Captain's Log: Stardate 11172.6
Starfleet Command file 20110921:
Classified Report on Operation Question Pop -- Successful

After a full week of encoded subspace messages (private emails) to Enterprise Officers Capt. Dave, Lt. Zoraida, Lt. Kurt, Ensign Beth and Ensign Emily, Starfleet Command's highly-classified mission, Operation Question Pop, turned out to be a complete success.

Now classified as public knowledge, and for the purposes of archiving the events as they unfolded, I submit the process here on the Captain's Log:

Day One, Stardate 11170.4: The Enterprise finishes Race 19, the final race of the 2011 EBYRA Wednesday Night Race Series. Ellen knows that there is a ring en route to my office at Starfleet Headquarters (in Tarrytown) but has no idea of when it will arrive, or, more importantly, how long it will take to actually be given to her. Weeks? Months? Years?

Day Two, Stardate 11170.7: Contact is made with UK sailmakers to produce a 8' x 10' banner. First email is sent to participants regarding the plan of attack. Captain's Log is sent out to all crew by email. Conversations with Ellen regarding EBYRA results, committee boats and politics -- all to throw her off. Deception and Behind-The-Back Plotting: Who says I'm not ready for marriage?

Day Three, Stardate 11171.0: Imagine that, UK quotes BIG on simple project. Oh well. Defender.com here I come. Big roll of 3/4 ounce white nylon sail material: check! Big supply of 12" sail letters: Check! Grommet kit: Check. Sent emails to the crew with a YouTube video and a data sheet on a C&C 37R racing information.

Day Four, Stardate 11171.2: Still need to throw Ellen off. It's 50 degrees outside and blowing 20-25, so I'll still push forward with our cruise plans to Oyster Bay and dinner at our favorite restaurant Canterbury Ales. Normally, I'd say, it's too cold and windy for cruising, but she might think the question will come at the restaurant. She does her hair and looks great. Dinner comes and goes. Nothing. Insert evil laugh here: Buwahhhh Hah Hah!!

Day Five, Stardate 11171.5: Enterprise achieves Warp 9.6 on the jib alone in 20-25 on the way back from Oyster Bay. We get back extra early so I throw in an average-Sunday plan of supermarket shopping and an evening watching the Emmys. Charlie Sheen -- "Winning" $100M settlement from Warner Bros. -- and Michael Bolton singing Captain Jack Sparrow steal the show.

Day Six, Stardate 11171.8: The big box from Defender arrives. My office, usually used for legal work, CLE processing and program event management, is now a sail loft. Encoded emails to the crew regarding the plan. Meet Kurt somewhere on 287 or Beth in the Beirut (South Yonkers) waterfront. Decide to throw Ellen off further by distributing a photo to the entire crew of a boat with a 80-foot mast going under a 12-foot bridge.

Day Seven, Stardate 11172.1: The banner is finished. Plan is set to meet up with Beth in South Yonkers to pass off it off. I'm unarmed, but I go anyway. Instructions sent to the crew on how to hang -- use any line or halyard on the Enterprise they deem necessary.

Final Day, Stardate 11172.3: Must give the crew time to set up the banner. Thankfully, a client came in to the office late in the day to discuss copyrighting an iPhone/iPad app he developed. He tells me to take my time, to which I replied, "I'm billing you hourly. Of course I'll take my time." I pick Ellen up at my place, making a further-delay plan by meeting up with Richie Coar to give him the registration for our almost-sold Committee Boat. On the way to City Island, we discuss my copyright business, EBYRA shake-ups and everything but what was about to go down.

We get to the pier and she sees, off in the distance, a banner flying, but believes it's on a boat beyond the Enterprise. Feeling cold, though, she runs back down the pier towards the car to get a jacket (the crew is thinking that she saw the sign and ran away.)

Back at the pier, getting on the launch, she asks if I know anything about the banner on the other boat, and if I know where the crew for the evening was, only planning for a short sail on what we call the 20th Race of the 19-Race Wednesday Night Race Series.

The launch makes its way to the Enterprise and she looks again:


Mission Success!! A total surprise!

So I'm on my way to boldly going where no Enterprise Captain has gone before. Not sure of exactly when, but it'll be soon. I think it was Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise-D who said it best . . .



