Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sail Whisper part 2

View forward from Whisper's salon. Generous standing headroom and rich woods with woven cane inserts for locker door panels give this 32-footer the inviting, luxurious feel of an old-time exclusive lodge.

View forward from salon showing cedar-shelved storage locker to port v-berth forward.
View to port, just forward of companion way, showing galley and lovely woodwork aboard Whisper.

View aft toward galley.

Engine installation.

Sail Whisper

Whisper is looking for a new story to write a happy ending to her wanderings. Whisper is an Islander 32 fin-keel, diesel engine sailboat located in Truth or Consequences near Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico. Because of a family tragedy, some other sailor will have to continue Whisper's voyage.

Whisper towers over her boatyard neighbors and is impressive to the eye.

Whisper's home port, Corpus Christi, was painted in anticipation of the owners' early retirement move to Rockport, Texas, near Corpus Christi Bay.

Starboard view, Whisper in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

View from the back porch in Laguna Vista

(2303) Back porch near completion, Shroyer Drive, Laguna Vista. It's a nice place to watch the deer and rabbits. Stucco and permanent steps will have to wait for next season; winter months can be cool in the mountains.

(2307) Back porch, cabin in Laguna Vista in Rio Arriba County, northern New Mexico, elevation approx. 7350 feet above sea level.

Heron Lake Marina, Nov. 13, 2005 - New Mexico Sailing Club

2308. New Mexico Sailing Club, view over A and B docks toward the west and the Narrows, shortly after seasonal closure of the club-owned and operated marina at Heron Lake State Park in far northern New Mexico. (New Mexico Sailing Club, PO Box 1795, Bernalillo, NM 87004)

2309. View toward south-southwest and boat ramp area overlooking New Mexico Sailing Club marina (A dock, picnic shelter, dockhouse).

2310. view of Heron Lake marina in Willow Creek Cove during the off-season, view over B dock west toward the Narrows and the main body of Heron Lake, elev. 7152'.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rio Grande Sailing Club fall regatta: Kachina, The Hunter, Big Talker

Rich and Sue Strasia aboard the J-24 "Kachina" on a run with Kettletop Mesa and mountains in the background (photo no. 2199). Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico, November 5, 2005, during the Rio Grande Sailing Club fall regatta.

"The Hunter", commodore Richard Dittmar's water-ballast Hunter 26 with John Welty and Gerald Byrnes aboard as crew, glides over Elephant Butte Lake on November 6, 2005 (photo 2237).

Ted Lewis and Susy Gemoets aboard the MacGregor 26 "Big Talker", Sunday, November 6, 2005 at Elephant Butte Lake. Kettletop Mesa in background (photo 2264).

J 22's at Elephant Butte Lake, Fall Regatta, November 5-6, 2005

J-22 "Imafirst" with skipper John Savickas (photo 2213) in the Rio Grande Sailing Club fall regatta, November 5-6, 2005.

Jon Pillars and crew of Scirocco's Song at Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico (photo 2220).

no. 2221 J-22 "Scirocco's Song" on a shimmering lake, November 6, 2005.

Cultural Infidel, S2 34 at Elephant Butte Lake

Bow-on view of 34' S2 with Kettletop Mesa and mountains in background to northeast at Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico (photo no. 2179). This photo was taken during the Rio Grande Sailing Club fall regatta, November 5-6, 2005. Sailboat races are held nearly year round by the RGSC at Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico. Other club activities include social events, "raft-ups", clinics, and club cruises.

Backlit 34' S2 "Cultural Infidel" with other Rio Grande SailingClub boats in background, Rattlesnake Island, and peaks to the south of Elephant Butte Lake (photo no. 2186).

Cultural Infidel with Kettletop Mesa in background (photo no. 2202), fall regatta, November 5, 2005 at Elephant Butte Lake.

Russ Jellison and Marie Gallegos sail their S2 34 "Cultural Infidel" in the Rio Grande Sailing Club fall regatta, November 6, 2005 at Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico (photo 2295).

Rio Grande Sailing Club, November 5, 2005, Etchells 22 "Constellation"

Stern view of "Constellation" (photo. no. 2173)

2169. Etchells 22, with mountains in background.

no. 2162, Nov. 5, 2005 at Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico
Etchells 22 "Constellation" gliding along in light conditions, Larry Jessee, skipper.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Conditions at New Mexico sailing lakes as of Monday, November 7:

Elephant Butte Lake, elevation 4,327.36', 354,607 acre feet,
up 3.6 inches and 3,228 a.f. in 72 hours, no significant discharge. (4 cfs)
The lake is rising.

It has about 10,750 surface acres or 17 square miles, has an average depth of about 33 feet, and is about 17 per cent full.

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. On the morning of Oct. 11, the discharge rate was 960 c.f.s. at 0800, 281 c.f.s. at 0900, 125 c.f.s. at 1000, and 68 c.f.s. at 1100.

It has since risen 25 inches and 22,005 acre feet in 27 days.

Great caution is still advised for any shallow-draft boats attempting to navigate around the west side of Rattlesnake Island or the east side of the Elephant. Horse Island may just barely be an island now but may not be circumnavigable until mid-December.

Other New Mexico Lakes used by sailors:

El Vado Lake, elev. 6,874.36', 109,633 acre feet, up about 3 inches in a week

Abiquiu Lake, elev. 6,200.62', 113,735 acre feet, up about a foot.

Cochiti Lake, elev. 5,339.47', 48,259 acre feet, up about 3 inches in a week.

Heron Lake, New Mexico (New Mexico Sailing Club) on Monday, November 7, was at elevation of 7152.01 feet with 228,131 acre feet in storage. The New Mexico Sailing Club marina is closed for the season and will most likely re-open around late April of 2006.

Heron Lake has started its fall discharge, losing 4 inches and 1464 acre feet in 72 hours, and losing 9.6 inches and about 3,442 acre feet in the last week because of discharge (maybe 3,800 a.f. plus maybe 100 a.f. of evaporation) outpacing a bit of water (about 500 a.f.) still arriving in the lake.

The lake is about 17 inches below this summer's highest elevation after rising to within 3 inches of the summer peak in 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 19,000 acre feet of water [mostly Middle Rio Grande Conservancy, probably some Cochiti and City of Santa Fe, and now probably Albuquerque and other contractors], out of the lake this season, so only about 78,000 a.f. remains to be taken out.) Willow Creek has been flowing at variable rates of 20 to 50 cubic feet per second, rising during rainy periods.

As of Sunday, Oct. 30, only 1 boat remained in the marina (MacGregor with AZ registration number). The marina is closed and de-commissioned for winter. Dinghies and picnic tables are stacked; books, fire extinguishers, and bbq grills have been removed.

Now is the time to expect rapid changes in the lake level, as this November is when Albuquerque and other contractors take most of their 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.)