Captain’s Log: Stardate 10666.6
I knew we were going to have problems last night. Commander Dave’s mind was on his son’s birthday, Lt. Commander Mitch was away on vacation and it would be Yeoman June’s first night on board. That, and we were going to have four representatives from Christie’s on board, all part of the team that’s organizing the auction of Star Trek props and costumes. And, although people keep asking me if I’m going to bid on Kirk’s chair (a remake used in a Deep Space Nine episode – the original is on display in a museum) and mount it on the stern of the boat, everything is just a little outside of my budget. Sure, it would be nice, but $20,000 to $40,000 for a chair is a little nuts.

Back to last night: The big thing that concerned me most was the absence of Mitch. None of the crew, as far as I know, has had any real experience in spinnaker trim.

We all got on board and powered out to the starting area in the southeast 10-15 knots of breeze to find practically our entire division gearing up for the start. It’s one thing to lose – quite another to lose BIG.

Three of the Christie’s reps; Kathy, Kathy and Kate; took position on the rail and began to practice moving from one side to the other. But, after getting to know them, it turned out that Kathy (not that Kathy, the other Kathy) was an Olympic alternate in the U.S. Women’s 470 Sailing Team and the other Kathy (not Kathy) was primary spinnaker trim on America True under Dawn Riley during the 2000 America’s Cup challenge. Kate, which I’m told is short for Kathy, but not to be confused with Kathy, or Kathy for that matter, was the preliminary design draftsperson working under Rob Ball during the initial stages of the C&C 37/40+ line. Can you believe the luck?

Yeoman June, good with numbers being an accountant and all, began to calculate, in her head, optimum wind angles along with pole height and target sail shape.

The Enterprise achieved Warp speeds like never before.

We crossed the line first in the fleet, with only Jato correcting over us in handicap. A well-earned second place.

Back at the club, we enjoyed Zoraida’s chocolate cake (making up for last week’s cookie absence) when I commented, “Wow. Mitch missed a great night.”

Dave, Kurt, Jory, Jonathan, Kenny, Richard and Zoraida instantly asked, “Mitch who?”

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10664.7
I went out to the Enterprise early last night to fix an access panel that keeps coming loose (Even in the 23rd Century, Velcro does have its limitations) and to do some electrical work before the race. And, after some time with wires, splicers, crimpers and my digital multitester, I’m happy to say the access panel should stay put.

Unlike the previous Enterprise, the wiring on this starship starts and ends in a variety of places, presenting challenges in not only fixing something when it malfunctions, but in adding new technologies as they become available. Could be a fun weekend.

But on to the race. Conditions could not have been better. Great temperatures and a steady NNW breeze looked like it could be one of our better nights. That is, until we had the roller furler issue and couldn’t get the jib fully deployed – making us 40 seconds late for our start. We spent the race in catch-up mode – which is, unfortunately, a common mode for us – maybe not so early in the race, but common nonetheless.

Upwind we were pointing better and sailing faster then we have in some time – the Enterprise humming along effortlessly at Warp 6. Our spinnaker set was not the best ever, but that blame could easily fall onto Commander Dave, who missed the race to spend time with his wife (some anniversary or something.)

We jibed three times on the looooong downwind leg, catching up with the USS Eagle and not far behind the Romulan vessel Sugar-Free (a diabetic Romulan?) We had a few close calls with Eagle, enough to make Lt. Commander Mitch nervous. Our rounding and take-down was close to perfection and we beated towards the finish in the dark.

One tack was especially interesting when Commander Jory decided, solely to make sure we knew how valuable Dave is, that the jib sheets should run inside the spinn halyard, which was now fastened at the base of the mast. As the jib team tried to get several hundred square feet of sail through a two-inch slot between the spinn halyard and the mast, I could almost hear the fish looking on say “What the f-…?”

All in all, a fun night. But, despite it all, one mystery remains - a mystery that will haunt us until the end of time and will have all humans throughout the galaxy questioning the balance of the universe. It dwarfs the usual mysteries like “Is there a God?” or “Why are we all here?” All petty stuff. What is really on our minds?

Why did Zoraida leave early and what happened to the cookies?

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10664.1
Yesterday, after taking a day off and enjoying a wonderful, relaxing afternoon on the Enterprise reading William Shatner’s new book “Star Trek: Captain’s Glory” (not to be confused with George Takei’s book “Captain’s Glory Hole”,) I went to a meeting at The Bar Formerly Known as Rhodes regarding the City Island Yacht Club and its reps to EBYRA.