I think the worst part of it all is that I'll now have to assign Ellen to the foredeck for the next several seasons. After all, she's basically wearing the new headsail on her finger.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11170.7
It's sad to say, but it looks like that time of the year has come again -- the final race of the year's EBYRA Wednesday Night Race Series. As we powered out to the starting area, taking a quick glance at the new EBYRA Committee Boat and watching the skeleton crew prepare the Enterprise for the race, I began to ponder the usual questions associated with the end of the season:

What crew will return? Who won't return? Can Alex find a way to the Bronx without getting a ride from Kenny? Will I remain the EBYRA Commodore? (hint: would like to see black smoke.) What improvements need to be made to the Enterprise for next season? What commendations/promotions should I award the crew? When is the Star Trek sequel being released?

And, when will John Esposito get to eat a real balanced meal so that he won't have that white sludge dripping out of the side of his mouth every time he sees Ellen and so he won't have to settle for eating dessert off of muddy grass? See 0:55 on this video.

First, the race itself. Missing from the team for the final mission was Commander Jory, Lt. Jonathan, Lt. Kenny, Lt. Kurt, Crewman Beth and Crewman Alex -- all either more than 1,000 miles away or so close that they should be ashamed of themselves (you know who you are.)

Luckily, Crewman Emily risked the collision of worlds and brought out her boyfriend Frank, who has a wealth of sailing and racing experience -- so much so, that I have offered him a permanent spot on the Enterprise for 2012 if he wants it.

Our start was the best of the season - At the favored end of the line, full speed, at the 0:00 mark, and full rights on the rest of the fleet trying to start on port tack. Was glorious to see each one have to change course and duck our stern. And if we had close to the amount of breeze we had the week before, we'd be unstoppable. Our spinnaker sets and jibes were textbook with only a slight amount of chaos on the first take down -- mostly because Mark L, 46A, appears to have a cloaking device set to activate after the sun sets.

We had some great cross-tacking moments and some action-packed roundings. All in all, a great way to end our weeknight racing season. It almost didn't matter what position we were in -- we were having a blast.

So it is now, before our Race 20 of the 19-Race Wednesday Night Race Series and possible entry in the PWYC Charity Cup, that I take a moment and review crew performance:

Captain Dave once again receives a commendation in his file for excellence as the Captain of Foredeck and First Officer of the Enterprise. Dave often refers to the foredeck as his foredeck - so much so that I often consider sending him the bills for repairs and upgrades that take place ahead of the mast, But, once again, all the John and Jane Does on Hart Island are revived from the dead as he yells out "Noooooooooooooo!"

A commendation is also hereby awarded to Commander Richard, mostly just on last night alone. On our way back to the mooring, he said "I must have did a good job today. You didn't yell at me once." I guess I didn't. And yeah, I guess he did. Way to go dad.

A commendation to Commander Jory for his performance for most of the season. As long as school or slow public transportation isn't in the way, Jory does an excellent job commanding the guy and filling in whenever needed in a variety of positions. He, along with a few others on board, are what we tend to call "utility infielders"; able to fill in at any post at any time.

Lt. Commander Mitch has taken on more responsibility this season trimming the chute and the jib. He's really starting to get the gist of of trim, sail shape, and draft. I feel that with a little more time and practice, it will all come together for us. Mitch has also been vital to EBYRA as a whole in offering free transportation services to Brooklyn each night to three single women, now forever to be known as "Mitch's Bitches." A commendation goes in Mitch's file as well as an unofficial "Atta Boy" for the babes.

Not only has Ellen proven to be dedicated schedule-wise on weeknights and weekends, she has been a tremendous help in keeping the Enterprise at her "Flagship" status, helping in clean-up, repairs and upgrades. And before you say "She's your girlfriend, Edd. She has to," those who have been with the team for several years will remember that the previous girlfriends did not. As Dave said earlier in the season, "This one's a keeper." Well, more on that later. In the meantime, Ellen is awarded an increase in rank to Lt. Commander.

Lt. Jonathan may have finally worked out his calculations for traveling through time. Actually, not "through" as much as it is "in". You see, in previous years and in the first half of the season this year, Jonathan had a reputation of always being late. After buying a few crew dinners, it looks like he's conquered this problem and we don't need to chip in for an executive coach for him.

Lt. Zoraida had a tough year -- aside from professional challenges, she also went through the painful medical procedure of removing a Denebian Slime Devil named Steve from her ass. Still, it looks like things are picking up for her and we hope to see her back in 2012 and beyond as a valued member of the team. But, you know, Zoraida, bringing a cookie now and then again would be nice.

