Thursday, December 29, 2005

though i walk through the shadow of the boatyard i shall fear no large object shall follow us home to nuevo mexico

Apologies for the long interval between posts. But, we have been busy and will be catching up. We are in Houston, not far from what is said to be the third largest concentration of sailboats in the United States. Soon we'll be looking at lots of boats. Fortunately, most of them don't have trailers and I can't afford them. We might also be chartering, visiting chandleries, etc.

We also had a nice trip up the Texas coast, visiting very briefly South Padre Island and Corpus Christi. At South Padre, we had lunch at the SPI Brewing Co. and dipped our toes in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, we buzzed by the Laguna Yacht Club in Port Isabel just in case someone might have been around. In Corpus, we tried to find someone at the chandlery / sailing school at the base of the Cooper's Alley pier, and did manage to stop for lunch nearby at Landry's Seafood. The Corpus Christi location of Landry's is the only one that's actually afloat; it's a two-deck barge that was built in the 1930s as floating barracks for the US Army, then served as a home for wayward boys. Supposedly, it also has a ghost of one of the boys. The food there was great and we've done a fine job of finding seafood in our year-end travels.

We also caught up with my dad's friend, Mel, in Rockport, for a bit. We hadn't realized that, years ago during WWII, his bomber crew had made an emergency landing on the Adriatic island of Vis, and then been rescued by Tito's partisans. Later, as we were driving north and driving through a construction zone near the Port Aransas wildlife refuge, we got to see a creative solution by a couple of Texas construction workers for dealing with "down" time. Instead of leaning on their shovels, they were fishing off a bridge in the construction zone.

Earlier during the week, we were remembered at our favorite motel in Kerrville even though it had been a few years since our last stay. We also enjoyed a good meal at the Lake House restaurant down on the river.

In McAllen, we helped my dad with a minor tragedy - - the big tv in his den had failed leaving him with only a tiny screen tv in his bedroom for watching football games. So, we made an emergency run to an electronics store to get a replacement set to get him back in action.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

New Mexico Sailing Club basic information

Here's a bit of info about the NMSC and Heron Lake:

New Mexico Sailing Club
PO Box 1995 Bernalillo, NM 87004

Membership: $25
Marina wait list fee: $20 (applicable toward first year's rent)
Overnight slip rental: $5
Treasurer: Roger Vinyard,
Membership: Rich Strasia,
Secretary: Eddie Dry (2006)
Commodore: Lisa Carlson, 2005
Pat Byrnes, 2006

Activities: Sailing, cruising, informal get-togethers, holiday party. Monthly dinners and meetings during the off-season. Typically about five race weekends during the sailing season. The NMSC was first formed about 35 years ago at Navajo Lake but moved to Heron shortly after Heron first filled around 1972. Drought and sedimentation grounded and closed the marina from August 2003 until the 2005 season brought abundant water to improve lake conditions.

Marina: 90 slips (plus some mooring buoys when the lake is full enough). No electricity or water at slips. Covered floating picnic area with six picnic tables and two gas grills. Dockhouse with solar-powered VHF radio. Pumpout machine. Vault toilet on shore nearby.

The club plans to replace part of the marina with in new structure in April or May of 2006.

About 90% sailboats (mostly 22 to 26-foot keelboats with cabins), 10% pontoon boats. Slip rental fee of about $425 covers the entire season of up to about six months. The marina is operated by volunteers; slip users are obligated to provide a "dockmaster" for a half week during the marina season. Dockmasters camp in their boats or on land adjacent to the marina during their half week and provide security for the marina, information to prospective members, slip rentals to overnight guests, and minor marina maintenance and upkeep.

Services: Full bath houses/park restrooms with hot water showers about 1 mile away. 1/2 mile to Park headquarters, 1 mile drive to boat ramp and mast-up storage lot with mast-raising crane. About 1.5 miles to convenience store/gas outside the park and 7 miles to cabin rentals and nearest restaurants (Tierra Amarilla or Stone House Lodge). Additional services, groceries, and lodging available in Chama (17 miles), Dulce (36 miles), Pagosa Springs (66 miles), or Espan~ola (74 miles).

Heron Lake: 6,000 surface acres and 400,000 acre feet when full. Fed via the Azotea Tunnel and Willow Creek, the lake receives inflow at Willow Creek Cove, the site of the NMSC marina and the Willow Creek boat ramp. Water then passes through a channel called "The Narrows" into the main body of the lake. Elevation 7186' at spillway (7147' current elevation with 207,000 acre feet). Heron Lake State Park administers the lake and its shoreline on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation. The park borders the lake on the south, southeast, and west. Heron Lake is a no-wake lake; motors are restricted to trolling/slow speed and "Ranger Grizz" is delighted to enforce this regulation. This means that the lake is a peaceful oasis and escape from city life.

Other: Views of cliffs, mountains, forests, and wildlife. Southernmost point in U.S. where anglers regularly catch trophy cold-water fish such as lake trout and kokanee salmon. Water to fill the lake originates on the other, western side of the continental divide and arrives via three tunnels, the longest of which is around seven miles long. Nearby activities including riding the historic steam-powered Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, horseback rides, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, sightseeing. Other local attractions include exhibits and classes at Tierra Wools, visits to the Parkview Fish Hatchery, and trips to the Jicarilla Apache reservation, Pagosa Springs (hot mineral baths), Taos, and the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

Location: Northern Rio Arriba County about 15 miles south of the Colorado Border. North/northwest of Santa Fe, west of Tierra Amarilla, southwest of Chama. About 3 hours' driving time from Albuquerque.

From Albuquerque, I-25 N to exit 274B for 599 bypass around Santa Fe and proceed about 14 miles; then merge onto US 84/285 North through Pojoaque to Espanola, about 25 miles.

Upon entering Espan~ola (milepost 189), turn left (west) just past the Dan-dy Burger and cross the Rio Grande to remain on US 84/285, then turn right (north) and very shortly thereafter take a diagonal left (northwest) to remain on the highway.

Proceed north from Espanola to Abiquiu (milepost 212 by Bode's Store), Ghost Ranch (m.p. 225 turnoff, m.p. 227 Piedra Lumbre visitor center, m.p. 229 Echo Amphitheater), and Cebolla (milepost 242/243) past milepost 254 to just south of Tierra Amarilla, where US 64 comes in from the direction of Taos and the highway numbering system changes; the next milepost just past the junction is 175 and the numbers now start to get smaller.

After passing through Tierra Amarilla, slow down; the turnoff to the lake is between mileposts 172 and 171. Turn left (west) on NM state highway 95 and drive west about 5.5 miles to Heron Lake State Park. Shortly after entering the park, turn right on a gravel road that leads about 1/3 mile to the marina.

(If you are towing a boat to the ramp or wish to stop at the Visitor Center, do not turn off to the marina; proceed past mile marker 6 to the Visitor Center or another third of a mile further to the turnoff for the boat ramp and the first set of park campgrounds.)

2005 year in review

January – got electric re-wiring, new batteries, stereo, solar panel done in boat; bought another Sunfish, joined Sons of Legion, joined Friends of Heron & El Vado Lake State Parks, wound up Rio Grande Sailing Club treasurer duties, started as New Mexico Sailing Club vice commodore; Gerald sailed on Viento Bueno in the Frostbite regatta.

February – Gerald began work on youth orchestra auditions, for the Chute-Out Gerald crewed on The Hunter; Pat took pictures of fleet from our boat with CA & a passenger (Diana H.) on board; for the PHRF championships Gerald was on the committee boat; Pat & Carol Anne motored briefly out to the north of the Butte in high winds.

March – Gerald on Warm-n-Fuzzy was in a violent microburst & squall that disabled their engine; rangers eventually towed them in at night; Pat took pictures of race boats during the weekend; derigged on Sunday in rain & took our boat to Morgan Marine for fixes; March 9 Gerald attended the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra concert with famed cellist Yo Yo Ma; March 17 Gerald participated in the orchestra large group festival; March 26 Pickle Race; Pat took photos mostly from land and helped with set-up for the youth ranch kids.

April – 1st, Gerald on overnight camping trip to Cedro Peak; 4/25 Gerald with HHS orchestra at workshop at Glorieta near Santa Fe, 4/30 Gerald’s bass audition for youth orchestra
May – 1st traveled to Prague, 3rd picked up cello & dinner at Dum U Šemika, 4th dinner at Ztraty & Nalezyu, 5th Lee Seeger & Marianna Křenova’s wedding at Novomĕstska radnice, dinner at Pivovarsky Dun, (visited Smetana and Dvořak museums and did brief boat tour while in Prague) 6th dinner at Kafarna na kus reci, 7th moved to Vlasska byt, exterior tour of Praske Hrad, 8th returned to US via Paris and delay in New Orleans; 5/11 Gerald’s cello audition for youth orchestra, cats to vet, 5/21 Sunrise Regatta (served as mark and safety boat & spent 7 hours on water, then derigged and towed to Albuquerque arriving at 12:45 a.m.; 5/22 brought boat to Laguna Vista in northern N.M., brought utility trailer south after repairing lights en route, 5/28 NMSC board meeting and work party after quickie trip south for early a.m. summer school registration for Gerald.

June – fixed utility trailer, 6/6 Gerald began summer school (summer physical education), Gerald started music theory class, Pat & Gerald did marina work at Heron, Pat bought miter saw & used it to build a floating mini-gangway for the marina.

July – bought kayaks, bought pirate flags, bought & borrowed & movie props for Lee & Jerry Seeger’s “Pirates of the White Sands” movie for the Duke City Shootout, worked on marina, helped Bev M. with move to Abq, 7/12 Gerald went to Philmont for 63-mile backpack trip, 7/15 bought chainsaw, upgraded cell phone; 7/20 Pat flew to LA and ferried to Catalina after big delay in Phoenix; 7/21 sailed on Hägar from Avalon to Newport Beach & visited Bahia Corinthian y.c.; 7/22 sailed to San Pedro & visited Cabrillo Beach y.c.; 7/23 Pat back from SoCal & Gerald from Philmont; 7/26 sectioned cottonwood trunk; 7/31 took Gerald to youth orchestra Hummingbird music camp.

August – helped with last details of NMSC insurance; 8/3 Gerald back from Hummingbird; 8/6 Shroyer Center ice cream social; 8/7 launched our and Alan Burns’ MacGregor sailboats and put in marina; 8/12 Gerald to Scout campout in Manzanos (heavy rains); 8/15 Gerald at first youth orchestra rehearsal; 8/19 participated in Heron Lake town hall meeting as an NMSC representative.

September – 9/3 NMSC potluck dinner, 9/4 Laguna Vista Annual meeting (helped preside for Shroyer Center board as v.p.), 9/17 borrowed Jim Moore’s power boat to serve as mark/safety boat on north end of Elephant Butte lake for Sunrise Regatta II, made photo CDs; 9/27 1st HHS orchestra concert.

October – 1st – hauled our boat and Alan Burns’ boat out from Heron marina; 10/4 1st youth orchestra concert for Gerald; 10/5 Gerald started as den chief; 10/7 moved boat south to Elephant Butte, 10/8 covered Desert Classic regatta; 10/15 picked up Gerald after Scout-o-rama in south valley was ended early because of rain and went back to E. Butte; 10/22 assembled patio railings & posts at cabin; 10/24 Gerald’s annual gifted evaluation; 10/29 Heron Lake marina decommissioning; 10/30 lunch in Chimayo with family/relatives & fire extinguishers to Bruce Bowen. Also helped on RGSC nominating committee during Sept./Oct.

November – 11/5 fall regatta; Pat motored & sailed solo & photographed; 11/6 very light, rafted up to Mac Goddess while Carol Anne typed novel on laptop, then visited Cultural Infidel; 11/9 paid for tree trimming; 11/10 covered remains of cottonwood stump; 11/12 painted posts and rails at cabin; 11/14 returned jury questionnaire; 11/17 HHS orchestra recital and dinner; 11/18 Pat at jury orientation; 11/19 Gerald to solo and ensemble music festival, took Whisper rudder & gear to E. Butte, 11/20 sailed briefly on boat & lost glasses; 11/24 Thanksgiving at cabin; 11/30 replacement of u-joints and front driveshaft on Expedition.

December – 3rd went out in high winds as replacement committee boat with uneasy passenger; cancelled race, attended RGSC holiday party & white elephant exchange at Damsite; 4th served as committee boat with nice steady winds on chilly day; hauled boat, 12/6 Gerald had winter concert at high school; 12/10 attended NM Sailing Club Christmas party & white elephant exchange in Santa Fe (board approved dock replacement after discussion) after working on cabin landscape & entertaining the deer; 12/11 attended U.S.A. wedding reception for Lee & Marianna in Los Alamos’ Fuller Lodge.

Accomplishments –

Gerald began with the Albuquerque Youth Orchestra as a string bassist, while playing cello as a sophomore in his high school orchestra; he improved his grades in the fall and started serving as a scout den chief and asst. senior patrol leader. Gerald and his dad folded around 2,500 luminaria bags for Gerald’s scout troop. He also loves the “IPOD” music device he got from his grandparents. In the new year, Gerald looks forward to more payoffs for good grades, driver’s ed class (!), summer camp, and more time to spend this summer at our cabin, where he can hike, sail, ride trains, and enjoy nature.

Carol Anne completed a 53,000 word novel (Murder at the Community College) for National Novel Writing Month while teaching three classes at TVI, and has since written more than 50,000 words of another novel (Wizards of Winds and Waves). Now for her to get a good agent! She’s also been challenged to participate in an Adams Cup team for women’s sailing. Summer is her favorite time for enjoying the Good Life at our cabin, kicking back and lounging with the cats. She also enjoys posting grammar advice and bits of poetry and writing and life with cats on her internet web log, .

Pat completed a term as NMSC vice commodore, helping with marina repair, events, finding insurance for the new marina, and generally nagging people/herding cats. Pat continued to publish the Foghorn newsletter for the Rio Grande Sailing Club and got in on the tail end of the sailing club cruise to Catalina Island in California. He was also called for jury duty for the first time in 28 years as a registered voter; the lawyers questioned him but he wasn’t one of their first choices as a juror. Pat also built a raised patio at our cabin in northern New Mexico and has been getting exercise by moving mass quantities of retaining wall blocks, rocks, gravel, and dirt. Pat’s challenges for the new year will include helping the NMSC renovate its marina and try to get back to a full schedule of sailing and social activities.

My dos centavos worth of comments...

Income - in order to rent out more then a few buoys, we'd need to have another fantastic snowpack winter like last winter. We can do our snow dances, but maybe it's safest not to count on having all 20 buoy rentals.

If the board authorizes the new A Dock replacement, then we'll have a much better chance of renting more slips. The new slips would be larger and nicer than the old slips, and we might eventually salvage/hold in reserve the old state park slips to replace the buoys made unusable by lake level fluctuations.

Expenses - oh, I can think of lots of ways to spend money:

Under racing/dinghy racing, there could be the subcategory of sponsoring an Adams Cup womens' racing team for next May's regional race on J-24s.

Marina/dock maintenance/capital improvements could include a float and temporary landing stage and crane rental for gangway access, a shed for the pumpout pump and generator, perhaps a security gate, repairs to club dinghies, and other "stuff".

Oh, and if we saturate Ray Boyce's free time/willingness to dive on the old marina structure, we might need to hire a diver. Bill Gee's name has been mentioned, and Mark Paz has said that he'd be happy to come up from Elephant Butte.

A "new" item - printing a few Spinnaker Sheets during the year, maybe four or five or so. Not everyone has e-mail and some people just plain love reading dead trees, and the paper document could remind people of important events and refresh their memory on how to find the web site.

(The nitpicky editor strikes again: "dock" (or slip), not "deck" and "dinghy", not "dingy".)

(Not an expense, but in the website, it would be great if we could set up some Forums in the Community Exchange section of the website. Titles could maybe be something like: Announcements, Docksitting, Marina Maintenance, Racing, Skipper and Crew, Cruising & Travel, Social, For Sail & Sale, Boat maintenance, Learn to Sail.)

Roger Vinyard writes:
"New Mexico Sailing Club Projected Budget 2006" INCOME:
Seasonal Deck Rentals 90 @ $435.00 $39,150.00 Seasonal Buoy Rentals 20 @ $300.00 $6,000.00
Member Dues 2005 member count 144 @ $25.00 $3,600.00

GROSS INCOME $48,750.00

Gross Receipts Tax $3,351.56
Concession Fees $3,915.00
Insurance $7,400.00
Administration $360.00
Slip & Buoy Assignment $200.00
Dock Safety $250.00
Racing $1,000.00
Dingy Racing $450.00
Web Page $300.00
Member Handbook $400.00
Buoy Maintenance $1,000.00
Dock Maintenance $2,500.00
Social $1,500.00
Advertising $500.00
Accounting $750.00
Facility Maintenance $5,000.00
Miscellaneous $3,000.00
Capital Improvements $10,000.00
Emergency Reserve $5,000.00



Tentative New Mexico Sailing Club schedule for 2006, Heron Lake

Tentative plan may be evolving; here's a "straw man" with possible dates for people to try to check against their calendars and save. I've thrown out a whole bunch of dates and activities to get an idea of which ones might interest people - or not.

January 20, board budget meeting at Lisa's home in Santa Fe

February 17 or 24 general meeting at Quail Run (if available) in Santa Fe with presentation of 2006 budget to membership and Don & Alice's Antarctic show
(Note: Ken Mitchell has volunteered the El Dorada Community Center)

March 17 or 24, general meeting at someplace like Fuddrucker's (I-25 Jefferson exit, easy to get to from points north) in Albuquerque, possible program about chartering or sailing schools or some such, review of snowpack and adjustments to summer schedule and marina plans

Review of activities and program for summer season, review marketing/publicity (Eddie Dry has lots of ideas)

(March 27 - 31, Albuquerque public school spring break)

April 1, possible first work party to start old A dock disassembly, weather permitting
(April 16, Easter)

April 21 or 28, general meeting at someplace like Angelina's in Espanola (on the way to the lake and the night before a work party), possible program about boat buying or maintenance or racing or water management

April 19, Wednesday, or April 23, Sunday, possible opening of marina/first dockmaster, assuming reasonable snowpack and sufficient dockmasters

All Summer Events Are Subject to Spring Runoff. Adverse conditions might force drastic changes of plans and refocus our attention on preserving or moving the marina sometime in the summer or fall.

