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.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A generally good day

A nice practice session, and Black Magic is about to go into the water.

This morning I did what counts as sleeping in at the compound – I got up at about 7:45. We had a leisurely breakfast, and then I got to work grading papers while waiting for others to arrive. I have considerably more than the usual number of papers to grade – five stacks – and if I don’t get them all graded, I won’t be able to stay down here at the Butte through Tuesday; I’ll have to get back to Albuquerque. This morning I was able to get about a third of the papers graded.

(An interesting side thought – when I’m grading, I often find myself using the same phrases repeatedly. I use a rubric rather than writing on the students’ papers, and I hold mini-conferences with students when returning papers. I could see using a computer to fill out the rubric, already having it programmed with some of the more common comments, such as “You make your main point very clear,” “Your introduction does a good job of engaging the reader,” “See if you can make connections between sentences to show how ideas connect and to help your essay flow more smoothly,” “Proofread carefully to be sure you have the right words and forms of words.” Yes, having the computer fill in the boilerplate is less personal, but I’m already using these and many other phrases repeatedly, so the computer saves me some writer’s cramp, and since I have the mini-conferences with students when I return their papers, there’s still the personal touch.)

Anyhow, back to the lake. … While we were waiting for people to arrive, we got news from El Paso that Larry and Braxton were on their way with Black Magic, so they would arrive this afternoon. When people did show up for the sailing training, we had enough people for two boats, so we launched Kachina, with Vicky and me as trainees with Barb and Ken as coaches (and with a motor Rich and Sue had for sale that might be good for Black Magic). Sue had some repairs to make to Goat Rodeo’s jib, and once those repairs were complete, Sue set sail with some of the other sailors.

On Kachina, Vicky and I trained on trim and helm, since those are the two positions that both of us are most interested in. Most of the time, I was helm and Vicky was trim, I we did swap some. The wind was variable in direction and in strength – from light to very light – but that meant we got some really good practice with seeking the puffs and helming in extremely squirrely conditions, not to mention keeping the spinnaker filled with air when there’s very little air to be had.

Toward the end of the afternoon, Larry and Braxton showed up on Larry’s boat, and I asked, “You brought my boat?” They said yes. We continued to sail for a while, but it was getting late, and Ken said he was getting tired, and I wanted to see my boat and the new bottom paint and all. So I started up the motor – sweet little thing, starts on the first pull if one performs the right ritual with the right incantations – and we headed for the marina. About a mile out, I looked up at the parking area above the marina. “Look, is that my boat?” I asked. Nobody else could see it.

When we got to the marina, Barb’s husband, Trent, was waiting for us. “What’s that black shark in the parking lot?” he asked. When I got up to the parking lot, there was Black Magic, just as shiny and sexy as ever. The new bottom paint is a reddish brown color for now, but it will age to a metallic dark gray in a short time. We’ll be launching sometime this weekend; I don’t know exactly when, but I’m hoping soon. The problem is that the races this weekend will be taking up a lot of time. I’m going to be competing, and Pat’s going to be committee boat, and Larry wants to run lots of races to make up for the previous race weekend being blown out.


Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Yay! I can't wait to see photos of Black Magic, once she's in the water. I'm so glad that you're still racing. I should have Pretty Gee in the water before Easter... I've posted some photos of the hull lettering I had done on my blog.


Sun Mar 26, 10:17:00 PM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

Got launch pictures ... but may have to wait until Carol Anne gets back north with the laptop before we can load them and compress them.

Mon Mar 27, 11:42:00 AM MST  

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