Captain's Log: Stardate 11248.9
The King's Point weather buoy was showing 17-25 last night, arguably conditions the Enterprise was designed for. But the heavy air combined with a few missing key people, had us deciding that it may be better to blow off the race and just go out for a little evening pleasure cruise.

Besides, it was doubtful we'd even make the start with Commander Jory at school, Ensign Emily at work, Crewman Nicole in Yankees post-game traffic and Lt. Kurt stuck on a slow moving express bus, despite my text-message suggestions to tell the driver that if the bus drops below 50 miles per hour, it will explode, followed by a suggestion that he approach the driver in where Kurt explains that, as a lieutenant in Starfleet, he needs to "pull rank" and demand that the bus increase speed and ignore traffic laws.

As we heard horns and radio calls from the committee boat, we used impulse drive to clear the mooring field, then engaged the warp drive by unfurling the jib. We turned east and accelerated to Warp 7 while a spread of cookies, boxed wine, margaritas, chips and salsa was passed around the bridge.

We got to Oyster Bay and turned around, having such a delightful evening that almost had me rethinking the whole cruising vs. racing thing.

Great conditions, great friends and lots of laughter.

Next week, due to America's Birthday, there won't be a race. Instead, the Enterprise will be carrying on its long-standing tradition of a fireworks cruise.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11247.0
Yesterday Starfleet was put on high alert. It seems that some force of unknown origin has pulled New York City and the entire Northeast portion of the United States a million miles closer to the sun. When we arrived at the Enterprise, I wondered just how warm the interior would be, surrounded by humidity and all hatches sealed up tight.

When I opened the hatch, I was met with a blast of hot air that could melt the polar ice cap. And then, without an environmental suit, I stepped down below.

The first Enterprise-themed sauna. A few more minutes down there and I could have finally dropped below the 200-pound mark.

Whoever was going to be repacking the chute tonight was going to be one unhappy camper and it had me thinking back to many years ago on the Enterprise-A when Andy Brick went below to pack the chute in the middle of August, then came back up drenched in sweat only to say, "It sucks down there."

Come to think of it, I believe that was Andy's last race.

The wind, all 7 knots of it, was coming from the North, which was a bit of a surprise given all our expectations for a South-Southeasterley thermal of epic speeds to cool off NYC's one double-oh-my-God heat index.

On board for the first time, was Crewman Nicole, proving to all that she does, in fact, exist. After getting acquainted with where things are on the Enterprise, we gave her some old kneepads and put her on the foredeck with Captain Dave. That'll teach her for missing the first third of the season.

She did well, learning the mish-mosh of control lines and dodging around the deck during tacks, until, during the third tack, her prescription sunglasses lunged outward, did a half-backflip and soared on a semi-perfect arc resulting in a minimum-splash entry into Eastchester Bay. And the judges say:

This was, of course, after the worst start of my career, where, at 20 seconds to go, the Enterprise was doing Warp 0.8 in an area of zero breeze at about 7,000 boat lengths from the line.

Add to that some slow tacks and trying to find pockets of pressure while trying to avoid big currents, and our performance was so heartbreakingly sad that I expect Adele to write a song about it anyday now.

We did, however, discover the magical four words to better performance downwind:
Do. Not. Distract. Richard.

As we headed back in, the shuttle pilot (launch driver) mentioned that Lt. Kurt was on the dock at 7:00pm looking for us. Sorry, Kurt. We waited as long as we could.

With a third of the season behind us, I think it may be time to do some further training to increase crew performance. It may also be time to move some people around to positions they may be better suited to doing. Hmmmmm.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 11245.1
As I see it, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority owes the crew dinner and a movie, because we they fucked us pretty good last night. Both Commander Jory and Lt. Zoraida spent the better part of an hour on platforms waiting for trains to arrive until seeing that making it to the Enterprise in time was not going to happen.

Crewman Nicole was also a no-show as was the new mystery crewman from Dave’s Kayak club.

That left us with seven. And a half – eleven year-old David Jr., whose attendance this year is already surpassing some of the regulars.

