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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Busy, exhausted, and overwhelmed

Team building is hard work, especially when you have only two weeks!

Well, I managed to get a team put together, at least on paper, in time for the April 7 deadline to register for the Adams Cup. On foredeck, I have a hugely enthusiastic person who has raced a lot but whose responsibilities have been limited (guys, don’t be so chivalrous all the time – we can do some of the heavy stuff, too); we’ll call her Cornhusker. For center/tactician, I have a woman who used to race a lot but has been mainly cruising for the past 15 years; there’s some rust, and I worry a bit about her stamina, but she’s really sharp at reading the sails and knows way more than I do on the finer points of trimming and also tactics; she shall henceforth be known as Rose. On trim, I have another person who hasn’t raced in a long time, but who has been cruising a whole lot; with her, the main thing is shifting out of cruising mode and back into racing mode; let’s call her Birdwatcher. And then I think I have found a real treasure in my alternate, G.I. Jane, who has been on a sailboat maybe only twice in her life before, but who has recently returned from active duty in the Middle East and has strength, stamina, and a real knack for picking things up quickly. She’s also good at following orders, especially “Duck!” (Yes, we had an accidental gybe, but nobody got clobbered this time!)

The racing this weekend featured a little bit of everything. Friday afternoon, Birdwatcher and I joined some of the other women for practice. She wasn’t able to participate in the racing Saturday and Sunday, but the rest of my crew was available, along with Yoda as coach. Both Saturday and Sunday started out with extremely light air, and then the wind picked up each day so that by the end of racing, things were pretty stiff. We had four races Saturday, each requiring an increasing level of physical exertion. Then Sunday, we did two races; we skipped the third due to exhaustion.

So I didn’t get any blog posts up over the weekend because even though I at least had dial-up access at my motel room, I was just plain too tired. And I spent most of yesterday recovering. But if you want some more details, Pat has his version of events over at for your reading pleasure.

Meanwhile, with less than two weeks to go until the Adams Cup quarterfinals, it looks like my team will not actually all be sailing together until the race itself. We have still had only limited success with the spinnaker, and Rose in particular isn’t going to be available for additional practice. At least Cornhusker is very available, and G.I. Jane may be as well. This coming weekend, there won’t be a regular series regatta, but on Saturday there will be the Pickle Race, a special event the sailing club does each year with kids from the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches. That leaves Friday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday morning for practice (along with somewhere along the way Pat and me getting our income taxes filed).

All of this is looking rather overwhelming now. What the *$&# have I gotten myself into?


Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Sounds like you've got a team. Just curious as to why CornHusker? Of course you're a bit too busy to post... you have a team to whip into you can bring the Adams Cup home.

Tue Apr 11, 02:40:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

"Husker" or "Cornhusker" is a nickname for people from the state of Nebraska or alumni of the University of Nebraska and is based upon that state's agricultural traditions.

Realistically, the purpose of Carol Anne's team is to acquire basic competence, experience, and confidence for racing in future seasons. It's unusual for novice racers to win many races in their first season; some of the best sailing teams have risen over periods of several years of hard work. Plus, Carol Anne's team still has to acquire basic skills and coordination for many fundamental maneuvers, such as spinnakers sets and douses, and time is running out with the regatta only 11 days away.

This weekend was the first time any of Carol Anne's crew had even sailed on a J-24, and even Carol Anne's time on the J-24 is still quite limited. And, because of schedule conflicts and because we live 150 miles from the lake, our sailors can't simply go out and practice every day the way people can when they live near the water.

Tue Apr 11, 03:12:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Actually, it's not quite as bad as it seems at first. Rose and Birdwatcher have been sailing together for many years, so they have some rapport and, I hope, coordination with each other. Also, G.I. Jane is Cornhusker's daughter, and the two of them communicate on some sort of subconscious wavelength that borders on ESP. Yes, all of these women may not have actually been on the same boat together, but there's some foundation for a team here.

And as to what the *$&# I have got myself into ... I was driving home tonight with Frank on the tape player (El Caballero predates cars having CD players), and a certain song came on ... what the *$&# I'm doing is moving rubber-tree plants.

Wed Apr 12, 12:30:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

Ahah - with their ESP and your wizard skills, how can you go wrong?

Wed Apr 12, 08:20:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

But Carol Anne's team plans to leave the billion kilowatt dams alone ... we need to keep the lake!

Thu Apr 13, 10:30:00 AM MDT  

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