Captain’s Log: Stardate 10315.1
Today, I met with Ensign Hilde, our new crewperson on board the Enterprise. Hilde comes to us from a very busy home where she’s dying for some away-time from the hubby and four kids – and we all know how big a part of our mission is time away from spouses, significant others and kids. (I think Dave said it best when he said “Karen who?”)

Hilde is originally from Belgium and has a pretty good command of the English language. Amazingly enough, Hilde has never heard of the name “Starship Enterprise,” the Star Trek series, or any one of its later incarnations. So, all the references to us moving at Warp 6, raising shields or going to red alert will go right over her head. During our 15-minute meeting, I tried my best to describe the boat, our great crew, some of our friends, and the philosophy surrounding a failed 1960’s television show that spawned 10 movies, 4 syndicated spin-off’s and multi-millions of loyal fans that stayed true no matter how much each episode of “Voyager” sucked.

Hilde has completed a sailing school course, has some experience sailing Sonar’s and is eager to learn more. She doesn’t know much about spinnaker handling, so she’ll fit right in.

I did include how much we are all friends, how highly we regard safety on board (give or take a cracked rib) and how much fun we have. I told her not to expect too much yelling on board, except between me and my father. Or between Dave and my father. Or between Jory and my father. Or between Mitch and… Well, you get the idea.

Hilde, welcome aboard the Enterprise.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10311.8
It is with mixed emotions that I now approve Lt. Laura’s resignation from the Starship Enterprise and transfer back to planet Canada, the wretched ice planet from where she came. Although I’m happy she has met Ronnie the Romulan and will be starting a new life, it’s sad that we have to say goodbye to such a noted crewperson.

I’ve been looking back over Laura’s two-year service on the Enterprise, and I thought, for archival purposes, it’s a good idea to reflect on some of her defining moments under my command.

Laura started in Star Fleet on the USS First Rate, serving under Captain Palmer and, so I’m told, under a fellow crewperson with whom she had a many-year relationship. Upon Captain Palmer’s retirement and Laura’s relationship becoming uglier than William Shatner in a G-string, Laura was left confused, angry and jaded – a perfect fit for duty on board the Enterprise.

Once on board, she became very active and, with her spinnaker-handling skills, became a vital part of the crew. She became our Chief Morale Officer when her antics both on the ship and off became a source of entertainment. Whether it was a date with J.G. or a hairy old guy, the consumption of a butt cake, the sacrifice of a rib to save a sail, or tales of weekend missions on board other starships, Laura kept us all guessing as to what she could possibly be doing next.

On more than one occasion, Laura and I spent time after everyone left discussing Life, Love, The Universe, and Everything In-between. Aside from having a great sense of humor, Laura is warm, caring and sincere. I know she will make her new man very happy, and I feel I’m a better person for having Laura as part of my life for as long as I did. I’m sure that feeling is shared amongst the rest of the Enterprise crew as well.

Laura, take care and know that all our hopes for you to be happy are with you. We’re glad you’re following your dreams and your passions, and we know that you deserve and will receive the very best that life has to offer. We all love you and we’ll miss you.

And as for your time with us on the Enterprise, I suppose the old saying is true. All good things . . .

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10309.3
This past weekend marked the tragic loss of seven astronauts and our second space shuttle, Columbia, in over 100 shuttle missions into space. I’m reminded of the opening screen image to Star Trek IV, a dedication to the crew of Challenger, the first shuttle disaster. “The cast and crew of ‘Star Trek’ wish to dedicate this film to the men and women of the spaceship Challenger, whose courageous sprit shall live to the 23rd Century and beyond.” The same would hold true for those that were on board Columbia, as would for all the brave men and women in the space programs throughout the world.

I’ve heard people ask if there is really a need for these missions. Is there a true gain to be made from all of this funding, effort and risk of human life? Similar questions were asked of ocean voyages during the 15th Century. Similar questions were asked of the British families who came to this country in the 18th Century. Similar questions were asked of those who headed west in the 19th Century. We need to realize that, despite that the words originally came from a 1960s science-fiction television show, space is the final frontier.

Perhaps that is why, in 1979, the first shuttle orbiter was rolled out for the public to see, and on hand were DeForest Kelly, Walter Keonig, Nichelle Nichols and a few other original cast members. The shuttle never flew, but has been placed in a museum in Washington DC.

It’s in a museum dedicated to man’s outstanding achievements, and that shuttle is named Enterprise.

On behalf of the crew of another Enterprise, which may not be very fast, or may not be designed to explore space, but is nonetheless a ship of dreams and hopes for a promising future, we proudly salute those men and women who risk their lives to boldly go where none have gone before.