We need crew so bad that I’m going to suggest that chloroform-soaked rags be standard away-team gear for anyone traveling in large groups in which there is at least one good candidate in the crowd.

Frustrating just doesn’t cover it. And I thought running the Enterprise with eight was tough. Seven is just a comedy of errors just waiting to happen.

But, I’m happy to say that some of it worked – Crewman Ceasar and Lt. Kurt did a few under-eight-second tacks that had people asking “Jory who?” – Don’t worry Jory, there were a few 45-second tacks too and one mark rounding hardening-up that took over two minutes and me leaving the helm to clear the lines.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the jibe that sent the boom across the deck followed by, flying through the air, Kurt’s hands, arms, torso and legs – feet flapping through the breeze like a tattered flag. The landing would have certainly hurt had he not used Caesar to break his fall.

Commendations to Captain Dave, Lt. Ellen and Ensign Emily for stepping up while short handed, not only doing their jobs flawlessly but also others without missing a beat. Especially challenging was the jibe-set on the fourth leg which went incredibly well and saved the Enterprise from heading towards the rocky shoreline of City Island at Warp 6.

In the end, slow maneuvers cost us any respectable positioning in the fleet. I’m hopeful once again that by next week we’ll have a standard crew compliment and get the Enterprise running like she’s meant to be run.

In the meantime, as much as I couldn’t stand the entire premise of Wesley Crusher on TNG, I’m assigning, effective this Stardate, an active-duty field commission for David Beaver, Jr. to the rank of Crewman.

Or is that Crewhalfman?

Captain's Log: Stardate 11243.2
As I mentioned, it is now a fact that you need at least nine people to run a starship. Because last night, once again, we had eight. And a half.

Things went wrong. Badly wrong. And as I sit here at my desk in Starfleet Headquarters reflecting on the reasons, I think, ultimately, it comes down to the crew's lack of understanding of the word "redundancy".

For example, should the Enterprise have some sort of season-ending malfunction, Commander Richard made it clear that he would move the decommissioned Enterprise-A, now named "Blonde Vivienne", to Eastchester Bay, we'd pay an entry fee, and Viola! We'd be racing again. Redundancy.

So when Lt. Kurt bent his left thumb back to his wrist while grinding on the first upwind leg, he didn't see that he had a perfectly good thumb on his other hand, not to mention eight other perfectly good fingers. See? Redundancy.

And when Captain Dave took his attention away from the first jibe maneuver and subsequent take-down to make sure his son David Jr. - the aforementioned half man - didn't fall off the boat, he didn't remember that he has another perfectly healthy, safe and dry son at home. See? Redundancy.

And during that take-down, as Crewman Ceaser dropped the halyard and Commander Richard didn't ease the sheet, I saw my spinnaker twist, load up with stress and head for the water, knowing all the time that there is another chute down below. Redundancy.

Fuck that. Don't screw up my chute!

Another problem is that I'm beginning to think the crew want to switch their positions around, because many spent their time and energy focusing on everyone else's jobs and not their own. Tacks were slow, sets were slow, jibes were slow. I could type a thousand words on how that all made me feel, but I think the following image pretty much covers it:

Want to feel old? Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was released 30 years ago this week. 30! Shit!

Crewman Ceaser: How did we do tonight, Captain?
Captain Edd: Horribly.
Crewman Ceaser: After all that!!?
Captain Edd: Because of all that.

And speaking of age, after we brought the Enterprise back to standard orbit, Lt. Ellen set up a fantastic spread of Kentucky Fried Chicken, corn on a stick, gravy, biscuits, vegees and mashed potatoes for the crew to dine on, all in celebration of my upcoming 46th birthday. Worth noting, after finishing a drumstick, Lt. Kurt stood up, reached out, and said, "I would like to grab a breast."

Well, yeah, who wouldn't?

The night ended with a delicious birthday cake and a box of Dunkin Donuts, which did wonders for lifting my sprits and made it a truly wonderful night. I almost totally forgot that it took the team 1.6 minutes to set up the food down below and 3.3 minutes to take down the spinnaker. Thank you all.