Sunday, May 28, 2006

Poetry Corner: Merle Travis/Tennessee Ernie Ford

While shoveling and moving dirt for a retaining wall at our cabin, and building a trail for marina access at Heron Lake this weekend, I couldn't help but think of the song written by Merle Travis and hugely popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Even if I only moved a few tons...


By Merle Travis

Some people say a man is made out of mud

A poor man's made out of muscle and blood

Muscle and blood, skin and bones...

A mind that's weak and a back that's strong



You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?

another day older and deeper in debt

St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go

I owe my soul to the company store


I was born one mornin' and the sun didn't shine

I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine

I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal and

the straw boss said, "well bless my soul!" loaded...



I was born one mornin' it was drizzlin' rain

fightin' and trouble are my middle name

I was raised in a cane-brake by an old mama lion

can't no high-toned woman make me walk no line



If you see me comin', better step aside

A lot of men didn't, a lot of men died

One fist of iron, the other of steel

If the right one don't get you, then the left one will



You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

St. Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go

I owe my soul to the company store

"Sixteen Tons"/ Copyright / Merle's Girls Music ~ All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Quick Update

The Batgal and Tadpole remain at the Butte. Trailer work is slower than expected. They and Dumbledore hope to do a test-fit of Black Magic to the trailer tomorrow (Sunday) but are missing a template for the shape of the front bunk (Zorro might have it), so we'll see if the template shows up. With luck, the test fit will happen; otherwise CA will have the frustration of having worked really hard without getting to see a positive result. The heat and holiday crowds at the big lake are somewhat unattractive, plus they've been working hard on the trailer and other projects, so she hasn't been sailing. However, the wind forecast looks pretty good for Sunday afternoon (about 15 mph) and even better for Monday morning (around 10 mph).

Today (Saturday), they were among ten people doing a "mule barn raising". They were assembling the foundation and a storage shed to be used to haul a boat-moving mechanical "mule" to be used at the mast-up storage lot.

Meanwhile, I'm up in the mountains of northern New Mexico near Heron Lake where I spent most of my day at the marina. People have just been realizing that we're open for business, and we got up to 20 boats in the marina. Last weekend we wound up with only 8 or 9.

I worked on a new trail extension (the hill is still too steep to install the gangway), so I did a lot of shoveling of dirt, pounding of fenceposts, stringing of safety line, etc. Also got wrist exercise unscrewing some boards, helped a welder who was installing a safety railing, helped dock some boats, etc. We didn't have enough boats and crews in the marina yet to try for a regatta yet, but should start having them in two weeks. The arrival of the Etchells in the next couple of weeks may be a good draw for reviving racing at Heron Lake. We'll also re-schedule today's club meeting for a couple of weeks hence for when we can have more people.

Went to a Shroyer Center (I'm on the board) dinner in our neighborhood. A lot of people in the marina and in our neighborhood are really interested in what Carol Anne has been doing and are looking forward to the arrival of the Black Boat up here. Not to confine my exercise to the marina, I also moved seven large barrow loads of dirt to back up a retaining wall at our cabin.

Heron Lake
Elevation 7141.09 feet, 184,270 acre feet, up 9.6 inches and 2,986 acre feet in 36 hours.

Elephant Butte Lake
Elevation 4323.72 feet above benchmark, 316,560 acre feet, down 10.3 inches and 8,800 acre feet in 36 hours.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Anniversary Cup 8: The last few miles

Black Magic, shown at left on starboard, heads west to round mark 16 and avoid shallow water while the Black Swan and Kachina run under spinnaker down to mark 10, the final turning mark of the regatta. Flukey conditions kept Black Magic from closing the distance any more as she approached mark 10, but her crew still enjoyed a great regatta.

C&C 30 LunaC romps into the main body of the lake after leaving the Long Point channel behind.

Devotees of water-ballast Hunter 26 trailerable sailboats just might appreciate these pictures.

The Hunter, with other boats in the background.

The Hunter in foreground, with the C&C 30 LunaC in background at right.

The Hunter on a diamond-studded sea with purple mountain majesty behind.
Strong winds came on-and-off near the end of the regatta to give people some excitement and push the back of the fleet boats forward, resulting in some close corrected-time finishes. Unfortunately, the mid-lake finish line was too far away for me to get to for photos.

Anniversary Cup 7, Black Magic under spinnaker

On the way through the Long Point channel, Black Magic enjoys her longest and most successful spinnaker run of the day, catching up partway to the Black Swan and Kachina while gaining separation from the rest of the fleet. The following pictures may get a bit boring for anyone who doesn't enjoy looking at the sexiest boat on the lake.

Puffs happen.

And finally, all good things come to an end as Black Magic approaches the big bend at the bottom of the channel.

Anniversary Cup 6, The Hunter gets back in the hunt

After leading the fleet on the way north, The Hunter had been passed and now got to play catch-up with the help of some nice breezes. With her handicap and the on-and-off winds, The Hunter was a big threat to the fleet leaders.

Commodore Richard with John W. and Del J. enjoy some wind to catch them up with the rest of the fleet.

Apple Lady's C&C 30 enjoys running south under spinnaker at right.

The J22, J24, and C&C 30 head south.

Black Magic enjoys a long spinnaker run down the middle of the Long Point channel.

Anniversary Cup 5, Black Magic Southbound

Black Magic silhouetted against the brooding bulk of Kettletop Mesa as boats head south from mark 30 into the Long Point channel that connects the southern and northern portions of Elephant Butte Lake. Black Magic and the boats behind her were close-hauled; yet less than half a mile ahead the Etchells "Black Swan" and the J-24 "Kachina" on the same heading were running spinnaker.

J boat and C&C 30 "LunaC" at left; Black Magic at right.

One of the J-boats and the CC&C 30 follow Black Magic (at right).

Anniversary Cup 3: Southbound from the mark

A cruising boat (not one of the racers) came up to check on the fleet and show them the way back to civilization.

USA 438 with Zorro helming and Dino and Sister Rosebia crewing leads the fleet back south.

Zorro on USA 438 summons up some wind to head south ahead of all the other boats.

The J24, Kachina, with Sue at the helm, broke away from the pack right after the Etchells USA 438, Black Swan.

Black Magic on starboard, about to cross in front of the C&C30, LunaC.

Black Magic (USA 125) breaking away from the pack.

C&C30 LunaC (right), J24, and J22 Scirocco's Song heading south after rounding mark 30.

Anniversary Cup 2: the fleet approaches the far mark, slowly

Fleet panorama as the boats head away from Long Point toward their furthest turning mark.
With vagaries in the light winds and luck playing their part, the fleet was led by a theoretically slower boat, a water-ballasted Hunter 26 skippered by club commodore Richard Dittmar.

Black Magic leads Black Swan in the middle of the fleet on the approach to mark 30.

The tail end of the fleet on the approach to the far mark.

Boats remain within sight of one another after about six miles of the fifteen-mile course have been covered. At left, Black Magic and Black Swan; at the time they were led by a Hunter 26 and a J-22 and followed by a C&C30 and two J-24s. This ordering would change after a bit of a breeze filling in from astern would compress the fleet into a small mob at the rounding mark.

Anniversary Cup I: Black Magic sets sail

Carol Anne, Husker, Tadpole, and Seymour head out from Rock Canyon before the start of the Anniversary Cup at Elephant Butte Lake. This was Carol Anne's second race at the helm of her boat, following the Club Championships two weeks before.

Kettletop mesa is eclipsed by Black Magic as she passes behind a navigation buoy.

Black Magic slips outside the floating wave barrier into the open lake on the morning of May 20, 2006.