Captain's Log: Stardate 10749.0
The first challenge of the evening was just getting to the Enterprise. At about 3:00pm yesterday, a heavy-rain storm system went through the area that knocked out subways, electricity to many sections of NYC, the Bronx and Westchester, and flooded I-287. We were going to be short-staffed as it was and I didn’t need the weather to cause additional problems. An hour and a half to get from Tarrytown to City Island. Should have went by boat.

But, it was clearing up. And the radar showed Eastchester Bay was going to be fine until, maybe, 9-ish. I made a mental note that there might be problems at 9-ish. 9-ish. I had to remember that. We headed out to the race course and prepared the Enterprise for the 15-20 mph conditions.

And then did our best to work through the 25-30 mph conditions.

But, the Enterprise and her crew were performing well. We were keeping with the fleet and our final downwind leg was going to be one to remember. We rounded, started putting the chute up and prepared the ship for Warp 9.

The time was 9:15, or thereabouts. 9-ish. Something about that time that I was supposed to remember, but it just wasn’t registering.

The chute went up and the wind completely died. Commander Richard and I both saw the shift moving forward and ordered the chute down. Jib back out, we drifted north, wondering what happened that the wind would go from the 20's to 0 so quickly. And then it was Foredeck Captain Dave, looking north, who was the one who said it best: "Uh oh. This is going to be bad . . ."

Within ten seconds of his warning, all hell broke loose. We saw 39. Chaika saw 42. But we both admit we weren't looking all the time. Captain Paul Strauch of Andiamo said he saw over 50 as his boat passed Warp 14 downwind on the main only.

What was a nice Wednesday Night Race became a struggle for survival; trying to make sure the crew wasn't going to get hurt and keeping the Enterprise in one piece. We were getting hammered hard. We reduced sail and got soaked from the combination of the rain above and the water coming over the deck. Barely, through the sound of sails luffing violently and the wind, I could hear faint subspace radio calls from the fleet withdrawing one after the other. Mental clarity overcame insanity as I started the impulse engine and followed suit.

The crew did well during the red-alert conditions and I am very proud of their performance. They have all clearly earned their spot on the Flagship of the Federation and it will be a difficult not seeing them for the holiday break. My best wishes to all for a happy and safe Independence Day.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10748.2
In the history of the Enterprise, there have been several moments where the captain devises a plan with the slimmest chance of working and yet, somehow, against all odds, the crew pulls it off and saves the ship -- moments like the Corbomite bluff or the use of the Prefix Code to lower Reliant's shields during The Wrath of Khan.

But after last week's "clusterfuck", odds were heavily stacked towards us running the whole season without a jib halyard followed by an expensive winter haul where the mast would have to come down. Our only shot, and a slim one at best, was to send someone up there, lower a thin messenger line into the center of the mast, somehow snag that line through a halyard port no wider than a half an inch, attach it to a good halyard, then snake it back upwards without losing both.

Might as well have added Peace in the Middle East to the list.

We strapped Lt. Jonathan into the Chair of Death, I mean, the Bosun's Chair, and, with both spinnaker halyards, slowly cranked him upwards. He knew what he had to do. And, we told him that if he failed, the best thing for him to do was release both spinnaker shackles.

I won't say the hoist was difficult, but he did mention later how much he's been enjoying Fluffenutter, Nutella and Cocoa Krispies with Chocolate Milk lately. We asked him to help by scaling the mast some of the way, but we soon learned that Spider-Man won't have any competition this year.

The messenger line came down and Commander Jory hooked it with his finger. Holy Shit! This was going to work! The line came out, we attached it to the halyard and ordered Jonathan to start hoisting. One out on the top end, we asked him to check the path of the upper drum and fix the mast head fly.

I'm still amazed by the skill of the people around me and at how well this worked. We sent a camera up to Jonathan to take some photos (coming soon) and then did some other odd jobs around the boat, including some excellent work by Yeomans June and Ellen in preparing the life jackets for the Around Long Island.

The Enterprise foredeck is back to fully operational condition. All halyards are ready and functional. The jib can now go higher, the spinnakers can be hoisted from either side.

And the best part of it all, if we forgot anything, Jonathan is still up there. We only asked him to go up the mast – never mentioned anything about down.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10747.1
Finally! A night were it was warm AND full of breeze. These were our conditions. We were going to do well.

But our troubles began one minute before the start with a jammed release causing us to be 15-20 seconds late to the line, followed by a double whammy on the first leg that can only be described as a clusterfuck. The jib halyard blew, sent our jib downwards, and when the foredeck team placed a new halyard on, the jib came out of the track. We dropped from Warp 7 to sublight so quickly that for a moment I thought we were going backwards.

And Richie Coar of Chaika admitted later they were chuckling as they pulled away from us. No need for revenge though. I'm young. He's old. That's life.

I thought we were through and began to hail the Race Committee on subspace channels. We could get back to the mooring, get someone in the chair and try to fish back our jib halyard. But, the foredeck team didn't hear the order, the jib was back up again, and we were back at Warp 7. There's Eagle! Let's get them!

And, the crew performed excellently for the entire race as we steadily gained ground on both Eagle and Chaika. We lost about 5 or more minutes during the aforementioned clusterfuck and had we had more legs, I think we would have taken them. We finished last, but on corrected time, only 3 minutes back. It was quite a feeling to hear someone on the rail say "Hey! That's Chaika! We really caught up to them!"

We returned to Starbase with a plan to fish the halyard either over the weekend or late afternoon next Wednesday. But, the second part of the planned evening was still ahead. With the entire crew on the deck loaded down with Heineken Keg cans, Nacho Chips and Cookies, we looked to the clear skies above the bow. And then, like two beacons from the heavens, we witnessed the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Atlantis move swiftly across the Eastern sky. What an incredible moment! To actually see them go. Boldly. Through the Final Frontier. I doubt I will ever forget the amazing sight.

Lastly, the winner of the "How Zoraida Hurt Her Thumb" contest goes to her own doctor who diagnosed her with, drum roll please, arthritis! The old person's disease! I guess we're just a season or two away from wheelchair ramps and picking her up from the dock of the Shady Pines Retirement Home. For now, someone will need to be ready to pass her her shawl when she gets chilly. Still, she looks great for a 67 year-old.

Next week, we won't have Jonathan, Mike or Brittany. I'm therefore asking the transporter room to lock onto Bill and Phaedra. A quarter of the season has passed. Summer is here. If they are not on board next week, beam them into space. Seriously guys, you're either on or you're off. Need you there or I have to give away your spot.


Captain's Log: Supplemental
Happy Birthday to Yeoman June! The Enterprise crew had a choice last night -- to either sing her happy birthday or throw her in the water. Sorry to say to all those within earshot, they chose to sing. Once back at the club, as a birthday surprise, Brittany gave June an orgasm, but June finished so quickly that Brittany missed it (I thought only guys had that problem.) So, Brittany, kind-hearted person she is, gave June another orgasm, then her and Dave had one together. Amazing how well this crew gets along.

And for those of you who didn't know: An orgasm is a alcoholic shot. Perverts.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10745.2
I think Al Gore is screwing with our weather just to boost DVD sales. But, then again, with last night's 15-25 winds and temps hovering around 50, I don't think global warming is an issue. For a summer race series, it was pretty cold out there.

Never dropping below Warp 6 and seeing speeds faster than Warp 9 on the second downwind leg (any faster and we'd start going back in time,) things were happening very quickly on the Enterprise. The crew did a fantastic job with the tacking, heavy-air sail trim, and the spinnaker set. Only one of our tacks was slow, but that was only because Yeoman Ellen's hand wouldn't fit through the block.

The jibe, well, that was a different story. Hung up around the forestay, lines everywhere, a real mess. I knew we were in trouble after repeated prodding by Commander Richard to jibe the boat and his exclamation of "Hold on, we're not ready" when I called the jibe, followed by his sitting on the starboard rail while everyone else coordinated the control lines. So, with the bow of the ship looking like something out of a Dr. Crash calendar, I decided to name last night's jibe after Rosie O'Donnell, simply because I can't think of anything uglier. Please, guys, no more Rosie O'Donnell's.

At least the first downwind leg went well (no chute) and we were keeping up with Chaika and Exhilaration with just the jib at Warp 8. I did notice, however, that my pole did tend to sag a bit more when Dave was riding it than when Yeoman Brittany did over the weekend. I guess Dave is losing his sex appeal.

Ensign Zoraida was back this week with, apparently, a working thumb and an assortment of cookies. As I said, things were happening very quickly around the ship, so I'm still not sure when or how she ended up wearing Ensign Jonathan's pants.

