Captain’s Log: Stardate 10447.9
“I got it!”

Those three little words make all the difference in the world. They’re usually spoken by a brave, knowledgeable soul during times of intense crisis. When something must be done but it looks like it just can’t be done, someone saying “I got it!” will calm those involved. What must be done, but looks like can’t be done, will get done. That someone will be a hero. That someone will save us all.

I believe Captain Kirk said something similar as he left the bridge to the lower decks and single-handedly saved the Enterprise-B from certain destruction in the opening sequence of the 7th Star Trek film, “Generations.”

In last night’s Wednesday night’s race, our Enterprise was clearly in the lead, performing extremely well on both upwind and downwind legs. The foredeck team (now with Commander Richard following Commander Dave’s lead) did a superb job. In fact, everyone did a superb job. No mess ups. All performing as one would expect from the officers on the flagship of the Federation.

… Until the first spinnaker take-down, where the spinnaker halyard was caught and the chute was not completely down – hanging over the hatch. We turned upwind, hardened up and started moving again at high warp. The crew was hard at work putting things away and setting up for another tack and eventually another spinnaker set.

But the halyard was still stuck. I called out. No response. I yelled out. Still no response. We couldn’t tack until this was taken care of and off in the distance (though not an immediate threat) the land mass known as Throgs Neck was dead ahead. “We need that spinnaker halyard eased!” I said again. No response. Uh oh.

Something must be wrong. We have a problem and they’re trying to fix it – and it must be bad because nobody is telling me what it is. Oh no.

Will it cost us the race? Can it be fixed? Do we need to cut it loose? What’s broken? How much will it cost to replace? Is there more than one thing broken? Oh no.

And then, like a gallant knight riding in on a white horse, Lt. Patty ran forward to the halyards and said those three words we all needed to hear: “I got it!”

Suddenly, I’m at ease. Things are going to be fine. We have a hero on board and she’s got it under control. She’s confident, bold, and able to do what needs to be done to save the Enterprise, the crew, and the race.

… and then she dropped the jib.

Fuck.

I won’t go into further details, but commendations should go out to Commanders Dave, Richard and Jory, as well as to Lt. Mitch and visiting USS Exuberance officer MarTune for getting everything back to normal as quickly as possible. How much time did we lose? 15 seconds? 20 seconds? 30 seconds?

We lost 2nd Place to Neverland Express by 5 seconds. And unlike the previous log entry, at least this time we know exactly where it happened. Oh well, it was a blast anyway.


Captain’s Log: Stardate 10446.0
First and foremost, I’d like to welcome Ensign Yejide (hereafter to be known as “Yej”) to the crew of the Enterprise. Yej is a friend of Lt. Patty’s, but we won’t hold that against her. She has no sailing experience, but is very willing to learn.

The winds last night were light and variable, but just enough to get a race in. Extra careful attention would have to be paid towards crew weight, tactics and sail trim. Apparently frustrated by the lack of strong winds, Commander Dave decided to walk towards and then bang his head into the boom (it was still, he clearly went to it.)

Before the start, we speculated on which was greater, Lt. Kurt’s daughter’s fear of the Boogeyman or Lt. Kurt’s fear of his wife. It looks like the latter is true as Kurt was nowhere to be found. His presence was missed, because the question kept coming up as to how much time do we give the Gay Klingons (Neverland Express) and when no answer came back, it was “Where’s Spock?”

Apparently too much, as the Gay Klingons, though finishing well behind us, corrected to 50 some-odd seconds ahead.

50 seconds.

Nah. I won’t do that again.

And, we need to work on our photon torpedo technology and blow Surcease into the next quadrant. That little bathtub wasn’t even a blip on our aft long-range sensors and was still able to correct over the entire fleet.

