Captain's Log: Stardate: 10873.5
Our final race for the season will be the Port Washington YC Charity Cup Regatta, a benefit to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. I have just submitted our entry.

As in years past, this is one of those rare opportunities to combine or love for racing with helping people far less fortunate than ourselves. We must all admit that the troubles we have encountered with one-design fleets, sea lawyers and light air days all pale in existence to some of the troubles that others face in this world. It’s time to give something back.

It’s time to reach out to friends, co-workers, family and all other contacts. Even if it’s just a little – a little in abundance is a lot. And, they get a tax deduction for donating to a charity.

Send out some emails. Sponsor a little bit yourself. See if your company does matching gifts. Ask your boss. Ask a neighbor.

Do not think of fundraising as asking for money or a loan. You are asking as an advocate for those in need. Don't discount anyone. While you may not have talked to that high school friend for a while, it's never too late to resume a friendship by telling them about your involvement with Ronald McDonald House. Use those who are close to you as a "mini-committee" to reach your goal. Ask them to share their Rolodex, send out letters, help plan a party or find raffle prizes. You don't need to know all of your potential donors; it's okay to accept donations from people you do not know. Just remember to thank them. By carrying their fundraising letters everywhere they go, many participants have received donations in bars, the subway and from passengers in elevators in their offices or apartment buildings. The best way to fundraise is to use a combination of techniques, including a raffle, a fundraising letter, a party, corporate involvement, etc. Involve everyone you know. Most people find that their daily contacts supply plenty of potential donors. You'd be surprised at how many people you know - even casual acquaintances - who will support your efforts. Make sure everyone realizes that their contribution last much longer than the 30 seconds it takes to write a check. Mention your efforts whenever possible. You never know when someone has $20 burning a hole in their pocket. Ask, ask, ask.

Please make all checks payable to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island or, for a much simpler way to donate, you may donate online at our new fundraising website: http://www.firstgiving.com/starship.

We’ll finish off our season doing something right. Boldly.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10870.5
With the bulk of the season behind us, I find myself planning for the Port Washington YC Charity Cup, hauling the ship and the future seasons on the Enterprise.

Trying not to be sad about the passing of another year, to cheer myself up, I started to flip through the numerous photographs taken by members of the crew over the season, from pictures of Lt. Jonathan and Commander Jory sanding down the hull; to our first shakedown cruise; to the Montauk Worlds Regatta; and finally to the photos taken by Lt. Kurt on the final Wednesday Night.

For the most part, I liked Kurt's photos, capturing the crew preparing for the last Wednesday Night race in very light conditions. But, even since last Thursday when I first saw it, there was one photo in particular that had me worried.



Yes, Lt. Zoraida seems happy to be on the water and perhaps that look in her eyes was based more on fatigue from long days at work rather than trying to scare those around her.

But, she was carrying the boat knife and kept saying something about a social experiment and repeating over and over "¿Que asi pesado?"

"¿Que asi pesado? ¿Que asi pesado?"

I thought nothing of it until today when, on a whim, I just happened to use one of those online translation services. That had me wonder what Zoraida would look like with a little make-up on. Oh my God . . .



Where's Batman when you need him?


Captain's Log: Supplemental
HI: 2, JF: 1

Captain's Log: Stardate 10869.4
Last night marked the final Wednesday Night Race of the season and, although not official just yet (later today,) marked the Third Place finish overall in our nine-boat division. And, as an added bonus, as Commodore of the organization, I get to pick out the trophies. Man, Third Place is going to be BIG this year.

While last night's race itself was nothing special to remember, searching for unlit marks and puffs in the dark and trying to get every ounce of speed we could out of the warp drive downwind, it did have some great moments. Of course, had the race committee left the original courses up, we'd still be out there.

After the race, we tried something new. Instead of dining at the Snug, Stuyvesant Yacht Club or taking our chances at the City Island Yacht Club, we each brought food and dined on board the Enterprise. A few lights, the cockpit table set and Presto! - A late-night picnic! We had everything from, and I shit you not, champagne to KFC. In fact, it wasn't long since Crewman
Olivier popped the cork (towards Tolo) that Ensign "Cookie" Zoraida finished off a piece of KFC and asked Lt. Jonathan to hold the garbage bag open wider so she wouldn't have to throw her bone into him.

Jonathan was quick to reply that he didn't feel the same way about her. And, in an amazing coincidence, Jonathan's wife's email and web browser suddenly went offline indefinitely.

