Friday, February 10, 2006

New Mexico Sailing Club update

Tuesday, February 7, 2006, NMSC update, revised Friday, Feb. 10th, yet again Mon., Feb. 13!

Don’t Forget to Mark Your Calendars:

NMSC Club Meeting, Friday, February 24, 2006, Eldorado Community Center east of Santa Fe.
Potluck dinner, club budget presentation, Adams Cup update, Antarctica travel show. Directions: I-25 to about 8 miles s.e. of Santa Fe, exit 290 to US 285 south [road to Cline’s Corners], then south perhaps a half mile to the first light, turn right [west] for about 1.1 miles on Avenida de Amistad. Gather at 6:00, enjoy potluck and fellowship, start meeting at 6:30.

Also, Friday, March 17, 2006, Fuddrucker’s Famous Hamburgers in Albuquerque, Pan American (I-25) West (southbound) access road south of Jefferson (near the big Century Rio movie theater) (room in east end of building),

Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 2, probably beginning of work parties at Heron Lake marina for A-dock disassembly and marina re-building, and

Friday, April 21, 2006, Gabriel’s Restaurant, US 285/84 Cuyamungue exit 176 between Tesuque and Pojoaque. THIS ONE MAY HAVE TO BE RE-SCHEDULED: Pat and Carol Anne Byrnes, Lisa Carlson, Rich and Sue Strasia, Sarah Manges, and probably some other folks will definitely be tied up with the Adams Cup regatta at Elephant Butte Lake that weekend.

! W O N R E E T N U L O V

Marina Report:

Last Sunday, Feb. 5th, I visited the marina. It’s having some problems with this winter’s conditions and we’ll need to do some work on it as soon as the ice breaks up. Right now, all of what’s left of Willow Creek cove is iced up pretty heavily; open water is about 100+ yards from the marina. Part of the connecting walkway (between A and B, right over where the B-south truss would attach to the connecting walkway) has twisted and buckled upward and A dock looks a little bit out of line.

There may be several causes:
* Winches probably haven’t been tightened as the marina and lake have lowered.

* The main lake is open and is going down by about a foot a month but the marina has been mostly locked in ice during the winter. (A dock in particular has been in and out of the ice.)

* The marina doesn’t have all of its cross-cables and reinforcements attached or adjusted properly.

Also, we didn’t have a full crew to do all the things we’d have liked to have done when shutting the marina down. Now that the lake is down and the cove iced up, the gangways are a mess. The gangway that went to C dock is on land, resting on top of a swim ladder (!) that was uncovered by the receding ice and water; the float there is partially grounded. Near the dockhouse, the improvised gangway of lashed piers is partially grounded on land and tangled up with a tree trunk that drifted into position.

What needs to be done:
A “marina expert” needs to adjust the winches soon. As soon as the ice melts, perhaps near the end of the month, a small crew needs to mess with the gangways (untangle them from shore and float them) and with straightening out the marina. Also, it would be good to crank the marina several feet further from shore, as soon as the ice melts so that this is possible.

If people are really enthusiastic, we could work on the trails down to the water’s edge and inventory the tool supply so we can replace tools before this spring’s work sessions and prepare for A dock removal.

Also, people can be thinking about and looking at potential alternate locations for the marina, such as the cove between Brushy Point and the Island View campground. People are needed to help plan the club’s options for dealing with future droughts and lake level changes.

Other Changes:
The overnight fee will go up to $10 (ten dollars) this year. It hadn’t been changed in many years; the part of the raise that goes to our concession fees will be our little extra contribution to the state treasury and the state parks folks.

We also hope that, after the new A dock is installed, we’ll be able to re-deploy the old state parks docks and re-cycle parts of the old A west to repair, maintain, improve, and protect the marina.

! W O N R E E T N U L O V

A Dock Replacement:
The new dock is being designed and fabricated by ShoreMaster/Galvafoam Corp. in Camdenton, Missouri. Mark Paz is available to help with diving for the old A dock disassembly, which we hope can start on April 1st. Fabrication is reported to be about on schedule. Look for more updates soon.


Lake Report:

Most of the contractor water has been taken out but the lake still has several feet to go down.

We expect some runoff this spring, but probably quite a bit less than the nominal “full yield” of 96,200 acre feet and certainly far less than last year’s generous runoff. There should be plenty for sailing, but the club will need to pay extra attention to gangways and marina access so that getting to the marina is as safe and easy as possible.

