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, April 01, 2006


The Ferrari's still in the shop, so I had to drive the Chevy.

Last night and this morning we had more bad news about the shipping of the parts for Black Magic’s backstay – we had ordered the parts first thing Monday morning and paid extra for second-day air shipping so Larry would get them on time to install them so we could sail the boat this weekend. But the shipper fouled up, so the parts went to Pampa, Texas (outside of Amarillo) instead of El Paso, and then the package languished in Amarillo for a while, and now it’s supposed to arrive at Larry’s on Monday.

So today, Pat, Gerald, and I were on our old MacGregor, Syzygy, along with a potential crew member for my Adams Cup team – she’s been crew on racing boats on the lake for a long time. To begin with, we had very light air, so we were barely moving, but, thanks to our very old, blown-out sails, we were actually moving. Pat said he was impressed with how I can make that boat move. I’m almost toying with the idea of racing the MacGregor, just to see if I could win on corrected time.

Later, the wind came up. For a while, it was moderate, and I was able to get some good speed on close-hauled. Even Gerald was impressed with the speed I could get. Then the wind really came up. It wasn’t as fierce as on the day of the “boom” incident, but a boat that has water ballast and a ten-inch-wide swinging piece of fiberglass instead of a massive lead keel just isn’t all that stable in those conditions. We reefed the genoa (it’s roller-furled), and then we took it in almost completely, and then we got the motor running to power-tack the mainsail, and finally we took the mainsail down and motored back to the marina with a tiny bit of jib up front. By this time, the wind was blowing at least 20 mph and gusting higher – more wind than any of the major online weather forecasters had predicted. Meanwhile, the potential new crew member showed a stability that I have come to see as especially valuable – she doesn’t panic, but rather, she gets the job done.

Tomorrow, we again plan to take Syzygy out with the potential new crew member. The weather forecasts (take with grain of salt, knock on wood) predict much lighter conditions.

Meanwhile, there’s one other important order of business. If I’m handing out birthday greetings to my coach, I’d darn well better do the same for my own brother. Technically, it’s not yet his birthday here in New Mexico, but he’s in Prague, so it’s been his birthday there for about eight hours. I’m hoisting a bottle of Roswell Alien Amber Ale. Happy birthday, Jer.


Blogger Carol Anne said...

And let me also add:

Elevator ocelot rutabaga!

Sun Apr 02, 09:37:00 AM MDT  

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