May 6 or April 29 or April 22, possible opening of new A dock?

sometime in May - Adams Cup Women's Sailing Championships at the Butte

May 20, Saturday, RGSC Anniversary Cup at Elephant Butte; end of their spring season

May 27, Saturday, meeting at the lake, regatta weekend, possible racing clinic, possible report on the Heron Lake trail project from the Friends group

[NOTE: Eddie Dry has lots of ideas for activities, especially involving youth, and for publicizing activities]

June 10, Saturday, possible mystery cruise

June 17, Saturday, possible regatta or series race

July 1, Saturday, meeting at the lake, possible fun cruise / treasure hunt / luau / regatta weekend

July 3, Monday, possible "safety spectacular"

July 8, Saturday, possible R.G.S.C. long-distance cruise to ? ? ?

July 22, Saturday, possible regatta or series race weekend

July / August, possible dinghy sailing lessons followed by dinghy regatta

sometime in summer: host possible visits by Buccaneers, Lasers, Windriders, Hobies, etc. Possible visit by Bluegrass group, social events, barbecues, etc. Execute "Plan B" if spring runoff was fairly awful. Youth events, dinghy races and instruction.

August 5, Saturday, possible regatta or series race weekend

September 2, Saturday, meeting at the lake, regatta weekend

September 30, Saturday, end of season/harvest moon party at or near the lake (complete marina adjustments/prepare marina for springtime grounding or possibly move marina if spring runoff was mediocre to poor)

October 20 or 27 meeting in Santa Fe (Flying Tortilla or some such?), program, officer and board nominations

October 28, possible closing date for marina if spring runoff was good

December 9, Saturday, party maybe at someplace like Sandia Resort in Albuquerque or Tamaya Resort north of Bernalillo and Rio Rancho (if it's affordable), installation of new board and officers

NMSC boat census (for marina planning)

As of this spring, about 178 boats were owned by sailing club members. Some are kept at home, in mast-up storage, or on the ocean. Some members own larger boats on the ocean that aren't counted here if they chosen to list only their "lake boat". The marina has about 90 slips at present or 110 if fully restored, plus from four to forty mooring buoys if the lake is high enough. In 2005, with the very late start to the season, we only had about 40 boats in the marina, though in years past the club had a waiting list of people wanting slips.

No. of boats owned by club members as of last winter by size:
8 30-foot-plus:
3 28 to 29 foot
14 27 foot
25 26 foot
34 25 foot
16 24 foot
18 23 foot
29 22 foot
11 21 foot
2 20 foot
19 under 20 foot
Mean and median about 24 foot

Of the big boats, in the near future we might need to accommodate about 3 of the 28 to 30-footers, and 7 of the 27-footers.

Boats by length, (with some guesses)

* 30+ (8) Catalina 30, Catalina 30, Cape Dory 30, Ericson 30, Newport 30, Hunter 336, Lagoon 37, Westsail 32

* 28 - 29’ (3): Bayfield 29, Columbia 28, Lancer 28,

* 27’ (14): Cape Dory 27, Cal 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, Catalina 27, O’Day 272, Stiletto 27 Cat,

* 26’ (25): Capri 26, Clipper Marine 26, Ericson 26, Ericson 26, Hunter 26, Hunter 26, Hunter 26/WB, Hunter 260, Laguna 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26, MacGregor 26S, McGregor 26, McGregor 26, MacGregor 26, O Day 26, Ranger 26, Pearson 26,

* 25’ (34): American 25, Bayfield 25, Bayfield 25, Cal 25, Cal 25, Cal 25, Cal 25, Cal 25, 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 25, Catalina 250K, Catalina25, Ericson 25, Ericson 25, Hunter 25.5, MacGregor 25, MacGregor 25, MacGregor 25, MacGregor 25, O’Day 25, Schooner Creek, Westerly 25, Westerly 252,

* 24’ (16): Blackwatch 24, Cal 24, Columbia 24, Compac 24, Hunter 240, Hunter 240, J24, J24, J24, J24, J24, J24, J24, J-24 , RL-24, Smokrcraft24 Pontoon sl,

* 23’ (18) Aquarius 23, Balboa 23, Beneteau 235, Beneteau F235, Columbia 23, Fun 23, Hunter 23, Hunter 23, Hunter 23.5, Hunter 23.5, Iona 23, Mirage 236, Montgomery 23, North American Spirit 23, O’Day 23, Ranger 23, Rob Roy 23, SalCommet 23,

* 22’ (29): Balboa 22, Buccanear, Cal 2-27, Cal 2-27, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, Catalina 22, MacGregor 22, MacGregor 22, MacGregor 22, MacGregor 22, , Merit 22, Venture 22, Spin Drift 22, Ranger,

* 21’ (11): Bass Pride 21, Clipper Marine 21, Freedom 21, Freedom 21, MacGregor 21, North American Spirit 21, San Juan 21, Santana 21, Smokercraft Santana ??, Suntracker 21 Pontoon, Venture 21,

* 20’ (2): Cal 20, Cal 20, Santana 20,

<+19’ (18): Capri 18, Capri 18, Catalina 14, Capri 14.2 , Compac 16, Douglass 19 , Drascombe 18, Laguna 18, Laguna 18, Montgomery 15, Potter 15, Potter 19, Potter 19, West Wight Potter 15, Sunfish, SunTracker 18, , Starwind 19, Starwind 19,

Big Boats by owner:

30-plus club (8 boats): Catalina 30 (Letterio), Catalina 30 (Horn), Cape Dory 30 (MacArthur, mooring), Ericson 30 (Grady), Newport 30 (Nelson – in Mexico), Hunter 336 (Eaton - east coast), Lagoon 37 (Callahan, boat in BVIs), Westsail 32 (Parkinson),

