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, November 06, 2006

Boat work, word counts and sailing

This was a weekend of ups and downs

Not much time, and lots to tell … I’m beginning to wish I had some canned episodes the way I did last year with installments of the Wizards to keep my fans occupied while I did the NaNo thing. This year, I also have a lot more boat things.

Friday: Set the video recorder to catch my soap. The boat place in El Paso was going to be finished reattaching the console of Black Magic by that afternoon, and we needed to pick the boat up before the shop closed at 5, since it would not be open over the weekend. We left Tadpole in Albuquerque – his school wouldn’t count picking up his mother’s racing yacht as an excused absence – and we headed south. We dropped off more stuff in the apartment in T or C along the way, and just as we were leaving Dino arrived with his friend – we’ll call him Sammy. They were planning on spending most of the weekend fixing up a couple of the rental places Dino owns, and doing some work on the place we have, and on working on Dino’s non-sail boats, but they hoped they would get some time to sail as well.

We got to the boat place in El Paso about 3:30. Their fiberglass guy did a fantastic job reinstalling the console of the boat, far better than the original installation that had probably been done by some previous owner of the boat. That console is NOT going to come loose, ever again. It cost a lot, but it looks like it’s going to be worth it. When we arrived, the fiberglass guy was polishing the boat, and the shine was almost blinding. Man, that boat is gorgeous.

We returned to the apartment with the boat, and we parked it alongside a couple of Dino’s boats that he had pulled out of the shed to winterize. Dino and Sammy had already had supper, but they were planning to go out later; Pat and I went to get supper, and Dino and Sammy were gone when we got back. Tired from all the driving, Pat conked out early, but we had the laptop, so I got in some work on my NaNo novel, reaching 5003 words at 11:57, taking a short break, and then getting in another 500+ words before Dino and Sammy got back. I had just opened a bottle of wine, and they helped me to finish it off.

Saturday morning, Pat went back to Albuquerque to retrieve Tadpole and the cats. I wasn’t exactly moving fast, but at least I was moving faster than Dino and Sammy. The big thing for me was to work on getting Black Magic back into sailing shape. Yes, the boat place in El Paso did a fantastic job of reattaching the console, but the guys there don’t know anything about sailboats, so there was still a heck of a lot of work to do, reattaching blocks and lines and connecting this to that to that other … and I looked at the lines and the blocks and the console, and I was totally lost. Pat and Tadpole arrived, with the cats, and with Tadpole’s help, we figured out the positions of a bunch of turning blocks within the bottom portion of the console and re-drilled holes that had been glassed over in the process of remounting the console. I put in several phone calls to Zorro, and left messages, hoping to hear from him, without results. Dino took a look at the setup, but he wasn’t able to tell us much. By then, it was getting too dark to do much of anything anyway, even with the work lights that Pat bought. And Dino and Sammy had to return to El Paso, so they couldn’t stick around to muddle things out.

That night, I was really feeling low. Getting the boat console fixed was such a great thing, but then not really having a clue how to re-rig the boat and not being able to find help with the re-rigging was really depressing. At least it was good to have the cats around. Dulce found the apartment exciting, although Tres spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom before deciding the place was safe enough to come out. I was feeling exhausted, but I toiled at the laptop, and at 11:50, I had exactly 6700 words. I shut down the computer and collapsed into bed.

Sunday morning, I was really feeling tired and dragged out. Sure, I got to bed at midnight, and I fell asleep immediately, and so I should have had my full 8 hours of sleep by 8 a.m. But I was still tired, and so Pat let me sleep some more. But even at 10 a.m. I continued to feel totally drained. I got up, moving slowly. We had an idea: Even if Zorro wasn’t available, we could look at the other Etchells in the area and see how their lines were run, and that could give us some clues how to run our lines. First, the boat formerly known as Intrepid is sitting on a trailer next to Dino’s boat shed. But when we looked at that boat, we discovered that the rigging we needed to know about wasn’t there – it had apparently been taken apart after the boat was taken out of the water. So we decided to look at the other Etchells available to us, Zorro’s boat in the marina slip next to where Black Magic normally lives.

I have no idea whether to call it karma or universal coincidence, but as we were headed to the marina, we saw Zorro’s car just ahead of us. We ended up with a plan: Zorro and I would sail up to a boat ramp that also had a mast-raising crane, and Pat and Tadpole would bring Black Magic, and put the mast up and meet us there, and then Zorro could help us with all of the details. And then we could all sail back to the marina.

It did mostly work that way, with a couple of glitches. I got in some great time sailing with Zorro up to the boat ramp area and then sailing in the part of the lake nearby until Pat and Tadpole arrived. And then later in the day, while Pat went to put our MacGregor, Syzygy, onto its trailer so Black Magic could have the marina slip, Tadpole and I took Black Magic out to sail alongside Constellation. That was special. The sun was going down, making that special golden glow that it seems to do better in autumn than any other time of the year. We were sailing together, sometimes diverging, sometimes converging, sometimes parallel, almost like a dance. And then, as the sun was vanishing behind the hills to the west, we dropped sails almost simultaneously, and we came into our slips in unison, turning at the same time, coming into our slips together.

As we were finishing putting the boats away, the moon came up, full, brilliant orange amid trailing purple tongues of clouds. Tadpole had the camera, and he got some good shots. I hope to get them up soon.

Meanwhile, for Sunday, the word count remains unchanged from Saturday’s total. I have some catching-up to do.


Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

Carol Anne-

Glad to hear that Black Magic is on the mend, and she's back in the water. :D You're not the only one playing catch up at're still ahead of me...but I've been writing the last two days.. :D


Mon Nov 06, 05:27:00 AM MST  

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