Stardate 11356.4

Captain's Log: Stardate 11356.4
After taking a week off due to work demands (Kurt), a trip to Florida (Ceaser), a dislocated ankle (Dave), and an apparent unwillingness to come sailing (Zoraida), the Enterprise returned to actually race in EBYRA's Wednesday Night Race Series. It did feel good to have the team assembled again, but I must admit, going out there the week before just to snap photos was a nice diversion:

Last night's conditions could not have been better. A nice breeze, great temperatures and low humidity, with practically every ship in the fleet raring to go. Perfection, I tell you. Perfection. So how does EBYRA start this great night with such great conditions? With a postponement. We couldn't see any reason why other than, perhaps, the J/24 fleet hovering around our windward mark. In other words: They race, we wait.

Load photon torpedo. Lock targeting sensors. Fire!

On board for her first race ever, was Mrs. Ceaser, Olga, who came with her camera in a quest to capture all of the action as it unfolds. But first, before we start, a shot of the crew:

Wow. It's amazing what a few years and some salt air will do to a group, especially considering what we used to look like:

The racing was phenomenal, including what was my best start of the season -- right at the favored end (which was the committee boat, aptly named "Favored End"), at full speed and with a fraction of a boat length between us and the line at the 0:00 mark. Unfortunately, after a few tacks and crawling between the cabin and the boom, Olga decided to spend the balance of the racing supervising the below decks of the Enterprise.

The wind lightened for a bit on the downwind leg, but increased nicely for the final upwind leg, where the Enterprise exceeded Warp 7 and we endeavored to put every pound we could on the rail. This was, of course, during this sunset:

On starboard tack, Olga stuck her head up from the companionway to take that photo and to say that there was water in the head and on the left side of the main cabin. This was, of course, perfectly natural. At higher angles of heel on a C&C37+, the sink in the head will drop below water level, and therefore will let seawater back into the boat. But, I must admit, it was fun to hear the little bit of panic in her voice.

As Gregg Manjorin from Mr. Tap Toe said on the launch later in the evening, "You guys were hauling ass!"

We did cross the line first, but corrected into 4th. Unfortunately, Time-on-Time scoring works well in a dying breeze, but not so much in a building one. Still, quite an amazing night, which some of the crew celebrated with a well-balanced nutritious meal of sushi, peanuts, and Cheez Doodles.

We're ready to return next week, but, in the meantime, we wish the best of luck to our First Officer, Captain Dave, who will be spending the next few days on Star competing in the Around Long Island Regatta. The should be fine as long as they keep the island on the left.

Stardate 11352.6

Captain's Log: Stardate 11352.6
It's hard to believe, but, as announced by the Race Committee, last night marked the mid-way point for the Wednesday Night Race Series. It feels like we just launched the boat and people are talking about half-way points! Curse you Time! Slow down, will ya?

Now on to last night's racing, and, for the first time in what seems like an eternity, it actually was racing! What a difference tacking to the first mark makes! What a difference doing any tacks makes!

But, it was clear that Ensign Ceaser was not in favor of a tacking course, given the assignment he was given of grinding on upwind legs (and there were two of them.) He grinded slow. He grunted and moaned. He turned me into one of those captains who says things like, "Grind! GRIND! Come on, GGGRRRRRIIIIIIND! You can rest when you're dead!"

I won't say exactly how slow Ceaser was, but if that winch handle were attached to a Jack-in-the-box, poor old Jack would have suffered several panic attacks from claustrophobia, resulting in thousands and thousands of dollars in therapy.

So, we had a bad start. And we had to gain ground wherever we could -- and we did. As the night went on, our maneuvers were getting better and better. We took a last-place position at the start and transformed it into a solid second place, even on corrected time. Frustrating yet sweet at the same time.

The night was really nice - good breeze, comfortable temperatures and no sign of rain in the area despite the Weather Channel's 70% forecast. Missing for the night was Lt. Zoraida and my father, Commander Richard, marking it one of those rare Wednesday Night Races where I'm not being told on a regular basis that I'm pinching, don't have enough non-skid on the deck near the main controls, or that I don't call my sister enough.

