Friday, March 31, 2006

New Mexico Sailing Club Marina update

Rich S., Mark P., Gerald, and I were at the marina Wednesday morning and got A west mostly disconnected. Mark may be able to do a little bit more later this week with some special tools he can bring. However, it really isn't safe to try to do much more with it until the last few drops of "2005" water go out of the lake - - in only about a week or so - - and we start getting appreciable runoff perhaps a couple of weeks after that. Parts of the marina are floating in six to seven feet of water (7132.63' lake level, 154,326 acre feet as of noon Thursday), parts are just touching bottom, but the B-C connecting walkway, the A-B end connecting truss, the A end of the A-B middle truss, and some piers that are in shallower areas are being pushed up, some with quite a lot of pressure. Aaargh, beware mateys!


So, the weekend work party is POSTPONED until probably around April 15 or 22 (more likely the April 22 date) (and will be followed by a work party on April 29 after a club dinner & meeting on April 28). We've asked the state parks folks to shoo people away from the marina until it's safer to work on it.


The ShoreMaster/Galvafoam folks have been asked to hold off on installing the new A Dock until early May. They now plan to arrive on Monday, May 8, 2006, to install the dock. The state parks folks are prepared to accommodate their needs and will set aside a work area for them. With decent luck, we could have the new dock installed by May 12 and have a grand re-opening by May 19.

However, there's some good news.

* Water releases are almost done and the lake may only go down another foot or foot and a half. (All but about 5,000 - 6,000 acre feet of contractor water has been taken out by now.)

* A small amount of water actually is flowing through the Azotea Tunnel and into the lake; once things warm up a bit more that will be quite a bit more water.

* The work that was done Wednesday morning should prevent further damage and should allow A west to separate itself from the rest of the marina soon.

* The projections that were released by the State Engineer's office, according to Heron Lake State Park manager Anthony Marquez, did NOT incorporate moisture from that last storm.
New projections should be out in a week or two and are likely to be a bit more encouraging.

* The Willow Creek ramp is in pretty good shape. The park rangers have surveyed it and the muck is some three to four feet underwater. With the lake only going down about another foot to less than two, that means we won't need much runoff water into the lake to make the ramp usable by all of our boats.

* I had a very productive visit with park superintendant Anthony Marquez. He will be continuing to talk with Clay McDermit and Wayne Treers and the BOR/BLM forks and NMSP Region 1 Manager Doug Bryant. These are the only folks he'll really need to talk to for approval of any plans we might make to move the marina, so the move is looking easier (relatively!) to accomplish.

* Interesting things will be happening at the park, including the launch of the new trail and interpretive hikes and talks. The parks folks are also interested in the idea of doing a safety program at the marina.

More news is to come... and we're still looking for women to join the sailing program at Elephant Butte lake (or perhaps even to compete in the Adams Cup; New Mexico will most likely fail to field one of its teams if a couple of good women don't step forward in the next few days to complete a crew so there are enough teams to make competition exciting) and volunteers to help out at the Butte on the weekend of April 22.

We're on our way to the lake.

Snug lines and safe voyages, Pat


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