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 ( 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.