Stardate 11458.1

Captain's Log: Stardate 11458.1
With the Southwesterly breeze filling in and no sign of showers anywhere in the forecast, it looked like last night's race was going to be a great one. Add to that the triumphant return of my wife to the Wednesday Night team and we were all set.

Would we sail the boat better? Probably, yes.

But will we look better doing it? Hells yeah.

I'm not really sure what happened next -- maybe it's our new casual approach to racing -- but everything went right. Everything. Our start was the best of the season, our tacks were eight seconds or less, our rounding of the first mark in heavy current went perfectly (at Warp 8 too) and there were no hang-ups, issues or mistakes.

Ensign Ceaser didn't fall down once.

Seriously, though. We started in first, rounded the upwind mark first and crossed the finish line first. And, to make the night even sweeter, we corrected into third. A superbly solid performance. Everything went so well that, for a moment, I thought about recruiting more crew and pulling the kevlar 155% genoa and two spinnakers out of storage. For a moment.

But, seriously, the hardcore racing mindset just isn't for me anymore. I don't want to think about the costs, the stress, the possible damage to the Enterprise, or even how much lighter the boat would be when Ensign Dave Jr. loses his hair in about 15 years.

Instead, my biggest worry will be whether to call him Kojak, Blofeld, or Jean-Luc.

We finished the night scarfing down tortilla chips with mild Wise salsa (not over Wise; that would be way too intellectual for this group,) while the crew admired our new automatic nighttime running lights, which also seems to be a hit for the launch drivers during the late-night shifts, using the Enterprise as a "waypoint" to find other boats.

Stardate 11456.4

Captain's Log: Stardate 11456.4
As you already know, the Enterprise, after suffering a catastrophic centerboard drop over a month ago, has become, as far as we know, the world's (perhaps the universe's) only shoal-draft C&C 37+ in existence.

The work done by Consolidated Yacht Yards, though seemingly pricey and took a longer time than I thought it would, was done to perfection. Here, for the sake of keeping records, are photos of the completed keel:

I'm very pleased with the final result -- a maintenance-free keel that should last the lifetime of the boat.

But, I should also tell the crew not to be sad about it. There are plenty more things for them to break on board.

Stardate 11454.2

Captain's Log: Stardate 11454.2
Last night, the crew boarded the Enterprise in hopes to compete in another Wednesday Night race, but hopes dwindled fast as the wind instrument displayed readings like 4.6, 3.1 and 2.7. But, we fired up the impulse engine anyway and headed out to the starting area using the age-old philosophy handed down from the timeless wisdom of none other than sailing expert Captain Ron; "If anything is gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."

Most. Favorite. Sailing. Movie. Ever.

So we got to the starting area with the rest of the fleet, and EBYRA's P.R.O. Eben, after seeing the 2.7 breeze from the southeast, decides to move the starting area south about two miles to mark A. So, apparently as part of EBYRA's efforts to keep our dependency on fuel going strong, 35+ boats motored to Mark A, only to be left puttering around in the same breeze conditions.

Oh yeah. This is much better.

We took the opportunity to enjoy the evening's temperature and look over the other boats in the fleet, including one that was attempting to fly a spinnaker that looked like an italian national flag. Lt. Kurt looked at the scratch sheet and assumed it was the boat "Scacciapensieri", but, having trouble trying to pronounce the name, asked Ensign Ceaser Monitto to read it.

By the way, it wasn't "Scacciapensieri" either, but the J-80 "Courageous" -- which leads to the question as to why Kurt would assume that an italian could not have been "Courageous".

So much racism in that 5 minutes that I didn't know where to go from there. Be careful Kurt - don't want to see you get whacked.

And, speaking of Kurt, he announced that his neurologist would be interested in possibly joining the crew. While I have no idea if he knows anything about sailing, it may be beneficial to have someone on board who can actually explain Kurt's brain.