I won’t go into the details of the meeting, but it will be interesting to see the results of it play out in the months ahead. It appears, even still, The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning…

Afterwards, while having a drink at the bar, the newly-single Robin Ricca (my guess: an argument over hair-care products) was approached by Monika, a local Hungarian bar fly who was wearing a skirt that if it were any shorter, we’d know her personal grooming choices.

It all started when Monika, who pronounces her name “moan-ika” (I shit you not) came up to Robin telling him she recognized him as a singer or something. Robin, quick thinker that he was, affirmed what this log has been saying for years, that, yes, he was a member of the Bee Gees.

She asked him for $2.00 so that she can sing a sing for him (I have the payment documented) and she proceeded to play some Olivia Newton John on the jukebox, yet when she sang, it was more like Olivia Neutron Bomb. They danced and talked as we watched on (amazingly enough, she talked MORE than Robin did – a feat that I thought could only be accomplished by the inhabitants of Gamma Hydra III, and only because they have three mouths.)

Moan-ika was in town for a short time, working on the roof of Sammie’s Fish Box (could explain the smell) and after an hour, appeared to be well on her way towards a blow on Joe Blow.

Before leaving, I leaned towards Jeff and said, “Ten bucks she has a penis.” He wouldn’t take the bet. Robin, after a few hugs and fixing her shoe, leaned back and said “Twenty.”

I left after that, so at this time, I don’t know if Robin had boldly gone where no sober man has gone before…

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10662.7
Last night was really shitty.

Not in our sail handling nor the wonderful weather, but because the Enterprise’s head seemed to be backed up (perhaps a gift from Ensign Jonathan’s family before they left on vacation) and we were, at times, faced with an odor that could have single-handedly wiped out the Klingon Empire.

For the first time ever, people didn’t need to see our hull graphics to know exactly where we were.

And, despite their best efforts to do what was needed, there were some moments of dissension in the ranks.

“Can you go down and bring up a flashlight?”
“Do I have to?”

But don’t get me wrong. The weather wasn’t perfect either. It’s far from easy getting 18,000 pounds of starship to move in 6 knots out of the north. If you had a light boat, the race was yours.

And to make matters worse, after rounding the windward mark, we had a 150-degree wind shift that made the next leeward mark into another windward one. The chute went up – and the chute went right back down again.

Still, it was a great night running up and down the length of Eastchester Bay and a little voyage under the Throgs Neck Bridge.

Our second chute set was perfection – great hoist, great set, as we rounded the F mark in the dark (It really is the F mark – but, because it’s unlit, in the dark, we do tend to say “Where is the F-in mark?”)

I expect the head to be repaired by next week, perhaps even the weekend. Next week will truly be a challenge in that our Commander Dave will not be on board – and Commander Richard will be back on board.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10660.8
Last night’s conditions were close to perfect. Nice breeze, comfortable temperatures, and the crew of the Enterprise ready for action once again. And this time, we had an ace, a ringer, a sure thing: The Pope.

But, after a poor start (I really should stop listening to people and do my thing – we have better starts that way,) we had trouble gaining ground. The crew followed The Pope’s instructions to the letter, partially because of his experience and winning record, but perhaps more because of his new hobby involving shooting guns. I can see it now…

Pope: “Not a jibe set, a bear-away set!”
Dave: “Oops.”
((BANG)) -- ((SPLASH))
Pope: “Edd, you need a new foredeck person.”
Mitch: “Oh my God, he killed Kenny. I mean Dave!”
Kurt: “You bastard!”

It’s clear we have a lot of learning left to do on this Enterprise, but, despite the momentary heartbreaks, we did many things right. And there were some moments of real speed and catching up to the fleet. All in all, a job well done.

We learned some news things about sail handling, tacking, and backstay tension. I believe that if we combine them with what we know has worked for us in the past, we will do well again.

In the end, we finished where we normally have in the past, and although the Pope did seem a tad embarrassed to be associated with the whole “Enterprise” theme, I did notice he was wearing a NASA shirt. Right idea. Wrong century.