One of her crew saw the results and was very pleased, then walked away smiling and said “Nice race.” You could not help but feel happy for her…

Until the most well-mannered and soft-spoken of starship captains, who shall remain nameless, took into consideration all of the factors in last night’s race and the history of the gentlemen’s sport of yacht racing and said…

“Rot in Hell, bitch.”

God, I love this sport.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10445.2
This past Saturday, the Enterprise was more than ready for the challenges that usually come with racing in the City Island Cup. We had the right amount of weight. We had the right amount of muscle.

If only we had the right amount of wind.

After an hour delay, the race committee started up in a 6 knot breeze which quickly died down to nothing at the windward mark. It’s a Westerly. No, it’s out of the South. It’s coming from the North. We tacked 10 times without changing course. At one point, we crossed the stern of the USS Chaika pointing 90 degrees different than she was, all on the same tack and the same point of sail – and we both were moving.

All four divisions piled up at the windward mark. Who’s starboard? Who’s leeward? Who’s moving?

Things did pick up and we did achieve a speed of Warp 1.2 on the way back to the committee boat, but the three-hour time limit ran out. So, despite being in first place, it all counted for nothing.

The crew did a great job of moving the sails around and sitting on the leeward rail (which was an ever-changing location) during the most frustrating of race conditions. In light air, it’s so difficult to concentrate on wind direction, tactics and sail shape without letting your mind wander to other things like, say, why is Lt. Patty wearing Becky’s (of USS Exuberance) underwear?

I woke up on Sunday and checked the weather forecast. NOAA was reporting that Western Long Island Sound would have 5-10 in the morning, decreasing to les than 5 in the afternoon. Ugh. Here we go again.

It’s official, NOAA is full of shit. What started out as 10-15 increased in the afternoon to 15-20 with gusts well into the upper 20’s. Both Soverel’s broached, several boats dropped out, spinnakers were blown into pieces and two people from two different boats went in the drink. It was going to be a high-warp hairy and wet ride.

We ran three races, finishing with two seconds and a fifth. The fifth was in the second race of the day and could be credited towards my decision to keep the #1 flying (although downwind, we were flying like a bat of hell) and Commander Richard’s start which not only had us at the pin side of the line too early, but also had us colliding with it. We did what we could to make up for the loss time, but in the end, only passed 4 boats (two of which corrected over us.)

Commander Jory and Lt. Patty did a great job in very demanding conditions. A commendation goes to them both.

We finished the series in 2nd place overall. Another candy dish on the shelf and another great race result for the Enterprise.

Captain’s Log: My Birthday (Stardate 10443.8)
5 seconds.

With 14 crew on board, including refugees from Alaska (Sean) and Maine (Madeline), the Enterprise was at maximum capacity for Race 4 of the Wednesday Night Race Series. With gusty winds in the forecast, we couldn’t of had more meat on the rail if Oprah was on board. But it did help a great deal. The Enterprise sailed flatter, pointed higher and sailed faster than many others around her.

We started in first place using Commander Richard’s trademarked luff n’ go method. Where we up to full speed at the gun? I think so, but then again…

5 seconds.

Heading up to the windward mark, at the final tack, we were a little unprepared and overshot the mark. Was it critical? Maybe. Maybe not. Nevertheless…

5 seconds.

We rounded the mark to do our planned jibe set. Because of all the people on board and getting everything into position, our spinnaker set was a little late. For about 5 boat lengths we weren’t up to full speed…

5 seconds.

Riding the chute downwind at speeds up to Warp 8.2. Commander Jay from USS Aeroplane was on board calling out chute trim and puffs. The Hairy Horta crosses the finish line on the way down – disqualified. Ahead, the Xindi vessel, Force G4, broaches. Farther ahead, USS Timok broaches and then broaches again, only the second time they come up, they’re short a rig. Ouch. Commander Jay suggests dropping the chute to be on the safe side. It’s a little early, but we do so any. Did we lose time? Probably. How much? Could be more than…

5 seconds.

