Captain's Log: Stardate 10957.8
The evening started with several phone calls and emails from competitors asking if EBYRA was going to cancel the races due to the very ugly cells heading towards Eastchester Bay over the next few hours. But, by 6:30pm, the skies looked OK enough to send the Race Committee out to the starting area. Personally, with iPhone radar in hand, I decided that there was no way the Enterprise was going anywhere.

Those Enterprise crew that were able to show would have to be content sitting under the Morris tent to watch the storms hit, one right after the other (and yes, there was a second storm - and thanks to a bet with Captain Norm Kilarjian of USS Tolo, the funds towards the purchase of the Enterprise-C has increased by one dollar. That brings the total dollars saved towards a new Enterprise to, you guessed it, one dollar. Only 125,999 to go!)

We were light on crew anyway. With Lt. Kurt bailing out early, Lt. Zoraida nursing her wounds from a rather unique way of flagging down a NYC taxi cab, Lt. Kenny stuck on FDR Drive, Yeoman Kelly trapped on the wrong side of a stuck-in-the-open position drawbridge and Lt. Jonathan eagerly grasping on to his youth by attending a double-bill concert featuring Yes and Asia, we didn't have enough to make a serious go of it - especially in a storm. To Kelly and Luke: Yes and Asia were rock and roll bands from the 70s and 80s and practically everyone who is 40 and above has had at least one of their cassettes. And, oh yes, a cassette is a plastic cartridge that contained music on a magnetic tape that we put in a slot in our car stereos. Think of it like an iPod that only holds 12 songs.

Unfortunately, the races didn't get off for the 9 boats that did make it out there. So, we grabbed our stuff and headed out to Dempseys, where Courtney was back waiting tables with an extra dose of bad attitude. She claimed it was because she was working alone and there were too many separate checks, but we think it was because Jonathan wasn't there.

We're now entered in Sunday's CIYC Day Race and looking forward to another great day on the water.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10955.9
As captain of the Enterprise, I try my best to make good decisions. And, even though last night's Wednesday Night Race was filled with bad decisions, horrible maneuvers and abysmal tactics, I think I made the best decision of my career as a Starfleet Officer - perhaps even the best decision of my life.

You see, today is the start of the Around Long Island Regatta. And, I decided that the Enterprise was not to go this year. Had just the wind forecast been a factor - Easterly at 15-20 (tacking the entire way out) - it would have been a good decision. But, with the addition of radar my friends, it turned out to be a GREAT decision. Here, see for yourself:



So, instead of 40-50 hours of wondrous vistas and star-filled skies, the crew would have been exposed to this instead:



Although something tells me Dave would still want to go. OK, maybe me too.

Back to last night: Just once - once - I'd like to try having a lousy start and a great finish. But, there were just too many factors against us. The breeze was light, the Enterprise felt sluggish, the crew was discussing Richard Gere and not wind puffs (or tactics) and we botched a spinnaker jibe losing all hope of passing at least one boat in the fleet. We ended up so far behind everyone that we spent the final downwind legs practicing jibes - again and again and again and again.

Could it have gotten weirder? Hell yes. Lt. Kurt lost a tooth eating a Twizzler. And it wasn't even one of those hard stale ones either. Then, when Kurt's friend Adam was asked if they were a couple, he only replied that Kurt was too old for him.

We crossed the finish line at Warp 5 and did 3 more jibes. In disgust, Lt. Commander Mitch began to speculate what would be involved in removing the Starfleet markings and replacing them with Twizzler advertising (perhaps with a ADA warning attached.)

I suppose the best thing to come from last night's race is the answer to Lt. June's question. You see, before the race, I reminded the crew that next week, the Enterprise would receive its first throwout for the season. And that's when June asked which race would we throw out.

Now we know.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10954.0
In doing a little research this morning, I found that there are companies out there who will charge their customers thousands and thousands of dollars to be ranked #1 on Google.

But, without spending a single dime, the Enterprise is still at the top of the heap with "Spinnaker Clusterfuck" - and last night's spinn set from hell cemented us there probably well into the 23rd Century.

But hey, why stop there? We're also #1 on Yahoo! and Microsoft's new "intelligent" search engine, Bing. As if Microsoft and the word "intelligent" should ever be used in the same sentence.

I wish I could say the chute was the source of all of our problems last night, but it went way beyond that. Before the start, Commander Richard spoke more about the draft than a late-60's politician, leading us to change the shape of our main - AWAY from where the sailmaker told us to set it. So, after my first-place evasive-maneuvered start, the Enterprise felt like we could barely move at impulse power. By the time we reached the first mark, practically the entire fleet passed us. I even thought for a moment that Chaika had passed us as well, but they still had never left the mooring.

