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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A few words about Arizona

Not enough time to give a full accounting, but I can hit the high points ...

Thursday: Arrived late at night, found that the hotel where we were originally thinking of staying was going to be way too expensive. Looked for alternatives and found the Drury Hotel not too far away, much more reasonably priced. (Alert: unabashed endorsement follows.) It's just about the best hotel I've ever stayed in. The accommodations were top-notch, the amenities were of the sort that I would expect in a hotel costing five times as much, the morning breakfast buffet was first class (fresh, and I mean FRESH, sausage and scrambled eggs and more), and the people -- oh, the entire staff, they were so friendly and eager to please without being sycophantic -- this is the standard to which all hotels should aspire. If any of my readers should ever be traveling, I would recommend that they seek out a Drury Hotel if one is available. (Disclaimer: I have not, nor have ever, had any financial or familial relationship with Drury Hotels or any person who is associated with the chain. All of my comments are based solely on my own disinterested experiences.)

Friday: For the Friday Fracas, Pat and I were on the committee boat, while Gerald was on one of the Vipers. Winds were brisk, and the sailors had a good time. I got to learn how the AYC committee boat runs races, a really slick system.

Saturday: Gerald and I got on as crew on the Wavelength 30, Alibi, a boat that has been around, with two old guys who have been part of the Arizona sailing scene for a long time. These guys have been sailing together for decades, long before they came to Arizona. Based on where they (and the boat) came from, I'm giving them the blog nicknames Superior Skipper and Superior Mate. Alas, the winds Saturday were very light, and the boat didn't get a chance to show her talents -- she did go upwind far better than something that big should go in winds that light, but downwind things were miserable.

At the end of the day, many small boats without motors needed a tow. We ended up with a row of ducklings behind us: a Thistle and five Buccaneers.

Sunday: The day started out with brisk winds. Alibi had the rail in the water much of the time. Some of the other skippers had chickened out, but Superior Skipper and Superior Mate were all excited about getting Alibi out in conditions that she was designed for. We could probably have used a couple of more people to provide weight out on the windward rail. I got a bunch of bruises as I was tumbling from one side of the cockpit to the other helping Gerald to tail genoa sheets and generally doing all-purpose go-fer duty. (At least I didn't have to dodge flying potato peelers.)

The second race started in nice winds, but less than the first race had. By the end of the second race, there was very little wind. But there was enough wind that things were ok.

The third race was a disaster. The wind essentially went away. It was mostly gone before the race began, but some of the racers talked the race committee into running one more race. That wasn't a good idea. Alibi isn't designed for drifters; she's a Great Lakes boat. Superior Mate, in particular, became much more testy. After an eternity, we finally finished the race -- in third place, but that's because all but two of the other boats in our fleet gave up.

Still, it was fun. Superior Skipper and Superior Mate are great guys, and they both really want to get Gerald on as crew when he's available. Because they're getting older, they'd quit doing spinnaker, but if they can get somebody spry on foredeck, Superior Mate really wants to get back into the spinnaker fleet. Superior Mate also brings the sandwiches.

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Blogger Carol Anne said...

You can tell I posted this when I was in the throes of exhaustion ... I totally forgot to mention Gary Jobson's keynote speech Saturday night.

It was awesome. As enchanting a presence as he is on the television screen, in person he's much more dynamic. He brought some video to share -- stuff he's editing to put into his latest project. I'm guessing he's using audience reaction to help him decide how to edit -- there were plenty of clips and sometimes whole sequences to which the audience reacted loudly. The bits that didn't get much interest from the audience are likely to be edited out of the final product.

The video footage was exciting, but it was only part of what Jobson was about. He emphasized that we need to do something to restore sailing, to get more people coming into the sport.

He talked about his own health issues -- he endorsed the Leukemia Cup long before he was himself diagnosed with a blood cancer. Once he was fighting the disease, he came to appreciate the work done by the Leukemia Cup people.

Jobson is a trouper. And he is a great guy with a huge lot of integrity. While he can't single-handedly rescue sailing, he's a great leader, and he can certainly contribute to the cause.

Thu Jan 21, 02:54:00 AM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Programming note: Visitor #67K is ... Zorro. If he looks at recent pictures on Desert Sea, he can see what I was wearing at the Birthday Regatta.

Tue Jan 26, 12:15:00 AM MST  

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