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.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Never enough weekend

We had so much to do, and so little time to do it in, and now there’s even more.

Friday night there was a meeting of the New Mexico Sailing Club in Eldorado, near Santa Fe, and it ran late, getting out at about 9:30. So, after making a brief stop in Albuquerque to pick up Dulce and swap vehicles – Zorro had told us he wanted to take his boat out of the water, which meant that we needed the truck, but in the interest of fuel economy, we took the little car to Santa Fe – we didn’t get to the doublewide until 1:30 a.m.

Saturday morning, after very little sleep, we got a call from Zorro that he was still in El Paso, waiting for somebody from the insurance company to get back to him – they were supposed to have given him a check to cover the fire damage to his garage/gym/sail loft Wednesday, but he never got it.

There was very little wind anyway, so we did a few bits of maintenance around the doublewide and eventually went to the boat. The light conditions were frustrating, and it took us two hours to get from the southern end of the lake to the southern edge of the race course area. Then the wind finally did come in, so it took only 20 minutes to get back to the marina, and as we were bringing the boat into the slip, the wind came up even more, so docking was challenging.

We called Dixie, who had told us she had been planning to sail her little day-sailer this weekend, and we found out that, because of technical difficulties with the trailer, she and her friend hadn’t been able to launch. Pat and I had been contemplating returning to Albuquerque that night, but we decided to stick around and take Dixie and her friend out on Black Magic Sunday. It would have been a major waste for the two of them to have come all the way to the lake and not sail.

Sunday morning, Dixie introduced us to her friend “Photog,” who was excited to get a chance to sail on an Etchells. He used to live in Corpus Christi, and he raced Hobie Cats and other little things there. He found all of the strings to pull fascinating.

We set sail under extremely light conditions – this time, it took three hours to get to the race course area. Once again, the wind came up as we were heading back, and who should be sailing up the lake but Zorro, with Blondie on the aft deck in a leopard-spot bikini – well, I guess since we had the motor hanging on the back of our boat, he was equalizing things by putting some extra weight on the back of his. We sailed around with him for a while, and then both boats headed back toward the marina.

The winds were getting stiffer, and it was good to have some crew weight out on the rail; we didn’t have to depower the sails so much. Then on the final approach to the marina, the console gave way. Yes, the one that we’d paid $1000 to have solildly fiberglassed in place, because it was critical to have the job done professionally to be sure the repair would be strong enough to stand up to the strains applied to it. And this wasn’t even in particularly strong winds, either, about 12 mph, gusting to 18 or so.

Zorro and Blondie kept sailing, unaware of our equipment troubles, and, in fact, returned up the channel to the main body of the lake before finally coming in to the marina. Meanwhile Dixie and Photog went home, and Pat and I went up to the boat ramp area and spoke with a couple of guys with a Santana 20 whom we’d seen out on the water. Then we stopped by the storage lot where we keep our MacGregor, Syzygy, to get a couple of things off the boat. We returned to the marina just as Zorro and Blondie were coming ashore. Zorro said that he and Dino would be coming up to the lake during the week, to use our trailer to work on his boat, and they could probably re-fiberglass the console base then.

Meanwhile, our score for the weekend: Sixty bucks worth of gas burned and much sleep lost driving with a yowling cat in the small hours of the morning, all in order to be able to help Zorro Saturday – and then he didn’t show up. One spinnaker halyard shackle pin lost overboard during a mostly tedious day on the water Saturday. A weekend’s sailing redeemed for Dixie and Photog Sunday. A thousand-dollar fiberglass job down the tubes. A list of things we had been planning to do this weekend but didn’t, redoing Zorro’s bottom paint and replacing our forestay being the two biggies.

Still, there is the saying: A lousy day on the water still beats the best day at the office. And who knows, maybe on some race day when Dixie is on Sutherland’s crew, we can get Photog on ours.

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Blogger Tillerman said...

Ouch. I hate it when something breaks on the boat. Not that it happens very often on a tough little boat like a Laser, but it can still ruin your day. At least you got a good sail in before the incident.

Mon Apr 02, 06:48:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Programming note: the 16,000th visitor to this blog is someone in Montreal who has me bookmarked.

If you wish to claim the prize, which is a day of sailing on the sexiest boat at Elephant Butte Lake, stand forth and be recognized.

Thu Apr 05, 02:00:00 AM MDT  

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