Earlier in the week, Lt. June sent around an article called "Keelboat Hiking for Dummies" about the importance of hiking and the need to do so quickly after the skipper calls out, and I'm quoting from the article, "Hike [expletive(s) of choice]!!!" Always a fan of putting to use the things I read in articles, it wasn't long after the completion of our first tack that I yelled out, "Hike the fuck out, you fucking fuckers!!!" and then later, for good measure, I think I added "Motherfucker fuckety fuck!"

I'll work on that. But, it did work. The crew hiked like never before.

I won't go into many details about the first spinnaker portion of the race, but it all included tangled lines, late set, hourglass, disconnecting poles, contradicting orders and, the proverbial cherry on top, a jibe that tried to send the entire chute through a 1/2" opening on the uphaul block.

We set the sails back to their normal configuration and, Bam!, Warp Speed! The Enterprise found its groove again and passed several boats on the next upwind leg.

Our second chute set was close to perfect, except I called for the hoist JUST A LITTLE BIT early and Dave was almost launched into the stratosphere. Missed it by that much.

We crossed the finish line at Warp 7 in 3rd, correcting into 4th. The only challenges left for the evening were how many wings could I eat at Dempsey's and what is the precise timing that we should use to make Yeoman Kelly laugh while drinking so liquid shoots out of her nose.

Missed it by that much....

Captain's Log: Stardate 10953.2
This past weekend, we took a short weekend-long shore-leave from the daily grind and duties on board the Enterprise to head over to Starbase Two on the Jersey Shore, the new full-time residence of Commander Richard and his wife Marcy - also the location for the upcoming 2009 Rolex Fiat/Chrysler Montauk Worlds Regatta.

Highlights included sitting by the pool, great dinners, a screening of "BrĂ¼no" (Hilarious - there is no envelope) and a glorious sail on board a very-special 1978 C&C 34 named "Runty Kid II" -- formerly known as the Enterprise-A.

Commander Richard has done a great amount of restoration of the old ship, including some beautiful modifications down below. And, in the 15 knots of breeze west of Sandy Hook, we were able to achieve well into the Warp 6 range on one of the oldest headsails in the quadrant still in use (a 1978 Van Zandt Dacron 135%) and no main at all.

As we trekked (I don't use that term nearly enough) back to New York in the traffic on the Garden State Parkway, I was asked "Why is your father so ashamed of being a New Jersey resident now? Is New Jersey so bad? I thought it was beautiful."

No doubt, it was a great weekend and it was beautiful.

Maybe New Jersey isn't so bad, but let's be serious. New York is CLEARLY better. We have two baseball teams and two football teams (three if you count Buffalo.) Even the two football teams that PLAY in New Jersey still call themselves New York teams. We have a city that is the greatest city in the world - and so nice that we named it twice (New York, New York.) We all know it. The Garden State has nothing on the Empire State.

So yes, Commander Richard. Be ashamed. Be very ashamed. After all, you'll never see a movie called The Garden Strikes Back and I doubt Star Trek would have gone as far as it did if their greatest enemy throughout the Original Series was the Klingon Garden.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10952.1
Last night's events started with the pleasant surprise of seeing construction actually beginning on the new Morris Yacht and Beach Club house. There were fences up, mounds of dirt, holes in the ground and heavy machinery - enough to make Lt. Jonathan (and these are his words) "freak out" with worries of how he'll get to the boat. Thankfully myself and other members of the crew took a moment and calculated that the best way to get the the dock would be to WALK AROUND the fenced area and then, Viola!, dock!

The Morris launch, however, had a "freak out" of its own, not able to start and leaving a growing number of captains and crew stranded at the dock just staring at the 15-knot breezes and sunny skies. After about twenty minutes, I could start seeing some tears. Launch Operator Danny (he's a Star Wars fan, but hey, nobody's perfect) and I looked over the engine to see if we could spot the problem. I pointed out a hanging wire, but we couldn't see where it would attach to.

The committee boat came by to pick up its crew and offered to give me and Commander Jory a ride to the Enterprise so we can bring her in as well. But, by the time Jory got the mooring lines undone, the launch was repaired and on its way out to us.

During all of this, Lt. Kurt called to say he wasn't going to make it and then went into some yada, yada, blah, blah excuse about some new project at work. I think he's now 3 for 8. With that kind of record, he can pitch for the Mets.

Our start was close to perfect and our run upwind had us round the first mark in third place. The expert timing of the crew in setting the chute had us very quickly pass number two and we continued downwind catching up to number one, rounding just behind Chaika and battling her all the way back upwind. We passed them, they passed us, we passed them again.

But it was all our attention to each other that let the number three boat, helmed by The Terrorist, pass us both. Still, at the finish, there was only seconds between us. While yes, there were a few things we could have done better, all in all, it was a well-run race.