We round the mark with USS Tolo. We’re on the inside. It’s going to be a tight turn. What’s Tolo doing? MY maneuver? We can’t have that. Tacking in 3. 2. 1. The crew was ready as we turned a seaman-like manner mark-rounding into a tactical one – and, after checking with some rules experts, well within the rules. Tolo stalled in between us and the mark. To avoid collision, we had to tack away -- we could have successfully protested them, by the way, and then there wouldn’t have been an issue with…

5 seconds.

On the way upwind to the finish, we’re at Warp 6 all the way. During one of the tacks, we were tacked upon by the academy boat, Gunsmoke. Bad wind. Little freshman pricks. It didn’t last long, but it could have cost us…

5 seconds.

On the next tack, we had to duck USS Wow on starboard. A slight loss in position. How much of a loss? Everybody say it loud…

5 seconds.

Finally tacking up to the finish line, we go a little too early and end up running the line. We tack and cross first and start the stopwatches. USS Tolo was on it’s way. 1 minute. 1 minute 20. 1 minute 40. We’re looking to Spock for the Time on Time calculations, but his M-5 computer was on the fritz. 1 minute 45 seconds behind us. Corrected to ahead of us by, you guessed it…

5 seconds.

But what a great night it was. Reuniting with old friends, a great race, and birthday cake with bottled water, sushi and Doritos at the mooring afterwards. Yes, you read that right. The cake was a wonderful surprise (I still can’t figure out how everything else down below got tossed around and not the cake) and Patty gave me a drawing of Star Trek characters with our Enterprise crew’s names filled in on each person. “Note how I made Dave and Jory so they’re both Klingons,” she said.

“I see that. But Jory’s a female.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Jory has tits.”

We have five scheduled for City Island Cup this weekend. Let’s go boldly and let’s win.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10442.2
Every once in a while, you have a race where you really say to yourself “Boy, am I glad I did that” and a race where you say to yourself “Damn, I wish I had did that.” Last night’s Wednesday Night Race was a combination of both.

After an almost perfect start, we followed Jeepers’ tactics and went to the right side of the course – which would have been the right move had we been there five minutes earlier (when Jeepers was there.) Instead, any gains we had were mostly lost rounding the upwind mark. Our chute work had to be good in order to gain some ground.

Our set went fine (OK, it was backwards, but why should everyone else get to see the graphics all the time and not us?) and the winds started changing… shifting… gusting. To our port, USS Exuberance tried a jibe and lost their chute in the process. I turned around to look at the conditions…

“Get that chute down now!”

Behind us, the water was white-capping, but it was what was behind that which had me concerned. Black, flat water. High winds. And it was coming our way. Fast.

The crew of the Enterprise scrambled at Red Alert (except one, who I think has learned his lesson) and did an excellent job of doing what needed to be done in a hurry. Commanders Dave and Jory, along with Lt. Mitch, did a superb job of getting the chute under control and down before it hit.

And hit it did. We were doing Warp 8.2 on the main alone. Just slightly ahead was USS Tolo, who surprisingly kept their chute up during the initial blast of wind, only to broach and lose control a few seconds later. In fact, at least two other boats broached. At least three spinnakers were ripped. -- “Boy, am I glad I did that.”

And, as I learned later, a crewperson on USS Excalibur swears she saw a tornado funnel down from the skies to the Northeast of us. (There was a confirmed report of a small twister in New Jersey on the evening news.)

Winds clocked back down slightly and we put up the Number 2 on the primary track. Screaming along at Warp 7, we made our way towards the finish line. Unfortunately, the wind clocked down a little more in the last mile of the race to the point where we could have successfully flown the Number 1 – which can’t go up on the secondary track. “Damn, I wish I had did that.”

We crossed the line first and corrected into fourth, which wasn’t much of a surprise as Time on Time is meant to work on dying wind conditions, not increasing ones. We returned home with nothing broken and, more importantly, nobody hurt.