Captain's Log: Stardate 10878.1
This past Saturday, the crew of the Enterprise assembled for our final race of the season, the Port Washington Yacht Club Charity Cup to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. But, with the exception of the donations made by two or three on board, it's possible next year's race could be for Ronald McDonald Shack of Long Island. We came up real short on the charity part of the event --- very disappointing. Then again, I, myself, may have been able to give more, but for some reason I had trouble reaching my broker at Lehman Brothers.

As for the race part, any chances of switching to a spinnaker division were lost without our foredeck team of Lt. Zoraida and Captain Dave (the latter dropped out the night before because he had nobody to watch the kids -- as if a Nintendo and a spread of KFC wouldn't have done the job for a few hours.) But, that turned out to be a blessing, which I will go into later.

We picked up the Sailing Instructions and Scratch Sheet from the well-organized race committee, including a friendly conversation with their P.R.O. who invited me over to the club for a drink after the race. Unfortunately, I had to turn him down, as the Enterprise had to be back home in time to get Lt. Jonathan off to a Bar Mitzvah.

Yes, dear Log readers, our little Jonathan is becoming a man. How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that he was proud to be cleaning the bottom, dressing up like an 80's television superhero (or a Christmas elf,) and getting his finger stuck in cabinet doors.

We took a quick look at the competition and knew this was going to be a real challenge, especially when the wind lightens as forecasted. Practically every boat in the division was faster. As we prepped for the start, I reminded the crew that with a race like this, it's all going to be up to sail trim.

We were first at the start and led the fleet out of Manhasset Bay on a close reach. And, it looks like the entire theme of Enterprise racing can be summed up by this conversation on board:

Lt. Jonathan: How's my trim?
Lt. Ellen: Isn't that a personal question?

The crew performed amazingly well keeping the Enterprise balanced and trimmed during the 10-mile two-tack race. The one boat that passed us on the second leg fell behind us on the third. And the whole time, a J-37 was on our tail, anywhere from five to a half boat length behind. The captain seemed like a nice enough guy, until he started whining about the size of my whisker pole (which was legal.) Apparently, the local rules (which were not in effect) have some sort of guideline about the maximum length of a pole on the foredeck. I guess people who live in multi-million dollar homes can't afford whisker poles.

Still, no matter how the rest of the race went, it was nice to hear someone say that my pole was too big.

On the final leg, he did pull a maneuver to get ahead of us (he is a faster boat and would give us time anyway), but we quickly retaliated with the same maneuver and pulled right back in front of him, then placing him in the Enterprise's wind shadow (also known as the tractor beam.) He ended up further back than before.

The wind got lighter and with only a half mile to go to the finish, I saw that the Enterprise dropped below Warp One. Lt. Commander Mitch and Ensign Kenny both did spectacular jobs of adjusting sails to find whatever ounce of wind they could.

We crossed the finish line at Warp .7 as the race committee fired off the shotgun into the air, a first-position finish with everyone behind us owing us time. A sweet victory indeed.

We turned back towards home and furled up the headsail for the last time this year, with plenty of time to enjoy Lt. Ellen's homemade celebratory cupcakes, passing all the spinnaker boats in dead air still on the course – Thanks Dave! What a great way to end a great season -- a bullet, a cupcake, and my friends all around me. Next week, we may be putting the ship into spacedock for the winter, but we all know -- the Enterprise will return.