Captain's Log: Stardate 11157.3
Last night's race began with us taking advantage of a good position and forcing the Terrorist over the line early. Now, I know the Enterprise is supposed to stand for all nations and all worlds, but that one was for America baby. I know it's been years since his "Not everybody loves this country" crack on my suggestion to add to the 2002 Sailing Instructions a request that all boats fly an American flag during racing on the anniversary of 9/11 (I called it "United We Sail",) but hey, it still kinda pisses me off.

Unfortunately, after the maneuver, we too were ever so slightly over the line -- and since the Race Committee never got the memo on never calling the EBYRA Commodore over early -- we had to do a quick loop, dip below the line and restart. Yuck. We had a lot of ground to make up and not a whole lot of water to do it in.

We rounded the first mark in last position, but thanks to a great spinnaker set on our end and a sideways set on Choucas, we did gain some great position. Now we had to do our best to gain more ground on the long downwind leg into Little Neck Bay in a dying breeze.

We had a real opportunity to do some serious gains, but our tactician called for deep downwind jibes based on the angles he was reading on his iPhone 4. For the sake of stability in the ranks of Starfleet, I won't mention his name here in the Captain's Log.

But it does rhyme with Kichard Rillay.

Earth to Tactician: You can't see wind puffs or where Chaika, Fantasy Girl, Andiamo or where Thin Man is going on your iPhone. Send me to good places. I'll worry about angles and VMG.

After several well-executed jibes and a well-orchestrated take down, we rounded the leeward mark in third and finished upwind in the same position.

We headed back in to the club pretty quickly as the crew was hungry and I was tapped to be the sole arbitrator on a hearing regarding the collision between Saudades and Bouliner last week. While waiting for the parties to arrive, we talked about William Shatner's documentary "The Captains" and how there is going to be a screening on the USS Intrepid (the aircraft carrier, not the starship) this weekend. Having already watched it this past weekend on my father's Verizon FiOS television, I must say that I enjoyed the film, but am holding a little bit of a grudge that he didn't come interview me somewhere between Kate Mulgrew and Chris Pine.

Speaking of Chris Pine, I should invite the writers of Star Trek 2 (filming begins in January) to our next EBYRA protest hearing for some amazing science fiction story telling -- especially in people's perceptions of reality while existing in apparently very different alternate universes.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11155.3
While we certainly weren't short on crew for last night's race, we were missing a few key people in key positions and had to do some shuffling around.

Lt. Jonathan took over control of the mainsail usually run by Lt. Kenny, who is spending this week and next in Hong Kong, most likely helping the Chinese decide which parts of America they should acquire.

Crewman Beth took over the pit, usually run by Crewman Emily, who would rather see U2 in concert than go sailing. Really? Had this been the late 80's I may have agreed, but things went downhill fast once they released Zooropa.

Commander Jory and Commander Richard took over the grinding from Crewman Alex, who used work as an excuse to not boldly go.

And, finally, Lt. Kurt filled in for Lt. Ellen handling release and operations. Still, Kurt refused to break into song at the very mention of any 70's lyric. I was waiting for someone to ask me how I was feeling after pulling a maneuver near the start, to which I would have replied, "First I was afraid. I was petrified. Kept think I could never live without you by my side."

As we prepped for the start in the 10-12 breeze, I watched with delight as Lt. Commander Mitch, Lt. Jonathan and Commander Richard bickered about the main shape, backstay, vang, halyard, draft and tell tales. In the end, our halyard was way low and the Enterprise had more Cunningham than a first season rerun of "Happy Days".

We had a very nice start, in fresh air, and in front of most of the fleet. A few tactical moves towards the right side of the course and we were holding our own against the others. Our first spinnaker set was fast and well orchestrated, despite the very short leg to set up. We lost some ground on the second windward leg, following Choucas, Forza and Upchucka to the right side again. The wind went light in a few spots, which pretty much sealed our fate. The second chute set, where the halyard started going upwards but with no chute attached to it, didn't make all that much difference in the grand scheme of things.

Still, I'm proud of the crew. They worked hard and were in places that they were out of their comfort zone. We have seven more races this season and our past performance has us pretty low in the rankings, but with some concentration and some hard work, we may be able to pull ourselves out of the cellar.

In the meantime, I want to remind the crew to stay cool and hydrated over the next few days while the east coast feels like it'll be 100 million miles closer to the sun.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11151.5
With practically a full crew on board and favorable wind conditions, the Enterprise set out last night to do our best in battle against Klingons, Romulans and ever-corrupt PHRF ratings.

We got to the starting line and the breeze seemed pretty steady from the west, but with all predictions stating it was going to shift south, the race committee set a southerly course. And although there were brief moments of headers, the wind never really did shift -- so the best thing to do, by my calculations, was a jibe-set. We talked about it a bit on the upwind leg, but I could tell some of the crew were having difficulty with the whole everything-is-opposite concept.

Maybe I should have changed the name of the boat from the USS Enterprise to the ISS Enterprise and had Lt. Kurt sport a goatee for the night.

And if you got that joke, you're way more of a Trek geek than you think you are.

While not textbook, the crew did perform the jibe-set vey well, while the rest of our fleet did a bearaway-set going in the completely wrong direction. Our move gained us an incredible amount of ground and we rounded the second mark (and then the third) in first place.

And then came our dreaded Kobayashi Maru -- our Kryptonite -- our arch nemesis that makes me wonder, at times, why I purchased a 18,500-pound C&C 37+ six years ago -- the wind got very light. On the first downwind leg, we achieved over Warp 8. On the second, we were lucky to go over Warp 5. And that's when the other lighter boats, including the PHRF-Gifted "Upchucka" started catching up. Ugh.

We crossed the line in second, but corrected into fourth. Heartbreaking to be sure. Still, the crew did exceptionally well and should be very proud of their work doing some different types of maneuvers.

After downing a birthday cupcake (Happy Birthday, Crewman Beth!) we went back to the club for dinner. On the launch ride in, Captain Wendy Walasek of the USS Fantasy Girl (for sale, by the way) was asking people if they wanted to adopt a cat or two to lessen their load at home. My suggestion of donating them to Adam Savage and Jaime Hynemann at Mythbusters to test the myth of "do cats really have nine lives?" was not appreciated.

Next week's race marks the half-way point of the season. We really need to up our game in order to see some results. Either way, we'll have fun.