Captain’s Log: Stardate 10358.1
With extremely light winds (and getting lighter by the minute,) the Enterprise focused almost all of its energy on tactical scanners. If a race was to be won tonight, it would be won by following the wind, playing the currents and the ability of the crew to do their jobs without error.

Commander Richard, after reviewing other starship movements in the sector, decided on a course that would take us close to Throgs Neck, to boldly find what little wind there was on the water – where no starship has gone before (well, last night anyway.)

It paid off. Big time. The Klingons tried to follow our successful maneuver, but couldn’t do it in time to make a real difference in their performance. Going their own way, the USS Tolo, the USS Ear-Cheese, and the Evil Hairy Horta were left so far behind that they had to engage their impulse engines and drop out of the race. The Klingons were able to finish, however, with just 80 seconds to spare on the time limit, and placing them in second well behind the Enterprise.

After the race, and because Lefty couldn’t make it, we all had ice cream sundaes and Patty made advances on three tugboat sailors.

Because we were short on crew, a high-priority subspace message went out to Ensign Brad, calling him to duty. That message went unanswered. It seems that Brad is more interested in acting than sailing and at last report, was looking to join the William Shatner School of Acting (lots of hand/arm movements, un-natural pauses in speech and a day-long discussion panel on how to play a spaceship captain and a Los Angeles cop in the same style and make money doing it.) Starfleet Command has ordered Brad stripped of his officer status and downgraded to the guy who cleans the warp drive manifolds. One more no-show and he’ll be downgraded further to the guy that shaves the sweaty three pounds of hair from the Evil Hairy Horta’s back.

One final note about last night’s race: It seems that Captain Bivona and the crew of the USS Eagle should be commended. Last night, the Eagle tied for first place in her division. Then again, all the boats in her division couldn’t finish the race in time and were all tied with a score of “DNF.” Oh well.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10356.2
I have to admit I chose caution and safety over speed, and that was the sole reason why the Enterprise, despite being first around each mark and first to finish, corrected into third place last night in Race 11.

As anyone in the northeast of the United States (on Earth) can tell you, the front that has been parked over the region has been providing us with some troublesome weather this week. The night before, the club was hit with over 50mph winds that sent the furniture on the porch into the boat yard. The week has been filled with fast-approaching systems of high winds, torrential downpours, hail and dangerous lightning storms. Reports were filed that a tornado touched down in northern Westchester – a very rare occurrence indeed.

So, as the Enterprise approached the windward mark, when the water became dark and the wind increased in strength to about 20, I ordered that we do not raise the spinnaker, thinking that another such weather system was about to come through.

I spent a good deal of Saturday fixing up the Enterprise and I wasn’t in the mood to fix it up again.

After speaking with other captains who braved the same wind increases, they agreed it was foremost on their mind as well. We did set chute on the second downwind leg, but by that point, the minute and change we needed was already lost.

I was very impressed with the crew’s handling of the spinnaker, especially Lieutenant Mitch, who seems to have sheeting skills down to an art. Commander Richard ordered a spinnaker jibe before the crew had full control over the sail, which, if not belayed by myself, could have cost us more time, equipment and possibly a limb or two of our foredeck crew of Commander Dave and Lt. Commander Jory. A few seconds later, while just behind the USS Excalibur, we had control, formulated our plan, made one of our best jibes ever, and lost no time in the process.

We passed the Excalibur (A J/30-Class Starship – yes!) and crossed the line with the USS Tolo right on our tail and the Klingons a couple of minutes back. Thankfully, USS Surcease (or as I like to call it: “Ear Cheese”) was a good light year behind with no chance of correcting.

Meanwhile, it looks like we’ll have a full crew for the upcoming Women’s Skippers race and Distance Race, although Ensign Patty is getting very nervous about taking the conn of the Federation’s flagship. You’ll do fine, Patty. If it makes you feel better, no matter how nervous or worried you may be, my anxiety level far surpasses yours.

Can we surround the ship with foam rubber?

