempt by the Pirate Faction to take Little Inagua. We sighted two pirate Cerberus ships on the horizon shadowing our fleet but with the immense power of a third rate, even under crewed due to an epidemic of gaol fever, we made all available sail to Little Inagua.
Upon arrival a battle for control of the port was well underway. The Admiral of the fleet defending the Port appeared to have signalled for close engagement so Admiral Zac positioned our fleet to cut off any cowardly pirates trying to escape to ensure they could not escape their fate.
Just before Dawn one of the pirate Cerberus ships hove into view, her sails unmistakeable against the fog that had descended. Needing no further invitation Admiral Zak ordered that the fleet engage. His Majesty’s fleet consisted of 25 ships consisting of 8 Navy Brigs, 2 Snows, 2 Cerberus and a smattering of Cutters. Admiral Zac had chosen to raise his flag in a luxury yacht, taunting the Pirates to engage.
As the fog began to lift out of the gloom sailed the pirate Cerberus as expected, however she was accompanied by no less than 24 other ships. The pirate herd consisted 3 Cerberus, 7 Navy Brigs, a number of Snows, a single Mercury and an assortment of lesser ships. Given the terrible state of their yards and rigging we expect that a number of these ships were piloted by commanders of lower intelligence rather than real people, though I struggle to believe any pirate may be considered human.
A battle line was formed by his Majesty’s fleet keeping the pirates in our lee. Sweeping down to the South East under a now cleared sky battle was made. The pirate cutters had managed to punch the rear of the line and cut out a single Navy Brig. Despite valiant effort of the Captain and his crew she quickly embraced the icy chill of the deep blue. Admiral Zac pulled to the south after sustaining withering fire however our fleet redoubled our efforts and severely damaged a number of pirate ships.
Turning the fleet to the East while maintaining battle line the pirates chose to move for close range, almost as if they had honour. However this proved to be an unwise move, 2 of the pirate Navy Brigs who cut the line received such terrific volleys from our Fleet that they were effectively ruled out of the battle. Continuing to the East the superior fighting capability of the excellent Captains in his Majesty’s fleet was beginning to tell. The pirates had a final roll of the dice and moved all available ships into close attack. Seeing the signals Admiral Zac split the battle line into two and asked that each Captain placed his ship alongside that of the enemy.
Dusk came and went and the battle still raged. Slowly our fleet imposed its authority as the pirate numbers thinned. A pirate Cerberus showed his nature by running from battle, I expect we will see more of this kind of behaviour over the coming years. I am pleased to report that, once cut-off from the rest of the battle I gave battle in my dependable Navy Brig HMS Azure against a filthy pirate Mercury, Navy Brig and 5 cutters. I received the greatest of support from two cutters though I could not make out their flag to name them properly in this report due to the toxic clouds of powder smoke clouding the area around my ship, I have no doubt such men of honour will step forward to receive both my thanks and the public admiration. The pirate Mercury and a cutter were sent to the bottom with the Navy Brig suffering nigh on catastrophic damage when reinforcements from the main fleet arrived. The pirate Navy Brig and cutters were quickly dispatched and Admiral Zac signalled that the battle was won.
We made for Little Inagua and were relieved to see the His Majesty was still in control of the Port. We anchored at around 1:30am local time and the sound of repair hammers striking good British Oak filled the bay.
It is therefore my very great pleasure to report the sinking of the following pirates ships: 8 Navy Brigs, 2 Cerberus, 1 Mercury, 2 Snows, approximately 9 Cutters, Yachts, Privateers or Pickles.
Your humble servant,
Second Lieutenant Mighty Bouff R.N.O aboard His Majesty’s Navy Brig Azure