28 - 29’ (3 boats): Bayfield 29 (Cook – not active), Columbia 28 (Crowl), Lancer 28 (Andersen),

27’ (14 boats): Cape Dory 27 (Yost), Cal 27 (Krukar), Catalina 27 (Baudoin), Catalina 27 (J. Burns), Catalina 27 (Carlson), Catalina 27 (Linneman), Catalina 27 (Martin – sold), Catalina 27 (Pace), Catalina 27 (Partridge - sold to new club members), Catalina 27 (Pecherer), Catalina 27 (Sharp), Catalina 27 (Tallarico), O’Day 272 (Enloe), Stiletto 27 Cat (Perls, not active)

Most common "Fleets"
17 Catalina 22
15 Catalina 25/250
13 MacGregor 26 (26C, S, D)
10 Catalina 27
8 J-24
5 Cal 25
4 Hunter 26/260
4 MacGregor 25
4 Hunter 23/23.5
4 MacGregor 22
2 Catalina 30
2 Ericson 26
2 Ericson 25
2 Bayfield 25
2 Hunter 240
2 Beneteau 235/F235
2 Cal 2-27
2 Freedom 21
2 Cal 20
2 Capri 18
2 Laguna 18
2 Potter 19
2 Potter 15
2 Starwind 19

1 Cape Dory 30
1 Ericson 30
1 Newport 30
1 Hunter 336,
1 Lagoon 37,
1 Westsail 32
1 Bayfield 29
1 Columbia 28
1 Lancer 28
1 Cape Dory 27
1 Cal 27,
1 O’Day 272,
1 Stiletto 27 Cat,
1 Capri 26,
1 Clipper Marine 26,
1 Laguna 26,
1 O Day 26,
1 Ranger 26,
1 Pearson 26,
1 American 25,
Hunter 25.5,
? 25, ?? 25,
Schooner Creek,
Westerly 25,
Westerly 252,
Blackwatch 24,
Cal 24,
Columbia 24,
Compac 24,
Smokrcraft24 Pontoon sl,
Aquarius 23,
Balboa 23,
Columbia 23,
Fun 23,
Iona 23,
Mirage 236,
Montgomery 23,
North American Spirit 23,
O’Day 23,
Ranger 23,
Rob Roy 23,
SalCommet 23,
Balboa 22,
Merit 22,
Venture 22,
Spin Drift 22,
Ranger 22,
Bass Pride 21,
Clipper Marine 21,
MacGregor 21,
North American Spirit 21,
San Juan 21,
Santana 21,
Santana ??,
Suntracker 21 Pontoon,
Venture 21
Santana 20,
Catalina 14,
Capri 14.2 ,
Compac 16,
Douglass 19 ,
Drascombe 18,
Montgomery 15,
SunTracker 18

e-mail to New Mexico State Parks re marina

The New Mexico Sailing Club hopes to replace the drought-damaged "A dock" portion of our marina at Heron Lake State Park this coming spring with a new dock. (It will have the same number of slips but will have several improvements and be designed to resist damage from possible future groundings.)

We think this is good news not only for the sailing club, but for Heron Lake State Park and all the boaters who use the lake, which in its cool mountain setting is one of New Mexico's pristine treasures.

As most of you know, the recent drought caused many economic and personal hardships in the Chama Valley. The A Dock replacement and other possible improvements, which will require a large financial investment and sacrifice of time and effort by the club and its members, will be our contribution to re-building facilities and services and bringing visitors back to the area.

Naturally, we want to work with the State Parks to coordinate our plans and to get word out when the improved facility becomes available. To that end, we plan to visit and consult with Anthony Marquez at Heron Lake State Park about the new marina and other ideas for supporting park users and the park. We also expect to resume a full and active schedule of activities at the marina in the coming summer. We look forward to working with the park, the Friends of Heron and El Vado Lakes, and other local groups to support park projects, promote water safety, and publicize the park as a destination.

Please contact me with any questions, comments, requests, or suggestions.

Pat Byrnes
New Mexico Sailing Club officers and board of directors for 2006

Commodore, Pat Byrnes, HC 75 Box 1006, Rutheron, NM 87551-9700,,

Vice Commodore, Richard Koch,
Secretary, Eddie Dry,
Treasurer, Roger Vinyard,
Past Commodore, Lisa Carlson,

Directors at Large
Meg Meltz,
Rich Strasia,
Giles Pennington,
Ken Mitchell,
Dan Hoyer,
Tom Riggs,
Bob Hopper

NMSC Club mailing address:
New Mexico Sailing Club,
PO Box 1795,
Bernalillo, NM 87004

NMSC Website:

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dockmaster Duties and Comments for Heron Lake Marina, New Mexico Sailing Club

Dockmaster’s Duties

The half-week dockmaster assigned periods are Saturday midnight through Wednesday noon and Wednesday noon through the following Saturday midnight. Extra dockmasters are assigned during holiday weekends from Friday midnight through Tuesday noon or Thursday midnight through Monday noon depending on when the observed holiday falls. Dockmasters must be at least 18 years old for insurance considerations.

A person serving as dockmaster shall:

1. Use his or her best efforts to preserve the security and safety of all club property and the boats using the slips and buoys under the club’s control, with due regard for his or her own personal safety.

2. Be located either on the docks or camped at the point. The area cannot be adequately monitored from a buoy. A dockmaster’s slip is provided for use by those on buoys and others who prefer that location.

3. Serve as club safety representative at the Marina, being especially watchful of minors.

4. Make sure that life vests (2 minimum) are always kept in the dinghies.

5. Be in attendance 24 hours a day within sight of docks and buoys. However, if two dockmasters are on duty, one may leave for reasonable time periods provided the other dockmaster is in agreement. If the weather is threatening, or if it is a busy time such as a weekend or other needy situations, all dockmasters shall stay on duty at the docks. An assigned dockmaster shall not enter a scheduled race activity when he or she is scheduled to “dock sit” unless a responsible adult serves as an alternate.

6. Check all boats for proper mooring security at least once a day. Inventory the boats vs. buoys after severe weather to check for boats breaking away from their buoys. NOTE: Pay particular attention to boats sitting low in the water after a lightning storm, as a lightning strike will frequently burn holes through the hull below water line.

