Captain’s Log: Stardate 10741.4
Earlier in the week, Lt. Commander Mitch sent around to the crew an article written by Quantum Sails about some spinnaker trim research done in a wind tunnel using a scale model of a Whitbread 60, all in an effort to change our strategy to handling our spinnaker. The data was clear, providing specific information about pole height, angle to the wind, sail shape and air flow. Mitch was so pumped up and ready to implement, I was half expecting the Enterprise to reach Warp 9 in 4 knots of wind.

But it was during our first downwind leg, right when Eagle passed us, that we realized that:

1. We don’t have a wind tunnel
2. The Enterprise is not a Whitbread 60

It was also a night when most of the crew arrived late, including our new Yeoman Ellen, who showed up in time to see our stern disappear over the horizon, and another no-show by Lt. Kurt (dangerously close to a demotion in rank.) And even though it looks like a false alarm, Kurt’s excuse was that his wife was going into labor. Still, we can’t see how that’s Kurt’s problem. She’ll push. She’ll breathe. Do you really need to be there?

Last night was also Yeoman Brittany’s first night on board, helping out Dave on the foredeck. As far as I can tell, she was only scared out of her wits four times – a new record! Still, the sets went well, the jibes went well, and all without a single “Ay Dios Mio!”

Ensign Zoraida, now aptly nicknamed “Thumbelina” because she still refuses to see a doctor about her thumb (contest from previous log entry still open, by the way) did a great job as rail meat and even a better job of bringing out cookies.

After an interesting spinnaker battle with Eagle on the final downwind leg, we crossed the finish line in third place and corrected into fourth.

Final word on Saturday’s day race is still up in the air...

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10739.5
Last night, the crew gathered for our first race in this year’s Wednesday Night Race Series. Well, some of the crew. Ensign Jonathan was in Florida, Yeoman Brittany had to be with her sister who went into labor that morning (how terribly inconsiderate of her sister – next time cross her legs, or give her rubber underwear) and Crewman Kenny sent me a last-minute text message to my communicator that he was stuck at work (imagine that, choosing financial stability and career advancement over yacht racing – I’m so ashamed.)

Luckily, we had some new cadets aboard, including the way-better-at-cranking-a-headsail-than-Mitch Brad, Mike (who took releasing so seriously that he gave blood at the starboard winch,) Joyce and Ellen.

The wind was pretty heavy and despite all the new people as well as the old people who forgot where everything was on the Enterprise, we took a first place start, made a bold tactical move on USS Exhilaration that involved a barge and continued to increase distance between us and the rest of the fleet.

Did we make mistakes? Oh man, did we make mistakes! Even as the Enterprise exceeded Warp 8.5, our tacks were slow, control of the main sometimes gave way to sight-seeing, and, during jibes, the foredeck had enough lines going every which way that it looked like a lost scene from a Spider-Man movie. There was even one moment where it looked like our spinnaker pole was going to crash down on the deck, but thankfully Captain Dave slowed it down with his head.

That incident was shortly after this conversation:
Dave: Tighten up the topping lift!
Richard: Where’s the topping lift?
Edd: The one that’s marked “Topping Lift”!
Richard: Oh.

We crossed the finish line first and remained there after all the handicaps were calculated. A first place finish! Congrats to the Enterprise crew. Now, as Commodore to EBYRA, I’m considering cancelling Races 2 through 16.

Finally, as we went home under impulse power, enjoying Ensign Zoraida’s (now lameoid-free) bounty of cookies and brownies, we began to speculate what exactly happened to her thumb that it is swollen and in a brace. She’s not talking, so we’ll leave it up to the public. Please email your answer to “How Zoraida Hurt Her Thumb?” to edd@yachtracers.com. The best answer will win an Enterprise crew shirt. Was it a bizarre hitchhiking accident? Is her fingernail still stuck in the side of the lameoid’s neck? Was she over texting her vote for Blake Lewis on American Idol? You decide.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10737.5
Last night, members of the Enterprise crew beamed down to Stuyvesant Yacht Club to perform race committee duty for Race 1 of the EBYRA Wednesday Night Race Series. Our hopes were high, despite repeated phone calls and emails all day long asking if we were going to cancel because of weather – most of the calls coming in when it was still 75 degrees and sunny.

But the severe weather alert was there and a quick check of the radar showed the massive behemoth of a storm heading our way. Warnings of dangerous lightning, 65mph winds and an added report of a tornado near Bridgeport were all coming in. I do have to admit though, the tornado part was the least of my concerns. Have you been to Bridgeport lately? They could use a fresh start over there.

Still, there was always the chance that it would pass us by – so much so that Captain Norm of USS Tolo was willing to bet a whole dollar that it would. He clearly was serious. That’s like 2/3 of a 20-oz. Pepsi at my building’s vending machine.

The skies were dark, but the intrepid crew that volunteered did show, including Ensign Jonathan who was pretty sick after diving on some girl named Pompano (or something like that.) We convinced him to go home after he took some photos of the crew sporting their shiny foul weather gear. Yeomans Brittany and June jumped at the opportunity to pose for the shot, even adding the beauty-pageant-one-leg-in-front-of the-other technique.

As Alviento, piloted by her captain, Tony Sklarew (A member of the Antiquisodi race – very old, very salty) came to the dock, we checked the radar again. It wasn’t over. The rain started, the lightning hit nearby and our EBYRA P.R.O called the race off from ashore. And yes, I’m now up a dollar. As Dave Chappelle says – I’m rich, biatch!

We decided to hit The Snug to catch up and learn more about our newest crewperson, Yeoman Brittany. As a New York City Elementary School teacher, Brittany plans to give us gold stars and check minuses for our work on board the Enterprise this season. Apparently, she has been taking the articles I have been sending out on better racing, taking notes, adding markups and placed them all in a color binder, making her clearly more anal than George Michael in a boys’ locker room.

But it was the cover of the binder that disturbed me the most – an image of a sailboat with a single person on board. Her plot is now revealed -- she’s going to kill us all and steal the Enterprise! I could be wrong, but I suggest we all remain on alert.