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, July 03, 2006

Life in the marina pavilion

The holiday weekend continues

The New Mexico Sailing Club operates the marina at Heron Lake, and while the marina has few amenities, it does have a sheltered pavilion where sailors can gather, and the pavilion has a gas grill that allows people to cook meals on the water without heating up their boats or dealing with temperamental boat stoves. This spring, the club needed to buy a new grill, and we went with the recommendation of one of our members (let’s call him Emeril), who is a professional chef in an upscale restaurant, teaches at a cooking school, and writes cookbooks. What we got was indeed the best – we may not have electricity or running water, but boy can we cook!

Saturday evening, the Vice Commodore, Highlander, and his wife were on dockmaster duty. He brought out the single-malt Scotch again. Just as I was taking my first sip of the golden, warming liquid, savoring its taste of smoke and chocolate, I could swear I heard a bagpipe playing. I paused, took another sip; yes, certainly, I was hearing a bagpipe. I was thinking, “Whoa, this is some good stuff!” Turns out Mrs. Highlander had gone ashore to where they had their RV parked, to practice her pipes, and she had started up at just the right moment.

As we got to the marina Sunday, thunderclouds were gathering. According to the weather pundits, we’re getting previews of the start of the summer monsoons – it’s not the full-blown monsoons yet, but the weather patterns are building in that direction. We socialized with other sailors at the pavilion, and Pat, Tadpole, Highlander, Emeril, and a couple of others worked on dock maintenance. Then we had to leave, because Pat was hosting an ice-cream social at the local community center.

The ice cream social was a success; we provided ice cream and toppings, and some others brought cookies to share. The couple who’d visited the marina Saturday showed up; they’re considering, in addition to a sailboat, buying a vacation property in the area, and so they were interested in seeing the neighborhood and meeting people. Turns out, they already know a couple of the people who live in the neighborhood, and they were favorably impressed with the friendliness of everybody they met. We gave them the name of our favorite real-estate agent, and a couple of other neighbors also gave recommendations.

After the ice cream social, we hauled the leftover ice cream to the marina to share, and we also brought our own supper to cook on the grill. Just as we arrived at the marina, the skies let loose with a torrential downpour and spectacular lightning and thunder. So much for the idea of an evening sail while supper cooked. We heated up the grill and put on the potatoes and the rump roast. Yes, a rump roast. On a barbecue grill.

The Chama Valley Supermarket may be small, but the folks who run it are dedicated to quality. They have a professional butcher who makes sure the meats are top quality. Thus, while most rump roasts are better suited to pot-roasting, their rump roasts can be oven-roasted. Also, the vastly superior grill that Emeril selected for the marina pavilion offers very fine control of temperature, so the roast could be roasted at a low temperature that would allow the inside to get fully cooked before the outside got overcooked. Twenty minutes before the meat was done, we turned a burner at the other end of the grill to high and threw on an aluminum-foil pouch of Oriental vegetables.

So, as the thunder crashed and the rain came pelting down, we enjoyed a hearty meat-and-potatoes meal, as well as socializing with our fellow sailors.

The rain continued, and continued, and continued. Finally, it lightened up a bit, and we climbed up the path from the marina to where we’d parked the car. The rain had turned the dirt of the path into heavy clay (Pat’s been applying gravel, but the job’s not done yet), so by the time we reached the top, we had several pounds’ worth of mud on our shoes.

When we returned to Five O’Clock Somewhere, the power was out – not surprising in a rural area during a fierce storm. We have flashlights, candles, and an oil lamp, so we’re prepared for things like that. The power finally came back on, and the lightning and thunder abated, but the rain kept raining. It’s not as fierce as it was, but it’s still coming down steadily. A single storm, or even two or three, isn’t going to end the drought, but all of this moisture that we’re getting is very welcome. If we get a good monsoon this year, things will be much better for the forest, and for lake levels.


Blogger Tillerman said...

That new couple sounds like my kind of people. Check out the sailing club first, THEN look for a house to buy.

Mon Jul 03, 08:12:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

And, we did get in lots of good sailing on Monday, though we lacked competition.

Tue Jul 04, 12:39:00 PM MDT  

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