Captain’s Log: Stardate 10599.9
Here we are at the end of another year and it looks like this past one will be one for the record books. Between a never-ending war and a never-ending slue of hurricanes, we’ve also seen the decommissioning of one Enterprise and the birth of another (the old Enterprise will be renamed to "Runty Kid II: The Wrath of Luke" and will be moved to Atlantic Highlands, NJ)

As we boldly go towards 2006 and prepare ourselves to watch Regis Philbin’s ball drop (apparently Dick Clark’s has finally shriveled up into nothingness,) I find myself looking forward to seeing everyone again and another great season ahead. So much so, I’m planning to spend a good chunk of my three-day weekend reading "Championship Tactics" and then perhaps loaning the book to Richard so maybe, just maybe, he’ll start looking at the water once in a while.

2005 was the year that Sid, Bill and Ozzy joined the crew and all three have exceeded all expectations in their performance on board. They are also a great group of guys and a pleasure to be around – racing or not.

2005 was the year that Dave took all of his foredeck knowledge from a 34-foot boat and applied it to a 40-foot boat. And, after a few failures with that tactic (see past log entries), learned it all over again and has done an incredible job. The title “First Officer” doesn’t come easily and Dave has earned it time and time again.

2005 was the year that Jory came back to full duty after taking a “Fuck The Future” attitude by becoming a New York City School Teacher. In all seriousness, Jory has been, and will always be, a valued member of this crew and I have no doubt his students will view him in the same way.

2005 is the year that Kurt decided to throw all this away and head out to lala-land. Amazingly enough, however, he still hasn’t left. Something tells me that for (at least part of) 2006, we’ll still have a Vulcan handling the main and calculating Time on Time factors in his head.

2005 is the year that Mitch finally scared Lefty and Patty off the Enterprise by no longer bringing sushi, vocalized his affection for goats and taking a somewhat eerie interest in my mast bend. Mitch is the one on board always wanting to know more and more. Learning all that is learnable. He’s our V’ger. His skill level continues to grow and I can easily see him, in the future, making a play for Dave’s position or one day a starship command of his own.

2005 will also be marked as the year as the one where I tried to parasail, drove an America’s Cup racer and traded in my truck (so long, Darth Xterra) for a new Pathfinder LE with all the sweeeet options. One such option is the color-screen navigation system that has female voice that tells you to "turn left on South Broadway in one-quarter mile" and the like. Unfortunately, I’ve looked through all the menus and there’s just no way to change the gender of the voice.

So now I’ve got two women telling me how to drive.

To everyone that reads the Captain's Log and to my dear friends, the gallant crew of the Starship Enterprise (past, present and future,) may you have the happiest and healthiest New Year -- may there be peace on the planet (except at mark roundings.)

I’m looking forward to our making 2006 the best yet.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10596.7
Having just returned home after a week-long vacation through the Southern Caribbean on board Adventure of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean’s largest ships, I now face the impending holiday season with a smile on my face, fully relaxed and with a good tan.

Give me a day or two and I’ll be miserable again. It’s freaking cold up here!

Adventure of the Seas, at 1021 feet, is only slightly bigger than the Enterprise (not the “B”; more like the “T”) and has room for over 5000 passengers and crew.

We went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maartin, St. Thomas and San Juan. And, after days of sun, swimming, snorkeling, buffets and bingo, the excursion I was waiting for was finally upon us – America’s Cup sailing. Right there in the harbor, waiting for us to board was 1987’s Stars & Stripes, True North IV and Canada II. The group split up into teams and it was down to a coin toss – the winner got Stars & Stripes, the loser got Canada II.

As you can see, we don't excel at coin tosses. This one would have to be for Patty and the aforementioned supercharged turbo-slut.

After a brief orientation about the boat, we headed out to the race course. Lots of close calls. Lots of speed. Then bang, we started and were on our way on the first of five short legs. All these years of getting my crew down to 8-second tacks and here we were, a bunch of amateurs, tacking a 12-Meter in 6 seconds. After some time, I was calling tactics (whether they wanted me to or not) and passing information over to our skipper. I also found myself passing along line-handling information to others on the boat. “You’re so patient,” one woman remarked. “Are you like this on your own boat?”

I’ll let the crew answer that one. Don’t everybody yell out “NO!” at once, okay?

We won the race and when they asked if anyone would like to take the helm. I was the only one who volunteered. A few moments later, I had the helm on Canada II doing 10-12 knots on a close reach. This was as thrilling as flying that Cessna a few months back, without that whole something-goes-wrong-and-you-plummet-to-your-death thing.

The next day, still on a high from the sailing, I decided to try parasailing in 25mph winds. Now I know what a spinnaker feels like (a spinnaker that gets jerked around at 600 feet and gets dunked in the water.) Nevertheless, if you every have an opportunity to try it – DO IT. It’s a blast.

During down-time (between buffets,) I found myself reading a book on championship sailing which I picked up in Borders the day before we left -- an excellent read full of some great tips for us. Because, in the end, it’s all going to be about racing with my friends on the Enterprise and that exceeds, by far, any America’s Cup experience.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10592.1
With the threat of snow moving into the area this weekend and next week, it’s only natural that we all start thinking about Enterprise racing again. The new sails are being constructed, the keel is being fared down and I have in my hands a draft for the 2006 racing schedule.

So, before anyone gets SIC, here’s a preliminary look at our racing schedule for 2006:

End April: Enterprise Work Party (Parties?)
Beginning May: Enterprise Launches
May 10: EBYRA Wednesday Night Skippers’ Meeting and Crew Party
May 17: EBYRA Wednesday Night Races Begin
May 21: Port Washington YC Annual Day Race
Jun 03: North Shore YC Annual Day Race
Jun 09: A Day of Mourning. Your captain turns 40 (Ugh!)
Jun 10: CityIslandCup2006
Jun 11: CityIslandCup2006
Jul 01: Riverside YC Stratford Shoal Distance Race
Jul 27: Around Long Island (Am I nuts to consider this again?)
Aug 05: CIYC Leukemia Cup Day Race
Aug 06: CIYC Women Skippers’ Race (Need woman.)
Aug 12: Enterprise TRIAL.COM Day Cruise (Corporate sponsor.)
Aug 19: CIYC Stratford Shoal Distance Race
Sep 02: SCYC Stratford Shoal Distance Race
Sep 16: EBYRA Fall Series (1 day only)
Oct 07: IHYC GearBuster Race (Assuming you don’t bust it first.)

We’ll also do some fun trips which will include the Montauk Worlds Regatta. Ask around: We need crew! Friends, Family, Co-workers, Hot babes.

Also, watch your email for our first annual pre-holiday dinner, most likely at the club, the week before Christmas. Will let you know.