Captain's Log: Stardate 10971.2
For last night's final race of the 2009 EBYRA Wednesday Night Race Series, the crew would have its opportunity to run spinnaker successfully in a strong breeze in total darkness.

And, for all intents and purposes, that opportunity still remains intact. What happened last night would create a new listing on Google for "Nighttime Spinnaker Clusterfuck" - and I have a feeling that we will be #1. We're #1! We're #1!

The evening started with us heading out to the starting area putting on quite a few layers, setting sails and the balance of the crew learning why Yeoman Kelly is commonly referred to as "ABBy" on the Enterprise.

For all the log readers out there, let it be known that Kelly has more of an issue that the "A" stand for "Assistant" rather than "Alternate" -- having no problem whatsoever with the "Bow Bitch" portion of the acronym.

And, how do we celebrate a season full of great starts? With our worst start ever. EVER. Nothing like two tacks in the last 5 seconds before the gun. Are we on Starboard? Are we on Port? Who knows? Hey! Watch out for Eagle!

How close did we come to Eagle's stern? I think Ernie could have adjusted our bow navigation lights.

We pulled some great moves upwind and regained position on the fleet, rounding the windward mark tied for second place. And yes, for those of you who have never, in darkness, rounded an unlit mark within 100 feet of rocks in a breeze where your main trimmer can't blow the main sheet, I highly recommend it. MUCH better than Plavix for clearing arteries.

The chute went up. Sort of. I think we hit Warp 10. As the bow team and trimmers tried to get control of the chute, I was trying to get helm control back on line. Thank God for the Enterprise-B. Had this been the "A", we would have broached in the rollers. Easily. We've done it before.

And then, when I said let's get ready to jibe, we started to jibe. Nobody ready. Then, just for kicks, there was another roller and a puff. Whoa, what a mess.

Top that? Sure, no problem! Let's blow the halyard and dump the chute in the drink during the take-down. Lt. Zoraida got soaked bringing it in and that's why she was wearing different pants, no underwear, and Dave's shirt when she came home last night (That's her story, Steve, and she's sticking to it.)

And, Captain Dave will never confirm that he allegedly said he missed Lt. Jonathan last night.

We returned to the mooring and dined on board the Enterprise. Lt. Commander Mitch, in an effort to stray from his reputation for bringing pretentious snacks, passed up a sack of White Castle Sliders.

"Why do they call them 'sliders'," Commander Richard asked.
"You'll see when you go to the bathroom later," someone replied. Whoosh! Ah yes. Nothing like White Castle and toilet humor to add to the prestige of yacht racing.

So now, before we run Race 20 next Wednesday in the 19-race series, and before we compete in the Charity Cup before hauling the Enterprise, it's time to review crew performance:

A commendation is hereby entered into the file for Captain Dave for his mastery on the foredeck, patience and expert self-control - it did take him 18 weeks before tackling Kelly on the foredeck. A new record.

Commander Richard is also to receive a commendation. While never missing an opportunity to ditch us all on weekends, his attendance on Wednesday nights has been admirable. Richard is always asking to do more, and even though he fails to deliver when tasked (see notes above regarding main trim during the mark rounding,) his enthusiasm more than makes up for it. Plus, he's my dad and I figure the best chance to an Enterprise-C is to remain in the will.

Commander Jory Stark also receives a commendation for his work on the jib, attendance and his apparent joy in being the only man on board who gets to blow the guy week after week after week. (Man, does that joke ever get old?)

Lt. Commander Mitch, though no change in rank yet, is to be promoted to the ship's Tactical Officer. Mitch will be spending the colder months reading books on currents, wind shifts, puffs, reading water and waves. We are expecting grand things from Mitch for 2010 and beyond. Sorry, goats.

Lt. Jonathan is, simply, the pits. Er, I mean, he runs a great pit. There's nobody in the fleet who can, within seconds, raise a spinnaker, adjust outhaul and cunningham, and then retrieve Twizzlers from a dangerous galley cabinet. He has also promised each member of the crew that, while racing on the Enterprise, their income would double with half the trouble. A commendation goes in his file as well.

Lt. Ellen also receives a commendation for her expert work in keeping the Enterprise in peak performance. From organization during races to running lines for spinnaker jibes to cleaning down below to making sure there's ALWAYS boxed wine for anyone who wants it. It's come to the point where we just know that the jib will always go out without any issues and the new spinnaker sheet will be ready and tight during a jibe. She is the ship's Operations Officer.

Lt. Zoraida receives a commendation for her greatly-improved skills on the foredeck, spinnaker preparation and making sure the ship's supply of tequila is rotated. We're happy to have Zoraida still with us, especially after her encounter with a New York City Taxi with her shields down.

I won't say that a lot doesn't ride on Lt. June's appearance at the October 17 haul-out, so we'll have to see how that plays out. Still, June is a valued member of the team. There's not many crew out there who, when asked to pull in the downhaul, will give you a three-minute monologue as to why she's getting around to doing it. It's also nice to be reminded every 3.5 minutes if I want the running lights on yet. In all seriousness, she runs the starboard pit well and I'd like to see her get involved in other areas of the ship. Besides, only with June can we have conversations like the one last night:

June: "Tolo said they couldn't complete the Larchmont race because they had a broken snatch. What's a snatch?"
Richard: "I think you mean snatch block."
June: "They said snatch. Edd, do you know what a snatch is?"
Edd: "It's a slang term for a woman's v--"
Richard and Ellen: "Stop right there! Enough!"

