Captain's Log: Stardate 10157.5
Last evening started with the swearing-in ceremony of Crewman Beth and the presentation of her new crew uniform. And, even though Captain Dave vouched for Beth's commitment and performance, he was clearly against her receiving the crew shirt -- something about how he wanted to be sure she kept coming.

I think he was referring to the - once again - absence of Crewman Luke who has, so far, only been on board once since the start of the season. We were told the excuse, this time, was due to his company being referred to as crooks by stealing people's money in some cover story in a Bloomberg business magazine and Luke was being held back to assist in "damage control." Just wait until they hear about the stolen crew shirt.

Our start was, to put it mildly, awesome, even after we notified the race committee on Favored End that they jumped forward in time by one minute for the start ahead of us. We were first over the line and had a good lead on the fleet heading upwind. The conditions were very favorable for us at 10-15 knots of breeze and the Enterprise was in her groove the entire night. Upwind at Warp 6.8, downwind at Warp 8.8. Yeeeeeeeeehaaaaa!

Either right on our tail, just a few feet ahead or just off our side, for the entire night was Chaika. And, with all that we were doing right, we all now deeply understood why her owner placed himself on the YRA's PHRF Board. Now, I'm not saying PHRF at the YRA is corrupt or anything, but I've seen more integrity at a Ferengi Trade Convention.

Coming in second was great and all, but even Dave got so frustrated and angry that he tried to put a dent my spinnaker pole. With his nose. Twice.

Even Lt. Kurt thought the boat would sail better with a little less weight and tossed one of my winch handles overboard.

Everyone did exceptionally well. If every race was like this one, I'd be very pleased. The only real problems I see at this point are people focusing more on what others are doing and not their own jobs (or sightseeing) and the multiple orders flying from multiple mouths all over the place.

So, again, while opinions are always welcome, even sought after, we need to establish that unless it comes from me, Dave, or the person you are directly assisting (i.e. grinding for the spinnaker trimmer), it does not exist.

You know, like a fair PHRF rating.

Captain's Log: Supplemental
There seems to be a lot of hype lately about an incident not too long ago where a couple on board the sailboat Intrepid (Not the Starship Intrepid) were out cruising watching a whale jump in nearby waters. Then, suddenly, the whale jumped just a few feet from the vessel, crashing into it and doing quite a bit of damage.

Similar circumstances occurred a few years back on the Enterprise, but did not make the news. Quite possibly because it is the Starship Enterprise, and because she is properly armed with forward, starboard, port and aft phaser banks. Here's images from a nearby photographer:

Captain's Log: Stardate 11055.6
On our way out to the Enterprise yesterday, the radar showed several large red and yellow masses over northern New Jersey, but they looked to be heading either south of us towards Long Island or north of us to White Plains and the Connecticut shoreline. People seemed genuinely concerned about the tornado warning for Bridgeport, but, seriously, have you seen Bridgeport lately? It could use a fresh start.

Once aboard the Enterprise, we began setting up, including turning on the wind instruments to monitor wind speed. According to the SailFlow App on my iPhone, Kings Point was seeing a steady 14-16 knots of breeze. Perfect!

And, when we turned it on, we saw 14-15. Then, within a few minutes, we saw 10-12, then 8-10. "Quick!" Captain Dave exclaimed. "Turn off the instrument!"

We powered out to the starting area fully loaded with crew, except for the dynamic duo of Lt. Kenny and Crewman Luke, who, in their infinite wisdom, thought the fastest way to from Manhattan to the Bronx was through Queens. And, at 1830 Hours, the departure time for the Enterprise, guess where they were? Yes, still in Queens.

I hear next week they're going to try a new shortcut, going through Queens, Nassau, part of Suffolk, getting on the Port Jefferson Ferry, going across the Sound to Bridgeport (assuming there still is a Bridgeport) and then down I-95.

As a big nasty storm cell moved across way to the north of us, we experienced a 100-degree windshift and a nice surge of breeze. It kicked up to the mid-20s and the Enterprise was screaming along at Warp 7.4 on the main alone. I think we heard 8 boats drop out of the night's racing, including Chaika. Wusses.

We had a failure of a shackle on the main halyard, but it was a quick fix and we still got out to the starting area with 7 minutes to go.

The winds kept shifting with the cell's movement, as predicted, and, thanks to the quick response time of Lt. Ellen and the jib team for our last-second tack to port at the starting line, we put tons of distance between us and the competition. We had 10 boat lengths on the Terrorist and Forza looked like it was in another time zone.

The windward mark quickly became a fetch, then a reach and then a downwind run. We rounded well in first, with a bunch of J/24s from another race series using the same mark.

There was one point when we were approaching a J/24 on starboard tack, who clearly had rights on us, but I did, for a moment, consider making it a couple of J/12s. Or, from our trajectory, a J/8 and a J/16.

