Captain's Log: Stardate 10940.5
Fully loaded with repaired gear, replacement parts and enough rum punch to take out a small army, the Enterprise set out for another Wednesday Night race. Of course, things got a little tense when, after we dropped the mooring, I discovered we had zero helm control and the Enterprise was beginning to assume a standard orbit around the Big Tom rocks.

I opened Airlock 3 (the stern ladder) to gain access to the helm controls, even though Lt. Commander Mitch thought I was abandoning ship. With the help of Captain Dave and crew passing up tools from below, all while Commander Richard and Lt. Jonathan fought over engine controls, we were able to restore control to the helm. The crisis was solved and we were able to get to the starting area well in time for our sequence.

Even though we were the first boat in our division to start, we certainly could have started better. We pushed hard on the upwind leg through the cold, bitter air, and rounded the upwind mark next to Eagle who wanted enough room at the mark to pass sideways with several feet to spare.

Our spinnaker set went very well as did our numerous jibes down Western Long Island Sound. We gained a lot of footing and rounded the leeward mark first after a well-executed take down. Great work by the foredeck team of Captain Dave, Lt. Zoraida and Yeoman Kelly. A welcome change from last week to be sure. Take that, Google!

We crossed the finish line first, correcting into second. Overall, a job well done!

And it was on the way back to the mooring and after we were secure that we heard phrases never before heard on board the Enterprise:

Dave: "If you're going down, grab me a hiney." -- Most men (or women as Kelly pointed out) would simply say, "If you're going down, I'll be happy."
Edd: "These Twizzlers taste like steering cable grease."
Mitch: "I know where I can get some good hard salami."
Ellen: "Mitch, if you put the rum punch in your bag, it might make things go easier with the goat later."
and, finally,
Jonathan: "Richard, you're moving too fast. Slow down."

The Enterprise is set for the Port Washington YC Day Race on Sunday and I'll be out there doing some work on Saturday.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10938.6
When you're in first, you can either stay there or move down in ranking. For last night's race, we had a great start, rounded the first windward mark first, then rounded the leeward mark first and then rounded the second windward mark first.

But the only "first" we were able to hold on to was our Google ranking for the term "Spinnaker Clusterfuck."

And, after last night, I dare any boat, anywhere, to top us. To recap: We were in first. We rounded the mark and all systems were go for launch of the heavy-air chute. Pole set, guy pre-fed, everyone is in position. Lt. Jonathan started to raise the halyard and I could swear I heard him remark how much smoother the line was feeding through the system compared to last season.

But that was because there was no spinnaker attached to it. That snap shackle flew upwards as if it had warp engines of its own.

But no worries -- our foredeck team (now there's three of them!) thought fast and rigged the other spinnaker halyard. We hoisted and in no time at all, we were doing Warp 9.8 down Long Island Sound.

But then there was the jibe. Or maybe I should say the attempt of a jibe. Before I explain further, I should point out that we were SUPPOSED to have a shakedown and practice cruise on Saturday, but key players like Richard, Jonathan, Zoraida, June and Kenny all felt they didn't need the practice. And yes, before you ask, all were on board last night. Words fail me as to what actually went down, but it was starting to look like the only way the spinnaker was going to get to the other side of the boat was going to be through the genoa clew, then around the boom, then through one of Zoraida's earrings and finally between Dave's legs. Of course, the cockpit was starting to look like all-you-can-eat spaghetti night at the Olive Garden.

We got the jib out and were still able to round ahead of the fleet. But, on the upwind leg, the spinnaker clusterfuck (Spider that, Google!) reached its ultimate conclusion with flying halyards intertwined with uphauls and working halyards. Despite Lt. Jonathan's attempts to grab lines 20 feet in the air (think kitten and yarn,) there was no second set in the cards for us.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, our main sheet block blew during the rounding. Ensign Kenny, thinking fast and making split-second decisions, crafted a work-around that kept us in the race. Unfortunately, Kenny is getting married next week so we fear his ability to make decisions in the future may be hindered. We may just have to have his wife on speakerphone speed-dial.

With the wind clocking down, the other boats, with chutes flying, were able to pass us in the final moments. Oh well. We had them til the very end.

I've already placed orders for repair parts and will install over the weekend or early next week so the Enterprise will be ready for our next race.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10937.3
Yesterday, the members of the crew of the Starship Enterprise that were not at a bar mitzvahs, out of the country, checking moorings in New Jersey, watching the Yankees finally win a game, teaching mental midgets, getting married in the armpit of Pennsylvania or doing God-knows-what, came out to rig the ship, check all systems and go for a fun sail in our first voyage of the season.

This time, I'm happy to report that Lt. Kurt did not show up with a toddler in hand, but instead chose to show up after most of the heavy lifting and rigging was done. It amazes me the lengths this one goes through to avoid doing a little labor. Still, all was forgiven when he introduced himself to Yeoman Kelly by simply stating, "I am Spock."

Lt. Commander Mitch, seemingly obsessed with the overly fascinating world of tell-tales, proceeded to place them along every conceivable point on the mainsail to watch airflow. He did briefly consider placing one or two on Kurt, but ultimately decided not to in the fear he'd have to trim Kurt on upwind legs.

Meanwhile, Lt. Ellen, perhaps after watching waaaaay too much of American Idol during the colder months, decided to sing songs to every comment made on board. In one afternoon, we went from "I'm on a Boat" to "Here Comes the Sun" during the ever-so-brief glimpses of sunshine in the very overcast, windy day.

Between tacks and jibes, along with a few glorious moments at above Warp 7.3 on an upwind leg, the team worked on acclimating Yeoman Kelly to the crew by filling her in on all the back-stories on board, from the ultra-hazardous cabinet openings (Mitch is working on a safety video) to the dangers of the head to the workings of Kurt's brain to how Mitch will happily talk about sex with goats, but will draw the line at oral sex with goats.

