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.