7. Challenge suspicious or unknown persons at or near boats.

8. Keep track of club dinghies, keeping them accessible for ready use by the buoy renters.

9. Give assistance to those entering or leaving slips. This item requires reasonable judgment. It is not necessary to assist each and every boat entering or leaving. However, when obvious need or courtesy dictates, effort should be made to help. Help should be given, for example, when someone is having trouble or when high winds are making docking hazardous. NOTE: Board policy is that returning boats shall fly colored flags (Red for “A” Dock, Yellow for “B” dock, or Green for “C” Dock) when assistance is requested.

10. Make a reasonable effort to contact a boat’s owner if any significant problem occurs at the facilities or with a particular boat, such as a break-a-way or an apparent leak.. Make appropriate entries in the Log Book of such situations.

11. Rent transient slips at posted rates on a first- come first-served basis, with no reservations being permitted prior to the day of rental, and with cash or check payment being required in advance. Have the renter sign a license agreement. Keep a written record of all transient slip rentals by slip number, including names, addresses, term of rentals, and fees paid.

12. Give assistance to renters in locating their proper buoy or slip when they first bring their boats to the marina. The assignments are normally designated on the marina map located in the dock house.

13. Keep the dinghies bailed clear of rainwater.

14. Perform appropriate maintenance on the facilities as time permits. A list of needed small jobs will be found in the Job Jar.

15. Make legible entries in the Log Book of all important events.

16. Attempt to enforce the vehicle loading and unloading parking rule on the point. The current ruling by the Park Ranger in agreement with the club, states that a maximum of two vehicles (two dockmasters) may be parked past the sign at any time, except for loading and unloading. Twenty to thirty minutes for loading and unloading is considered an adequate time.

17. Limited courtesy dock use to approximately 30 minutes.

18. Keep the propane bottles for the barbecue grills filled. Turn in receipt to club treasurer for reimbursement.

19. Put pavilion trashcans in shed each night so that raccoons do not scatter trash.

NOTES to Dockmaster Duties

1. Additional tasks to be performed by work parties and/or dockmasters during marina opening and closing include setting up or dismantling the club VHF radio, and setting out or taking in fire extinguishers, life rings, and solar lights. During opening, launch and secure dinghies; during closing gather and secure dinghies under the shelter and stack picnic tables. Valuable or delicate items such as the club radio and books or DVDs or videos should be removed for safe storage during winter. Gas grills are usually removed for winter storage and spring cleaning. Items such as the pumpout pump, generator, and barge motor should be secured for the winter.

3. Fishing is not permitted on piers but is allowed from boats. Flying fish hooks or congested or bait-slimed piers are a safety hazard. It is possible that the club will apply for a grant to be able to provide PFDs to park visitors in 2006. Help work parties keep work areas uncluttered and safe. Try to maintain the safety of trails and access paths.

5. Unusual conditions in 2005 resulted in only one dockmaster being on duty much of the time. This is undesirable. Scheduling more dockmasters for 2006 will be a high priority, though there may still be times when only one dockmaster is present. The club should consider ways to mitigate this situation. If an emergency arises, such as a dockmaster’s period expiring without a relief dockmaster appearing in a timely manner, the dockmaster on duty at a minimum should notify a member of the executive board and arrange to either lock the dockhouse and access gate to the point or call for a substitute dockmaster/dockmaster for hire. One possible mitigation would be to provide an lockable access gate on the gangway with a combination lock that could be changed periodically.

6. Also check the work barge when checking on boats.

7. Greet visitors and potential members and try to provide them with any requested information about the club, club membership, slip and buoy rentals, club events, or Heron Lake and surroundings.

9. Normally, colored cloth strips with clips are available for sale to slip users. New ones need to be made up for 2006.

11. Slip rental forms ran out late in 2005. New forms should include a space for e-mail addresses.

15. Important events to be logged could include boat or marina problems (breakaways from slips or moorings, leaks, break-ins), severe weather, missing dockmasters, medical emergencies, damage to the marina or dinghies (sheared bolts, loose or rough boards, cracking concrete), missing or needed equipment or tools or supplies (trash bags, party supplies, grill lighters), accomplishments of work parties, social events, races, visitors, names and contact information for potential members, significant changes in water level, inspection visits by park staff or insurance company representatives.

18. Propane bottles can be refilled at the Stone House Lodge. Igniters/matches can also be bought there or at the Heron Store or Henry’s in Tierra Amarilla. In the past, the club has had an account at the Stone House and it may be possible to renew the account in 2006. Note that using charcoal briquettes in the grills will damage them and should not be allowed.

19. Pavillion trash should be emptied each night (weekends or busy times) by dockmasters. When the lake is filling rapidly, watch for and remove, if possible, debris washing into the marina. When the lake is lowering rapidly, watch for and try to remove debris or trash exposed at the shoreline. Provide the dump tank key as needed for sailors who need to empty their porta-potties and assist with operation of the pumpout if needed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

EZ Dock Proposal to replace Heron Lake marina, New Mexico Sailing Club

In May, EZ Dock proposed to replace the entire marina at a cost of a little under $368k. Installation and 62 anchors (and I think winches) would need to be provided by the club.

Heron Lake, New Mexico, and other area lake info., December 4, 2005 data

"Water buckets" describing recent status of area lakes. From the Bureau of Reclamation.

Good web sites for tracking Heron include,
(gives current and up to 72 hours of past data for lakes and streams)
(table, updated around the middle of the month, for the year up through the prior month, showing what happened to the water)
(produced the pretty picture above, showing, for example, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy has taken most of its water for the year, but Albuquerque has just started.)
(gives status of state parks, fishing conditions, etc.)

Heron Lake level and conditions, Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Heron Lake, NM, on Tuesday, December 6, was at elevation of 7148.23 feet with 212,307 acre feet in storage. Heron continues its fall discharge at a moderate, steady rate, losing 11.16 inches and about 3,830 acre feet in the last week and 16,000 a.f during November.