Two years ago, I was put in the unfortunate position of demoting Kurt to the rank of Ensign for his lack of reporting to duty on the Enterprise. I'm happy to see that Kurt has reinvested himself and am equally as happy to restore his rank to Lieutenant. We are especially thankful to Kurt for his performance last week when he, singlehandedly, threw his body in front of each of oncoming wave just to keep the deck of the Enterprise and the rest of the crew dry. And, the State of New York was thankful that they no longer have to test the water post-Irene for toxicity levels between storm runoff and sewerage -- Kurt is still alive!

Beth, when not hiking trails or traveling to who knows where has done extremely well on the foredeck team. This marks Beth's first full season on board, having joined us midway through last season. She's always the first to reply to crew-availaibility emails and I owe her thanks for helping Dave, Kurt and I for our annual corporate cruise last month. Effective immediately, she is increased to the rank of Ensign.

Emily has been hard to read all season -- Is she having fun? Does she like racing? Is she getting along with the rest of the crew? Will she stick with it? Well, many of those questions were answered last night when, after being asked by someone if the centerboard was up yet, she replied "I'm still working on the FUCKING topping lift!" And here we thought she was this sweet girl who worked with flowers and plants all day. Damn! Nevertheless, we hope she continues on in 2012 and beyond. She is awarded an increase of rank to Ensign.

Alex brings to the men on the Enterprise something we've been lacking for quite some time now: Youth and strength. I've been very impressed with Alex's enthusiasm and willingness to learn more and I sincerely hope he chooses to stick with it for next year and the years to come. I think his biggest hurdle is finding a way, without a transporter, to get to City Island from his office in Manhattan. Thankfully, he has all winter to work that out. Effective this stardate, he is increased in rank to Ensign.

Finally, I ask all crew to look around for a person or two they think may be suitable to join the ranks next year. Tell them about the Enterprise, our great crew and our Prime Directive: "Wherever we go, we go boldly."

See you next Wednesday for our Race 20.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11168.8
The season appears to be winding down and we're now seeing a bit of attrition by the crew meeting their post-Labor Day work and school needs. Missing from last night's race was Captain's Dave's entire foredeck team of Lt. Zoraida and Crewman Beth and the guy's guy himself, Commander Jory Stark.

Winds were shifty, but quite strong coming out of the East, and Dave did his best briefing his new team of Lt. Kurt and Commander Richard on the ins and outs of the busy Enterprise foredeck.

Our start was in the middle of the pack, sandwiched between Forza and the Terrorist. Thanks to the increase of breeze, we were holding our own in clean air and making way through the chop. Then, the breeze shifted a little more to the South and then increased to 18-20. Add to that 4-foot rolling waves building from down the Sound. Finally! Conditions that this starship was designed for!

As other boats in our division beared off to deal with the wind and waves, we never did, holding our wind angles and moving steadily through it all. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the awesome power of the Starship Enterprise!

And while the Enterprise showed no signs of stress or fatigue, on our last tack on the upwind leg, Kurt was now completely drenched head to toe and my father was having a little problem with a little thing known as gravity. I feared that just one more degree of heel and we would have been on a rescue mission.

We rounded the mark well ahead of everyone, turned 90 degrees and set the chute. The Enterprise accelerated to a steady (yes, steady) Warp 9.2!!



Now, remember when you were younger and were playing video games on your Atari 2600? And do you remember when, sometimes, the situation would arise in which you chose a certain path and saw impending doom ahead -- so much so that you wanted to pull the cartridge and reset the game? Well, that's what my GPS looked like. There we were, a little black arrow surrounded in white and up ahead, scrolling very quickly downward was darker blue (shallow water) and yellow (land.)

So, naturally, I called for a jibe. And aside from traveling over Warp 9 in complete darkness with a different foredeck crew, what could possibly go wrong with that?

"Are we ready to jibe?" I yelled.
Nothing.
I yelled louder: "ARE WE READY TO JIBE??"
I heard two people say ready.
So, I started to jibe.
Over 100 miles away, children were awoken startled by the yell from Dave on the foredeck. "Noooooooooooo!!!!" It was a yell so loud it revived each John and Jane Doe laid to rest on Hart Island.

So I waited. But the video game GPS was getting worse. And in this game, we don't get extra lives. I went to increase the zoom level on the device but then realized I was two levels lower than where I thought I was.

