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.