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10354.2
The Enterprise, without its first officer (see previous log entry,) started the second half of our Wednesday night season with a simple mission: Do well enough to take us from fourth place to second place in the overall standings (obtaining first place overall after a single race was mathematically out of our reach – but that can change.)

The start was tricky. USS Tolo decided on a tactic that would close the space between it and the committee boat, thereby sending us into oblivion – a tactic we were formulating against the Klingons (Neverland Express.) Luckily, Tolo was experiencing some type of acceleration malfunction and the Enterprise, cruising at Warp 4, was able to maneuver around it into some clear wind. The start was ours.

Rounding the windward mark first, it was now up to Lt. Commander Jory and Lt. Martin (from USS Exuberance, still in spacedock awaiting an impulse power transplant) to make sure the foredeck ran smoothly and the spinnaker was set. Along with the efforts of the cockpit spinnaker team of Lt. Mitch and Ensign Patty, the chute was up in no time at all, and we were at Warp 5 towards the leeward mark.

Our jibe went smoothly and we approached the leeward mark with the second half of the J/24 fleet (which started 5 minutes ahead of us.) Unfortunately, the J/24-Class USS Alias rounded the mark ahead of us and stalled. The Enterprise, still at warp, came close to running over the small ship, and a last-minute course change had to be made to avoid catastrophe. The Klingons remained behind us, but closed the distance.

Our upwind tacks were fast and we had our scanners tuned for wind channels that would take us to the finish. The Klingons, after dropping back some, matched our moves to guarantee a victory by corrected time. As expected, we finished first and corrected into second. Mission accomplished.

Ensign Patty was awarded cheese and salami from Lt. Mitch and Ensign Lefty couldn’t wait to get back to the club for an ice cream sundae. Back at the club, Lefty passed around a photo of her with short hair. It’s amazing how much she looked like a 15 year-old boy back then (in contrast to now where she looks like a 15 year-old girl.) Once the results were calculated, Commander Richard, after eight years of racing in Eastchester Bay, has finally decided to ask how Time-on-Time yacht race scoring works. I suppose “better late than never.” I’ll have to give him a tutorial on the how’s and, most importantly, the why’s.

I went to visit the crew of the USS Eagle, who has not been doing as well as her captain expected. One of the Eagle’s crew, Resa, said “Just watch out for Eagle in the Fall Series.” I told her that my crew has said that exact phrase several times, but I doubt it had the same meaning.

The Enterprise will not be participating in Larchmont Race Week as initially planned, but Ensign Patty is ready to take the conn for the Women’s Skippers Race.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10353.4
Commander Dave, while on a mission to see whether man had evolved from higher-educated beings or from turd-tossing apes has proven the latter in a move that is worthy of the Darwin award (but, unlike other Darwin recipients, he survived.)

It seems Dave was in his yard and decided to cut down a pine tree. Given his background in business, computer programming and sailing, any idiot could see that this was a good idea (smart people would think it’s crazy, but any idiot would think it’s a good idea.)

Not taking into consideration the factors of wind velocity, sharpness of pine tree limbs or the acceleration of a body falling towards Earth, Dave’s tree-trimming skills don’t look to be a good option for future work. A part of the tree that Dave had cut caught the breeze and fell towards him, taking both it and Dave out of the tree in a most unexpected manner.

I will spare you from most of the gory details (as told to me by his wife Karen,) but after many stitches and Dave’s ear being sliced in a way that will make that Verizon guy’s “Can you hear me now?” fall on deaf ears, Dave will be missing this Wednesday’s race.

I spoke with Dave this afternoon who said it will be good for the ship to go on a mission without him. As much as I agreed, I stated that this was not the manner in which to go about it. Nevertheless, a part of me now believes that he made this noble sacrifice for the good of the ship and therefore it should be noted in my log accordingly. Such dedication. In fact, now I wonder how many other Enterprise officers would fall out of a tree and subject themselves to a loss of blood and plastic surgery for the good of the ship. (Sorry Jory, that cut you got on your knee two weeks ago during the spinnaker take-down just doesn’t cut it anymore.)