The winds continued to shift, build and decrease, and the Enterprise crew did all they could to take advantage of every one. But, as we were making our way down the downwind leg, which was now an upwind leg, we heard three horn blasts and a radio call from P.R.O. Eben Hansmire that the evening's races were cancelled because the winds were getting too squirrelly (and yes, I had to look up how to spell "squirrelly" for the Captain's Log.)

I called the committee right away and exclaimed how well we were doing. They responded almost immediately, "We saw that Enterprise. Sorry."

Oh well. It was a great night nonetheless. Even now, Thursday morning, at 10:17am, I'm still reliving the moments and am all smiles.

And, I figure Kenny and Luke should just now be arriving on the boat.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10153.7
The evening started last night with Crewman Beth, basically the new ABBy, reminding me that she has not yet received her crew uniform.

"Don't do it," Ellen remarked. "Once you give her a shirt, she'll stop showing up."

What do you mean? Last guy I gave a shirt to was Luke and he.... Oh. I see your point.

But, with Captain Dave's endorsement of her dependability, I think I'll take the risk. Plus it's always fun to swear someone in - I, state your name, do solemnly swear to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life, and so on.

What can I say about last night's race other than five knots of breeze equals a real Kobayashi Maru situation for us? We were with the fleet, but we were looking at more sterns than bows. We had all the data imaginable about currents, but our strategy looked like crap when all of the best boats in Division 6 did something completely opposite. Left instead of right, right instead of left. It's all just so confusing.

And, I won't even begin to mention how awkward I felt running a race without my big unit out. Oh well, this is why we have throwouts.

The big plus is that we are getting better - by leaps and bounds. We start great, tack great, set great and now even jibe great, thanks to enhanced communication and some partially obscene finger gestures.

I think the key remains to be talking about wind, waves and procedures. Even when we're back at the Morris tent having dinner.

But how do I stop downwind comparisons of Chuck Norris movies and dinnertime Lt. Kurt-researched statistics on website porn data? Especially when, just a few feet away, the crew of the USS Fantasy Girl were talking about spinnaker pole position and tactics?

Maybe, just maybe, if we concentrate on speed and things like clearing the main from the backstay after tacks and jibes, instead of what hours of the day Lee Marvin surfed porn sites while filming Delta Force, we could do better.

Meanwhile, I heard Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. We now call those animals giraffes.

Captain's Log: Stardate 10151.8
"Is everyone here?"
A brief pause from down below. "Yes. We have everyone. Let's go."
Then I think, but I'm not sure, I heard someone say, "Hurry."

A few moments later, at the dock of the Morris Yacht and Beach Club (a/k/a Starbase One,) Lt. Jonathan Flaks, complete with goatee so that he shall now be referred to a MUFF (Mirror Universe Frodo Flaks,) stepped on board the shuttle launch and asked the driver to be taken to the Enterprise. It was then that the driver pointed to our warp trail and said "Enterprise? The Enterprise left already."

We did consider turning around, but the USS Fantasy Girl was short on crew and we had a full compliment on board last night. Since Fantasy Girl wasn't in our division, I gave MUFF permission to help their crew - and I gave Captain Wendy Walasek permission to use and abuse MUFF to no end. I think I said if he doesn't come back bruised, I don't want him back at all. But, come to think of it, two hours on a 33-foot boat with Vince Nanni may scar him emotionally for enough time to put a psychoanalyst's kid through college. Ivy League, too.

But on to our race. The breeze started out around 12 - more than enough to get the Starship flying at good warp speeds. And fly we did. With a great start at the favored end, we stayed left to take advantage of currents and lifts, putting a great distance between us and Chaika, Forza and Glory Days. The only boat with us, slightly ahead was the Terrorist's Choucas.

But then I goofed, tacking right to look for breeze and a good layline approach to the first windward mark deep in the bowels of Little Neck Bay. The other boats continued left, found nice lifts and closed the gap.

But I wasn't worried. With our new strategy downwind, we'll make up loads. As long as the wind holds.

As long as the wind holds.

As long as the wind holds.

What went wrong the most? From the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary (23rd Century Edition):

Pronunciation: \ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): frus·trat·ed; frus·trat·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin frustratus, past participle of frustrare to deceive, frustrate, from frustra in error, in vain
Date: 15th century
1 a : to balk or defeat in an endeavor, b : to induce feelings of discouragement in
2 a (1) : to make ineffectual : bring to nothing (2) : impede, obstruct b : to make invalid or of no effect
3 a : to move 11,000 pounds of starship in three knots of breeze.

And the worst part was we did some amazing things out there - multiple jibes and fast tacks (now that Commander Jory and Crewman Luke were back in position) - and never once did anyone say "burp". The wind gods were against us is all. It happens.

