Stardate 11358.4

Captain's Log: Stardate 11358.4
It was supposed to be a great night. Nice breeze and perfect weather conditions. I even worked it out to leave the office early so I can have extra time on the Enterprise to install a new bilge pump and add 5.25 gallons of diesel to the tank. And, despite brutal traffic on the Cross County and the entrance to the "Hutch", I still had a good 45 minutes to get things done -- more than enough time.

I finished things up, and Commander Richard came aboard just as I was heading to the engine controls to start things up and give the batteries a good charge for the race that night.

chug... chug... chug.... Shit. It's not starting.

Battery power was at a good 12.45. We switched to the strongest of the two (so we don't drain both trying to crank the engine,) and started to pull the access panels to see if the problem was easily visible. My father and I know a lot of the basic stuff, but, as I've seen from years past, Captain Dave knows engines. I need Dave on board.

Ensign Ceaser arrived next, wincing at the sight of the winch handles in the cockpit. I told him we were having some starting problems and he patiently waited in the cockpit. My father, my wife and I were all hunched around the engine, reviewing the troubleshooting guide and thinking that we had air in the system -- we needed to bleed the engine. It was that, or there was water in the fuel lines. We reconnected a hose, couldn't access one bleeding point and then tried the last one, which opened easily enough. No air. No fuel either. Damn.

I need Dave on board.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm always very happy to see every member of the Enterprise crew come on board, especially on a Wednesday Night. But, this was how things went over the next several minutes:

Launch approaches the boat.
Me: "Is that Dave coming on?"
Ceaser: "No, it's Zoraida."
Me: "Fuck!"

and then...

Launch approaches the boat.
Me: "Is that Dave coming on?"
Ceaser: "It's Jory."
Me: "FUCK!"

We tried several things and cranked several times in hopes that we'd get some results. But alas, we could not get things going. As the crew made their way up top, with half of us now covered in sweat and engine grease, I broke the news to the team: No race tonight guys, sorry.

And then, with a sigh, I made that phone call to Consolidated Yachts on City Island to leave a lengthy voicemail about them coming out to do repairs, with the silent prayer that it's nothing major.

We all sat up there and tried to enjoy the evening as the fleet sailed by less than a mile away. I tried to shift my thoughts from the massive repair bill that may lie ahead along with the time the Enterprise may be out of commission by telling the tale of the so-called "J/24 Jihad" on EBYRA and the recent Coast Guard involvement. And then, I looked at my wife, who was sitting on the rear port-side seat.

It can't be that. It just can't. Fuck. Is it that? Can't be. Dammit. I gotta check.

"Hon, can you move for a sec?"

I opened the panel and almost cried. The engine stop cable was still in the stop position. You have got to be fucking kidding me. All that. For nothing. I reset the cable and engaged the starter. The engine started in less than three cranks.

So, in the end, we missed a great night of racing, all wasted spending time troubleshooting an engine problem that turned out to be one of the most simplest solutions. In the end, we did clear out some of the fuel filter and reconnected a return hose, so it's at least a relief to know the Enterprise is in top working order and still has its Federation Flagship status.

My father, along with Jory and Zoraida, left after a short while to get into his vehicle for a ride back to New Jersey by way of Manhattan. Interestingly enough, my father did leave his eyeglasses on board the Enterprise. Thanks to the modern technologies of GPS tracking, cellular waypoints, Internet streaming and traffic cameras, we were able to obtain this footage of my father driving last night without his glasses: