Captain's Log: Stardate 10840.7
When we got to the Enterprise last night, the winds were almost non-existent and we were all beginning to believe that a canceled race was in our immediate future. But, as luck would have it, we saw some darker water coming in from the south a few minutes before the first warning signal and by the time 7:05 hit, Eastchester Bay had wind!

Our start was less than perfect, mainly due to the inability to get travel time figured out because of the increasing wind conditions, but the shifts made our pin-end start and journey down the left side of the course into an advantage - rounding the first windward mark with the fleet in great position.

Which brings us to the first spinnaker set of the night, which went so badly that I think our website's ranking for the search term "Spinnaker Clusterfuck" will be moving from #2 on Google to the top of the list. The guy was never pre-fed and the spinnaker was apparently stuck in the cabin. Glenn Vitaglione, on board again last night, was trying to pull the pole back so hard that I was worried the bow would come loose. And, it appears that while on foredeck, Ensign Brittany found it much easier to drop F-Bombs (and one reported Mother F-bomb) than raise the spinnaker pole. Then came the first jibe, which went about as badly as an unscripted George Bush speech.

Ensign June did her best running the pit with Ensign Kenny, but Lt. Jonathan's absence was felt. Add to that comments like "Edd, I broke the boat" (a jam cleat on the mast is history) and "You got a hole in your spinnaker now" had me on the verge of tears. We really need to work on this stuff.

Things had to get better. Before the second rounding, we had a little fun with the Klingon Battlecruiser Forza, by giving them just enough room at the mark and remaining close to distract them enough to ruin their takedown and, within seconds, send them into our distant wake, never to be seen again. That was great!

But the crew wanted more. So, we worked hard going upwind, made some great tactical moves and had a PERFECT spinnaker set around the last mark. Cruising beautifully at speeds over Warp 6, we passed another boat on the final leg to finish in second place for the evening. Fantastic! Boxed wine for everyone!

Plans for racing on Saturday have been canceled due to SIC crew and weather forecasts. I'll be deciding shortly about either racing on Sunday or spending the day fixing what broke last night along with other minor repairs around the Enterprise.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10838.8
Last night marked our first race of the year and I must admit, after checking the wind and weather reports before leaving my office, I was a tad nervous. The Kings Point weather buoy was reporting 22 with gusts up to 35. Not exactly the conditions I wanted to be tacking and setting a chute in with a team that hasn't raced in six months.

When we arrived, the wind clocked down to the mid teens and I was far more at ease. Still, just to play it safe, we went with the old chute. Missing for the first night was Commander Jory, Crewman Brad and Lt. Kurt, who, now that he is working in New York City and still living on Long Island, has a much bigger incentive to get the transporter working. We'll know he's ready when we start hearing a report about a mother-in-law falling asleep in Port Washington and waking up in Mexico City, moments later to see all her belongings, except a passport of course, materialize next to her.

Lt. Jonathan, who will be missing the next two races due to some god-awful excuse, reports that he'll be sending out a new crewperson who knows a little bit about sailing and is named Rocky. Rocky! Rocky! Yes! Someone with real power to get those sheets in. Yet, somehow, I don't think we'll be getting someone like this:


But probably more someone like this:


Oh well, at least it'll be easy to send someone up the mast.

Back to last night's breeze -- Despite assurances from all sources, the winds did not stick around and shifted about 100 degrees over the course of our race. As rusty as we were, I was very impressed with the sail handling performance of the crew in very challenging and frustrating conditions. And, a special thank you goes out to Glenn Vitaglione who hitched a ride with us and ended up teaching the mainsail team a thing or two about mainsail shape downwind.

We finished in third and then headed out to the Snug, a local City Island bar where men are men and women wished they were. The food was great and it was a pleasure watching Ensign Ellen hustle the rest of the crew in a game of darts. Just amazing to see her con them all with phrases like "A triple? Is that good?" and "Are you sure it's right to play for money with me being such a beginner?"

Captain's Log: Stardate 10838.0
This past weekend, several members of the Enterprise crew took the ship out into Eastchester Bay and performed a shakedown cruise for the season ahead. And, while we didn't have enough on board to test all systems (foredeck team, where are you?), we were able to tune the rig, adjust our settings, and place the locations of EBYRA marks into the nav computer (a/k/a the Big Unit.) In no time we had the Enterprise past Warp 8 and everything was running as smoothly as one would expect from the Flagship of the Federation.

At one point, down towards Little Neck Bay, we passed the Orion Transport "Maccabee", which, as far as I can tell, in Orionese, means "to pimp out a flying insect." We went past them pretty quickly, but their on-board sensors must have exceptionally-fast shutter speeds because they were able to get this image:



Thank you, Captain Bob Berent. Always love getting photos of the Enterprise in action.

The sailing was phenomenal and it felt so good to be back on the helm while Lt. Commander Mitch and Lt. Jonathan argued about leech line tension. We returned to standard orbit and adjusted some rig tension so the Enterprise would be ready for this Wednesday's race.

Then, yesterday, a small landing party comprised of myself, Captain Dave, Ensign Brittany and Ensign Ellen went to an advanced screening of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", which we think should have been renamed to "Indiana Jones and Bring me the Skull of George Lucas". Didn't this guy learn his lesson after Star Wars? Dude, three is enough. Stop!

Between the impossible stunts (I mean, really, who survives falling down three 25-story waterfalls?), acting so bad that it looks like Hayden Christensen gave out acting lessons to Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett and John Hurt, and a storyline so out-of-this-world that even Voyager didn't make it that far, we were very dissapointed.

Not to say there weren't some shining moments, but they were quickly forgotten between the vine-swinging with monkeys, man-eating ants and, to be honest, the Crystal Skull itself. We weren't sure if, at the end, they were hinting at a sequel, but I think I'd sooner watch the opening of the Ark of the Covenant.

