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.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Black Magic sets sail

No motor? No coach? No backstay? No problem!

Early in the day, there was practically no wind, so we told the prospective new team member that we'd be working on Black Magic for a while, and then if the wind came up later, we'd take her out on Syzygy again.

Much to our surprise, when we arrived at the marina, we found Larry, Braxton, and a friend of theirs working to get the boat formerly known as Intrepid -- whose slip Black Magic will now have -- onto the trailer. The trailer kept getting hung up on a sandbar before it got deep enough to get the boat onto it, and our efforts involved quite an aerobic workout, with some of us holding lines attached to the trailer or the boat, running back and forth alongside up and down the boat ramp and the courtesy dock in an effort to get everything together. We got some help from a bass fisherman with a large motor, and finally from one of the State Parks boating safety boats, and eventually we got the boat onto the trailer straight and out of the water.

Then Larry, Braxton, and their friend wanted to go out sailing; they set up Constellation, and Larry suggested that when they got back, we could take Black Magic out -- even with the backstay in bad condition, we could still sail in the light air without a headsail. About this time, the prospective new crew member showed up, and she was game for that idea, so Larry and crew set out to sail for a bit while Pat, Gerald, PNCM, and I rigged the boat. We were just about ready to sail when Larry came back, but instead of coming aboard, he helped shove off. "I thought you were coming with us," I said. "Sorry, I have to get back to El Paso," he said. "If the mainsheet gets too hard to handle, use the fine-tune. "

So now we were under sail, tacking out of the marina, in my new boat that has a whole lot more strings to pull than any other boat I've been on before, and all of the experts were piling into the truck to head south. I really didn't have any choice but to sail on.

As it was, it was a great experience. The wind came up, but not to any sort of fearsome level. We got that boat going fast even without a headsail, and we did some trial-and-error figuring out what happens when which string is pulled. PNCM is no longer PNCM -- she's now CNCM, confirmed new crew member. It's a bit of a pity Larry couldn't be along -- he's been eager to sail this boat since he first heard I might buy it -- but I also wonder whether he might have done this on purpose, to let me know I can sail the boat without him or any other coach on board. I probably needed that, although with light air and no headsail, the task was easier.

We sailed close-hauled to the far side of the lake to give CNCM's former skipper the honor of being one of the few people to see Black Magic's maiden freshwater voyage. He isn't expected to live much longer, but he's making the most of the time he has left; he was out on the lake yesterday with family members to help him sail. He has a house on top of a mesa overlooking the lake, and he and his wife have a telescope through which they watch everybody sailing. Any victory we have in the Adams Cup, CNCM and I will dedicate to him.

Then we had a great run back to the marina. I was really wishing we didn't have the problem with the backstay; it would have been great to get the spinnaker up. Once we got to the marina, we decided we didn't need to use the motor; we just gybed into the lane behind the houseboat dock, pointed the boat at its new slip, and dropped the sail. I did have to scull just a little to get in, but all in all, I didn't do too bad.

Well, tomorrow the parts for the backstay are supposed to arrive at Larry's, and Tuesday he plans to come up to the lake to work on the boat. Friday, I'll be back at the lake, back working on the Adams Cup preparations on J/24s, but I hope I'll be able to find some time for Black Magic.


Blogger Pat said...

Clarification: we didn't use the motor at all, going out or coming back in.

Mon Apr 03, 12:53:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Jerry said...

Nice! What a great way to spend a day, the maiden voyage of Black Magic under her new skipper. I will raise a celebratory toast for you next time I get the chance. (Hmm... A dark beer at U Kormidla [the helm] would seem appropriate.)

Mon Apr 03, 05:56:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Tillerman would say that sculling is a Rule 42 violation, but you weren't racing. Congratulations on the maiden voyage...may all your days sailing Black Magic be as nice. When is the backstay getting fixed?? And congratulations to CNCM on her promotion.

Mon Apr 03, 07:06:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

I'm impressed and a wee bit jealous. Looks like a cool boat.

Mon Apr 03, 06:21:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

The parts saga continues ... It's such a pain sailing in the desert where there aren't any retail outlets for boat stuff, so we have to rely on mail-order. If we lived near a coast, we could at the very least pop into the nearest West Marine, and possibly have other choices as well.

More details to come ...

Mon Apr 03, 09:39:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Latest on the parts ... the shipment may or may not have arrived in Albuquerque, from which it may or may not have been "out for delivery" to Larry's El Paso street address ... and then it may or may not have actually been sent to El Paso ... but now it has definitely been lost. So the shipper has made up a new shipment, and it's being sent overnight to Larry's place -- unfortunately via the same delivery company. We'll see whether it gets there.

If so, Larry will get the backstay fixed by this weekend, and we'll be having a sail and a whole lot of celebration (probably an abbreviated version of the de-naming and re-naming ceremony, and definitely involving lots of champagne).

Tue Apr 04, 10:36:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Yet another parts update -- Larry now reports that the parts arrived at his place at 5 p.m. today. Apparently the "lost" shipment became un-lost at some point.

Tue Apr 04, 10:52:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

Carol Anne still has a slot for an alternate / back-up crew member. And lots of room for crew this summer when Black Magic moves to the northern lake.

Thu Apr 06, 12:06:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

I'd love to crew for Carol Anne, but the commute would be tough... :D and I've got sailing a plenty to do out here on Buzzards Bay.

Sun Apr 09, 05:04:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Fred said...

Congrats. Great keelboat. You will have much fun wiith this E22 boat. Reminds me to my own Etchell sailing during Cowes Week ´77. I had been offered to skipper "Yankee Trancsondudle" (? definitely misspelled, sorry you Yanks). Anyway, we did well, 2nd place, some pricemoney which is unusual in my homewaters but at least it paid the mooring fee. Another more negative encounter with Etchells had been at a Worlds in San Diego where I had been registered and chartered a boat. We flew in to San Diego only to learn.....unbelievable still today.... that we were not allowed to sail as we did not own an Etchell nor were we a member of an E´ fleet at home. Bill M., class secretary at that time made the decision. Hmm, no Etchells in Germany but we thought we would promote the boat. We did some boogy boarding instead in the shore break of that wonderful San Diego but I cannot get this unfriendly encounter from my system.

Tue Apr 11, 03:55:00 AM MDT  

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