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.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Watching the J's race

Things started out a bit miserable, but then the sun came out ...

Today was rainy, gloomy, sunny, windy, calm, and a whole lot of other things. The J/24 regatta is underway; we got out on the lake just after the start of a race. At that point, it was cloudy, and a light rain was falling.

We got close to the fleet just after the boats rounded the first upwind mark, and the boats all came out of the Snake River arm of the lake with spinnakers flying. That's Mother and Dumbledore in the center with the red-and-white spinnaker.

Over the next hour or so, the clouds broke up, leaving tatters among the mountains. We experienced awesome, if challengingly changing, conditions as we sailed around the J fleet.

Toward the end of the race, there was a clear leader, this boat in the right foreground. All of the rest of the fleet is far behind, and some haven't even rounded the final leeward mark, while this boat is barrelling toward the finish.

At the end of the day, we sailed back to the marina with the fleet, in sparkling sunshine. We got to the slip and put the boat away in time to join the J/24 crews at the marina bar for happy hour. Black Magic continues to turn heads; the comments we get can be divided into two categories: "What is it?" and "It's so great to see an Etchells up here." Turns out the guy who plans to buy himself an Etchells is also working to get others interested in the boat so he'll have some meaningful competition.

Later, the yacht club sponsored a talk by a sailing guru who has had a whole lot of sailing experience all over the world. His talk was hugely interesting, and I found his explanation of "velocity headers" especially useful. Unfortunately, the clouds closed in, the winds whipped up, and I was just getting too darn cold to process what he was saying, especially since he had so much information that I was getting overloaded.

So we went back to the condo and fired up the grill to cook the chicken breasts that had been marinating all afternoon. It started pouring rain, so we had to pull the grill under the shelter of the building. It got so cold, we turned on the gas fireplace in the living room (This is, after all, a ski resort as well as a sailing resort). That was very pleasant.

But yeah, it was a great day.


Blogger Tillerman said...

Ah velocity headers. The bane of lake sailors. Took me years to work out why I wasn't gaining when I tacked on some headers.

Fri Aug 04, 07:27:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

Great pix Carol Anne. But are you having Fun???

Fri Aug 04, 09:04:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Yes, I'm having Fun. Just not sure yet exactly what the definition of Fun is.

Sat Aug 05, 11:05:00 PM MDT  

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