Captain’s Log: Stardate 10570.7
For the last Wednesday Night race of the season, I knew we’d be a little short on crew. Ensign Ryan has been inundated with work and helping out his gulf-coast family, Ensign Sid would be busy with all the women in his life (ex-girlfriend, new girlfriend, mother, etc.), and Ensigns Lefty and Sharon, despite showing an interest in joining us, did not make it out to a single race this season – so why should the last one be any different? But my question is: Where the phuck did Phil phlee to? Seven weeks ago, Ensign Phil took a three-week vacation to Europe and apparently never returned. Did Phil phorget about the phantastically phun times we have racing the Enterprise?

Phil, please pick up a fone, let us know you’re phine and ready to race in the Phall Series. Or at least send a phreaking e-mail.

Enough of that before my spell-check overheats. Back to last night:

Even with the far-reaching arms of Ophelia threatening our area, the conditions were close to perfect for the race. 11-13 knots of breeze, a few gusts here and there, no rain and lit marks make for a great combination on a Wednesday Night. Our start was about two to three seconds away from being absolutely perfect – and a big part of that is due to the crew’s quick sail handling. I had a hunch it would be good because we had speed and were right at the committee boat (the favored end), but I knew for sure when, as we blew past, someone on board the committee boat said “Damn, Edd. Nice start. Way to go.” And when Captain Coar of USS Chaika came over to me afterwards and said that we “owned the start.”

Our upwind tacks went fine and our spinnaker sets were well-executed for being a little short on crew and in the dark.

But on the second upwind leg, I heard a new sound from the warp engines – a fluttering of sorts. A quick scan confirmed my fears – a small tear on the leech. Unfortunately, in 12 knots of breeze and gusts up to 17, little tears don’t stay little for long. We were in a new race now – how fast can we make it to the upwind mark before this thing rips in half? So we pushed the Enterprise as much as we could. Another gust, another inch. It was torture.

We rounded the mark and set the chute – rolling up the genoa and its nice, new, 18-inch tear. I can do some repairs for the Sayers Series and the Fall Series, but it’s now a definite that there will be a new headsail in the Enterprise’s future (so much a definite that I almost wasn’t welcome home last night.)

We finished the race and headed home. We have a lot of learning to do, but we are getting there. Despite the standings, it was a great Wednesday Night season for us. Thanks to all for your dedication and hard work.