Stardate 11574.2

Captain's Log: Stardate 11574.2
This past weekend marked the beginning of the end. No, I'm not talking about the recent blood moon eclipses leading to armageddon, but just the end of the season. With October just around the corner, we're starting to plan for winter storage and preparing the Enterprise for hauling. In fact, yesterday, to lighten the load later on, the main sail was taken off the boat.

Looks like we will be out of the water within the next two to three weeks. Then coldness sets in. Along with depression. Ugh.

At least there's the new home to keep me busy. And busy it has -- especially after the "Yom Kippur Kitchen Warp Core Breach" involving duct work, three trips to Home Depot, enough sawdust to clean up a BP rig oil spill, and a $300 contractor visit.

In fact, I've been so busy between the house and work that I completely forgot to put in a log entry recording our adventure to the C&C 2015 Northeast Rendezvous in Clinton, CT - a week-long journey filled with a generous helping of highs and lows. So, here goes:

Stardate 11568.8 - Day One - City Island to Oyster Bay
Not a breath of wind. Nada. And, oh boy, was it hot. July hot. In September. At least when we were powering, we had the benefit of a 7-knot breeze coming off the bow (our momentum), but once we got to our guest mooring at Sagamore YC, it felt like the Enterprise was a few hundred yards from the sun. At about 4:00, the thermal came in, somewhat cooling things off.

But still, what a beautiful spot:

And, what trip to Oyster Bay would not include a great dinner at one of our favorite spots -- Canterbury Ale Oyster Bar. She had the Black and Blue Ahi Tuna and I pigged out on the Lobster Clam Bake. Wow -- sooooo good. And afterwards, we walked the street to see the several-block car show with vehicles ranging from the Ectomobile from Ghostbusters, a 1915 Model A hot rod, a loaded 2015 Corvette, and Ensign Dave Jr's dream car, a 1969 Camaro Z-28:

Such a sweet ride that his father suggested we grab it and he'll write us a check for it when we return.

Stardate 11569.0 - Day Two - Oyster Bay to Milford
A slightly better day temperature-wise (though not much) as the Enterprise cruised effortlessly (thanks Beta Engines) to Milford at Warp 7.2:

This would mark our first voyage to Milford, where we had a dock reservation at the Milford Yacht Club. The staff there were enormously pleasant and helpful -- amazing how much better things get the further East from NYC you travel. And, wow, what a view from poolside:

Unfortunately, the club restaurant was closed (despite the website stating otherwise), but part of the guest service is launch transportation into town. It was a nice, pleasant, trip up the river seeing the sights and waterfront, ending at a town dock where it was a one-block walk to local fare.

Stardate 11569.3 - Day Three - Milford to Clinton
A little overcast and rainy to be sure, but a VERY welcome change from the heat of the last couple of days. We got prepared to go and off we went:

This was going to be our shortest, although also the wettest, leg of the journey, but our plan was to get to Clinton a day ahead of the others and we were going to keep to it. So, after few hours, the rain clouds dissipated, and we were dockside at the beautiful Cedar Island Marina in Clinton, CT:

Ship's store. Hot tub. Pool. Waterfront restaurant. Oh yeah -- Great place.

Stardate 11569.6 - Day Four - Clinton
The rest of the C&Cs arrived (9 boats total) and the party began:

We started the festivities with a pot-luck dinner in the picnic area, to which I added a 6-foot Italian Combo (which seemed more like 10 feet) and a tray of barbecued chicken that surely must have had a global effect on the hen and rooster population.

Afterwards, most of us hopped aboard Captain David Risch's C&C 40, Corsair, for rum, whiskey and cigars, once again proving the stereotype that sailors can drink heavily.

Stardate 11569.9 - Day Five - Clinton
This day was all about relaxation and seeing other's C&Cs, of which, I'm proud the say, the Enterprise was a hit. I think Captain Rob Gallagher of Hanuman, a C&C 30 Mk II, said it best when he got down below to see the interior, especially the Enterprise's queen-bed aft cabin: "Oh F—. I F—ing hate you. I really F—ing hate you.” and then telling others: “Don’t go in there." And then emails later: "We could all just cook dinner and sleep on the Enterprise. Effing thing is big enough to open a B&B."

"Effing thing." I like it.

