Friday, October 13, 2006

Sitting on the dock to wait for our ship...

Our household has too many boats on dry land, and not enough in the water right now. In particular, we're suffering withdrawal while awaiting repair arrangements for Carol Anne's boat. We're hoping we won't have to trailer the boat 800 miles to the coast for repairs. Once the major repairs are done by a professional, we have other repairs and upgrades that we can get to, and we have a whole bag of parts and stuff to be installed, and more to be ordered.

And, on other fronts, we're also awaiting developments beyond our control, including the arrival of a diver at the Heron marina and the arrival of parts for work on the marina.

There's supposed to be some fun sailing/racing this weekend down at Elephant Butte Lake, but we've only heard from a bunch of folks who aren't going to be down there, and we have a bunch of commitments that may keep us close to home, such as feeding medicine to a cat and encouraging Tadpole to catch up on his music practice. Also, sailing the Etchells has spoiled Carol Anne for the notion of doing much with our MacGregor, which may be on the market next spring. At least I did repair the Mac's cockpit drain, which was a simple but dirty chore.

Lake conditions continue to improve after several days of rain that continued through last weekend into the beginning of this week, and which may resume later this weekend.

Heron Lake continues to rise. With 204,852 acre feet of water at elevation 7,146.39 feet, the lake is at its highest level so far this year, even after having given up 13,000 a.f. to various water contractors. Heron is up about 2 inches and 700 a.f. in 24 hours and is up about 6-1/2 inches and 2,200 a.f. in 72 hours. Willow Creek is flowing at 371 cubic feet per second (326 c.f.s. minimum and 443 c.f.s. max in the past 72 hours), and water in the Azotea Tunnel is flowing at 355 c.f.s. (326 c.f.s. min., 477 c.f.s. max.). Slack off another couple of turns on the dock winches, mateys!

Elephant Butte Lake also continues to rise. With 366,307 acre feet at elevation 4,428.44 feet above benchmark elevation, the Butte is as high as it was in May. It has gained about 4 inches and 3,500 a.f. in 24 hours and 9 inches and more than 8,000 a.f. in 72 hours. The San Marcial Floodway is flowing at 1,130 cubic feet per second (548 min., 1,370 max. in past 72 hours). Rain is expected to add to the total this weekend.

The Butte was expected to give up most of its water this summer, but defied projections. In July, when it was expected to go down by perhaps 15 or 20 feet, it only went down 3.78 feet. August was phenomenal; instead of going down, and in spite of some continued irrigation and withdrawals, the monsoonal rains brought the lake up 15.98 feet. The recovery has continued at a milder pace since then, with the lake up 1.92 feet for September, and up 9 inches so far in October.

In spite of the huge shortfall in this spring's snowmelt runoff, the lake is likely to end the year at least as well off as it began the year.


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