This year, as in years past, Taskforce 96 and the 8th Fleet put on their annual December 7 Scale Fleet Fun Run. The run was held on Saturday December 6th at Santee Lakes Regional Park in San Diego County, California. The turn out this year was wonderful. (If you or your ship is not mentioned very sorry; we will have to take better notes and photos next year)
The run started very early, around 0430 for some of us. As fishermen use the lakes in the park, we wished to get to the lake before the fishermen to stake out the area we use for operations, as it is the only spot on the lake with a shallow bank suitable for launching boats. During the hour and a half drive down the day broke cloudless and beautiful, a very typical Southern Californian December day. King Neptune must have known and approved of our run. We arrived at about opening time, and there was a long line at the gate. A quiet prayer was said, and by the time we reached our rally point there was no fishermen in sight. Kind Neptune must again have intervened because all day long only three fishermen even tried to use the lake and that was very late in the day; most chose to fish at the most Northern of the lakes this time. Six brave skippers showed up early, James, Joseph, Matt, Steve V and Steve L and Shawn V and with coffee and boats in hand definitely secured the area for the rest of the fleet.
A tradition of both Taskforce 96 and the 8th fleet is to perform a "Walk Around". This is when the fleet forms up and you head out to sea, walking around the lake while controlling your model. The Walk Around is a great way to see how capable a skipper you are and how well your ship can sail. Instead of simply putting around in circles or doing lazy eights, moving as a fleet takes skills. I have seen small lakes and large lakes and I have seen both groups take them on.
Santee would be what I would call a medium sized lake. Around noon the second call of the day went out for a Walk Around. The very early one was done before most people showed up. The fleet started to form quickly and it became obvious something big was forming, a true Taskforce! I have seen a dozen fleet walk arounds but this one was forming up to be big. The Taskforce started off with some DDs in the lead and the Tarawa. The course was counter clock wise around the lake from the where we formed up. If you have never seen a Scale fleet at sea this definitely would impress most ship modelers. All told we had 16 ships in the same scale moving around the lake. The fleet even had a rally point half around the lake to wait for the slower ships or newer skippers who were playing it safe behind the fleet. At the rally point the Taskforce formed up for photo ops, another nerve racking undertaking for all skippers. At the ¾ mark the Taskforce formed up for tight formation photos complete with a turn to starboard for good effect.
Click on any photo to see a larger version. Larger photos will range from 640 to 1800 pixels wide as they were taken with different cameras.
This year we had 42 ships show up. An amazing 38, yes 38 of them were 1/96 scale! I want to thank all the skippers who brought out there boats. To have that many constant scale ships at one run was amazing. Another big thank you to those who showed off their non 1/8 scale boats but left them on the bench; you are true gentlemen for supporting the spirit of our two groups.
One of the unique features of Santee Lakes is the bridge that we set up under. This gives us shade and a different perspective of the models
The Lake was well defended by the American fleet.
But the Axis fleet attempted a raid, with little success due to the numerical superiority of the Americans
IJN Yamato and USS Tarawa LHA1 by Rich S.
DKM Scharnhorst, USS Cophee CVE 12 and USS San Diego CL 53 by Dave M.
DKM Gneisenau by Kurt G.
USS Atlanta CL 51 by Steve V.
USS Shangra-La CV 38 by Mike P.
USS Arizona BB38 and USS West Virginia BB48 by Kevin G.
USS Long Beach CGN 9 by Chuck G.
USS Iowa BB61 by James M
USS New Jersey BB62 by Lee U
USS Ward by Mike R
More photos of the run
Special thanks to Kevin Gatton for taking photos of the Task Force formation. Thanks Kevin!
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Last update 12/09