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 20, 2006

The weekend in brief

A whirlwind account of a whirlwind weekend

Friday, Pat and I dropped off the cats at the apartment and got to the lake early enough to do some boat work. A new gooseneck fitting had arrived by express the day before, so we could put it on the boat. Plus we had some other miscellaneous things to work on. Originally, Zorro was going to join us, but was deterred by the combination of almost non-existent wind and spending all day, as he put it, bailing a couple of his cats out of jail. (One of them is going to become an indoor-only cat; the other will be moving up to T or C to live with Cornhusker.)

Saturday, we joined Zorro at the boat early and got the new gooseneck fitting installed on the mast. It uses a bigger pin than currently fits through the part on the front of the boom; we didn’t have time to drill that out, so we temporarily used a bolt to hold things together; conditions were predicted to be light enough that there wouldn’t be too much of a strain. We did suffer one injury when Pat sliced his thumb with a bit of metal shaving from drilling out the old pop rivets. Then we rushed off to the skippers’ meeting for the Commodore’s Cup, where we met our crew for the day, Cornhusker and Seattle. After the skippers’ meeting, we got to the boat even before Zorro got to his, and we set up with light-air sails based on the weather prediction of 5 to 10 knots.

The wind remained lighter than predicted, so we managed to have two verrrryyy slloooow races that afternoon. We made a few bad decisions on the course, and we ended up finishing fifth (on corrected time) in the first race and third in the second, out of a fleet of eight boats.

Saturday night was a sailing club dinner at what is probably the nicest restaurant in T or C, especially for carnivores. I discovered I was famished after the day’s racing, and I thoroughly enjoyed a nice-sized slab of the most tender and juicy prime rib imaginable. Pat left the dinner early to return to Albuquerque and fetch Tadpole, who had had a music festival that day.

Sunday the prediction was for somewhat more wind, and that looked promising – we would be able to go faster, and we might get in three races, in which we could do better than the day before and improve our standing. We had a crew change; Seattle wasn’t available, but Tadpole was. But the weather didn’t do what was predicted. It was windy down at the south end of the lake when we and Zorro set out to the race course, and by the time we got to the race course, there were whitecaps and wind gusts to 30. Zorro decided it would be wisest to cancel the races for the day, since even his boat, with main but no jib, was regularly dipping the chainplates in the waves. Both of our front crews were wearing blue jeans, getting hypothermic, as well. So we surfed back to the marina, where soggy crew members changed clothes, and then we did some tuning in the sheltered part of the lake near the marina. Then we did some more boat work, put the boat away, picked up the cats, and headed home.

Zorro phoned that night as we were on the way home to let us know that we had finished third overall in the Commodore’s Cup – there had been a three-way tie for third, then the first tie breaker had eliminated one of the boats, then the second tie breaker gave Team Black Magic third place. Later, after we got home, Zorro phoned again, and we had a very long conversation about race tactics, boat tuning, team management, and a bit about cats.

I started the weekend about a day behind on my NaNo word count; I finished the weekend two days behind. I’ve got some catching up to do.


Blogger Carol Anne said...

Programming note: In case anybody's interested, Visitor 11K was somebody in Glendale, Arizona, who came on one of the usual searches and didn't stick around.

Mon Nov 20, 10:40:00 PM MST  
Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

I'm further behind than you are...and very jealous that you've been out sailing... UGH... the long cold dark of the off-season has set in up in New England.

Tue Nov 21, 08:25:00 AM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Hey, Dan, you're always welcome to come down here to the desert for a visit. We're planning a full Thanksgiving spread at the apartment near the lake, and you could come sailing on the sexiest boat in New Mexico.

And if you can't make this Thanksgiving weekend, there's always Christmas, or getting away from the northern gloom of February.

Wed Nov 22, 02:03:00 AM MST  

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