Stardate 11348.8

Captain's Log: Stardate 11348.8
Oh man, where do I begin? Last night's race was another epic EBYRA clusterfuck that I even had to file a request for redress to have the results for our division and the one after us tossed out.

Why, you ask? Was it because the Race Committee was too lazy to go into postponement and reset the line when the pin was favored by 45 degrees? Was it because the first mark was West and the winds were coming from the Southwest making our first leg a fetch -- yet again? Was it because EBYRA has a standing policy for over 20 years that no tacks on the first leg means abandonment and it's not published, even still after last week's debacle? Was it because the organization should change its name now to the EBYPA? (Eastchester Bay Yacht Parade Association)

It's all of the above.

If it wasn't for a few close calls with five other boats at the start and mark roundings, I could have taken a nap for the entire race and just let the autopilot drive. Straight course to first mark, straight course to the second mark...

Seriously, My crew was so bored, I began to worry if I had enough pillows and bedding on board.

And where are the reps? Let's see. One is sick, two are at Block Island this week, another only races in another state, another one prefers to race on a different night, and another one is absent, probably still crying over the loss of his J/24 -- probably the only good thing to come out of Superstorm Sandy last year.

And we shot a photon torpedo at another one last week (see the video from the previous log entry - it's going viral on YouTube!)

The most exciting part of the night was the pre-start rain shower (Note: If you ever want it to stop raining, have your entire crew put on foul weather gear) followed by a double rainbow:

Now I'm sure Spock (Um, I mean Kurt) would say, rainbows are caused by the reflection and refraction of sunlight through water droplets in the atmosphere. The water droplets act as individual refractors and reflectors that "split" (refract) the light into the respective colors of the rainbow. The refracted light is reflected off the back surface of the individual rain drops and to the observer.

But, personally, I think rainbows come from space, as clearly proven in this video:

Oh well, we'll see what happens with the request for redress (at the rate this group moves, we should know sometime in the year 2037), but, in the meantime, we'll look forward to next week's race, the day before America's birthday.

Stardate 11346.8

Captain's Log: Stardate 11346.8
Well, I've only been doing this for 20 years here, but I'll go out on a limb anyway: Last night was the worst EBYRA Wednesday Night Racing ever.

It's not about wind (there wasn't much) -- there's nothing anyone can do about that. It's not about weather -- it was a gorgeous night with comfortable temps and low humidity. Nope, everything that was wrong about last night happened on the committee boat. Quite simply, when the wind is coming from 150-170 degrees, you don't send the fleet to a first mark at 195 degrees.

The race screamed "fetch" so loud that every canine in the Bronx was ready for action.

We started on port, ducked High Heels and Wuestwind, did no tacks (and we were overtrimmed for the course), rounded the mark and reached back.

Really. That's it. Last night's race summed up right there.

And if you read that sentence slow enough, you'll match the amount of time we spent on the race course; 25 minutes, 15 seconds.

That's after an hour in the car and a night before shopping for supplies, food and drinks. I swear, it makes you rethink the whole racing thing.

At least, prior to the start, we got to test the new Enterprise weapons systems:

And, we got to end the race with a super spread of different meals ranging from sushi to fried chicken, from Milky Ways to tortilla chips, and from orzo salad to an italian appetizer made of sausages and cheeses - all despite our knowing just how dangerous it is, on the Enterprise, to mix pasta and anti-pasta.

Luckily the universe didn't explode on us, and we will be back with more fun, and more food, for next week's race.

Supplemental Entry

Captain's Log: Supplemental
This morning, Eastchester Bay lost a friend. Diana Reichstetter, 64, of City Island, was diagnosed with late-stage leukemia a month ago and passed away this morning, June 13, 2013.

As Commodore of EBYRA for 13 years and a member of the EBYRA Board for many more, Diana was a tremendous help to me and the organization by serving on the EBYRA race committee boat helping to run the races we enjoy each week. I can't remember a single instance when she was helping out where a finish time was entered wrong or a boat wasn't accounted for. Diana was also a member of City Island Yacht Club.

Services and a reception in honor of her life will be on Monday, 11:00am, in Larchmont, at the John J. Fox Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the New Rochelle Humane Society.

Eight bells and fair winds, Diana. Rest in Peace.

Stardate 11344.9

Captain's Log: Stardate 11344.9
As the upper edge of the massive storm "el Dorecho" dumps inches and inches of rain on the Northeast all day today and into part of tomorrow, it is hard to believe that for last night's race we had 10 knots of breeze and sunny skies. By the way, "el Derecho" is Spanish for "Wet, Windy Asshole". I looked it up. No need for you to.

