Stardate 11673.5

Captain's Log: Stardate 11673.5
This past weekend, Ellen and I hosted a celebratory sail on board the Enterprise for the captain and crew of New Freedom (a/k/a the Kotex Krew) as part of my thanks for welcoming me on their boat and a well-sailed racing season. Naturally, we wanted to make the voyage as special as possible, so we decided on a good supply of beer, Romulan Ale, and snacks and then finish it all off with a rock concert by none other than ZZ Top.

However, due to budget cuts, we only could afford to bring in Dusty Hill:

And then, unfortunately, we learned that without Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, Dusty mainly belts out unamplified Irish sea shanties. Oh well.

Nevertheless, after seeing him on board and after an hour in the car the next day on the way to the Norwalk Boat Show with my trusty iTunes playlist, I can't help but make my first ever (and quite possibly the last) ZZ Top-themed Captain's Log entry. So, sit back, put on your Pearl Necklace and your Cheap Sunglasses....

We left the mooring just before 1300 Hours on a sharp, crisp, first-weekend-of-Fall kind of day. The idea is we'd motor out to the Sound, unfurl the headsail (engage the warp drive) and sail around for the day, no matter how far it takes us. Even if we sailed all the way to La Grange, we were not going to Doubleback.

The first to take the helm was New Freedom's Captain Mark Lasser, donning his brand new, very stylish, fleece jacket freshly embroidered with "New Freedom - 73" on the left chest.

We were all very impressed with the jacket, even the women on board. You know, cause every girl's crazy for a Sharp Dressed Man.

John helped with sail trim while Ben shared his tall tales of sailing through tornadoes on the world's fastest Catalina 30 (La Guardia Airport to Port Jefferson in five hours). I guess that's what happens love takes you downtown and you're just looking for some Tush.

Rob took some great photographs (as shown in this log) and Robb made himself right at home on the foredeck. There was one point when he tried to render the Enterprise's winches useless and tried to prove to all he's Bad -- and he's Nationwide.

Look at him go -- he must be some kind of Rough Boy.

A special thanks to my wife Ellen for all the help organizing the drinks, plates, napkins, snacks and more. I was especially impressed at her balance climbing over this and that while the Enterprise rolled over waves at Warp 6. In a nutshell, she's got Legs. And she knows how to use them. That's right, honey, Gimme All Your Lovin. All your hugs and kisses too.

We returned to standard orbit around 1700 Hours and passed around the rest of the snacks and, yes, it's true, Romulan Ale:

All in all, a great day on the water. In a few short weeks, the Enterprise will be decommissioned for the season and hauled for the winter. And, I've noticed I'm pretty much out of ZZ Topisms, except for, maybe, in late January of 2017 when I head to:

Stardate 11672.4

Captain's Log: Stardate 11672.4
It's been quite some time since I've posted another log entry, mainly due to the fact that the Enterprise has not been traveling all that much this season. Instead, we've been spending a lot of time making improvements and fixing some issues that have been on the to-do list for quite some time. The autopilot, or Steering Using Linear Utility, or SULU, has presented a few issues, but with a slight change in direction, I expect that to be fully functional by Spring and working seamlessly with a new "Big Unit" which it will communicate with. I've also installed a new 40-Watt solar panel and all I can say is, wow, what took me so long?

Simply put, the Enterprise is better than ever.

So what else has been going on? After months of wound care, I was finally able to start racing again. And, to make sure I didn't suffer any further issues with the leg, I chose to go with a non-spinnaker boat -- New Freedom.

No -- not THAT New Freedom. But, to be perfectly honest, after just one week of being back on the water, I did feel reborn, renewed and fresh. You know, kinda like this:

Maybe it IS that New Freedom. Those product development scientists at Kotex just changed the look from a panty liner to a Catalina 34:

Of course, it's all pretty meaningless when the entire Wednesday Night crew is all men and all old enough, including me, to have gone through our "changes."

New Freedom is owned and skippered by Mark Lasser, the self-proclaimed "Captain and Financier of the Maxipad" (see, it's not just me) and does a great job of making what is basically a '4KSB' into a competitive beer-can series racer. After one week on board, Mark graduated me to tactician and crew boss, so, much like before, I'm looking for puffs, going to school on Thin Man and Whirlwind, cursing the existence of Wuestwind and yelling at the crew to do things faster and better.

The best part? Every thing that breaks - every line that is frayed - every racing expense -- it's all on Mark now. If you listen carefully, every time something goes wrong on New Freedom, you can actually hear the little Spartan guy on my American Express card sigh in relief.

Though nothing will really ever compare to the crew of the Enterprise, the team on New Freedom is made up of a great group of people. They concentrate, work hard and have a good time. Although I considered, once the leg was back to 100%, getting onto a more action-packed spinnaker boat, I must admit that I'm having a great time with them.

So I'll get on my white horse and ride through the morning dew-filled sunshine in a newly blossomed field of daisies. If they'll have me, I'm staying with New Freedom next season and beyond.