And, in another amazing coincidence, Ensign Ellen chomped down on KFC for the first time ever and Ensign Kenny announced he got engaged, both known to have drastic reductions in one's lifespan.

And, we'll never forget the generous amounts of Obama and McCain (black and white) cookies that Lt. Kurt brought along, much to the pleasure of Commander Jory. Still, we all did wonder if we were racists if we favored once side of the cookies over the other.

Still, as I saw Lt. Kurt meet up with his mommy and daddy for a ride home and everyone else pile into their cars, it hit me that this was another ending. And while I hope that we can get another weekend race or two in before the Enterprise gets hauled in a little over a month, now would be the right time to review crew performance for the year.

There's not much more I can say about Foredeck Captain Dave that hasn't been said in previous log entries over the many years he's been on the Enterprise. He thinks fast, does what needs to be done and runs the front of the ship like clockwork. Perfect attendance with a real eye for breeze, Dave has been a big part of our victory this year. On behalf of the rest of the crew, thank you.

Commander Richard, my father, spent the last race at home recovering from cataract surgery watching the Yankees lose (again) on television through big chunky sunglasses. With good attendance on Wednesday Nights, the crew has come to realize that we'd have a better chance of seeing Elvis than Richard on a weekend race. Still, he is always looking at sail trim and the logistics of maneuvers. If anything, he needs to work on a new multi-phasic transporter system, so he can be in several places at one time. We all had a real good scare when he was hospitalized at the beginning of the year for a triple bypass. We can't say enough how much it means to us to have him still with us, both on the Enterprise and off.

Commander Jory, despite missing races earlier in the season for work and a few towards the end during a trip to Italy (coming back with a traditional "Mr. Spock" haircut - how's that for dedication?) worked very well, as in years before, on the bridge in all conditions. And, Jory never seemed to tire of blowing the guy, week after week. Will that joke ever get old?

Lt. Commander Mitch never ceases to amaze me in his quest to learn more and more about boat handling and sail trim. It wasn't that long ago that Mitch joined the Enterprise from Eagle with bruises, broken bones and severed limbs, and in that time, Mitch has grown into a very knowledgeable and accomplished racer. The biggest problem is trying to get his 45-foot duffle bag into the 40-foot Enterprise. And he wonders why I bought a bigger boat three years ago...

The season is ending at a perfect time for Lt. Jonathan, as casting calls have begun for Peter Jackson's new film, "The Hobbit." In all seriousness, despite being late a few times and missing some races due to family commitments and his Grateful Dead tribute band, Jonathan has been a vital member of the team, always thinking about speed, trim and crew responsibilities. I'm honored to call him a friend.

Lt. Kurt, whom we didn't expect to see much of at all this season, did make it out for a few, including the one where he was needed the most, where I was flying back from Indianapolis and then breaking every conceivable traffic law (including a few that haven't been invented yet) driving to City Island from LaGuardia Airport. The key to seeing more of Kurt next year is to provide a complete list of City Island dining choices and comprehensive menus to his parents.

Zoraida "Cookie" Morales, no longer suffering from arthritis and returning to the foredeck to replace the suddenly-absent, probably-pregnant Ensign Brittany, has once again amazed us with her abilities and providing the very best Pepperidge Farm cookies. She also has an uncanny way of throwing Spanish exclamations into every tense situation, giving the Enterprise a multi-lingual flair and a suitable explanation as to why the Internet hits of this Captain's Log have increased in Spain and Latin America. Effective this Stardate, she is increased in rank to the level of Lieutenant.

June Murakami only missed one race this season and her abilities running the starboard side of the pit are close to perfection. And, her continued dedication to the New York Yankees shows us that she's sentimental to lost causes, making her a perfect fit for serving on the Enterprise. Effective this Stardate, she is increased in rank to the level of Lieutenant.

Ensign Brittany Lee ditched us in the middle of the season this year to cruise the Canary Islands and then visit Europe, missing several key races and not returning to the Enterprise when promised. While the Enterprise has been quieter with far less discussion about 80's pop music bands, we do hope she finds a way to return to us next season. Is there such a thing as Wednesday Night Day Care?

Ellen Keane has not only made every single race this season (including the weekend events,) she has repeatedly made herself available to help with maintenance, repairs and has taken a leading role in keeping the Enterprise clean, including some well-fought battles with whatever life form that keeps setting off the Intruder Alert alarms in the head. She has been instrumental in our downwind strategy and a big part of solving our earlier jibing difficulties. And, to be honest, she makes the boat look good too. Effective this Stardate, she is increased in rank to the level of Lieutenant.