Amazingly enough, Kenny got married this year and his attendance INCREASED! We're not sure what Bizarro world Kenny is living in, but make no mistake, we like it. I'd like to see Kenny transferred to spinnaker trim next year. Effective this stardate, Kenny is increased one level in rank to Lieutenant.

Unfortunately, Kurt's attendance has been slipping. Last night, I suggested that he make the October 10 Charity Cup Race by telling his wife that he's a man and should be allowed to do what he likes. The only thing I can say from his reaction is that it doesn't look promising at all. So, despite Kurt's ability to spot his parents driving down the Bronx side of the Throgs Neck Bridge, I have no choice to demote Kurt to the rank of Ensign. I hope things will improve next season and he pays more attention to his Starfleet career.

For his never-ending enthusiasm and his leaps to help wherever needed, Olivier Letang is hereby promoted to the rank of Ensign effective this Stardate. Olivier seems to be always willing to take on any challenge and really enjoys spending time on the Enterprise. That could be, perhaps, due to his switching off his hearing aid when the rest of us are yelling at each other.

Kelly "ABBy" Morris, with almost-perfect attendance, performance on the bow as well as the pit, and the desire to learn more and more has earned her a promotion to the rank of Ensign. I can easily see her and Zoriada running the foredeck one day without Dave. Perhaps as soon as next year. Girl power!


Finally, despite a few attempts to injure Crewman Luke in the Line of Duty (starting with Stardate 10941.6 - The Port Washington YC Day Race Bloody Leg Gash,) it was a game of soccer while on shore leave that caused Luke's MCL to tear and force him on the crew's disabled list. I understand physical therapy is going well and he'll be back on board for the 2010 season.

All in all - the finest crew ever assembled.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10969.3
I was really, really looking forward to last night's race. Not just because I get to go sailing with my friends (I always look forward to that,) but because the Weather Channel was forecasting 15-20 mph winds with gusts to 25. Finally! Some heavy air. Finally! The Enterprise would be in her element and we'll achieve new warp speeds.

But, I apparently forgot about all the previous log entries about the Weather Channel. The average was 8. And, we never saw it gust above 12. Fucking Weather Channel! I'd cancel basic cable, but I'd be lost without Comedy Central or Sci-Fi.

With a good number of crew on board (Commander Richard had a meeting, Lt. Kurt namby-pambied out of another race and Lt. Zoraida felt ill after something she ate - perhaps a taxicab medallion?) we set sails and worked out our plan for another great Enterprise start. That is, until the Terrorist decided to foul us, Fantasy Girl and Chaika all in the course of a few minutes. Red flags flew, as did some colorful terms. "Cosandey" must be french for "asshole".

We worked hard to regain speed in the two-leg race. Our jibe-set was fast, but with the wrong selection of the winch for the spinnaker sheets, we were fortunate that we didn't have to jibe the boat.

Besides, all attention on board was diverted to the gymnastics on the foredeck when Yeoman Kelly dropped to her back and Dave fell on top of her saying something about the position of the pole. She later said that he "Godzilla'd" her. Is that what the kids are calling it nowadays? My, my. My foredeck team. They grow up so fast.

On the way to the finish, a meeting was held on the foredeck and a decision was made, sans-captain no less, that next week was not to the Enterprise's last Wednesday Night of the season. So, all crew are requested to report for duty on Wednesday the 23rd for the 20th week of the Wednesday Night Race Series where there will be no race, but a fun sail through the final frontier.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10967.4
Last night started with the joys of preliminary bilge work in order to lighten the load on the Enterprise in order to make weight allocations for Lt. Commander Mitch's yellow bag and a gift from my father, Commander Richard, of Lt. Jonathan's new book straight off amazon.com, Income Double / Half the Trouble.

Now, one would think after three years of providing Jonathan and his family a starship to sail on now and then, I would get a free copy, but noooooooo! I guess he really, really needs that $11.72 (plus shipping.) Nevertheless, it was an honor to be mentioned, along with the crew of the Enterprise, in the author's foreword. The crew did ask him if he was also going to provide an audiobook version, knowing just how much Jonathan loves to talk. I, of course, suggested that he hire William Shatner to do the read. Imagine it now. "Income Double Half" (pause) "the Trouble." (long pause, extend arms, hands upwards) "Fundamentals and" (pause) "Breakthroughs for Business and" (longer pause) "Personal" (pause again, nodding head, now in a softer voice) "Success." After all:



Now THAT, I would buy.

As for the race, the boat handling all night was textbook crew racing procedures. Every tack, every set, the one jibe, the two take downs - all could not go better. Tactically, on the other hand, we were hurting in a big way. I tacked over too early and put us in Ernie's shadow, forcing me to move the Enterprise to the less-favored middle of the course instead of the right. That first leg sealed our fate and whatever ground we gained on the subsequent legs just wasn't enough to make a difference. Still, the night was crystal clear with a full moon. Could not have been better.

We finished the evening by dining on board the Enterprise with a variety of foods ranging from hummus to Toastitos to sushi to brownies. The on-board 12-volt blender churned to its own warp speed making icy margaritas while I finished the bilge work I began prior to the start.

There's only two races to go now in the Wednesday Night series and two weekend events left. So sad.