Heron Lake, NM on Monday, February 6, was at elevation of 7139.92 feet with 179,911 acre feet of water. Heron continues its winter discharge at a steady rate, losing about an inch and a half and 500 acre feet of water each day (11.5 inches and 3,550 a.f. for the week) and about 19,701 a.f. from January 1 through Feb. 6. That would bring the total contractor discharge to 65,900 acre feet and the amount to be discharged to 30,300 a.f., which would leave the lake at about 149,600 a.f. before adding any early spring runoff water to the figure.

The lake is about 13 feet 6 inches below this summer's highest elevation. The marina is in about 14.5 feet of water and the lake will go down about another 8.5 feet. The marina was locked in ice (about an inch or two thick) on Sunday. Willow Creek Cove was frozen, and the nearest open water was about 100 yards from the marina in the Narrows.

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 5 feet, plus 1.0 feet or minus 0.35 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.

The 2006 snow-pack is off to a slow start. Colorado has lots of snow, but there's not so much in southern Colorado. New Mexico is much worse off. If we get 50% to 75% of the "normal" 96,200-acre "firm yield", we'll have plenty for a great summer of sailing, but will face hard grounding in the winter or spring of late 2006 or early 2007. (In this scenario, the marina would wind up about a foot above the lake level next winter unless spring runoff arrived early in 2007; water level fluctuations would be likely to cause some further damage to the old B and C docks and connecting walkway unless the marina were to be re-located.)
Snotel summary for the Upper Colorado Region as of Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Area % of avg. snow water equivalent % of avg. accumulated precipitation
New Mexico Upper Chama 41% 47%
Colorado Upper Rio Grande 45% 65%
Colorado San Juan/SW area 55% 71%


Adams Cup Championships come to New Mexico:

Some women from the NMSC are among those who have already started practicing for the Adams Cup regional qualifying regatta to be held April 21, 22, and 23 (NEW DATE!) at Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico. Still, it’s not too late for more ladies to join in the fun (and guys and all sorts of folks, racers or not; coaches and all sorts of logistical support will be needed). The more the merrier! Also, if our teams do well, they may be on their way to Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, for the Area F semi-finals.

Sue and Rich Strasia are among the principal organizers of the event, which will be held on J-24’s. The two best teams will go on to the Area F semi-final, which will probably be held this summer at Lake Travis in Austin; and the winner there will go on to the National Championship in Cleveland, Ohio (Lake Erie), in September, where the Adams Cup championship will occur at the same venue and time as the Mallory Cup team championship for men. New Mexico will have at least team representing the RGSC and a team representing the NMSC; if not many out-of-state teams register we may be able to fill the slots with a third or fourth team if enough New Mexico sailing women show interest and commitment. Other competitors may be coming from Colorado and perhaps even Wyoming or Nebraska.

Rich and Sue also contributed to the selection process for New Mexico’s women to sail in the Adams Cup. Teams may earn points for first- and second-place finishes during specified practice races (one weekend each month) and during regattas at Elephant Butte Lake this winter and spring. The next regatta at the Butte is the Valentine’s Chute-Out, to be held the weekend of February 18 and 19 at the lake. Skippers’ meetings begin before each race at 10:00 am; races usually begin at about 1:00 pm, all depending upon weather, time of year, length of day, etc.

This is a big deal for New Mexico to be hosting the Adams Cup and we hope that a whole lot of NMSC members will be available to watch the Cup Regatta in May, and perhaps help out with practices, hospitality, publicity, logistics, and all of the many details with which the RGSC host club could use a hand.

Also, the NMSC needs to supply liaison folks to help with the selection committee and all the other planning and organizing work that will be needed to make this regatta a success. Rich and Sue and a few other sailors are doing a lot of work but they’ll need a huge amount of help.