I suppose it's good to have standards.

On our way back to the mooring after locking in the locations of the EBYRA marks into the ship's navigation systems, Lt. Ellen commented about our recent trip to the Bay Area of California and the clear indications of lesbians roaming the SFO airport. "They all dress alike," she stated.

"Maybe they're part of a gang," Dave replied, shortly after remarking that he, too, is a lesbian. "The Cramps and the Bloods."

Oh yeah. We're back.

Captain's Log; Stardate 10936.7
Last evening, a landing party comprised of myself, Commander Richard, Lt. Ellen, Lt. June and Crewman Luke beamed over to the USS Favored End to perform race committee duty for the first race of this year's Wednesday Night Race Series.

Lt. Ellen and I arrived much earlier to do some last-minute rigging, install some additions and help Captain Richie Coar and Rabbi David Shulman on the boat's engine. Apparently, we've been sucking down some dirty gas and keeping the boat going has been a challenge. It didn't take long for them to resolve the issue and I'm happy to say her engine was running perfectly for the rest of the day and night. Quite a relief too, because my usual solution to engine trouble is "get the jib out" - but, then again, Favored End doesn't have a jib.

Crewman Luke learned a valuable lesson last night, as told to him by one of the crew of USS Tolo's shuttlecraft: Don't be late - they will leave you at the dock. Luke showed up after we left for the starting area, though to be perfectly honest, I wasn't 100% sure he'd be attending given the absence of a ride and the record of the New York City Mass Transit system.

With expert work on flags, setting the line and getting things set up on time, we were well on our way to running a perfect committee - setting the bar high for all those who come after us. That is, until Eben misread his watch and ordered the drop of the "P" flag a minute early. We had to go to postponement and start all over again. Everyone say it with me now: Thanks Eben!

On hindsight, the courses we chose, especially for divisions 6 and 5, might have been a little short, but then again, with the wind and the setting sun, things were getting pretty cold on the committee boat. To give you an example of how cold things were, we were able to snap this photo of Eben on his way to the upper deck of Favored End:

This Saturday we rig and tune the Enterprise. Assuming all goes well (does it ever?), we'll be on the starting line for next Wednesday's race.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10934.0
In these tough economic times, I think the pharmaceutical industry is missing out on real profit center opportunity - the sale of high-powered tranquilizing sedatives to boat captains during the spring launching season.

Many thanks to Commander Jory, Lt. Commander Mitch and Lt. Ellen for their last-minute help with loading up gear, cleaning up the hull and below decks, and expert assistance with the launching of the Enterprise.

I must admit, I find myself especially disappointed with the few crewpeople who did nothing for our Spring prep and did not show for the haul-out last Fall. But not to worry, there's still a bilge to clean and oil to change. And plenty of "dirty jobs" all season long. You are part of a crew on the Flagship of the Federation. She needs maintenance, upkeep and care. There are no free rides on the Enterprise. Period.

Oh, and for the record, showing up to do work with your half-asleep two year-old daughter in your arms does not count. Explanations like "Sorry, my wife said it was my turn to watch her," are just not going to wash. Remember, this will be the same wife and kids who won't come near you for the balance of the year because you spent a hot, humid day in July trying to clear out one of Lt. Jonathan's industrial-strength "biscottis" out of the head plumbing.

The Enterprise launched with the tide, despite a brief scary moment where she started to fall during the transfer from the trailer to the travelift.

A few more seconds and I'd be on the phone with my insurance company to begin shopping for the Enterprise-C.

The season has begun!

Captain's Log: Stardate 10933.2
With the launch of our Enterprise set for this Saturday afternoon with the tide, I felt it was only fitting to bring a select few officers from my crew to witness the launch of another Enterprise. So, Lieutenants Ellen, June, Zoraida and myself formed a landing party to beam down to the Regal Ewok theatre in New York City to see what most of the rest of the country won't get to see for at least another week:

To say the movie was good would be as much as an understatement as saying Khan has anger issues. From frame one to the end credits, the latest movie is a roller-coaster ride with an interesting story, breathtaking action and wondrous special effects. Not only did J.J. Abrams break the odd-number curse, he, much like what was done with the Bond series with "Casino Royale" and the Batman series with "Batman Begins", completely reworked the franchise and breathed new life into the series. But, unlike the Bond and Batman reboots, what we have seen in the past is not forgotten and is the basis for the events as they unfold.

Things are certainly different. The Enterprise is different - faster, more heavily armed. The crew is different - how they meet, interact. Their history is different - the fate of Captain Christopher Pike, the absence of Kirk's years as a lieutenant on the USS Farragut. But, the story, expertly written by FOX's "Fringe" scribes Orci and Kurtzman, gives us the reasons why.

I simply can't wait to see it again. And I can't wait for the sequel due out in 2011, again with Abrams at the helm, but also joined by his writing team of ABC's "LOST" (scheduled to conclude in 2010.)

The message: These people are special. That ship is special. No matter what, fate brings them together because they all belong together.

Much like my crew and my Enterprise.

Of course, no screening would be complete unless it was followed by a Dallas BBQ dinner in Times Square where we can discuss the intricacies and complications of time travel, yacht racing, and negotiating apartment leases. Oh, I almost forgot, June announced that she is not a serial killer.

All of this is thanks to my wonderful sister Jan, a television producer who used all the connections she could in order to make this happen, despite all my transparent bluffs of telling her that I will hate her forever if she doesn't deliver. Love ya, sis.

The movie is out, the boat is going in, and EBYRA is starting. It's May! As a captain once said (or will say) - "Buckle up!"