Back at the club, we celebrated Lt. Kurt’s 40th birthday, and then, probably related, the treatment for when the use of Viagra goes..., well, awry.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10660.0
This past weekend, the Enterprise competed in both the CIYC Leukemia Cup Regatta and the CIYC Women Skippers Race (a/k/a "Bi-atch Race 2006", a/k/a "Tits on Tillers".)

In my 30-plus years of sailing, 25 of which devoted to racing, I have never been in a race as frustrating as this year’s Leukemia Cup. The committee, eager to get a race in – any race – started us in under 5 knots of breeze. We tried to get a good position at the start, moving at a whopping Warp 2, when we got caught in a port/starboard situation with the Suliban vessel Chieftan, whose Captain’s physique made it clear that he spent more time at the barbecue hanging off the stern of his boat than at the helm. We had to get out his way, but were faced with a lobster pot in our way. Instead of letting us pass (what a dick – he had plenty of room,) he forced us to get hung up on the anchor line. 30 second to go. We can’t shake free. Were we doomed?

No. Ensign Jonathan stripped down to his Hello Kitty boxer underwear and jumped in, although we couldn’t be sure if it was to clear the anchor line or because he missed the intimacy of his relationship with brine shrimp. Anchor line cleared, airlock 3 open, airlock 3 closed, and we were on our way. We followed the only wind channel we could find, hoped the current would do what it was supposed to and took the right-side of the first leg. It paid off big time and we were back in the race, passing boats that had started 5 minutes ahead of us.

The downwind (and I use the term “wind” very loosely) leg was brutal to the nth degree. Moving along at a little over Warp 1 and baking in the heat of the midday sun. Most of the crew were falling asleep on the leeward rail in the shade of the main.

The wind built from the South as we rounded the next mark and the Enterprise began to fly at Warp 6. Several boats went towards the middle of the sound to make use of that breeze, but in the north, there was a stronger breeze building from that side. We inched our way over as the Southerly died and everyone who went that way paid the penalty.

We found the Northerly and accelerated to Warp 7.5 towards the finish, taking a Third in the regatta. At the barbecue party after the race, everyone compared the number of times they tacked on the last leg without changing course (we did six, I think) and how they marveled at our lobster pot clearing technique and our tactical moves. A great victory for the Enterprise. And, more importantly, the Enterprise fundraised and donated close to $1,000 for the cause.

The next day, Ensign Zoraida took the helm for not one, but two, Women Skipper’s Races (I had only brought enough Valium for one.) The first race was in 17 knots of wind creating quite a few “Ay Dios Mio!”s from our helmswoman. For the first start, I had her “close the door” on a competitor to windward by telling Zoraida to aim for the stern of the RC boat. Barreling along at Warp 6.7, the RC boat’s stern was coming up fast. So fast, I found myself telling Zoraida, “Now, don’t actually hit the stern. Committee’s don’t like it when you hit their boat.” We missed them by about a foot, close enough to see the tremendously worried look in the owner’s eyes.

We rounded the top mark in first place thanks to the expert work of the crew and Zoraida’s excellent steerage for Donald Trump’s penis in New Rochelle. Commander Jory worked well with Crewman Charlie on the foredeck while Charlie’s girlfriend, Zoraida’s boyfriend and Jonathan’s wife looked on. We rounded the downwind mark in first again and we turned back upwind to the finish – until the mainsail traveler exploded. We sailed solely on the jib while we replaced the blown shackle and lost a few minutes in the process. Main traveler repaired, we crossed the finish line first and corrected into Third Place.

And, starting a new tradition, Zoraida thanked Jory for his foredeck work by giving him a lap dance that lasted all about 5 seconds. We’re not sure if Jory liked it, but I could swear I saw a dollar bill sticking out of Zoraida’s shorts for the rest of the day.

The second race was almost as exciting, until the wind died on the downwind leg. Still, we caught the new breeze first and crossed the line ahead of the fleet. We finished overall in Third Place for both races and come November, Zoraida will have a trophy to take home.

We can see that not only is Zoraida great at foredeck, crew morale (she’s the cookie girl,) but she will one day blossom into a great helmsperson as well. She appears to have a great future in yacht racing as a member of the crew of the Enterprise. She needs to work on her points of sail and fright issues.

And, oh yeah, dump the lameoid.

Captain’s Log: Supplemental
I do have to say, with all honesty, that City Island Yacht Club is not only the best club on City Island, but the people and camaraderie that exists there may just make it the best club on the planet. I am honored to be a member of the club and, even more so, honored to call many of its members my friends.

