The New Mexico Sailing Club no longer has dockmasters on duty and has closed the Heron Lake, NM, marina for the season. The VHF radio installation has been removed along with the barbecue grills. Life rings and fire extinguishers have been removed from the piers. A few other tasks will likely be completed this weekend. (By the way: some folks tried to burn charcoal in the gas grills, which made a big mess and corroded the burner shield/deflector bar inside each grill.)
As of last Sunday, about five boats remained in the marina and two of these were expected to be hauled out last Monday.
Heron Lake has risen a foot in the past month, to within three inches of this summer's high-water mark. Albuquerque is expected to take its water in November, but this fall's rains are good news for the marina.
Willow Creek Cove is not expected to dry out completely this winter and next spring. At the moment, the most likely scenario seems to be that the cove will get down to about five or six feet of depth, with the possibility of a slight grounding (hard for the B-C connecting pier) for most of the marina if the contractors take out all of the "2005" water before the lake receives some of next year's runoff. If we get lucky, the marina might not ground at all. Do your snow dances; most of us need the aerobic exercise.
If all goes well, the club may be able to open the marina sometime around mid-April or early May, and have a full season and a full schedule of activities. The "catch" is a list of unknowns:
--> The biggest unknown is this year's snow season and next spring's runoff. We'll have a sailing season as long as we get some water -- but the exact length of the season and whether or not the the following year-2007 season is assured depends upon just how much the lake gets.
--> Also significant is what the club decides to do about marina repairs or partial replacement, the condition of the marina next spring, and unfinished tasks that need to be done to make the marina stronger, safer, and more accessible.
--> Likely the most important need is your support for the club. Our ability to resume a full season of activities will mostly depend on how much support the club gets from members. As the snow piles up in the mountains (we surely hope!), talk up the NMSC and our beautiful lake to former members, friends, potential sailors, new folks in town, former or potential crew members and get them into the club and to our events. Also, we hope and expect to need a full complement of dockmasters next season, and since docksitting is so much more pleasant when you're not by yourself, we need to get more people on the club roster and at the marina.
Stay tuned for announcements about the resumption of regular club meetings during the off-season, our holiday party sometime around the weekend of December 10 or so. Also, look for a club ballot in the mail sometime later this fall and look in your e-mail for news about this winter's snowpack and club plans for the new year.