Anyway, here are some other photos from the Rendezvous, including our group dinner at AQUA:

And a video shot and edited by Captain Nader Dariavach of Aurora, a C&C 40 Mk II:

Stardate 11570.1 - Day Six - Clinton to Black Rock
We all said our farewells and each of us, one-by-one headed out the tight channel to our next destinations, which for us on the Enterprise, was to head back West again towards home, with an overnight stop at Captain's Cove Seaport in Black Rock, CT. A really nice, picture-perfect day:

In Black Rock, which is just a tad West of Bridgeport, there are a couple of yacht clubs, but the "fun" place to go, so I've heard, is Captain's Cove Seaport, a destination at the far end of the river with a fried-fish restaurant, little shops on the water, and live music.

Instead of dining out, however, Ellen and I decided to have dinner on board, listen to the great music and cap the night off with a movie (STAR TREK Into Darkness) on my iPad Air.

Stardate 11570.4 - Day Seven - Clinton to Black Rock
As we prepared to depart for the voyage home, we noticed the wind was pretty high in this protected little marina, so it took some extra effort (thank you Captain's Cove Dockmaster) to get us free and clear from other boats. In hindsight, we would have checked again what was going on in the Sound and, perhaps, stayed an extra day in Black Rock.

The weather started getting rough... the tiny ship was tossed...

This is what it was like in the Sound:

And the wind was up to 50 knots. That's 57+ miles per hour. Out of the West no less -- our direction home. Don't believe me?

It was like living through 6 hours of big-wave scenes on The Deadliest Catch. Water everywhere. We "submarined" over 20 times. Dripping wet was the new dry. Drenched was the average.

And yet the Enterprise went through it, averaging about Warp 6 (6 knots) through the high surf and high winds. And, even more impressive, my wife went through it too, never panicking, even laughing sometimes. Like I said before: She's a keeper.

We picked up the mooring at City Island (Starbase One) around 5:00pm, grabbed a few items that we needed, and headed to shore - planning to get the rest of our stuff at a later date.

Things did dry out and the Enterprise has enough salt left on the deck to put Morton out of business. Thankfully, it will rain tomorrow and clear things up a bit.

All in all, a great trip. Already looking forward to next year.

Stardate 11567.4

Captain's Log: Stardate 11567.4
Last night marked our final race in the 2015 EBYRA Wednesday Night Race Series and the conditions were close to perfect -- nice breeze, 70s, and our full team on board (Lt. Kurt beat the odds and returned home from the farm.)

While racing was on our mind, I would not say it was the priority. Down below was a tremendous supply of chicken, salami, cheese, potato salad, a Subway footlong (while Subway's Jared was in prison experiencing a completely different type of footlong,) cupcakes, Twizzlers, soda, wine, and more -- and everyone was hungry. In fact, I think the only reason why we did so well was because the crew was thinking that the faster we finish, the sooner we get to eat.

Kind of like why they have the rabbit ahead of the greyhound racing dogs.

Our start would have been perfect, but the jib got caught up on the mast, and all chances of going Warp 6 at the start line was lost. Nevertheless, we corrected pretty quickly and then tacked away to clear air. To windward was our first mark. To leeward, a spectacular sunset.

Didn't matter. Down below was food.

We were just a tad too below the layline getting to the first mark, resulting in what was probably the ugliest mark rounding of my racing career. Nevertheless, we held our position in the fleet and proceeded at over Warp 5 to the next mark downwind. All was well, except now, without the breeze on our nose, we could all smell the food.

And I know some of the crew wanted to drop out of the race right then. I know it. But we were going to have to wait.

Still, with the second mark just a few hundred yards from our mooring (a/k/a Starbase One,) it was a difficult decision to keep going.

And then, in what was either bad planning or an attempt to stay with the boat beyond the evening, Lt. Kurt's shoelace got caught in the genoa block, inching closer and closer as the jib came in.

Kurt then asked if we could ease the jib a bit so he could get free. And then, in true racing-captain fashion, I said, "No way. We're on the layline."

In fact, I wanted the jib in further. A few cranks and Kurt was going to get A LOT skinnier. But, instead of seeing how sausage is made, Kurt removed the shoelace from his sneaker and tied it to the deck for retrieval after the race.

We rounded the last mark in third and headed towards the finish. At the very end, purely for visual entertainment purposes only since we give him oodles of time, we blanketed and passed a C&C 37, crossing the line in second place.

We weren't back on the mooring for more than two seconds -- the table was out, the food was out, and it was a mad rush to eat things before David Jr. ate it all. He even ate the soggy cold potato wedges from KFC, all while my wife Ellen was talking about the sink-mounted garbage disposal unit in our new home. Coincidence? I think not.

Great racing season, everyone. Of course, the rest of the sailing season still has a ways to go. Plenty of great weekends ahead.