Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The stick-shift sailboat-retrieving what-if blues

Did I sell myself short while doing a friend a disfavor?

Rich has been really helpful with the whole Adams Cup sailing thing – in fact, he’s the one who petitioned US Sail to have the Rio Grande Sailing Club host the first round at Elephant Butte Lake. And he and Sue have been heavy-duty supporters of our whole team effort.

Sue was out with the flu this weekend, so Rich was here solo. Those of us who were training for the Adams Cup knew he wanted to take Kachina out of the water this weekend, and before we left, people assured us that they would be available to assist him.

As it turned out, when I went back to get the J/World videos he had said he wanted to lend me, I found him all alone, without assistance. I asked if he needed help, and he said what he really needed was a truck driver to drive the towing vehicle. I have driven towing vehicles on boat ramps, but his truck’s a stick shift, and I haven’t driven a manual in about 15 years, so I made an apology, which he accepted.

Then I got home, and WCMIK was doing his Driver’s Ed homework. He read to me the passages from his textbook about manual transmissions, and it seemed to me that the book got it all wrong – according to the book, you follow the numbers and shift from second to third when the vehicle speed is at least something but not less than something else. But what really matters is that you have a feel for the engine and the speed of the vehicle, and a whole lot of other factors like that. I used to have that feel, a long time ago, and I spent a good long while explaining what that feeling was like.

And then I realized, what I was telling WCMIK about manual transmissions was also what I had been writing but not doing in sailing until just a few weeks ago. I know these things. Maybe I would have been a bit more awkward on the boat ramp than Rich would have been (Sue drives the boat, not the truck). But really, I probably could have driven that truck. I just didn’t realize it at the time. Rich, I hope you forgive me, and next time I’m down there, will you let me drive the truck to launch a boat?


Anonymous Adrift at Sea said...

If you really weren't comfortable driving the truck, the other option would have been for you to take over Sue's duties and let Rich drive the truck. Just my $.02 worth.

Mon Jan 30, 09:06:00 AM MST  
Blogger EVK4 said...

Carol Anne,
In case you don't check back into the post where you left the bigger AND faster boat comment. You can have both in one boat, check out this link on Yachtworld. bigger and faster, guaranteed.

Tue Jan 31, 05:12:00 PM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Dan, yeah, that would have been a great idea, except that the ladder at the front of the trailer is missing a rung or two, and Sue's a lot more agile than I am. I already discovered the hard way that it takes at least two people to get me off the boat when it's on the trailer.

Edward, I'll check it out.

Wed Feb 01, 01:35:00 AM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

Now if it were $6,950 without the extra three zeros at the end....

Of course, Mari-Cha IV wouldn't really do at all for us anyway; it's not really set up to be handled by a couple. We'd never want a boat so big and complex that we had to give up our privacy and freedom and depend upon professional crew. So there.

Wed Feb 01, 12:21:00 PM MST  
Anonymous Adrift at Sea said...

EVK4- The price is a bit of sticking point for is the need for a professional crew.

Carol Anne- Didn't know that... oh well, it was worth a shot. The Telstar's swim ladder can be used to get on the boat when it's on a trailer.

Sat Feb 04, 10:30:00 PM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

Racing sailors on smaller keelboats or c/b boats aren't always real big on carrying extra weight such as swim ladders - - on some boats the attitude almost seems to be if the crew is dumb enough to fall overboard let them swim with the fishies.

However our MacGregor is like your Telstar in that it has a built-in swim ladder that can be used to board the boat, at least from astern. Now, if the boat is on the ramp, boarding from astern would mean getting wet in eighteen inches to two feet of water.

Carol Anne didn't say so, but she probably intended to board from the bow - - provided the trailer had a good built-in ladder; some are better and worse than others - - and keep her shoes dry.

Sun Feb 05, 12:07:00 AM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

Oh yeah - - the J-24 is so tall on its trailer, that even if it had a swim ladder, for the swim ladder to be usable, the boat and trailer would have to be in about four or more feet of water - - and while winters are mild in southern New Mexico, at around 50 degrees F the water isn't really warm at all!

Sun Feb 05, 12:09:00 AM MST  

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