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.