In all seriousness, he is fine, and I predict that he will receive far more damage when his wife gets through with him and after taking several rounds of verbal abuse from the Enterprise crew next week when he returns.

Meanwhile, we will endeavor to win without him. Get better fast, Dave.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10352.3
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last log entry, mostly due to a change in subspace channels at work resulting in crippled transmissions (translation: we switched DSL carriers at work and the connection was lost followed by an amazingly-slow data transfer rate – we’re switching back.)

Anyway, much like this log, I’ll go in reverse chronological order, starting with last night: Expecting an all-out barrage of rain and thunderstorms accompanied by light winds, we were all pleasantly surprised with the 10 knot breeze and clearing skies. Looking out to the race course, we could see that there were parts of the water which had much more breeze than other parts. It wasn’t going to be about boat speed. It was all about tactics.

The gay Klingon warship Neverland Express (to correct Seinfeld, not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, but a gay Klingon? That’s just sick) made the right tactical move early on, with a solo course to the right side of the course. They pulled ahead of us by quite a bit and it was up to us to turn that around. A few well-executed tacks and a close eye on wind channels quickly changed the situation, putting us light years ahead. Our spinnaker set was flawed, but not uncorrectable. We crossed the line first and stayed there on corrected time. Another well-earned victory for the Enterprise.

Meanwhile, about two sectors back, Neverland Express was playing chicken with a barge. Every racer on the course (about 46 boats) could hear the barge captain yelling at Neverland over his PA. Not everything was audible from our distance, but the word “stupid” came through loud and clear.

The Friday before was the fourth of July, and the Enterprise once again celebrated the birth of America by joining other starships for a fireworks display. Ensign Hil and Lt. Commander Jory came along and were a big help in keeping everything in order. It was a great night despite some idiot’s self-induced seasickness resulting in his being loaded onto five police boats and an ambulance.

I recognized one of the police boats, which sparked a conversation between myself and one of the officers:

Me: “Wow. This police boat has been around for a long time.”
Cop: “Yes it has.”
Me: “I remember being pulled over by this boat when I was a kid.”
Cop: “How come?”
Me: “I was driving too fast in a friend’s Whaler.”
Cop: “A troublemaker, huh? I’ll have to keep an eye on you. What’s your name?”
Me: “Jeff Ohstrom.”

Meanwhile, ex-Starfleet officer Lt. Laura, who is still with Ronnie the Romulan, and who is clearly taking on some Romulan traits of her own (by injection, of course) left planet Canada and, knowing the home would be empty, illegally entered the home of Ensign Patty and took away “her” items which included, amazingly enough, the doors. It seems that Patty and Laura are involved in some kind of quarrel surrounding Lt. Laura’s illegal activity of collecting rent money income from another country. Star Fleet is worried that such a dispute could escalate to the bombings of the Baldwins and the Arquettes, leading to a war with Canada, and forcing our military to use Operation Human Shield as a tactic (“Haven’t you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?” “I don’t listen to hip hop.”)

That brings us to last Wednesday. The conditions were great and the currents were strong. All in all, we sailed a good race, but some bad choices and a slow jibe cost us the 36 seconds that kept us out of first place. In the end, I look at the race as a victory as the crew is getting better and better at what they do. I felt it was only a matter of time before we took a first again (and if you see the third paragraph of the entry, I was right!)

That evening, Lt. Mitch and Ensign Lefty were on their way home in an Eagle crewman’s shuttlecraft when Bill, the owner of the shuttle, rammed into another vehicle causing minimal damage to the shuttle (a scratch,) but, according to her attorneys, maximum damage to Lefty. Claims of severe neck trauma and brain damage (which arguably could be a pre-existing condition) are being handled by Lefty’s crack legal team at Dewey, Cheatum & Howe. Early reports show that Bill has hired his own firm of Wacker, Packer & Sacker and Mitch, unclear as to which side to take in the matter has employed the Bush administration law firm, Schock & Awwe (with offices in New York, Washington, Baghdad and coming soon to Africa.)