Meanwhile, as many of the log readers are aware, I'm part of a C&C email correspondence list run by a website called Many of the upgrades that we've seen on the Enterprise are thanks to the discussions on this list, including things like water supply, engine maintenance, the portlight windows and floorboards. Over the past few weeks, there has been a heated discussion about which C&C design is the best, with each list member chiming in about the accolades of his or her own boat, ranging from a C&C Redwing to the C&C 40. At the Mystic Rendezvous last year, designer Rob Ball was asked which his favorite was, only to back off saying that to pick a favorite design is like picking a favorite child.

Finally, Captain Josh Muckley of the "Sea Hawk" based in Solomons, Maryland asked:

Alright guys, I've been biting my tongue. Is there no love for the 37+? For me the boat has been everything I ever wanted. Looks, performance, build quality, accommodations, and regular pier side compliments. How about some props Edd and Ken?
To which I replied:

I'm with ya! Ever since I saw the design of the C&C 37+ back in 1989, I thought -- perfection! When I was boat shopping in 2005, I finally got to step aboard one and I couldn't write the check fast enough.

I mean -- just look at this deck plan and accommodation plan -- It doesn't get any better than that! Don't squint or rub your eyes -- you saw it -- that's a walk-around queen-sized berth back there! So, as they say on MTV: Respect, Biotches! (Ok, I don't watch MTV and really don't know what that really means, but I'm ranting here.)

Just last night before racing, a big gust came through. Other crews were scrambling to get to the high side as their angle of heel put their rails under water. We were casually sailing along, drinking water, and discussing current events, all while the boat hummed along at 7.2 knots (Warp 7.2). Perfection I tell you -- perfection!

And yeah, I was at the Mystic Rendezvous last year and I heard Rob Ball's response saying that to pick a favorite design is like picking your favorite child, but come on, those of you with kids know that it's the older ones that are the most disappointing. You learned from your mistakes and the younger ones are the best. Let's just all admit it and let's move on.

This is coming from the first born of the family too. :-)
(Note: The 34+,R,XL and the 37+,R,XL were some of Ball's last designs in the C&C line.) and (Note: If I'm not in earshot, my father would totally corroborate the younger-is-better statement. Maybe even if I am in earshot.)

I think that pretty much settles it. Looking forward to next week's adventure.

Stardate 11351.0

Captain's Log: Stardate 11351.0
Last night, the Enterprise voyaged to Hempstead Harbor to anchor off the Glen Cove breakwater with a group of friends on board to celebrate America's 237th Birthday. The conditions could not have been more perfect for the trip out, the swimming, the dinner on board, and the other festivities.

And, of course, what would July 4th be without a spectacular fireworks display over the rig? Here are some highlights:

One of the highlights of the day were a couple of visits by other C&C boat owners, who I know from a C&C email list (a great resource for owners to reach out to other owners for information and get-togethers) including Kirk Sneddon, a member of the Hempstead Harbor Yacht Club. Kirk owns a C&C 29, and a really nice guy to be sure, but, above all, we all appreciated the relevance of having a captain named Kirk step aboard the Enterprise.

And he admitted that he had to see the boat with his own eyes after hearing we had dilithium crystals on board.

Everyone got along great and the Enterprise is still in great condition, especially the condition of the head, which, we think, is thanks to the pre-boarding briefing on best practices around a marine toilet -- including a mandate that if you miss the bowl, you must clean up the floor. And we all know, after cleaning urine off a boat floor a few times, you'll be able to pee through a Cheerio at twenty paces.

There's not much to report on the Wednesday Night Racing the evening before, other than the massive downpours that sent most crews below deck. Races cancelled.

There was some breeze out there and I suppose we could have gotten some racing in, but I'm getting the idea that EBYRA is becoming less and less about racing nowadays anyway.

Anyway, a trip out to Oyster Bay may be in order this weekend, including a trip to our favorite restaurant there, Canterbury's Oyster Bar and Grill. Lobster Clam Bake.... Yummmmmmm.