Captain’s Log: Stardate 10549.6
With enough rain coming down, cells on the way and most of Westchester County about to be renamed Westchester Bay, the Enterprise sat still on the mooring. Even though the bigger cells, which supposedly were accompanied with 40 mph winds, didn’t hit until much later this evening, safe prevailed over sorry.

And we weren’t alone. With over 60 boats registered in the regatta, about 20 showed up to race the short course provided by the captain and crew of the USS Exuberance.

At least we didn’t have to wait long to get our dinner.

Commander Dave was SIC for the evening, mainly due to the storm mentioned earlier. Ensign Ryan also had a conflict, but that was more work-induced.

During dinner, we discussed Block Island Race Week, in which both USS Chaika and USS Exhilaration had impressive results in each of their divisions. While official dates haven’t been posted yet, we should plan on competing in the 2007 race (Should be mid-June.) That’s 24-months notice, guys, to make sure you’re NOT SIC. Hire babysitters, surrogate husbands, whatever. We’ll be gone for a week of racing and partying – Block Island-style.

In the meantime, I’m getting details about the July 9-10 overnighter. I’ll let everyone know what we’re doing by tomorrow.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10547.7
With a new diagram in place for running sheets and detailed crew assignments in effect, we were ready. Ready for racing. Ready for Adventure.

Or so we thought.

First of all, Ensign Sid apparently misread his listed foredeck duties and thought they said “Stay home because it had rained two hours earlier and there may be a slight possibility that you could get a little wet and if you do, you could contract some rare supervirus that could put the CDC on high alert.” Ensign, even 20th Century doctors knew that you can’t get sick from being wet or cold. You can only get sick from germs.

When “The Sopranos” star Vincent Pastore was moving on to City Island, I heard stories that Big Pussy was coming. I thought they were talking about the same thing.

But, on to the race: With winds averaging less than 10 (and clear skies,) the race committee set a course, started the sequence and apparently did a time shift. Somehow, somewhere, a minute was lost. As we and Chaika headed towards the pin and a perfect start with a minute to go, we heard over the radio “All clear.”

“What the -- !!!?? We have a minute to go!” No response.

No time to discuss. We hardened up and went for it – as did the rest of the fleet. Ensigns Phil and Ryan, after a few light-air tacks, were starting to get into the groove with the genoa tacking. Some (very) bad tactical calls had turned what started as a great windward leg to a last-place rounding.

Our chute sets went very well as did the jibe. On the second windward leg and on the last downwind leg, we were really getting the hang of things and catching up to the fleet. We know what we need: A little more practice and a little more experience. We can do this. We will do this.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10546.8
Yesterday, we took the Enterprise on a little Father’s Day Cruise in Western Long Island Sound. With about 14 knots of breeze, we unfurled the headsail and effortlessly accelerated to speeds exceeding Warp 7. My sister was complaining about the 10 degree heel angle, Marcy got wet from passing wakes and my nephew Luke slept through it all on the foredeck.

Not to speak ill of the previous Enterprise, but to get her to Warp 6.8, it would take all the sails perfectly trimmed, a clean bottom and a crew of five. This new Enterprise had a small luffing headsail up, no main and the self-tailing winches were doing most of the work. And we were comfortably at Warp 7. What a dream. I can only imagine how fast she’ll get once the crew learns how to sail her.

Speaking of which; The new crew assignments will be sent out tomorrow. We’re going to have some fun.

We returned to the mooring where my father and my brother-in-law Glenn took out the fishing rods (which Glenn bought for the boat) and started to fish for whatever life forms grace the waters of Eastchester Bay. Over the course of an hour, they managed to catch the rig, each other, and (almost) the club launch, Patience.

If you listened carefully enough, you could almost hear the fish laughing.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10546.0
Yesterday, I had a long telephone conversation with Captain Norm of the USS Tolo, who has had his fill of Surcease in his division. So, after years of complaints about this small little ship with the PHRF rating handed down from the heavens above, it looks like something is finally going to be done about it. With data from Federation Starships Exuberance and Frolic, along with data from both Klingon vessels Desperado and Neverland Express, complete with photographs of other Newport 20 sailboats, Captain Norm has filed an official rating protest of Surcease.

Having received a copy of the protest, along with the exhibits and spreadsheets of data, it looks like the YRA will have their hands full in not only arbitrating what kind of boat Surcease actually is, but also deciding what a fair rating will be. It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks.

Captain Norm’s emotions ranged from anger to frustration. He said he’s getting tired of racing for second place out there. It became clear to me that his reasons for telling me so much was not solely because I am the Commodore for the Eastchester Bay Yacht Racing Association, but because he knew that I had experienced, on many an occasion, the same feelings regarding that 20-foot nemesis when we raced on the previous Enterprise.

To which I replied to Norm in the only way I could think of . . .

A 1990 C&C 37+ 40-foot sailboat: $105,000
Taxes to the State of New York: $7,875
Short haul with bottom paint and graphics: $3,300
Extra gear from West Marine: $285
Not ever racing against Surcease again: Priceless

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10545.8
Which one is the _____?” -- And you can fill in the blank with any one of the following: Spinnaker Halyard, Main Halyard, Topping Lift, Jib Sheet, etc. It doesn’t matter. We heard them all last night.