Finally, I'm happy to report the placement of Crewman Beth on board as the replacement "ABBy". According to Captain Dave, she did very well up there and should be a good addition to the crew. I have a feeling Yeoman Kelly will not be coming back anytime soon.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11051.2
This past holiday weekend, as part of the celebration of the birth of this great country of ours, Lt. Zoraida and her boyfriend Steve joined Ellen and I on a short vacation cruise to the Harbor House Marina in Stamford and Sagamore Yacht Club in Oyster Bay.

I'm proud to report that the ship performed above and beyond expectations - it was especially nice hooking up to shore power and engaging the on-board refrigerator and automatic battery-charging systems. Accommodations were comfortable, the sailing was invigorating, the engine ran smoothly and the restaurants we chose offered delicious menu choices (if I could eat the bones from the ribs at Canterbury's Ale House and Grill's Barbecue Sampler, I would have.)

And, as I sat in a lounge chair during the sunset in Oyster Bay waiting for the fireworks to start, I began to wonder what it would be like to transition to a life of cruising rather than racing.

Don't worry, I'm not there yet - racing is still in my blood and I'll be back to screaming "Hike the fuck out, you fucking fuckity fuckers!!" in no time at all. Maybe even this Wednesday.

During the trip, Steve asked many questions about boats (which I was all too happy to answer) as he is considering the possibility of buying a small over-nighter sailboat in the future for him and Zoraida to use and cruise on. This, naturally, led to the discussion of boat names, having seen Mark Lasser's "New Freedom" on the way out (which Ellen believes would be a better name for a feminine product than a Catalina sloop,) as well as the sightings and stories behind boat names like the "Enterprise", "Millennium Falcon", "Runty Kid", "Alimony Payments" and, of course the semi-famous "Fujimo".

Still, Steve was considering somehow using Zoraida's name as part of the name of the new vessel. But, before you get all warm and fuzzy thinking about love and affection, here's just a few questions that could come up when you name a boat after your wife or girlfriend (using "Zoraida" as an example):

"How many men can Zoraida take?"
"How wide is Zoraida?"
"Can you sleep on Zoraida?"
"Is Zoraida fast?"
"Can Zoraida handle a good blow?"
"How far can Zoraida go?"
"Is Zoraida hard to control?"
"Is it difficult to get Zoraida out of a slip?"
"Is Zoraida overheating?"
"Will you loan Zoraida to a friend?"
and, my favorite,
"Will you put Zoraida on the hard this winter or keep her wet?"

Not exactly warm and fuzzy.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11049.9
Here's why I'll never be a motivational speaker:

"Get that sail in! Crank harder! Man up, Kurt! Do not stop. Do not slow down. Keep going. You're only purpose in life right now is to crank that sail in. You stopped. I said don't stop. Faster, Kurt, faster! You're slowing down again. Don't do that. No, you can't have a heart attack. No, I don't have a defibrillator on board. Fine - have the heart attack after you get the sail in."

Poor Kurt. His right arm hasn't had this much abuse since he's been single. But, it was all necessary. We had great breeze last night and this was our opportunity to have the Enterprise shine in the conditions she was designed for.

And shine we did. After a perfect spinnaker set, we accelerated to Warp 8!

And, in the first highlight of the evening, we passed Chaika. Then, our Foredeck Captain Dave noticed that we were going faster than the waves. Excellent - now we have to work on going so fast on the Enterprise that we move through time itself.

Because, time seems to be our biggest problem. People need time to ignore their jobs and point fingers to other people's jobs. People need time to put big knots in spinnaker sheets before running them. Commander Jory needs time to catch a bus. People need time to come up with partially-obscene finger gestures to signal foredeck procedures (warning to crew: If Dave, Zoraida or Ellen give you the thumbs-up, it's not what you think.) We needed 2 minutes and 20 seconds of corrected time to beat Chaika. We needed 39 seconds of corrected time to beat Glory Days. Oh yeah, and Kurt needs oodles of time to crank the sail in.

And I need to find time to pour ten tablets of TUMS, along with 50 milligrams of Prevacid followed by a Pepto Bismol chaser down Lt. Jonathan's throat if he says "burp" just one more time before a tack. EVER. (Seriously - Seven hours of North U. Sailing Seminar and this is what he retains the most?)

Still, the race was fun and it was definitely a blast crossing the finish line in front of Chaika. I'll be in touch with the crew regarding more serious matters, including procedures, but we should look at this as a victory on many levels.

And finally, to Crewman Luke, our assigned grinder who has yet to show up even once this season, after Kurt did a lot of whispering to others in the cockpit last night after the race, it might be wise to have someone else start your car for a while. Just a suggestion.