Back at the mooring, before heading out to Dempsey's, Mitch passed out some Veggie Chips and announced to everyone that he was in Therapy. When nobody seemed surprised at the announcement, he played it off like it was some kind of Milton-Bradley-esque board game that adults can play. And, to quickly "cover his tracks", it looks like Mitch stayed up all night to create a website selling the game. Still, we wondered what the therapist hourly rate could be for marital therapy when one of the partners prefers a goat.

At Dempsey's, I calculated results while we ordered enough wings to explain why chickens can't fly. When we asked where Courtney was, our waitress replied that "She doesn't work Wednesdays any longer."

What did you do, Jonathan?

Captain's Log: Stardate 10951.8
OK. I get it. Someone is really pissed at us. Whether it's God, Mother Nature, the Devil or the Bajoran Prophets from the Celestial Temple, I know now that someone is really, really angry.

First, it was two inches of snow every third day ALL winter long. Then, we had a June with almost every day filled with rain, rain and more rain.

Normally, I would just consider that to be just a run of bad luck, but last night a tornado ran through my home town of Yonkers knocking down trees, leaving thousands without power, closing roads, and, I shit you not, dumping tons of hail onto the ground making parts of the outdoors look like snow had fallen.



Yes, that's snow. An image was taken from my Jeep, this morning, in FUCKING JULY!

So what did we do? Did we spend waaaaay too much time on the whole Michael Jackson thing? Did we ruin our economy? Is it because we're freeing probable terrorists and socializing the country? Is it because we passed Chaika last week?

So here it is. Listen up. WE'RE SORRY! We're really, really, really, really sorry. Please give us a break. We're sorry!

Well, except for the whole passing Chaika thing. If that's it, then bring it on.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10950.1
Last night started with the unfortunate ejection of the secondary warp core primary stabilizer (the top batten on our mainsail came loose and was flung into the depths of Eastchester Bay) but we were lucky enough to have another on board to install so as to not affect our racing for the night.

Thankfully, the Race Committee boat has been experiencing some minor engine troubles and we were able to get everything fixed and running at optimum levels long before the starting line was established.

On board, Ensign Kenny took no time at all to dishonor the recently deceased by spewing off 10-20 Michael Jackson jokes, all from reading off his BlackBerry email -- it looks like the Wall Street crowd is busy as usual. None of the jokes were all that funny. Besides, I hear the latest autopsy showed the cause of death was food poisoning -- they found 12 year-old nuts in his stomach.

The wind shifted to the Southeast, making the committee boat (big surprise) heavily favored. As we passed by, Eben Hansmire, the EBYRA Principal Race Officer, said, "You'll be going to P for your first mark." P being the EBYRA buoy anchored off of Kings Point. This started a round of conversation on board the bridge:

"OK, guys, we're going to P."
"To P?"
"Yes, we're going to P."
"I like when we're going to P."
"Is everyone going to P?"
"How can we all go to P?"
"We're ALL going to P. (To foredeck) We're going to P!"
"P?"
"Yes, we're going to P."

And it was then when Lt. Ellen couldn't bear it any more and made a quick, really quick, run to the head, murmuring something like "All this talk about pee...."

And, suddenly, Eastchester Bay was a little bit deeper.

The changes in wind velocity didn't give our fleet the start we all were hoping for, but I was still very proud in our ability to be second over the line. By the time we reached the first mark (that's P, for those of you who may be a little slow,) we were among the leaders of the pack.

And then it happened. And, I'm still amazed by it all. Procedures in mind, at a boat length to the mark, I called for the hoist of the chute. The intrepid crew of the Enterprise did EVERYTHING perfectly to America's Cup standards. The chute was full and trimmed before the stern of the Enterprise cleared the mark. We increased speed to Warp 6.5 and glided back to the bay leaving Forza in our warp trail and quickly catching up to Chaika. It simply doesn't get better than that.

But, it did. We rounded the leeward mark with Chaika and our take-down went just as perfectly as our launch. We jibed clear ahead of Chaika and put Rabbi Dave Shulman and the Chaika crew in our bad wind. I even think I farted a little just to drive the point home to them. Chicken, Baked Ziti and Snapple for lunch. They tacked away very quickly.

We put some distance on the fleet on the last upwind leg, including a very bold move around a barge (Chaika tried the same, but far too late and caused the tugboat to decrease power quickly -- interfering with commercial traffic, very protestable indeed.) We crossed the finish line FIRST and even though we corrected down a bit, this was a well-deserved victory nonetheless. A victory that belongs to the crew doing their jobs with expert precision. It's now just a matter of fine tuning.

There's still a lot of season left -- we can do this.