Captain’s Log: Stardate 10557.3
I finally realized why I hate WCBS 880 so much. And no, it’s not because they broadcast Yankee games (although a “Yankee”, by the way, is the same thing as a “Quickie” but it’s just with yourself.) No, it’s because they broadcast bad news. And they repeat it. Again and again. You give them 22 minutes and they’ll give you . . .

. . . a reason to take anti-depressants.

So there I was in the car, thoroughly enjoying Jethro Tull’s “Cross-Eyed Mary” on Q104.3, and I decide, since I was on my way to the boat, to check the weather. I flip over to the AM dial and land on 880. Severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 8:00pm. Nickel-size hail (it’s summer!!!) Dangerous surface-to-ground lightning. And 60 mile-per-hour winds.

And every ten minutes, between stories of death in Iraq, our miserable economy and how pieces of foam could kill our space program, they repeated it again.

So, upon my arrival at the club, I put everything on hold and watched the wrath of mother nature unfold, just as 880 described it would, on the porch (along with just about everyone else.) By 6:30 things were still unsettled and in Little Neck Bay (the south side of our course) there was still lots of lightning. Race cancelled.

The crew of the Enterprise gathered inside for food, drinks and the usual discussion points of how Mitch does goats, the Columbia sailing boats at the club and why we haven’t caught Bin Laden (we are a conversationally-diverse group.)

As for updates on the crew, Ensign Ryan has taken a new position and is finding it difficult to make it to Wednesday nights – at least for the next few weeks. But, it looks like he will return. And, Lt. Kurt has accepted a position with NEC (sell your stock!) in Burbank. He’s going out next week to get familiar with them and requisition some supplies (which should include a North headsail and North asymmetrical chute) and then will be coming back to New York to finish the season. But, it looks like this will be Kurt’s last year on board. As far as we can tell, nothing good has ever come out of Burbank - after all, that’s where NBC produces “Joey.”

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10555.3
I was really hoping it would be I that was going to ruin En Garde’s evening. At the start of last night’s race, I saw an opportunity, with the speed of the Enterprise, to duck below En Garde’s stern, establish an overlap and push him over the starting line. And with his 9-ish-year-old son on board waving to us, we did just that.

On the wrong side of the line with 3 seconds to go, they has no choice but to spin around. After all, it was one of En Garde’s crew that was talking shit to Lt. Kurt in church a few weeks ago and “En Garde” is French for “Prepare yourself. I’m about to fuck you up” (apparently a phrase never used during wartime, but then again, if it would have been, probably not the best tactical move to warn your opponent ahead of time.)

Was it a nasty thing for us to do? Sure. But as Lewis Black says, only the good die young, and pricks live forever.

But, instead, it was Choucas that did the deed for En Garde’s evening. At the leeward mark, Choucas slammed into En Garde causing several thousand dollars of damage. We heard lots of screaming and a loud smash. The captain of Choucas, a Frenchman, probably never yelled out “En Garde!” before he hit En Garde. How’s that for irony?

Then again, the captain of Choucas is also known in the quadrant as The Terrorist.

But on to our race: With a great start, our upwind leg was close to flawless. Fast tacks, boats ducking behind us, we rounded the upwind mark in great position and with a cluster of boats from our division.

But the spinnaker wasn’t ready (it was a short upwind leg) so we didn’t hoist in a timely fashion. Once up, I went on the right side of the course hoping, as did Wuestwind, to find some air that the rest of the fleet wouldn’t find. After a bad jibe and a wind shift, our fate was sealed. In the end, I should have stayed with the fleet and did MANY more jibes.

Our last upwind leg was perfect. Nice breeze. Sunset. Just glorious.

Missing from the evening was Commander Jory and Ensigns Phil, Ryan and Sidney. Jory had a test to study for, Phil was in Florida, no word from Ryan, and Sidney, for some strange reason, decided he’d rather photograph lingerie models than sail. We were short-staffed. Lt. Patty, formerly of the Enterprise but now serving on USS Exuberance, did join us and was a big help with, you guessed it, blowing the guy.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10555.1

James Doohan, known throughout the galaxy as Captain Montgomery Scott (Scotty), Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise, passed away this morning at his home in Redmond, Washington with his wife of 28 years by his side. Aside from his role on the Star Trek television series and seven of the motion pictures, Doohan worked on over 4000 radio programs, and earned parts in more than 100 motion pictures and television series including The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Fantasy Island, Loaded Weapon 1 and Double Trouble. In 2004, he was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at a ceremony that included castmates Walter Keonig (Chekov), George Takei (Sulu), Grace Lee Whitney (Rand), and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura).

Here's to ya, lad.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10553.4
It was all my fault.

It was my fault when the genoa team couldn’t get synchronized so as to provide speed for our start, making us 15 seconds late over the lane. After all, I bought the boat, the genoa, the sheets and the winches.

It was my fault when I took Commander Richard’s tactical advice to stay in the middle of the course when most of the fleet went right and took advantage of the Throgs Neck Bridge lift which only happens, oh let me count, one, two, three, four, five . . ., um, EVERY TIME THERE’S A FREAKING SOUTHERLY! DAMMIT!

It was my fault that I didn’t buy a J/105 with a sprit asymmetrical spinnaker so that the first downwind leg, which was really a broad reach, would have had us moving a high warp (the top finishers were all J/105’s last night.)

It was my fault for believing Commander Dave’s positive response to “Are the lines clear to jibe?” and then it was my fault for actually jibing the boat. And, it was my fault when the lines weren’t clear, thereby stopping all forward momentum.

It was my fault that we didn’t jibe downwind on the last downwind leg since the wind was clocking further south and there was breeze on the right side of the leg.

But, there is light at the end of the wormhole. We are getting better. The boat is moving faster and everyone is getting more familiar with the layout. With more practice, we will be a contender.

And until then, it’s all my fault.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10551.5
Last night, an area of low pressure hung over Eastchester Bay much like one would hang over the toilet bowl after two-for-one enchilada day at Taco Bell – an unending load of swirling crap. It kept the rain out, thankfully, but the winds, or lack thereof, where light and extremely variable. 30 degrees. 45 degrees. 180 degrees. 10 degrees. In a word: Yuck.

After instructing the committee to postpone and wait out the system, there was an ounce of hope. The wind picked up out of the Northeast – and it was well in the teens. The committee could get things going, but they had to act fast. The time limit was almost here.

Ben Franklin’s words “Haste makes waste” never rang more true. In an effort to rush to set the line and post courses, the race committee hasted and wasted more than, well, I think I covered that in the first paragraph. The courses were set for a northwesterly. The line was, I swear, four boat lengths long. To have divisions 6 and 4 go through that line would be like when the Three Stooges try to go through a doorway. One thing’s for sure, we’re all going to be a lot thinner.

I had no choice and made what I was repeatedly told was the right call, albeit an unpopular one. Race cancelled.

So, we took the opportunity to practice. Tacking. Rounding. Chute Up. Jibe. Jibe. Jibe. Chute Down. More tacking. Though still not perfect, we are getting the hang of things and I’m getting more and more impressed with the abilities of the crew in adapting to the new starship.

Heading out of the bay at Warp 5.8 with all systems fully operational, we entertained the idea of just continuing on until daylight or Montauk, whichever came first. But after twenty minutes of how Photoshop could put Mitch in a bikini, how if you don’t have a thumb, six fingers is a good thing and Kurt’s questionably-well-informed knowledge of the legalities surrounding Internet porn, it was time to head back. And, if we were out there much longer, we would have missed Patty’s slaughterhouse stories – a rare delight while having a hamburger.