Oh my God, she killed Ensign Kenny! You bastards! Well, not yet. But, with missing several races earlier on in the season thanks to commitments with his girlfriend, now fiancé', we wonder if the end of Kenny is drawing near. And, we think, maybe just a little, Mitch's heart was broken when Kenny announced the engagement to his girlfriend. They were such a good team, not only working together on sail trim, but both doing spot-on impressions of Richard telling me I'm pinching upwind. We can only hope that the marriage lasts long enough where he can't wait to be away from the nagging wife to get out of the house and back on the water with us. In all honesty, from all of us, congratulations Kenny. Please do come back. And yes, invite her along.

Crewman Olivier returned to us mid-season right after Ensign Brittany left (could they be the same person?) Olivier has learned quite a bit this year and has been always ready to jump to action and help out when needed (and even when not needed.) We hope he stays in the U.S. and continues to serve on the Enterprise in years to come.

Crewman Blake, only making 50% of the races since officially joining the crew, has sworn to being part of the team for some weekends and Wednesdays to come. He seems to have a real knack for racing and we hope he keeps his word.

Finally, though not an easy decision, for only making three races in the last two years, Brad McGill has been demoted from the rank of Crewman to H.T.S. First Class, effective this Stardate. We're well aware that Brad has had his hands full with a new baby and a new business, but we hope he can find a way back onto the Enterprise in 2009 and beyond. But, until then, you should know that H.T.S. stands for Holding Tank Siphon.

Thank you all for such an amazing summer. You have enriched my life and I am proud to have you all as friends. Simply put, there has been no better crew. There is no group I'd rather go boldly with. The Enterprise is a flagship because of you.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10867.5
Yesterday started out with me in a great mood -- I received in the mail the latest issue of WindCheck magazine and, on the last page, was an article about me in "Sound People" based on an interview held in my office a month earlier. The article talks about EBYRA, my ongoing policy to bring new people into the sport of yacht racing, the crew of the Enterprise and even this Captain's Log.

Often hilarious ("Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a winch grinder.") and always irreverent, this blog names names and pulls no punches.

Irreverent? Irreverent?? Fuck you. :-)

And the best part of the day was that it was race night -- the second to last Wednesday Night Race of the season. The weather was looking great, key people were returning and the conditions were ours.

Missing for the mission were Lt. Kurt (I guess mommy and daddy were busy,) Ensign Brittany (who claims she's homeless and looking for a new apartment in NYC -- we think she's looking for one with a nursery,) Crewman Blake (saying he had to work for 'the man', but clearly not for 'the captain') and Ensign June, who had to go to Boston. She claims it was for work, but we think it's because she's finally wised up and ditched the Yankees to become a Red Sox fan.

We told Commander Richard that, for the night, he was to be June. He had to run the starboard side of the pit and be sure to, along the way, tell long-winded stories that are completely off base with whatever was going on at the moment.

And, when possible, if something can be said in eight words or less to, instead, use no less than fifty words.

Our start was well-executed and it was a thrill to not only see Whirlwind and Crossbow called over early but also feel the Enterprise accelerate out of the massive wind shadow of Captain Ohstrom's behemoth Star. Amazingly enough, the Romulan warbird Breakaway kind of, well, broke away and led the pack to the upwind mark, with the Enterprise rounding not far behind.

Our first chute set was perfect, but I broke one of my rules going downwind -- Don't jibe until at least five minutes after Richard insists that we must jibe now. We went too early and lost some footing along the way, especially during our last-second take-down-jibe-and-jibe-again maneuver around the second mark. The last time I saw anything that hideous was when William Shatner was wearing a wetsuit on an episode of Boston Legal.

Things were still all right until the second spinnaker set at the last mark. As the chute came out of the hatch, we heard a ripping noise and all I could think was "Dear God, I hope that's Ensign Ellen's pants." But, no such luck. With a good hoist, the chute was up, but not in one piece. The crew did a great job of getting what was left of it down and sailing the last leg with the jib (at Warp 8 no less, thanks to a nearby storm cell,) but I was so upset at this point that I considered chugging down the boxed wine.

We ended the night at The Snug, still making it home in time to catch The Daily Show's coverage of the Republican National Convention live from the stalls in the men's room near Gate C11 of the Minnesota/St. Paul airport. Link: "The Cream of the Republican Party."

The chute is back at UK for repairs (thank you Tom Nye and the gang) and assuming all goes without incident during Hanna, we'll be ready for next week.