Getting banged up at the lake
A weekend of bruises
The second spring series regatta wasn't too different from most of the others I have reported on, so I'm not going to go into details. The most noteworthy aspect was having a new crewmember on board. He's just bought himself an Etchells back home in Maine, although he hasn't sailed it yet. He's in El Paso for the winter, and he happened to visit Elephant Butte a few weeks ago, when he saw Black Magic and Constellation in the marina. Zorro happened to be around, so this guy (we'll call him Boothbay, since that's where he's from) came down to visit.
The upshot is that for the past two regattas, we've had Boothbay as crew. He's a very experienced sailor, so he's mainly on board to learn the specific ways an Etchells operates.
For the first regatta, we had light air on Saturday, and then on Sunday, Pat and I got shanghaied to be on committee boat, so we didn't get in much good sailing. This past weekend, we had really fierce winds to start with on Saturday. We went out and got banged about, and absolutely cold and miserable, waiting for the committee boat to show up. When, a half hour after races were to start, the committee boat still hadn't showed up, we went back to the marina to warm up and straighten some things out on the boat. About as we were tying up at the marina, the committee boat finally showed up, but at that point I was shivering uncontrollably and had no feeling in my hands, so we didn't go back out.
It took the committee boat a time to get around to running a race, and by the time the first race was finishing, we were warmed up and the wind was abating. We headed out to the course in time to make the second and third races of the day. Boothbay had loads of fun.
Sunday, winds were light – very light. We drifted out to the race course while the committee boat motored out and got there on time. Eventually, a trace of wind showed up. I turned the helm over to Boothbay, and we had a good race – at last, conditions under which we could show how the spinnaker works. Shortly after we finished, the wind went away nearly completely, and it took the rest of the fleet nearly an hour to finish. We drifted back to the boat ramp near the marina, where we were to meet Carguy, take his boat off our trailer, put our boat on, and generally pack things up.
Boothbay was interested in the procedure for getting deep-keel sailboats onto a trailer on a boat ramp; he'd never seen the process before. He got quite a lesson. As we waited our turn on the ramp, he got to watch as a J/22, a J/24, a Freedom 21, and an S2 34 were all loaded onto trailers. He probably now has things down cold, so he can show all those people up in Maine how things are done in New Mexico.
Meanwhile, I have developed a craving for wild blueberries. Come summer, we're going to have to take a trip up to Maine to sail with Boothbay.