The lake is about 5 feet 2.2 inches below this summer's highest elevation after coming to within 3 inches of the summer peak during October. (This year's peak was about 7153.41', 234,174 acre feet. 400,000 acre feet at about 7,184' is considered full, spillway would be at 7,186' and about 410,000 a.f.). Contractors have already taken about 35,200 acre feet of water [Middle Rio Grande Conservancy, Cochiti, City of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and other contractors], out of the lake this season, so only about 61,000 a.f. remains to be taken out.) Willow Creek is no longer flowing at any significant rate and is beginning to freeze.

All boats are out of the marina. The marina is closed and de-commissioned for winter. Dinghies and picnic tables are stacked; books, fire extinguishers, and bbq grills have been removed. The State Parks rangers have agreed to lock the gate. The club has received a proposal for replacing A dock. The board and club will need to discuss this soon and come to a decision.

Now is the time to expect rapid changes in the lake level, as this November is when Albuquerque takes its water. This doesn't change the prediction for this winter/early spring 2006's low ebb of about 4.7 to 4.9 feet of water in Willow Creek Cove, if the contractors remove all their 2005 allocation before we get any 2006 runoff. (The contractors must either use their water in 2005 or else call for it by December 31st in order not to lose it.)

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District has used up most of its allocation this year, and the Cochiti Recreation Pool has probably taken much of their water already. Now, the biggest user, the City of Albuquerque, along with other contractors, is taking its water. Note that typically a small part of a given year's water allocation isn't removed until sometime in the following spring.

As of October 31, the lake was at 231,310 acre feet, elevation of 7152.75, had discharged 17,255 acre-feet of San Juan-Chama water during the 2005 season, and lost 6,217 acre-feet to evaporation. No Rio Grande water was retained in the lake; the lake instead was owed 30 acre-feet of Rio Grande water. So far, as of Dec. 5, the lake has lost 18,900 acre-feet of water since then; best guess at a breakdown would be 19,400 a.f. SJ-C discharge, 100 a.f. of evaporation, and 600 a.f. SJ-C inflow.

The fearless prediction for the water level the marina winds up in for the end of this coming winter/early spring of 2006 is about 4.9 feet, plus 1.0 feet or minus 0.3 feet (above the level of most of the silt, not counting a couple of "bumps" such as the ridge under the walkway connecting B and C). It might remain slightly deeper if some 2006 runoff arrives before all the 2005 water has been discharged.

Conditions at other area lakes :
El Vado, elev. 6,873.66', 108,092 acre feet,
Abiquiu, elev. 6,204.02, 124,929 acre feet,
Cochiti, elev. 5,339.73', 48,829 acre feet,

Elephant Butte, elevation 4,330.78', 392,298 acre feet, minimal discharge. The lake is rising. Elephant Butte Lake reached its low point for the season between 7:00 and 9:00 AM on Tuesday, October 11, 2005, at an elevation of 4,325.28', 332,602 acre feet. It has since risen 5 feet 8.4 inches (68") and 59,696 acre feet in 55 days (as of Mon., Dec. 5, 2005).

A Dock Proposal from ShoreMaster

Top half of memo from ShoreMaster describing proposed replacement for A dock.
Upgrades to our present system include (1) structure designed without deep underwater substructure so it can much better withstand grounding, (2) encased flotation that meets modern environmental requirements, (3) a cleat at the head of each slip instead of a cleat shared by two boats, (4) bumpers/padding included, (5) wood decking over corner braces adds to pier space/potential storage, (6) larger slips - about a foot wider and three feet longer.

West half (furthest out) of ShoreMaster design for replacement A dock.

East half (closest to dock house) of proposed A dock replacement.

Left side of detail page from ShoreMaster proposal. Concrete-weighted tires are used to induce a catenary in the anchor cables to keep them below keel level. The cable fairleads/guides are the deepest part of the marina structure and even these only go a couple or so feet below water level. The dock structure is designed to be able to sit on the ground if necessary - though we would probably want to move it to deeper water in the event of a future low-water season.

Right side of detail sheet for proposed A Dock replacement.

Comment Block

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rio Grande Sailing Club Kris Kringle Race, Dec. 3 - 4, 2005

Race start showing a row of transoms; Etchells "Constellation" to port, then J-24 "Kachina" in center and S2-34 "Cultural Infidel to starboard; just a bit of the sail of J-24 "DOB" is visible beyond Cultural Infidel.

A couple of days before the regatta, the weather forecasters couldn't agree on a wind prediction for Saturday, with guesses of 8, 15, or 22 knots of wind. Saturday morning at the skippers meeting things were also a bit uncertain because a couple of the boats and crews that were supposed to show up for match racing didn't show. Some may have chickened out for the wind; one skipper had forgotten that he was supposed to play in a concert, and we never heard what happened to the J-22s. One of the water-ballast skippers decided prudently not to launch with strong winds forecast, but some of our bigger boats decided the strong winds were just the ticket, so the Ranger 32 "Shonto" and Hunter 34 "Windependent" went out. Also, the crew of the S2-34 "Cultural Infidel" joined us later, though too late to scare up enough crew to race.

We took our MacGregor 26 (swing centerboard, water ballast) out with a passenger who though it would be more fun to help with race committee than to race. The marina was somewhat protected; steady winds were 18 knots in the marina but stronger out on the lake. As we went out, and motored around looking for a good place to set the pin and wait for the other boat crews to join us and have a chat, conditions were rough enough that our passenger wasn't at all happy to be on the water. We also had concerns about whether our anchor would hold and weren't able to raise any boats on VHF, though the marina could hear us. Larry, our race committee chair was crewing on "Windependent" so we motored up as they sailed so we could talk - or at least, try to shout and hear.

Both boats, but mostly our light boat, were bouncing around and Larry and Marty and the folks on Windependent were really nervous as we pulled within five yards of Windependent. Maintaining position was a bit of a challenge in the waves. Also, our Mac's 9.9 hp Tohatsu is mounted to port and the lower unit tended to pop out of the water when the wind was on the port beam or quarter, making it even harder to maintain position. Larry didn't think this was a good place for us to be. So, with conditions deteriorating as the winds kept building, we canned Saturday's races, though some of the bigger boats sailed for fun and a couple of smaller boats (Greg Simon and the boat owners of Cochiti gang) that weren't racing stayed out most of the day. Still, this was more of a day for heavy boats.

