Captain's Log: Stardate 11047.9
Just letting everyone know -- it's already started. Last night, as I fastened the new rail cushions on the starboard side of the Enterprise, Captain Toby Moors of the USS Indecent Proposal (Is Starfleet running out of names?) asked "Are you going soft on your crew, Edd?"

Soft? Maybe. But, we'll try it for a while and see how it works out. Besides, if it gets Lt. Commander Mitch to concentrate more on wind shifts and currents than how his delicate tushy hurts when hiking out, it may be to our benefit.

But, make no mistake, as soon as another captain calls us the Starship Vaginaprise, those suckers are going in the drink.

As for the race, it was just us and the Klingon Battlecruiser Glory Days. My guess is that Chaika, the Terrorist, Forza and Star just were too scared to face us and our Rail Cushions of Doom. Our start wasn't spectacular -- we were on the line all right, just there 30 seconds early and had to run the length of the line to the pin. Unfortunately, the committee boat was so favored last night that us naming her "Favored End" wasn't funny any longer.

We rounded the windward mark after Glory Days, but our spinnaker set went much quicker, giving us an easy pass within a few feet of the mark. But, they weren't that far behind - and we give them oodles of time. It wasn't looking good.

In most good science fiction movies, when in battle and things are looking like it's over for our heroes, there's this surprise moment when another ship comes out of nowhere and helps save the day. The Enterprise did it in the 2009 Star Trek Movie and the Millennium Falcon did it in 1977's Star Wars. So, as things were looking bleak for us on the downwind leg, all of a sudden, out of nowhere . . .

ALVIENTO!

. . . Chugging along on their upwind leg and headed straight for Glory Days, Captain Tony Sklarew yelled out as strongly as a photon torpedo blast, "Leeward!"

There was a short pause and then a response from Glory Days: "Starboard!"

Tony was ready. "Starboard AND leeward!"

Glory Days tried to make evasive maneuvers, but could not avoid the mighty Alviento. Now, I'm not so sure it was very sportsmanship-like of us, but we did let out a cheer - and a protest flag.

We followed the currents and puffs as the wind lightened, gaining distance on our follower. Our jibe and take down went very well and we were even approaching boats that started five minutes ahead of us.

We crossed the finish line over two minutes ahead of Glory Days, who radioed us on subspace frequencies that they did one penalty turn on their upwind leg. I reminded the Klingon captain that it was supposed to be two turns, as per the rules - not mentioning that the turns are also to be taken as soon as possible after the incident (the key word there being "possible", not "convenient".)

A pause again. Then: "Well, we tried."

While my calculations show that we would have beaten them on time anyway, Glory Days withdrew from the race, giving the Enterprise her first victory of the season and making me very happy. Maybe I'll go a little soft on the crew.

Nah.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11047.1
For Father's Day weekend, we headed down to the Jersey Shore House in Sea Bright, NJ (home of the Montauk Worlds Regatta) for a little sailing on the Runty Kid II (formerly known as the Enterprise-A,) some time with family and some great seafood dining.

Among the other highlights of the trip, was Commander Richard's continued fascination with river crab fishing - with his very own crab pot box which he baits and pulls on a regular basis.

With a video coming soon from my MacBook Pro's iMovie straight to YouTube (editing now,) you can picture in your mind all of the action and drama, perfectly narrated by Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe, of course:

"In the Bering Sea, 90 miles Northeast of Dutch Harbor, Captain Sig Hansen and the crew of the Northwestern, battle 50 mile per hour winds, 20 foot waves and deadly ice as they grab their remaining pots in hopes that they'll be loaded with King Crab. The crew is running out of cod fish bait and have been working for 30 hours straight, with no break in sight.

"2,900 miles away, on the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright, New Jersey, Commander Richard Schillay heads out to the dock to check his pot one more time before going to bed. The sun has set and the temperatures have gone from a warm 80 degrees to a tepid 75. He too is running out of bait, with the beach house freezer running dangerously low of chopped meat and turkey burgers.

"Standing by, ready to assist, are greenhorns Luke and Caden, ages 6 and 2, still unsure if they want to follow grandpa's footsteps in a crabfishing career or to finish the next Pokemon level on the Nintendo DS.

"It's the moment of truth. The pot hits the deck and Richard can go home satisfied with another hefty haul of two Blueclaw crab, well on his way to meeting his quota of ten, just enough to make a good-tasting appetizer. Here's the Coors Light Crab Count:



Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11046.0
Once again, with great pleasure, we backed the Enterprise out of Consolidated Yards in hopes to NEVER return again. The impulse power (diesel engine) was purring like a kitten and all systems were performing perfectly well.

Just a few moments earlier, the crew presented me with a gift for themselves for my birthday (Yes, you read that correctly.) Apparently, they have been complaining that their delicate buttocks have been getting sore and bruised sitting on the rail for upwind legs and they all chipped in to buy rail cushions.

Funny, I don't remember seeing a whole lot of cushioning on the deck of Time Bandit, Wizard, Northwestern or the Cornelia Marie during The Deadliest Catch.

But, OK. I'll forget that a little suffering is good for the soul and I'll hope this change doesn't label me as a "softie" among other boat captains. But that's it. We're not going to transform the Enterprise into something that resembles an airbag. And no, we're not going to wrap the spinnaker pole in Nerf foam.

