Sharp and bitter winds whipped the ocean surface to a roiling broth of high crests, deep drops and foam. Captain Alexander, of the Covenant’s Aristotle Class Battleship, gazed across the seas with an unreadable expression in his face. A smudge like haze was in the distant sky; smoke pouring through the funnels of French ships as they worked hard to close the distance. There would be wreckage in the ocean come nightfall.
In the end we called the battle as time was against us, and at that stage the combined French and Australian forces were ahead in points.
As the Captain Alexander ordered his squadrons to fight a disengagement and retreat, cheers and an echo of the call, “Vive le président” and “France toujours” could be heard across the waves. It was far from over, but for now, the French had won the day.