A few weeks ago, two such friends, Alan Woliner and Dan Steinberg, were out on Dan’s ship, the USS Rubiyat, with a video camera shooting footage of a Wednesday Night race. The week after, some of us in the bar got to see an hour and change of the raw footage, mostly made up several EBYRA racing boats before and during the race all sailing around to the tune of a variety of beach music favorites, running from The Beach Boys to Jimmy Buffet to Caribbean steel drum bands.

Except when it came to footage of one boat in particular. Alan and his son, who apparently is a video editing expert, put together this little homage. . .

Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!

(I suggest you have a fast Internet connection when clicking on this. It’s 18 megabytes. But, trust me, it’s well worth it.)

Thank you, Alan. And thank you, Dan. This is truly a treat.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10659.2
This log has been in production now for almost eight years and I have always maintained that it’s a running log of the adventures and experiences surrounding myself and the great crew of the Starship Enterprise, past and present. I’ve been known to be funny, abusive, perverted and, possibly worst of all, a Trekkie. It’s my way of remembering it all and my thoughts at the time. It’s my way of blowing off steam and putting some levity in a sport that sometimes we all take way too seriously. Really, we’re all trying to go as fast as possible using the slowest mode of transportation known to man.

For the past six of those years, besides being the Captain of the Enterprise, I am also the Commodore of the Eastchester Bay Yacht Racing Association. I am able to separate the two and have made it clear, on many occasions, this log is in no way any type of official communication outlet for EBYRA.

Yet today, again, I received another complaint that I should take down the log. That I’ve gone too far. That I’m a public figure and my comments are damaging. Damaging comments – that’s a new one. People on Sailing Anarchy say it’s gone too far and that it shouldn’t be read.

Here’s an idea for you if you don’t like it -- Stop reading it! It’s like the people who can’t stand Howard Stern and then buy XM radios just to hear what he’s going to say next so they can complain more.

It’s all a matter of control. People want a public figure to act in a certain way and get upset when he doesn’t. It must be their way or it’s the end of civilization. But, it seems to me, that our history is full of public figures that offend the people they represent. Whether it’s getting a hummer from an intern or starting a war based on a lie. People get so upset, but in the end, they are still our public figures.

And year after year, I’m voted in as Commodore. Unanimously. Running unopposed. And I work my ass off for the organization.

So, fans (and there are many – much more than I would have ever believed,) the log stays put. There are times I’ll push the envelope and times when I’ll just lick it. I’ll pull no punches and I’ll continue to be funny, abusive, perverted and even a Trekkie too.

And if you don’t like it, become Commodore. Run against me. I welcome it. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to exercise my right to Freedom of Speech, as granted to me over 200 years ago by a group of public figures who were banging their African slaves.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10658.9
Wow – where to begin... I suppose the wind. Despite our Goddess of Wind’s (Phaedra) second unexplained absence in a row, the breeze was quite strong. Amazingly strong, considering the temperature outside (98 degrees at start time.) Apparently, the planet has moved several million miles closer to the sun. Still, if Global Warming means 15-20 out of the Northwest, then bring it on (Sorry Al Gore.)

Then came the argument with the race committee. Actually, with Paul Beaudin of the Race Committee. When the wind shifted, Paul refused to listen to instructions and sent us on a first leg in which a good portion of the boats could make the first mark without tacking. Paul violated so many rules on so many levels and we were all at a loss as to why.

Until the Pope said it best. “He’s being an asshole.”

But there must be more. And then it hit me, while looking at the box that the tribble I won on eBay came in. That episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles” (and the later Deep Space Nine one called “Trials And Tribble-ations”) was based around a Klingon plot that included a Klingon disguised to look human. Ah-Hah!

That could also explain why Doyle sails are so expensive.

And this morning, the emails and phone calls have been non-stop.

Nevertheless, we started the race and the Enterprise, along with her crew, performed very well. What an amazing thrill it was exceeding Warp 10 downwind. The best part f it all – we’re getting better. And, we’re having fun.

This weekend, we have two races. The Leukemia Cup on Saturday and then the Women Skipper’s Race on Sunday, where Ensign Zoraida will take the conn. If there was ever a time for shield technology, this would be it.

Commander Richard won’t be with us for the next few weeks while he becomes a roadie for his wife in Santa Fe. So, for next Wednesday, we’ll have the Pope on board.