As a starship captain, it is part of my job to remain calm and controlled for the benefit of the crew around him. So, it was with much calm and much control that I yelled forward "I'm running out of fucking water!! I need to jibe now!"

I'm still not sure what was going on up there. Reports are that Dave could not move the spinnaker pole because Kurt was hanging on for dear life. Just another example of how self preservation gets in the way of good racing.

The yellow land line was getting closer. Warp 9.2 still. I glanced forward to the trees on Hart Island. 30 boat lengths. 20 boat lengths. Then Dave said ready! Yes!

But we weren't. Not really.

I turned the Enterprise towards the finish and, from what I can tell, the spinnaker jibed and then, for lack of a better explanation, tacked. It also then, somehow, wrapped the halyard around the top jib roller and maybe, though hard to imagine, around the mast light. It was, and index this all you want Google, the spinnaker clusterfuck to end all spinnaker clusterfucks.

But at least we weren't heading towards Hart Island any longer. I ordered the spinnaker down and the foredeck team, exhausted yet happy to be alive, worked to get it down over the next few minutes. Because of the wraps around the top, we were unable to get the jib out, but we still pressed on with the main alone at Warp 7.1. How bad was it up there? Let's just say any plans I had for cruising to Northport or Oyster Bay this weekend have been shot to hell.

With less than a mile to go, still on the main alone in the Warp 7 range we made a shocking discovery. There were no stern lights ahead -- just the faint glow from the committee boat. All that, and we were still in first place! Lt. Kenny even suggested that we drop the main and drift over the line just to "show them".

Later that evening, the results confirmed it -- a first for the Enterprise. Well-earned and well-deserved, too. We said our goodbyes to Lt. Jonathan (it was his final race of the season) and to Lt. Kenny who is heading out to Hong Kong for the next two years (Lt. Commander Mitch already asked him if he knows of any good American take-out restaurants.)

Only one more Wednesday Night Race to go. If anyone is available on Sunday for a little mast climbing, let me know, otherwise we'll have to get an early start next week prior to racing to clean up up there.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11166.8
Between the earthquake, hurricane, tornados and severe flooding in the northeast recently, I'm reminded of Ming The Merciless (played to perfection by Max Von Sydow) being asked by Clytus if he's going to destroy this planet in the SK system that the inhabitants call Earth during the opening scene of the mid-1980's Flash Gordon movie, to which Ming happily replies, "Later, I'd like to play with things awhile . . .before annihilation. " Then cue the real star of the film; the soundtrack by Queen. Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum (lightning-bolt) Flash! Ah-ahhh! Savior of the Universe! (it's in your head now - admit it. Click here!)

It also seemed that part of Ming's destructive plan was to suck all of the wind out of Eastchester Bay last night, leaving the Enterprise, and thirty other ships, all drifting around as lifeless as Sam J. Jones' acting career. Who is Sam J. Jones you ask? The guy who played Flash Gordon, of course. And I rest my case.

I think the worst part is we had some hope. When Captain Dave, Lt. Ellen and I arrived at the Enterprise, Commander Richard and Lt. Zoraida were already well into re-rigging the boat after the big storm. And, as other crew arrived while I did some quick engineering repairs on the lower decks, it looked like the wind was trying to come in a bit. Certainly not enough to give the Enterprise any real power, but enough to get a race in.

The race committee decided on a long course, in hopes that things would build. How long a course? To Pluto. And back.

Without Flash Gordon to save us, the wind got lighter and lighter. On our second windward leg, crew focus turned from sail trim to iPhones and BlackBerrys. There was some snoring on the foredeck and a point where Lt. Ellen was strongly considering opening the overnight lockers, grabbing a pillow and blanket, and giving the Froli Sleep System installed in the Captain's Quarters berth a real try.

Stuck in subwarp for seemingly days on end, there was even a moment where the Enterprise had a 1-knot wake but, thanks to the current, was standing absolutely still.

Subspace communications (the VHF radio) came alive with questions about time limits, who has finished and vessels withdrawing. Finally, at 9:45, we got the call that nobody in our division finished and our time limit expired. And then, thanks to the 50HP Universal Diesel below, the Enterprise saw over Warp 5 for the first time of the night.

Oh well -- it happens. Still, with the amazing sunset over NYC and the great temperature, it was a great night to be on the water. There are two races to go in the Wednesday Night Series (along with our annual 20th Race of the 19-Race Series) , then, hopefully, we will compete in the PWYC Charity Cup again.