Missing from last night's mission was Lt. Kurt who was at his son's birthday party (Who has a kid's birthday party on a Wednesday??), Crewman Luke who I guess decided that he no longer needed to show up once he got a crew shirt, and Lt. Ellen, stuck at home suffering from so much nose and chest congestion that Kleenex stock has tripled and my home was starting to resemble the hotel scene from Ghostbusters.

As for the race, we had a great start, a good half boat length ahead of Chaika. But, we had some troubles finding our groove for the first half of the first upwind leg. Still, we rounded the first mark in second place and set the chute perfectly putting a great distance between us and the Klingon Battlecruiser Glory Days.

But that lead shortened a great deal when we had a take down that, well, didn't exactly come down. Like a man without enough money in a whorehouse, something didn't get blown.

Our position remained solid for the next upwind and downwind legs, with a textbook jibe, and we crossed the line in second place, correcting into third.

A great night to be sure, but we're seeing too many mistakes on the race course. The team needs to learn their positions as well as others, and, most importantly, pay attention to what they're doing - not so much on what everyone else is doing.

We'll get there. I'll probably be 74 by then, but we'll get there.

But, at least the rails will be cushioned.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11044.1
Last night, diners at City Island harbor view restaurants and drivers on the Bronx-bound side of the Throgs Neck Bridge were both thinking exactly the same thing:

Who the hell are those idiots out sailing in this weather?

That would be us. Us and 16 other boats who braved the storms and reminisced about those days when damp was the new dry. Last night, drenched was the new dry. How wet? My 5 X 8 bathroom now looks like a used foul weather gear showroom. My socks, 12 hours later, are still stuck to the wall.

Every tack dumped so much water out of the sails onto the cockpit crew that it was all starting to look like outtakes from opie crab season on The Deadliest Catch.

But, we did incredibly well, despite the weather and despite being short-staffed. Kenny was on a flight somewhere over the US, Mitch had family issues and Luke, well, poor Luke had the sniffles.

Our start was pretty good, especially given that we were still working on the main at the 5-minute warning and didn't even have the sails up yet at 3 minutes to go. We tried some new things, and some new positions, as part of our 2010 strategy.

One of the new techniques, learned at our North U. Seminar last Winter, was a "burping" of the headsail prior to a tack (though I guess in all that rain, a burp could very well be a belch, or a vomit.) We tried a foot first, which Lt. Jonathan instantly said that it was two feet, not one. But, having seen it myself and with our releaser in full control and full view of the one-foot length of line, the only conclusion we could come to was that Jonathan's wife must have been really disappointed.

Our two spinnaker sets were PERFECT! WOW! And, thanks to a 90-degree windshift, we didn't have to jibe on either leg, much to the disappointment of Lt. Ellen, who's always ready with organized lines and Commander Richard, who's always ready to bark out (sometimes misinformed) orders on what to do next.

After the race, I started up the practically-new impulse drive and brought the Enterprise home to Starbase One, very satisfied with our second place for the evening, pleased to hear a few crew on boats say Happy Birthday, and yet a little annoyed that it was high tide inside my sneakers.

But, hands down, the best part of the night was the birthday celebration down below with the crew singing Happy Birthday and seeing the amazingly-delicious Boston creme birthday cake. Then again, when I saw the candles on the cake, I did not think about the crew, being with friends and loved ones, or even being 44 years old...

It was more like: Oh no, not another fire.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11042.5
It's certainly been a scary start, but this afternoon, I was notified by the yard manager that the Starship Enterprise is ready for active duty, just in time for Race 5 of the Wednesday Night Race Series along with some much-needed weekend day sailing and cruising.

The timing was also right, seeing as, week after week performing Race Committee duty, I kept seeing more and more Enterprise crew on board Breakaway. And not the ones I want to get rid of, either! (Now they're all going to be wondering... hee hee.)

There was even a moment, after talking with my father last weekend, that we'd enter an alternate boat. So, and pay attention now, The Enterprise-B Plan B would be Enterprise-A which is now Runty Kid II. But, Enterprise-A had engine problems of her own, so there's no way A could be B's Plan B. And there's no money to buy C right now. So B's Plan B could not be A or C.

Everyone got that? There will be a quiz later.

Engine problems aside, it was a great pleasure sailing on the previous Enterprise last weekend working our way through the chop and clearing Sandy Hook Point before the wind really died on us.

The engine problem? Well, my dad thought the fuel gauge was broken, because it was reading empty. But, instead, he's got a fuel leak somewhere in the lines or the tank itself. The bad news: A two hour tow back to the mooring by Tow Boat US. The good news: Hey, the gauge works!

Also over the weekend, I learned, finally, Commander Richard's weakness. For example, the weakness in Jim Kirk's original Enterprise was no phasers or torpedo launchers on the back of the ship. Approach that Enterprise from behind and fire away.

So what is the weakness of a man who's pushing 70, walks miles each day, has had a triple bypass and stents galore, but yet never stops going?

Three Polly-O Mozzarella String Cheese sticks and a Blueberry Vodka Martini. Done. Out for the count. I shit you not.

Anyway, back to the Enterprise-B. We've got a new transmission, new wiring, a redone keel and remounted rudder, not to mention a bunch of other enhancements. It's time to start our 2010 season and (you know I'm going to say it) Go Boldly!