NMSC members are always welcome to come to Elephant Butte lake to participate in RGSC “sister club” events. Items on the calendar include

February 11, 12 women's sailing practice and instruction
February 18, 19 Chute-Out Regatta and Distance Race
Feb. 23, (Thursday) Fleet social possibly at Pasta House in Rio Rancho
Feb. 25, 26 women's sailing practice and instruction

March 11, 12 Spring Series 1
March 25, 26 Spring Series 2

April 8, 9 Spring Series 3 (may be attended NMSC members who are excused from that weekend’s work party at Heron!)
April 15 (Good Friday) Pickle Race for NM Boys and Girls Ranch youth
April 21, 22, 23 Adams Cup Regatta at Elephant Butte - -
(Area F, S.A.I.L. Regional Qualifying Event for US Sailing Championships)
April 29, 30 Club Championships/Spring Series 4

May 5, 6, 7 Adams Cup (Lake Travis, Texas, Area F Semi-Finals Event for US Sailing Championships for Women's Team Sailing)
May 13, Joshua Slocum single-hander solo race
May 14, Jack and Jill her-and-his race
May 20, Anniversary Cup
To be determined (early to mid July??) Trailer cruise to San Diego
To be determined: raft-ups and socials

! W O N R E E T N U L O V

Other Club News

* Roger Vinyard is working on tax refunds for the club, corporate registration, and the club budget. Then, when he finally gets a break from finances, he’ll be off to the club website, to get it into shape for 2006. So, you can understand why he needs help if we’re to revive the Spinnaker Sheet on top of everything else! Any volunteers?

* Ken Mitchell will be our host for the February 24 club meeting; he’s also been deep in discussions with NM Tax & Revenue to find out when we do and don’t have to pay gross receipts taxes. This is particularly applicable and important for the purchase of the new A dock. Spence Reid and colleagues have also been looking at that and other issues. Ken is also interested in the whole issue of boat ramps and access to the lake.

* Gary Landon, Ray Boyce, Rich Koch, Lisa Carlson, John Polk, Dan Hoyer, Tom Riggs, Giles Pennington, Meg Meltz, Rich Strasia, Bob Hopper, and the rest of the gang may not know this yet, but there will be several weekends when I won’t be able to be up at the lake and they’ll be very much desperately needed to run and help with work parties. The A dock replacement and lots of marina will probably occur just as things are heating up for the big Adams Cup regatta down at the Butte the weekend of May 6th.

* Our past secretary should be feeling much better these days; Eddie Dry will need to get club records from her soon; there’s some information from last year’s minutes that the board urgently needs to know. She may be moving something bigger than a box of records and minutes; word is that her J-24 is about to be on the move soon.

* Rich Strasia, in addition to all the work he’s putting in for the Adams Cup championships, has sent out renewal information to last year’s members. Please let me or him know immediately if you haven’t received your membership and slip renewal information. Note that slip renters should be paying their membership dues as well as slip fees. I also plan for us to send membership info out to former members who might want to re-join the club with so much going on, including the new docks.

* Bruce Bowen and prospective volunteers for the safety committee will likely have their hands full with the changing lake levels and marina construction. Please step forward if you have ideas about how the marina could be a safer, healthier, more secure, and more accessible place.

* Lisa Carlson was welcomed to last weekend’s Adams Cup with intense practice sessions on J-24s. On Sunday, observers commented that she showed a wonderful feel for trimming and handling the spinnaker.

* Racers and more: I sent an e-mail to a bunch of the club racers and folks. Spence is looking for race committee members. Also, we need folks to help the RGSC plan, organize, and run the Adams Cup Regatta later this spring at the Butte. So, far, the silence has been deafening; no one has even approached the start line or hailed the committee boat. Please respond to the club and let us know where you can help. Besides the need for an active race committee, we have so much to do as a club this year that we need all hands on deck. If we don’t get more response, the board may have to hire some out-of-work pirates as a crimp gang to “press” or “shanghai” a crew of happy volunteers. Latest hot tip for a potential volunteer: Bob Perry.

P.S. did I mention we could use some more volunteers?


At 10:39 PM, February 11, 2006, Blogger Carol Anne said...

Update: Due to a change in the schedule for the Adams Cup semifinals, our preliminary round has been rescheduled to the weekend of April 22.

Rich Strasia is still looking for a whole lot of volunteers to help out -- he's doing an awesome job, but there's only one of him, and he can only stretch so far. No matter what your talent or interest is, you can for sure contribute to making this whole event a success. We need people to round up sponsors, get the word out to the media, coordinate food and lodging and guest slips for particpants and spectators, and a gazillion other jobs. Whatever you have to offer, call Rich at 505-867-0026.


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