Finally, speaking of Jonathan (who Lt. Commander Mitch just now labeled as "hyper" – it's only been a year, Mitch. You're just now figuring this out? Really?,) despite his informing us that he may be woefully absent for the one of the upcoming weeks, he has come a long way towards better sail trim, a knowledge of the Enterprise's systems and crew morale. I am also proud to call him a friend. It is therefore, my pleasure to mid-season promote Jonathan to the rank of Lieutenant. Continue to do well and continue to do us all proud.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10744.4
This past weekend was for EBYRA's signature weekend event, CityIslandCup2007, and after last year's last-minute push for the Enterprise to do Race Committee, this year we were going to race. On board for both days were Foredeck Captain Dave, Commander Jory, Lt. Commander Mitch, Ensign Jonathan, Yeoman Brittany, Yeoman Ellen and Cadet Karen. Of course, this being a weekend event, Richard and Kurt were nowhere to be found.

But we had our A-Team. We were ready to go. Boldly.

And, it should be noted at this point that Yeoman Ellen was wearing real kneepads this time around instead of her duct-taped oven mitts. Word has it she decided to purchase the kneepads when she kept burning her hands whenever she cooked.

We had three races on Saturday, with a steadily increasing breeze starting from the East and working its way North. The crew performed fantastically on all three races – but I wish I could say the same for myself, especially on Race 3. The start was one for the record books – heading for the favored pin-end, a little too fast, the clock counting down, I aimed right for it. Getting closer, closer, closer. As Jonathan counted down to 0, I turned the helm to starboard, just as the mark was under the point of the bow. The Enterprise turned and the mark swished by the rail, never touching, but a good inch or two away. First place start baby! And at high-warp! This race was ours! We screamed away from the fleet. The crew had everything perfect. The Enterprise was in her groove. Two tacks later, I was way ahead of everyone on a perfect layline for the mark at Warp 6.5. It was perfect. It was heaven.

Until the cadet said, "Hey, why is everyone going there?"

I was going to the wrong mark! I must have yelled "FUCK!" so loud that people on Block Island must have turned their head west to see what was wrong.

And, just to clarify how much of a bonehead I am, it's not like I'm just one of these guys from the Sound who is racing in the area for the first or second time. It's not like I'm just a regular participant in EBYRA. I'm the Commodore. I developed the series. I created the charts. I created the courses. I know where all the marks are. And, adding salt to the wound, it was the least-knowledgeable person on board who pointed it out.

Sure, I jibed around and we did our thing to catch back up and pass everyone, but a phaser blast to the head was well in order. Thankfully, I was spared the court martial.

After the races, the crew surprised me with a birthday cake (complete with the ship's logo,) champagne and some great gifts, including a DVD from Jory, a classroom gradeboard from Brittany (complete with gold stars) and a Tweety Bird balloon display from Ellen (to which she said something along the lines of "I tawt I saw a starship. I did! I did see a starship!".)

Honestly, I can't remember a better birthday. But, that could be the Alzheimer's setting in. I hear one of the first signs is forgetting where the marks are.

The next day, the winds were lighter and we did our best to keep the Enterprise moving in the fluctuating breeze. Concentration on the downwind legs did give way to games of 20 Questions, discussion of Brittany's smoking (we're not sure whether to nickname her Smokey The Brit, Puffy or Iron Lung) and how well she rode my pole (meaning she used her full weight as downhaul on the pole – minds out of the gutter, people!)

And then there was the last race where the outhaul exploded and the traveler lines frayed to nothingness (Ensign Jonathan said it would take only 60 seconds to fix, but clearly he needs to change the batteries in his watch – four minutes later, we were clear to tack.)

After the race, we were all amazed by the displays of Yeoman Brittany's intellect. It's official: Lefty has been reborn! The similarities were endless. It's like they share a quarter of a brain. And, as she complained that Dave's hands were much bigger than hers making their repeated Thumb Wars too unfair, I suddenly realized what happened to Zoraida's thumb. Shame on you, Dave.

I can't imagine us topping this weekend. Great work, everyone. And, thanks for making this year's City Island Cup, especially my 41st, so wonderful.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10743.3
New uniforms (crew shirts) and laptop in hand, I was just about ready to leave my office, but I went back to my desk and did a check on the marine forecast. Northwest winds, 5 to 10. 10 is so-so, but 5 is murder for this particular class of starship. Oh well, we’ll use it as an opportunity to really train some of the new people (and, let’s face it, some of the old people, too.)

But as I was in my shuttle on the way to the Enterprise, all I kept wondering was ‘Damn, those trees are moving a hell of a lot for just 5 to 10.’

That’s because it was 20. And we saw gusts up to 28. The race was fast-paced and the Enterprise was in her groove, screaming around the race course between Warp 6 and Warp 8.2. In fact, it seemed that so much power was going into the warp engines that other systems (impulse power cut-off, stern light, automatic bilge pump, etc.) all shut down. Looks like I need to spend some time in Engineering getting systems back to nominal.

Our start was good and we held our own on the first leg. Downwind, because of the breeze, we used the old heavy chute. Our set was a little late and we appeared to have a little trouble getting control, but once she was full, man, we were hauling ass! The crew performed excellently with every maneuver and I can see that we just need to solidify assignments and fine tune what we already know.

Our first take-down was a little slow, so for the second, Foredeck Captain Dave asked for, and I’m quoting here, “a better body than Yeoman Ellen”, and he was pleased to get Lt. Kurt. Maybe that hit on the head with the spinnaker pole a couple of weeks ago did more than we thought. And even though the second take-down was much faster, I doubt I would make that same choice.

The Enterprise finished in third and remained solidly in third after all the calculations were done. Where did we go wrong? The plain truth is me. I misjudged a couple of laylines and probably could have been five seconds earlier at the start. And, I need to sit down and determine crew positions for all points of sail, and, where needed, train them.

Thanks to Yeoman Ellen for bringing out Heineken Keg Cans and Budweiser for everyone (yet, for some strange reason, now there’s only Budweiser left on board) and thanks to those who volunteered, against Captain’s orders, to stick around while I worked on the bilge. The company was appreciated, despite the cover performance of Erasure’s “A Little Respect” hit by the new ship vocal group, Yeoman Brittany and the Off-Tones.

All systems are Go for the City Island Cup this weekend. Well, most systems anyway. But I’ll fix them.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 10742.2
Yesterday was our first weekend race of the season – the North Shore Yacht Club Day Race. And since all of the senior officers were off doing who-knows-what, it was time for the newest people, and some cadets, to show their stuff.

As we powered out to the starting area near Execution Rock, Ensign Jonathan took some time to not only explain where things were on the ship, but also how sailing, in general, works. As he went into Bernoulli’s Principle about how airflow worked over the surface of a sail, I saw some eyes glaze over and I realized I didn’t have any coffee on board.

We geared up for the start and did some practice tacks. Yeoman Brittany, after only one night of training from Dave, jumped right to the foredeck. Yeoman June was going to handle Jib trim, Jonathan would handle the main and Yeoman Ellen, complete with MacGuyver-style kneepads (oven mitts duct-taped to the inside of her pants – genius! She can cook and trim sails,) would handle the release. Also on board were cadets Karen, David and Sonia, an associate from or law office.) The cadets knew nothing about sailing, but were a tremendous help at any job we threw their way.

The winds kept increasing as the day went on, thankfully, and the Enterprise was seeing speeds of Warp 7 at times. But, we did make a few mistakes, none of which were too serious.

Apparently, Yeoman Ellen doesn’t know which way clockwise is. This became clear when she kept repeating "clockwise, clockwise" and proceeded to wrap the sheets the wrong way on the winch. Suddenly, last Wednesday's absence made sense to us -- She showed up at 7:00, looked at her watch and thought she had a whole half hour to be on board by 6:30.

And then there was the less-than-an-ounce-of-prevention move by Yeoman June, who was acting as a preventer on the main when we were going downwind. A slight windshift came, swung the boom over, and June did a backwards flip, triple Lutz, and split-leg dismount across the cabin. We all thought it was very impressive, but two Johns and a Jane Doe rose from the dead on Hart Island with cards that read 8.5, 8.2, and 8.4.

The last leg was a blast, except for trying to locate the 18-foot Boston Whaler committee boat in a mooring field full of 30 and 40 foot sailboats. The results came in later and congratulations to all, the Enterprise took a third!

City Island Cup is next weekend – who’s in? I know Ensign Zoriada won’t be there – she’s heading off to Fire Island for the weekend. Perhaps she’s going to convert as many as she can. . .