Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend wrap: messing around with boats and floats

Friday got foamy, if you count big chunks of styrofoam; I stuffed our Expedition, Babe, with big blocks of styrofoam to be used as flotation for the marina. There was barely any room left to stuff Tadpole/007/WMCIK and his camping gear in the truck to drop him off with the scouts for their big campout in the Manzano mountains. Then it was time to drive north 165 miles from Albuquerque to the cabin and get a good night's sleep.

Saturday was the day for a marina work party, with some frustration as Rich K., George, Dan, Ken and Jan, and I tried to cope with a dock that wouldn't come apart. At least we were able to insert the foam chunks into piers that needed more flotation, disconnect winches and cables from an old dock to help prepare it to be replaced, and work on improving the trail from the loading area to the water's edge. The solar-powered radio had been hooked up that week, fire extinguishers serviced and inspected, and the marina is gradually being prepared for opening day.

Leaving the area around 4:00 p.m., I drove to Albuquerque, checked for phone and e-mail messages while feeding felines, and then drove on to Truth or Consequences. At the house where Carol Anne was staying she'd left a note directing me over to the J-24 Fleet 141 compound near the lake. But, CA wasn't there and Zorro was; we had all sorts of boat-related discussions. CA didn't show up, so (very) eventually I left, to find CA back at the house.

Sunday morning we got out and got a call while having breakfast (for some reason, Sonic's ice tea had a coffee flavor, probably from not cleaning out a pot) and ran out Williamsburg to pick up a tire needed to launch USA 438, the Etchells that would have to go in the water to replace the dismasted USA 38. This time, "Bonehead", the pit-bull-mix-looking dog that had intimidated Carol Anne on Friday, was perfectly cool with us visiting Dino's place and getting the tire out of the storage shed, so all was well and we delivered the tire and helped launch and retrieve boats. That turned out to be a big project; although USA 438 went smoothly into the water, the boom did not attach securely to the mast, leaving a boat without sail or motor to slowly work its way to the marina.

Retrieving USA 438 was also a slow business, though while we were waiting we could at least visit with "Weatherman", whose son Will was sailing a small pram catboat known as a Monitor. At the marina, we eventually got boats rigged and running; Dino didn't feel like sailing and maybe needed to get back to El Paso, so Zorro singlehanded USA 438 while CA (Sorceress) and I got Black Magic out for a couple of hours of mixed sailing conditions. Mostly it was light, on average it may have been perfect, but it didn't spend much time being average sailing conditons. Sometimes the wind would switch quickly, sometimes it would go flat, sometimes the wind at the top of the sail was at a right angle to the surface winds, sometimes we heeled over and had to depower, sometimes it took a while to figure out the wind. Lake sailing, in other words. USA 438 needed a lot of tuning and work, but we still couldn't keep up too well with Zorro.

A quick run by the house, a stop at Husker's home to coordinate crew plans, and a run to the Damsite followed. Unfortunately, the kitchen was having some problems and CA had no reason to be remotely pleased with the speed, or lack, of our order being taken and getting prepared. I did have time, though, to run the winch handle down to our MacGregor, talk to the marina manager and to a prospective club member, take the kayaks out of our slip and to the boat ramp, bring the truck down to load the kayaks, and join CA for a final beer.

By then it was late, way after dark, yet when we got to the Fleet 141 Compound Zorro was still there working on boat stuff, so we were able to feed him and visit, and I ran down to the marina to tidy up the boat. We also learned from Mother that her team had done very well in Austin, coming in a solid 2nd place out of of 6 boats and only 1 point from winning the Adams Cup semi-finals regatta, barely losing to a team with national championship experience. I dropped CA off at the house before I had to leave for Albuquerque. Arrival in Albuquerque was slightly after midnight.

Fleet disposition:
E. Butte Lake - - Etchells, "Black Magic" and MacGregor, "Syzygy"
Albuquerque - - 2 kayaks, 1 sunfish
Cabin near Heron Lake - - 2 sunfish, 1 snark

The trailer is being built for Black Magic, so we hope to have our boats all moved north to Heron by Memorial Day weekend. This coming weekend I'll have committee boat duty on Saturday, and, because Dino will be on Black Magic, Carol Anne will solo on ourMacGregor in the Joshua Slocum single-handed race, conditions allowing (the boat isn't set up for singlehanding, so if winds are heavy, cranking the winches and attempts to keep the light, water-ballasted boat flat wouldn't work well at all). Sunday will be the Jack and Jill race, with only women on the helms. For light air, Tadpole/007 is likely to be Carol Anne's crew on Black Magic, with Husker being offered the chance to helm our MacGregor with me as crew. If conditions are a little heavy, then I'd crew for Carol Anne and the water-ballasted MacGregor would stay in port.


At 1:44 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Tillerman said...

OK you win. I once owned 7 boats but you beat me with 8. Just remember, he who dies with the most toys... is still dead.

At 3:09 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

But maybe the sunfish only count as one, especially since we haven't done anything with them. And, the one-person kayaks aren't even big enough to be registered. Plus, Black Magic is Carol Anne's boat, not mine. That's why all our money goes into the black boat.

And the object is to die happy.

Also, if I croak, I'm strictly instructing Carol Anne not to let the memorial service/funeral interfere with any of her regattas.

At 5:05 PM, May 08, 2006, Anonymous pL said...

All of that aside, at least there is enough water to need styorfoam!

At 5:36 PM, May 08, 2006, Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...


Try not to'd make Carol Anne's logistics tougher... ;) It isn't the number of toys, but how much enjoyment you get from them. :D

At 4:47 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Fred said...

uuuhps, I love this.
Impossible to out myself here in Germany with my boat affairs. Way too much enviousness & jealousy (had to look into the Dictionary). With my 3 boats under sail, 1 ea. canoe and rowing and 3 up-to date iceboats I am sure I´ll die happy. Have not counted the windsurfers, though a DIV II board looks like a boat.
Pat, I stil have to take a shot of the spipole pocket, but where to send? want to see it on my blog?

At 1:06 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

Carol Anne and I took yet more foam floats up to the marina last night when we went up to deal with a bit of a marina emergency. Some difficulties are still being had with getting the old docks taken apart; it takes longer and more work and smarts to get them apart than we'd counted upon.


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