Sailing on the Enterprise last night was amazingly fun and I love having Enterprise-on-the-brain on Thursday mornings -- so much so, that when entering the elevator of my office building, I have to remind myself not to say "bridge" as the doors close - especially when there are other people in there.

What I do when I'm alone in the elevator is none of your business.

Back to last night - we had a good start and a fast first upwind leg, rounding the first mark in first place, but with the Klingon Bird of Prey High Heels close behind. We quickly set out the wing-on-wing configuration right afterwards and we were on our way downwind at Warp 5.5 towards Kings Point. A fast jibe and tack around Mark P, and we gained more ground on the final upwind leg, finishing several minutes ahead (on corrected time too) of the fleet. Another first!

It was a job well-done by the crew, even with that smug "I can do that better than you" look on Dave Jr.'s face watching Ceaser and Kurt handle the genoa during tacks.

Speaking of Dave Jr., there will be some official recognition in the next week or two. I can't be more specific at this time as to what, and certainly can't be more specific as to when, mostly because UPS does not deliver at Warp Speed.

We did have a few surprises, though. The first was the return of Lt. Zoraida, nicknamed "cookie", who actually came with cookies! And, despite her Latina heritage, she swears that the return of "el Zoraida" had nothing to do with the arrival of "el Dorecho".

The second surprise was the sushi-free post-race festivities with bottled wine, warmish beer, birthday cupcakes, and Mark Tucker tortilla chips (very Limey) and an additional birthday gift from my bride - a foredeck hammock! Now, I'm well aware that it should only be used at a mooring on a quiet day, but there should be a way to use it for racing, perhaps with my autopilot remote control. Hmmmmm.

Standings-wise, we're in first and if the wind stays above 10, the crew performs as they usually do and I continue to drive the boat from the helm and not a hammock, we should stay there. Next week is Race 06, marking the 1/3rd point in our Wednesday Night Racing season - but we are still just getting started.

Stardate 11344.1

Captain's Log: Stardate 11344.1
With another birthday come and gone, I'm trying to figure out what's bugging me about it all. Is it that I'm now officially in the upper 40's? Is it that I have trouble staying awake past 11pm? Is it the wee-hour trips to the bathroom to, um, wee?

Don't get me wrong. It was a great birthday. My bride and I spent a gorgeous day on the Enterprise followed by a great dinner at City Island's The Lobster Box and then we capped it all off with a delicious chocolate birthday cake that was actually labelled by Stew Leonards as the "bomb"! A really great day.

So why the gloomy feeling? I finally figured it out.

J.J. Abrams.

Now, I like the new movies and certainly enjoy what he has done with the franchise, but it is a reboot. It's the adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise, but just not THE Captain Kirk and not THE Mr. Spock. Heck, it's not really THE Enterprise either. And why is that? They are too old. And old looking.

(And, there's reports he's about to do something similar with Star Wars Episode VII, showing the aging Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as a segue to new, young characters, hopefully with acting skills better than the Episode I-III guys.)

I get it. I do. In order for the franchise to survive, new people need to be brought in. And nobody wants to see this on an IMAX screen:

-- and, oh God, certainly not in High Definition 3-D.

I know he's over 80 and I'm only 47, but maybe there will come a day when nobody will want to see me out there on my Enterprise. Perhaps there will come a day when people on the race course will start thinking things like "Hey old man, what are you doing on that hot-looking sail boat?"

Which leads me to last week's race -- and another evil little culprit in this disturbing mortality-reminding trend:

David Beaver, Jr.

Out of the 5 people that made it out last Wednesday, 4 were over 46 years old and 2 of those were over 60. We're all moving slower and losing focus. That is, all except little David, who we moved to tailing the headsail and in one night, was doing the job better and faster than someone who will remain nameless, but has been with me for over a decade. Hint: his name rhymes with Kurt.

By the way, Kurt said he had to miss last week's race because of work, but we all knew he was home with a fresh box of tissues watching a Blu-Ray of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II.

Little David kept us moving fast in our all-important upwind leg.

And we won. We fucking won. If I didn't love this kid so much, I'd hate him.

And, after 4 races and for the first time in what seems to be many, many years, I can say that the Enterprise is in first place overall in our division.

So we're going to push back on the clock. Now, as far as I'm concerned, Eastchester Bay is the fountain of youth and we will all forget about age and strive to keep winning. I refuse to get old. Each Wednesday Night, we'll sail fast towards the second star on the right and straight on until morning.

That is, until someone casts a bunch of 20-somethings to play us in a reboot.