Stardate 11565.5

Captain's Log: Stardate 11565.5
With Lt. Kurt still at the "farm", the rest of us ventured out to the race course in near-perfect conditions. With less people on board, there was more for everyone to do and more room to do it in -- and it turned out to be a fun night.

Our start was textbook - at the committee boat, in clean air, and at full speed. Far off to leeward, Sea Castle was messing around with New Freedom and Volcano - a battle that continued a quarter of the way up the windward leg, to the point where both were luffing and avoiding tacking to port, because, quite frankly, that would have sent them directly into us.

I'm glad they didn't. New Freedom could have done some damage. Volcano, a J/24, on the other hand, with the weight of the Enterprise and her traveling at over Warp 6, well, I'll just say it would have been a pair of J/12's.

"Hey! You scratched my anchor!"

Speaking of destruction, Ensign Dave Jr. did a great job running between grinding and helping out his father on foredeck, all while worried about his first two football games on Saturday with the under-practiced Yonkers High School Football Team. David will be playing center against a 300-lb lineman who we'll just call "Bubba". Poor kid. Thankfully, for the rest of us, two good things will come from this:

1. It will end all of the confusion calling out "Dave" and getting responses from the Senior and the Junior. After a few hits to the head on the scrimmage line, David Jr. will just be known as "Drrvrd".

2. After Saturday, David Jr. will look like this:
... a Picasso-esque art piece that my father could sell, therefore increasing my eventual inheritance, and therefore leading us to an Enterprise-C.

The rest of the race went great with an excellent job-well-done by all, especially my wife Ellen who tailed the headsail so well that by the second upwind leg, we were all asking "Kurt who?"

In fact, the biggest mistakes of the night belonged to me - a bad release of the headsail and the final leg where I lost all bearings of where we were and where we were heading... Pole on left. Pole on right. Jibe. Wait. No. Yes. Jibe! Where are we heading? Where's the fucking committee boat?

Where am I? Why am I here? That sort of thing. Great for philosophy. Not so much for racing.

We finished in third place, behind Wuestwind and Sea Castle.

Next week looks to be our final race of the season, with the Enterprise scheduled to be on her way to Clinton, CT the week after for the 2015 C&C Northeast Rendezvous.


Stardate 11563.6

Captain's Log: Stardate 11563.6
With only five of us on board and the wind speed gusting to over 20, we decided, instead of racing and getting, as Dave put it, "beat up out there", to drop the mooring, unfurl the jib and head out for a pleasure cruise.

Missing was Commander Richard, who was in Sante Fe and Lt. Kurt, who was taken up to the family farm, where, as the kids were told, he will be happy, have lots of land to run around on, and will play with all the other Kurts in the grass and trees. Also, after his demotion to Bilge Boy Second Class, Ceaser has decided to quit Starfeet.

In nautical terms, we call that:

Alpha! Mike! Foxtrot!

Anyway, so there we were -- bimini up, cushions out, doing Warp 6 all the way past Matinecock Point (and no, "Matinecock" is not Navaho for "Daytime Porn") in a gorgeous sunset.

No timer. No crowded cockpit. No tangled lines. No 27-foot 4-knot shitbox reaching down a populated start line.

No time on time calculation. No committee boat. No pole. No topping lift.

No pinching. No stress. No tactics. No sail ties. No rush to get off the boat ten minutes after picking up the mooring. Nobody telling me to call my sister.

And you know what? It was good. It was really fucking good.

We just sailed. We laughed about ages past and told stories of people and events both on and off the Enterprise -- though, most of them did involve Commander Richard and rocks (Shinnecock inlet rocks, Stepping Stone Lighthouse rocks and, of course, the Crusher incident at Big Tom Rock.)

We got three-quarters of the way to Oyster Bay and, seriously, I wanted to just keep going -- No action. No stress. Just explore. Explore strange new worlds.

When we did finally make it back, we set up some lights in the bimini and feasted on soda, beer, wine, chips, salsa and cookies until we were the last boat in the fleet that still had people on board.

A truly wonderful night. Thanks to Dave, Dave Jr., and Elizabeth for joining Ellen and I on my favorite Wednesday night of the season. So much so, that I'm thinking on how next year will play out even if EBYRA happens to survive another year.

Besides, in March, I'm going to Mars:


Well, my name is. Along with 88,000 other names (so far) on a NASA microchip (http://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/insight/) that will be on board the lander on the Atlas V 401 mission on March 4, 2016. Shatner signed up. I figured I should have too.