Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekend update ... it's been busy.

Friday afternoon Carol Anne and I drove to El Paso to ransom Black Magic from the Boat Shop. The critical job of re-attaching the console to the hull had been completed. We've learned to do some of our own fiberglass work, but this was a job that really needed to be done right.

John, the technician who'd done the work, was very proud of the result and was pleased to have had the opportunity to work on our boat. The console is very solidly attached now -- John thinks that the boat could just about be lifted by it! He'd also never seen something like an Etchells; sailboats alone are exotic in this part of the world, much less something as sleek as the Etchells. Interestingly, he and the other guys at the shop were also fascinated by the massive keel and wondered how much the keel was worth! We also paid for a buff and polish job, so by the time we'd hooked up and left, we were more than a "boat dollar" poorer. (If you don't know what a "boat dollar" is, it's probably too expensive! Also, the Boat Shop was an interesting place; in addition to a bunch of motor boats, jet skies, and a rowing dory there were some cars being customized, and a cage containing an enormous iguana. While waiting, we rubbed the tummy and scratched the ears of the resident "junkyard dog" - a slightly greasy but not at all ferocious canine.)

John confirmed our suspicion about how poorly some past owner had attached the console; no hull preparation had been done at all the previous time, so of course the console had peeled right off when the floorboard supports failed. (New glass won't adhere well to old if the old surface hasn't been prepared by cleaning and sanding.)

Saturday I returned to Albuquerque to run (many) errands and bring "Tadpole" south. My errands included everything from getting Tad to the music store to pick up sheet music for the New Mexico All State Concert Orchestra to buying a recliner chair at a thrift shop to renewing a pharmacy prescription for one of our cats. Meanwhile, Carol Anne caught up on her writing, grading, reading, etc., along with starting to figure out what still needed to be done on the boat, and supervising a visit by plumbers who set the apartment bathroom sink drain to rights. (Besides teaching four classes and working on the boat, exercising, and racing, Carol Anne is again participating in the National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo - with her novel this year titled, "Murder at the Yacht Club". And, yes, I know who at the yacht club is going to get killed. And, I'd better behave, too!)

Carol Anne and Tad worked into the night re-rigging and re-attaching boat parts until it was finally time for us to grab a pizza. Then Tad worked in the apartment we've rented, installing mini-blinds. We were a bit frustrated because it wasn't obvious how we were going to re-do some of the blocks and rigging, especially with the floorboard supports and attached blocks still missing.

Sunday we worked on boat and other chores. We climped up a ladder to look at USA 438 to see how it was rigged, but with the mast, mainsheet, and other components missing couldn't learn much. We did do some good by pumping out several inches of rainwater that had accumulated (but someone will probably still want to use a portable pump to evacuate quite a bit more water that the fixed pump couldn't reach).

We then drove to the marina, arriving right behind "Zorro" who'd been unreachable the day before while he'd been enjoying homecoming festivities at the University of Texas at El Paso. He thought it wouldn't be too hard for us to finish getting the boat ready, so Tad and I left to bring Black Magic from the apartment to the mast-raising pole near Marina del Sur while Zorro and Carol Anne sailed on USA 38, Constellation. By the time they walked up the boat ramp to the pole, we had the mast in place and were almost ready to launch. Zorro was in a hurry for us to launch, so I whipped the boat around to the ramp with Zorro, Carol Anne, and Tad on board and did a quick launch.

While they rigged Black Magic, drilling more holes with a cordless drill and attaching more hardware and control lines, I took Black Magic's trailer to the apartment, unhitched, and then hitched up Syzygy's trailer. Leaving the truck and trailer in the Rock Canyon parking lot (still near the dam), I took Syzygy (our MacGregor) and a kayak our for a brief sail to meet Zorro on Constellation and Carol Anne and Tad on Black Magic. Black Magic was being motored; we'd not put a mainsail on Black Magic because we didn't think she'd be ready to sail so quickly, and had only a jib on board after I'd persuaded Tad to bring it on board. But, Zorro offered the loan of one of his practice mainsails from the dock, so I relayed the message to Carol Anne.

Carol Anne and Tad got sails up on Black Magic so they could sail with Zorro and they even got to do some tuning and "synchronized sailing". (They had to improvise; for example, with the main halyard cleat missing, Tad cleated the halyard to the fraculator cleat.) The sail made them much, much happier. Tad took some pictures that we should have on our weblogs later this week. I took Syzygy across the cove to the DamSite boat ramp, closed up the boat, and then paddled the kayak back to our slip. This opened up Black Magic's slip for her to return to her proper place. I then drove the truck and trailer to the DamSite ramp and retrieved our MacGregor solo, then parked the boat facing downhill so I could quickly lower the mast and de-rig.

Eventually we all made it home, stopping en route at Socorro Springs for dinner and a refill of Carol Anne's "growler" with Pickaxe IPA. Once home, we lost little time before ordering boat parts, including some new running rigging and blocks.

Boat Status:
Syzygy: de-rigged, ready to be trailered north.
Awaiting space at Cochiti for the winter.

Black Magic:
Sailable but still needs work.
More gear is on order.
(We spent a few more "boat pennies" last night.)

We still need to
install main halyard cleat
install temporary supports for floorboards and attach floorboards
rig new boom vang control system with new block (on order)
install new block (on traveler) for main sheet
(to provide 5 to 1 instead of 3 to 1 purchase and
eliminate need for main fine tunes)
replace backstay control line
(new 1/4 Yale Light line on order)
replace mainsheet
(new BZZZ line on order)
finish re-installing gear and bringing stuff on board
(spin pole, compass, sails, etc.)
attach spin pole holder on boom (pop rivet)
install clip for tiller extension (on order)
attach tangs to backstay

Later on...replace temporary floor supports with aluminum tubing, install corner supports, replace more cam cleats, cover up paint dings, re-do bottom paint, etc.

Elephant Butte Lake Status:

The lake continues to rise.
As of Monday morning, Nov. 6, 2006, 8:00 a.m.:
4,332.04 feet elevation above benchmark.
406,694 acre feet of water.

Up 1.4 inches and 1,383 a.f. in 24 hours.
Up 6 inches and 5,500+ a.f. in 72 hours.
Up 5 feet and 55,000 a.f. since the end of September.


At 11:17 PM, November 06, 2006, Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...


If you don't behave and end up missing, it wouldn't be much of a mystery. ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home