Captain's Log: Stardate 11256.6
When I woke up this morning, still tired from last night's race, I thought to myself how good it might be if we had enough interested crew and the Enterprise was set to be heading down the East River this morning to compete in the Around Long Island Regatta again.

And, later, as I got in my car and drove to my office, seeing the lightning and heavy downpours, I started to think, maybe, it was a good thing that we weren't heading down the East River this morning.

But it wasn't until I got to my office and launched that I felt relief that we were NOT going down the East River, as this was the warning splashed on the front page: "Damaging Winds Possible for Northeast", complete with a graphic showing all of New York in menacing red with the primary risks of "widespread damaging winds", "large hail" and, oh hell why not, a "chance of tornado".

And that's just for the start. The next two days looks to be also filled with fun-filled 30+ gusts and scattered thunderstorms.

Then again, it could be one hell of an adventure.

Nevertheless, it appears, once again, the crew's foresight was 20/20. That is, all except for Captain Dave, who is temporarily assigned to duty on Captain Jeff Ohstrom's Aeromarine-Class USS Star for the race. As I write this, Dave is out there, boldly going, ready for what lies ahead... Good luck, my friend.

But no discussion of high winds and extreme racing would be complete without its antithesis, Wednesday Night Racing on Eastchester Bay - a 0% chance of rain and a breeze that never went above 5 knots. Was it from the north? the south? the west? Your guess was as good as mine. On the second leg, there were boats 100 feet away who were in a completely different breeze.

There was even a point where the top of the mast was reading a northerly but in the cockpit we were feeling a southerly.

Chute up, chute down, chute up again. The last upwind leg was now a jibe-set downwind leg. Is that wind pressure over there or more bunker being chased by stripers? Why is Chaika headed right for us when the mark is that way?

So many questions. So confusing. Early on, I've learned that the key to light-air sailing, above all, is concentration. But, it's so hard not to get frustrated and I can tell the crew were starting to daydream -- some about food, some about work, some about sex (there was even a crude joke about "supplemental log entries") and some about the Summer Olympics Women's Volleyball teams.

We crossed the line fifth and I was very proud of the crew's accomplishments in difficult conditions, though, at one point, Crewman Ceaser complained that grinding for the spinnaker trimmer was "the worst job on the boat."

Try paying the bills, C.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11254.6
With severe thunderstorm watches in effect for the entire quadrant, it was fortunate that we were able to reach most of the crew to turn them around before trekking (I just don't use that word enough) to City Island.

Lt. Ellen and I arrived at the club to find EBYRA Principal Race Officer Eben standing on the steps, waiting for the right time to blow off the racing for the night from the shore -- launch service was suspended and there was no way to get out to the committee boat. At 6:15, he made the call.

How bad was the lightning? Not far from the MYBC dock and, scary enough, not more than a 100 yards or so from the Enterprise, a powerboat was hit by lightning, resulting in a explosion and fire that, according to eyewitnesses, rivaled any Hollywood action movie.

Flames engulfed the cabin and flybridge in no time. Had anyone been on board, they surely would have perished. NYC fireboats came out to extinguish the boat and put it back on her mooring (the flames burned through the original lines.)

This is what's left -- and notice how close it was to the Enterprise:

Hopefully next week will be a little more of what we're used to weather-wise.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11252.7
While most of the crew were unaware, last Wednesday night, more so than in a long time, I really NEEDED to be out on the Enterprise. There's something so grounding about sailing through the final frontier and watching the team perform their maneuvers.

The winds were not too light and we were certainly able to get the starship moving, but another five knots or so would have made a world of difference.

We started sandwiched between Chaika and about four other boats, looking for our own piece of clean air, but never really finding it until everyone started splitting up to go right or go left.

The crew did really really well, especially with our spinnaker sets and a rarely-done takedown followed by a fast jibe around the mark. In fact, people did so well that I rally have been struggling to find something funny to say about it.

The best part, aside from the sunset and being with my friends, was that we didn't finish last. At this rate, first place could be ours by, um, the year 2262.

The week prior, several members of the crew and their families came out for our annual July 4th Fireworks Cruise. We had nine adults on board and five children -- all thoroughly enjoying the cruise, swimming, sunset and amazing fireworks display over our heads courtesy of the town of Glen Cove.

Everyone was in a very patriotic mood, and what a joy to hear some singing from the foredeck:

And, thanks to Ensign Emily, we have a few minutes of video of the fireworks display:

Afterwards, as we warped home, we saw a tremendous thunderstorm brewing - doing all we could to stay on the leading edge of the storm. It was very sad to hear the next day of the three deaths on board a 34-foot powerboat just a few miles away in Oyster Bay right in the middle of it all.

Our hearts go out to the families.