Stardate 11557.8

Captain's Log: Stardate 11557.8
What an amazing sight -- to see the Enterprise floating again with her crew on board ready to go. Down below, waiting for its first run, was a brand new Beta Marine 30 diesel engine with 0.1 hours on her.

After a small temperature issue (an air pocket in the fresh-water system that was cured by a half-bottle of Aquafina - available in fine marine supply stores everywhere,) we were on our way out of the Consolidated docks into City Island Harbor and then over to Eastchester Bay to compete again in the Wednesday Night Race Series.

"We missed you," "Welcome back," "Really happy to see you back on the water," and "hope your new engine lives long and prospers" were just a few of the comments we received over the radio and e-mail.

The Enterprise has returned!

Missing for the night were Crewman Elizabeth and Ensign Ceaser, who both apparently did not have a long enough break from sailing.

Our start put us right in the middle of a very crowded line, but we gained some speed as soon as we found some clear air. Our tacks were sharp, well-executed and fast. I mean, wow, really well executed and fast.

"You guys are doing amazing! Did you crew on another boat while we were out of commission?" I asked.

"Shh. Don't tell him," I heard in a conversation from the foredeck.

As Wuestwind and Sea Castle fought it out for first and second, we were solidly in third around each mark and all the way to the finish line.

A really wonderful first night back -- and not a single comment about how everything was delayed a week and a half while we waited on a new shaft to be put into my bottom. That is, until we were taking down the main sail and Lt. Ellen asked Lt. Kurt if he had a strap on, followed by Ensign Dave Jr.'s Yonkers High School Football hopes to become a tight end.

For next week's race, we will have a special guest crew person, a name-partner in one of St. Louis' top litigation firms, who has sailed in the Chicago-Mac and regularly races on the brown-water Mississippi (which, by the way, has brown water for a completely different reason than why Eastchester Bay had brown water for so many years. Thank you New York City Sewer Department.)

On a separate note, I recently donated $10 to a group of charities favorited by J.J. Abrams, which earned me this badge to place on this Captain's Log blog:

Don't get the wrong idea -- it's not because I care about those charities as well or any of that crap. That $10, besides providing me with a minimal tax deduction, also gives me 100 entries in a drawing to win a walk-on role in STAR TREK Beyond, the next movie due to be released in Winter 2016. So, fingers crossed, you may get to see me on the deck of another Enterprise soon.

Stardate 11550.1

Captain's Log: Stardate 11550.1
It's been a very troubling couple of weeks but we're starting to see the light at the end of the wormhole. A new Beta 30 engine should be delivered to Consolidated Yacht Yards on City Island at some point today and, hopefully, the install will not take all that long. It's my hope that we will be back to active duty by next week.

So here's what happened: The Bussard Collector Ramscoop experienced a Level 5 Contamination resulting in a failure of the containment system, allowing anti-matter to unsafely mix with the matter storage system. When the impulse engine was engaged, anti-matter was in the warp coils and caused a breakdown of the verterium curtenide. Since anti-matter does not compress in a subspace field, the plasma injectors failed, resulting in a systemic breakdown of secondary and tertiary components, ultimately rendering the Enterprise's impulse drive inert.

For those of you who did not score well in your Intermediate Starship Propulsion Systems class at the Academy: The salt water pump that assists in keeping the engine cool corroded and failed, letting salt water into the diesel engine and mixed with the oil. Salt water entered the cylinders. Salt water does not compress and when there is water in the cylinders, the components around it will rust and give way - Fuel injectors seize and the mechanics inside break down, resulting in the pistons not being able to move fully inside the engine.

And, for those of you who do not know much about engines: The shit be broke. Be broke bad.

So then came the choice -- do we save a little bit of money to ship the quarter-century-old engine out and rebuild it (maybe to specs; maybe not), also losing most of the season waiting, or bite the bullet and repower with a brand new engine, getting us back on the water within a few weeks?

Expensive? Hell yeah. Even with the heaven-sent assistance from Commander Richard with the finances, I'm probably looking at much less Chef Gordon Ramsey and much more Chef Boyardee. Less trips to Lobster Box and more boxes of Gorton's.

But in the end, the Enterprise will have a new engine that's easy to maintain and should last us for many, many years - at least until the year we start thinking about upgrading to an Enterprise-C.

Many thanks to my understanding and ultra-supportive wife, as well as the support and loyalty of the Enterprise crew. We'll be back to exploring the final frontier as soon as possible.