Anyway, as expected, the race was cancelled due to lack of wind, so we all powered back to our mooring fields, with the only solace being the spectacular sunset:

(Click on it to see it real big -- and check out those rays going through the clouds -- wow!)

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is ready for what is supposed to be a fantastic weekend weather-wise -- a high of only 82 in New York in mid-July. Global warming? Hah! Suck it, Al Gore! (See previous log entry regarding "in the face.")

Stardate 11452.6

Captain's Log: Stardate 11452.6
Well, it didn't take long for me to receive news regarding one of today's headlines: A Long Island man spends $500,000 to remodel his basement to a Star Trek collector's "shrine" and Enterprise (NX-01) bridge.

Links to Articles:

Anthony Sforza has spent the last three years building the basement, with the full support of his wife and two children, but with only mixed support from his sister who said, "I think he's a freak, but he loves it and he could be into worse things so if that's what makes him happy then that's great."

Here is the video, courtesy of Barcroft TV:

I'd like to go on record that I agree with Mr. Sforza's sister -- he is a Freak (with a capital "F".) A complete nut job. His actions give the worldwide Trek fans a bad name. It is, without a doubt, nothing short of crazy to spend that kind of time and over a half of a million dollars to do that to a basement.

He could have just bought a sailboat instead.

Stardate 11452.3

Captain's Log: Stardate 11452.3
As we prepped the Enterprise for racing last night, it felt like its been over a month since we were out here. And then I realized, wow, it has been over a month. Bad weather kept us off for the last couple of weeks, but before that, the Enterprise was undergoing repairs - which reminded me of a special commendation that needed to be presented. So, with everyone present on the bridge, I called Lt. Kurt's attention and presented him with a souvenir keychain with the engraved plastic tag that used to mark the cam cleat labelled "Centerboard".

As we got to the starting area, I heard Eben on Favored End call on the radio to Richie Coar on Chaika and then went on and on on Channel 73 about how the boat's engine is stalling, how he hit another boat, and how he is very uncomfortable with even being on board the failing committee boat (on a side note: he called Richie Coar because, out of the seven board members that run EBYRA, Richie is the only one who actually participates in EBYRA racing -- yikes!) Anyway, after close to 20 years of deep involvement with EBYRA, it was an enormous relief to know this was now somebody else's problem. But maybe I shouldn't have said "Ha Ha" when we passed by Richie's boat a minute later.

Our start was so-so -- I need to allow for more time to tack for our new casual-racing attitude, but we had good speed going up the windward leg, passing each boat in the fleet (except for one - a well-sailed C&C 37.) We had Acting Ensign Dave Jr. on the tailing, Lt. Kurt winching, Captain Dave on foredeck, my father on the main and Ensign Ceaser taking over my wife's usual duty of releasing and operations (she is taking a break from racing life.)

The releases during the tacks were, shall we say, "interesting." While Ceaser did pretty well before the start, once the race began, things were different. On one of them, and this is a first for the Enterprise, he ended up on his back on the cockpit floor.

When I got home and told the story, my wife kept asking how exactly did Ceaser end up on the cockpit floor flopping around, and it wasn't until just now that I could think of a way to describe it. So, here it is: During a crucial tack (we were close to a collision situation with another boat who would have rights on us), Ceaser decided to pay homage to a scene from the movie "Animal House" that was during the song "Shout" by Otis Day and The Knights. See this clip from YouTube right after Bluto (John Belushi) yells out "GATOR!":

Yep. That's it. Mystery solved.

We rounded the first and only mark (it was a very short race) in second and it did take us some time to get the wing-on-wing configuration set, giving Wolf an opportunity to catch up. We were neck and neck for most of the downwind leg, but I'm happy to report that, even as the wind got lighter, the Enterprise did cross ahead by 8 seconds.

We rushed to get everything away and back on the mooring before the squall come though. I must admit, as good as it felt to be racing again, it felt better to be inside the Enterprise with a downpour going on outdoors and seeing no leaks coming in from the new port light windows.