The dinner afterwards at Dallas BBQ was far more enjoyable -- Great food. Great friends. Although, I must admit being a little afraid when Brittany, a teacher of young minds that will shape the future of our world and an Ensign on board my ship, the Starship Enterprise, asked me, "Do you like science fiction?"

I guess I'd be even more worried if she asked "Do you like sailing?"

Captain's Log: Stardate 10836.9
Last night, the crew of the Enterprise jumped on board Favored End, EBYRA's new (new to us anyway) race committee boat to do our duty for Race 1 of the Wednesday Night Race Series. On board was myself, Captain Dave, Commander Mitch and Ensigns Zoraida, Ellen, June and Brittany along with Eben the PRO, Diana and Chaika's Richie Coar.

Favored End, a outdrive boat with no reverse, was a challenge but performed well under the circumstances. She has a top speed of Warp 8, but we noticed Richie and Diana kept attempting to take us to transwarp velocity by constantly lighting cigarettes on board the gasoline fume-filled vessel. One good boom, and we'd go from Eastchester Bay to Rockaway Inlet in less than a second.

For a while there, it seemed like we were going to be a light crew. Ensign Brittany missed the first shuttle, but called to tell us to wait because she was bringing the wine and cheese, Captain Dave was MIA, and Ensign Ellen was stuck on the non-moving Hutchinson Parkway for over an hour experiencing so much road rage that we're happy her car isn't armed with phasers. Thankfully everyone made it and it was really great to see everyone back on the water.

The racing went fine and on time. And, only for a brief moment during a temporary wind shift was Favored End the, well, favored end. The crew watched the starts and hopefully picked up some pointers from what they saw. Most impressive was Andiamo who, for some reason, was over three minutes late at the start and then passed most of the fleet on the course. Well done Paulie!

In the dark, and at the request of Eben, I got a chance to helm Favored End and bring her around the Big Tom asteroid to her mooring. Not an easy boat to pilot by any means, and, after trying to keep it straight and do a mooring landing without reverse, I cant wait to be back on the helm of the Enterprise. Or, any boat with a keel and rudder. Wow.

We went to the Snug for dinner and drinks afterwards, enjoying our new freedom to dine where we like after each race. A truly great night, but I can't wait to sail on Saturday and then compete in Race 2 on board the Enterprise with the finest crew in the fleet.

Captain's Log; Stardate 10836.1
This past weekend, several members of the Enterprise crew met at our new Starbase, the Morris Yacht and Beach Club, to prepare the Enterprise for departure.

Captain Dave, our chief engineer, went straight to work on changing the oil and filter in the Enterprise's impulse drive, assisted by his two able-bodied assistants, Danny and David. So eager to help in the process, little Danny and David tested the lifelines, hull integrity, and, on their own, decided to lubricate the bridge with the old oil to the point where sections of the deck looked like the Exxon Valdez. Apparently, Danny and David knew how much I like everyone to move quickly on the bridge, just misunderstanding the application. All clean now – thanks Dave.

Commander Mitch was put to work on the EBYRA committee boat, Favored End, assisting PRO Eben Hasmire in applying the blue bottom paint. Thankfully, despite the temporary renaming of Mitch to "Papa Smurf" and questions like "Aww, Mitch, why are you so blue?," Mitch can be thankful that he won't have seaweed or barnacles growing on him for many months.

While Lt. Jonathan, Ensign Ellen and Ensign June stowed gear and put the sails on the deck, I went to Morris' Yardmaster, Glenn, to plead for the Enterprise's launch, which suddenly became questionable. We were second in line and the first was taking some time . . .

In an act of sheer desperation, I sent Lt. Jonathan to talk to Glenn, figuring Jonathan would talk, network, nag and threaten to show pictures of him dancing in an elf costume if the Enterprise didn't get launched in time.

And it was only a few minutes later, while we dined at Tony's Pier Restaurant, that I said, "Hey, is that the Enterprise?" Sure enough, a lone mast towering above the trees and roofline was moving steadily towards the water (a little too quickly for my comfort.) The crew quickly finished their meal and ran towards the club to find the Enterprise in the slings and ready to splash down.

And, in a few moments, the Enterprise was floating, tied to the Morris dock and we were aboard. I did a quick look around, making sure all systems were functioning and the bilge was dry. I crossed my fingers, turned on main power, smiled as I watched the system lights on the panels glow, and headed towards the bridge to start up the impulse engine. This would be the first time this year the Enterprise would be under her own power. Trying not to get caught up in the moment, I could not help but feel pride and honored by the friends around me who put so much work in over the last month. This was a moment to behold. This was a defining moment. This would be the beginning of a season. This is where a ship becomes a starship. This is where the name Enterprise means intrepid, bold, courageous. I turned the key.

Nothing. Fuck!

I sent some crew to find an operator to tow the Enterprise to her mooring while Dave and I traced the problem, which was clearly electrical. We tripped and re-engaged a few circuit breakers and there was life -- for a moment. We then did it again and the ignition sequence came back on. In a few moments, impulse power was on, pumping water and charging the systems. Yes!

And under her own power, the Enterprise went to the mooring field and established orbit next to the USS Tolo. It has begun. The season is here. A starship is reborn. The flagship of the United Federation of Planets, the USS Enterprise, is ready to explore. I was once again proud. Once again honored to be around these people who worked so hard. It was time, as Captain, to say a few words. To show my appreciation. To motivate for the season ahead. Tell them how we are the best. Tell them how we are bold. Tell them this is the year where it all comes together.

Then I fell on the foredeck onto my ass.

So, all that came out was: "OK. Let's get out of here. See you Wednesday, guys." Sailing season has begun!