With less-than-needed familiarity with the new Enterprise, our first race with the new starship was not one for the record books. The semi-color-coded system wasn’t enough and with all lines leading back, the bridge was starting to look like James Doohan’s plate at All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Night at The Olive Garden.

Still, I’m very pleased with the crew’s performance during frustrating conditions. Last night was a learn-as-you-go race – and learn we did. Most of it was my fault -- I really do need to spend a little time locking down crew assignments and finalizing which lines are to lead where – avoiding winch conflicts. It’s going to be a busy weekend.

Maybe it would also be a good idea to replace some lines with more color-coded Sta-Set lines, which seemed effective for the previous Enterprise – but then again, it’s a very tall mast and that stuff runs over a buck a foot. Something to think about.

Nevertheless, the ship looks great and an absolute pleasure to sail. We’ll figure it out. It’s onward and upward from here.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10543.8
Last week marked the final voyage of the Starship Enterprise, NCC-1701-A, under my command. That ship, and her history, will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the Undiscovered Countries, boldly going where no man, or no one, has gone before.

Last night, the crew of the Enterprise stepped aboard Dancin’ Fool, the starship due to be re-commissioned as the third vessel to carry the name Enterprise. After some review of the ship’s inventory and some organization, we left orbit under impulse (and wow, was it quiet) and then, once clear, engaged the warp engines. The ship hummed to life and accelerated past the racing fleet and out of Eastchester Bay to Western Long Island Sound.

It took us all some time to get familiar with the new rig, but in the end, we can see that handling this ship will be easier in many ways. Many, many thanks to the crew for their help in the organization of both above and below decks, along with the removal of non-essential items. Today, the ship is being hauled for a power washing and two to three coats of Micron CSC bottom paint. On Saturday, official Starfleet markings will be applied to the hull, some additional rigging will be added and some further reorganization below decks will be done.

Barring any unforeseeable circumstances, next Wednesday, Stardate 10545.5, shall be the official commissioning and first mission for the Starship Enterprise, NCC-1701-B.



Captain’s Log: Supplemental
I should also add my thanks to the crew for the sentiment and the cake for my birthday. It was a great surprise and I can’t think of any other group I’d rather celebrate with. Granted, this birthday is a scary one – marking my final year of being in my 30’s. Nevertheless, with these great people around me, it should be a year to remember. One last note, though: While I’ve never actually seen the sheet music for the song “Happy Birthday To You,” I’m pretty sure that the melody, as sung by the crew, was not performed correctly. The version I heard was, shall we say, unique. It was still “music to my ears.” Thanks guys.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10543.3
Last night, Commander Richard, Commander Dave and I stood at the end of the club pier and watched the new ship to carry the name Enterprise approach.

“There it is,” I said, pointing out towards the middle of Eastchester Bay.
“It doesn’t look that big,” my father remarked.
“It’s not even in the mooring field yet.”
“Oh . . .”

Ten minutes later, he remarked again: “OK. It’s big.”

The ship pulled up to the dock and we met the three captains who brought her up from Annapolis. And, I believe it’s a good sign – one of the captains was named “Jim” and one was named “Kirk” – Jim Kirk – I shit you not. I think I saw Dave shoot me a look like I had planned that or something.

We spent a couple of hours on board checking out the systems, the rig and the various security measures installed so that the engine could only be started by someone who knows the boat.

After a brief stint in spacedock where the bottom will get painted and official Starfleet markings will be applied, she’ll be ready for active duty. We’re shooting for a week from tomorrow. Most likely, on that Wednesday, before the race, we’ll have a brief ceremony at the dock where a bottle of champagne will be broken on the bow and Romulan Ale (which will taste amazingly similar to a Hawaiian Breeze) will be served to those in attendance.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10541.9
Today I write the biggest check I’ve ever written and tomorrow I will have a new starship to carry the name Enterprise.

But it was last night, with a nice breeze (but man oh man was it cold!) and clear skies, that racing the current Enterprise was an absolute delight. A great start, a better upwind leg (thanks to Richard’s tactics) and some good work downwind had the Enterprise crossing the line first and correcting into third.

Missing from last night’s adventure was Ensign Sid (something about a dog) and Lt. Kurt who sent an email out to the crew that he had some sort of stomach virus and was afraid that if he showed, the only use he’d be is propulsion in the form of projectile vomiting.

So, it could be reasonably assumed that we didn’t take a first last night because of Kurt.

But, even down two, we did very well. Ensign Bill is starting to get the hang of things and Ensign Ryan did an exceptional job with grinding and the spinnaker guy. And yes, Ryan did blow the black guy. And yes, he did it better than Patty.

Leaving us for a month or so is Commander Jory, who will be taking a position at Starfleet Academy. We, of course, wish him well, but can’t emphasize enough how much we would like to have him back and will await his return.

Commander Dave worked the foredeck as if he never had a winter break and I got the same impression from Lt. Mitch’s spinnaker sheet handling. Just as we’ve really gotten to know this ship, we’re going to have to learn another.

Of course, the big moment was when Mitch said to Dave, “I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen you with pants on.”

Oh yeah. We’re back.