Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Southward sailing safari

Tuesday morning Zorro sent an e-mail saying he'd be available to sailing at the Butte. So, about the time Tadpole was supposed to get home from school, I left work, caught up with Tad after he stayed after school to fix his schedule, packed rain gear, sailing gloves, and a life vest, got fuel for El Caballero headed south. There were a couple of communication glitches waiting for contact, but eventually we coordinated plans.

En route, I stoped in Los Chavez (between Los Lunas and Belen) at Accutrak Trailers to pick up an electrical connector and order bearing buddies and spare bearings for Batwoman's Etchells trailer. We weren't rained on much, but saw lots of water in arroyas, and could tell that Socorro had recently gotten a good rainstorm.

Arriving at the lake around 6:40 p.m., we parked near the dam, went down the long floating gangway to the Rock Canyon Marina, and quickly hopped on USA 38 with Zorro and his crew, George. We got in two hours and a bit more of sailing, with some time under spinnaker, and with winds running around 4-10 mph before they started fading with darkness. Tad did foredeck and jib trim, while I did the spinnaker sheet and general rail meat/movable ballast duty. We got just past Horse Island before having to turn back.

Returning well after dark, we secured the boat (fortunately we had a couple of flashlights), said goodbye to George (Zorro gave him a couple of sails), left the marina at 9:30, and looked for a place to eat. That wasn't easy on a weeknight; even the Izza Ut had closed at 9:00. So, Zorro, Tad, and I wound up at the sign of the golden arches before Tad and I drove north, not arriving in Albuquerque until after midnight.

The Butte is in much better shape than had been expected; rains in the past month have helped immensely. Instead of 110,000 acre feet, the lake has 255,000. This should be very good for making fall sailing feasible and enjoyable. Unfortunately, although we had the camera, we didn't take pictures in the limited light.


At 2:41 PM, August 19, 2006, Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

Yay. Always good to hear someone will get more sailing time than they expected.


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