Because our outbooard's lower unit and prop kept popping out of the water (and our passenger didn't want the boat to heel), we wound up motor-tacking to calmer waters near shore and then making for the marina. We later learned that winds had been steady at 32 mph at one point and gusting to 47. So, we were happy enough to go ashore and get a couple of mineral bath soaks at our motel in Truth or Consequences, which is also a spa. Later that evening, we went to the club Christmas/holiday party, which had good attendance with about 45 adults (counting Gerald with the adults) and 4 kids, who kept things lively. The food was good (the Damsite had specially re-opened their restaurant out-of-season to accommodate us) and the selection, unwrapping, and thieving of the white elephant gifts were also fun.

Sunday, though a bit chilly, had beautiful steady winds in the 8 - 12 knot range with gusts limited to about 15 knots or less. Unusually for our lake, the winds were also quite steady in direction, staying within a 30 degree arc the whole time. (This is the lake where I once did a 720 without changing trim!)

Although some winter weekends are bitter with wind or chill, others can be a complete delight and clear, sunny days are the rule rather than the exception. The crowds of summer are long gone, replaced by grebes and other waterfowl and wildlife. This past weekend had a little bit of everything; roaring winds and lovely, steady breezes, wildlife, drama and excitement and ripped sails, good racing duels, a great party, and something for just about everyone. All the folks who chickened out or had other commitments missed out on a great time. Remember, the weather forecasters are lucky if they nail the prediction for the lake, so the best thing to do is to just show up and see what happens. Whatever happens, it probably won't bore you.

J-24 "Kachina" with Julie Boyce at the helm, Sue Strasia, Marilyn Bush, Jo Ann Underwood crewing. RGSC women have started training for a potential area womens championship regatta.

Cultural Infidel (with Russ Jellison, Maria Gallegos, Dale, Richard Dittmar, Gerald Byrnes) (photo 120).

Sunday, December 4, 2005 Cool, bright day with steady, fairly strong, steady breezes of 8 to 15 kts., some moderate gusts 15 to 18 kts (about Force 4/3/4 for races 1/2/3), wave heights 1 foot with some breaking wavelets but no whitecapping. Wind direction steady with about 30 degrees throughout the race.

Horn needs a new canister; it conked out so we tried our boat's internal horn, then Russ's mouth horn, then one of our air horns. We made a copy of the uncorrected raw times, so here goes...

Race 1, "5 Gulf" (full sausage starting to the north)
Winds 12 kts approx. from NE/NNE, temp. 45 deg. F, sunny
Start Time 10:50:30 AM MST
Larry Jessee 38:29
Russ Jellison 44:18
Sue Strasia 44:52
Rich Strasia 45:12

Race 2, "5 Gulf" (full sausage starting to the north)
Winds 10 kts approx., from NNE, 46 deg. F temp., sunny Start Time 11:47:30 AM MST
Larry Jessee 37:27
Russ Jellison 45:21
Sue Strasia 46:02
Rich Strasia 43:58

Race 3, "5 Gulf" (full sausage starting to the north)
Winds 12 kts approx., from NNE, 48 deg. F temp., sunny, lighter wind at first that got strong on the downwind
Start Time 12:40:00 PM MST
Larry Jessee 32:01
Russ Jellison 41:01
Sue Strasia 37:23
Rich Strasia 38:06

Kris Kringle Fun Race, Elephant Butte Lake, RGSC

Front: S2-34 "Cultural Infidel" leading J-24 "DOB". Back: Kettletop mesa. Elephant Butte Lake is gradually recovering from drought; when full it is New Mexico's largest lake. The Kris Kringle race was held on Sunday after Saturday proved just a bit too windy for racing.

J-24's "DOB" and "Kachina" running downwind on Sunday, December 4, 2005.

Etchells 22 "Constellation" with Larry Jessee at the helm.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Whisper - part III

Al S. and Roger E. returned from getting stuff taken down and working on Whisper at Joes' place in T or C. They had good success in getting the rudder mounted and in figuring out a whole lot of stuff, reuniting boat parts with Whispher, and scoping out the general status of what's hooked up. The work does look very do-able. Stan H. also got to get down to see the boat and help out.

Next steps... might seem to be something like:

Order or make a replacement ring for the ring that holds the top of the rudder. The old one was rusted and had a slit cut into it; it's installed and pretty strong but replacement would mean that things are really secure and that the ring wouldn't drag. The rudder is mounted and installed, but making sure that it's secure is a good thing, and some of the work near the back end of engine doesn't want to be done until the rudder is all completely secure.

Find (or purchase) the two setscrews for the cutless bearing so it can be secured and won't spin around. These may be somewhere in Marty's garage or home.

Cut off (dremel tool) the old cutless bearing -- it's been pushed up out of the way and the new one is in position.

Find the prop nut and bring it down to Whisper so the prop can be attached.

Find a location or install another mounting plate for the engine cranking battery (group 24, separate from the two larger group 27 house batteries) (maybe it went where the water heater is loosely placed now at the aft end of the port lazerette).

Find Rob's plans for where he wanted to install things such as the batteries, water heater, etc. (I could help with scanning and copying.)

After the rudder mounting is finished for certain, then hook up hoses (cockpit drain, water heater, engine cooling, engine fill, etc.) and install the water heater, and mount and connect the engine cranking battery.

Wire the electrical selector switch/cut off switch in between the batteries and the electrical panel. Right now the main panel is always hot; Al thinks this may have been a temporary set-up to test the panel.

Install the latch for the anchor locker hatch so it can be secured/won't blow off. (Al and Roger got the hinges installed.)

Do some fiberglass patching and finish-sanding where thin spots were made when blisters were scraped away. Prepare the hull for painting.

Identify which parts go with the boom and mount them.

Trouble-shoot the bilge sniffer/propane system controls so that the propane can be used to heat the boat; the alarm went off when Roger and Stan tried to hook up propane.

Generally do lots of finding small pieces, hooking up of hoses and electric lines, testing, and tidying-up.