Monday, December 04, 2006

Yep, we were at the sailing club party ... though not a lot of other folks made it; we had a record low attendance of around 16 people and 11 presents under the tree. We felt sorry for the folks at the Elephant Butte Inn. Friday just didn't work; too many people couldn't or wouldn't come down that early in the weekend, especially in December. Next year the club will make sure we get reservations way ahead of time so the party can be on the traditional first Saturday in December.

Saturday was better; we had thirty people out on the water with six A Fleet boats ("Zorro"'s Etchells, Constellation; "Dotcom"'s J-22, Imafirst; Carol Anne B's Etchells, Black Magic; "Dumbledore"'s J-24 Kachina; "Esther William"'s J-24, Hot Flash; Jon P's J-22, Sciroccos Song) and three B fleeters ("Apple Lady"'s C&C 30, LunaC; Charlie A's Freedom 21, Wind Rush; John D's MacGregor 26, MacGoddess) and our Commodore, Richard D., and crew doing committee boat on The Hunter. Two "full sausage" G course races were completed. Awards were presented at the fleet 141 compound afterwards, at least once folks found their way there; a lot of people were too hungry to wait and stopped at the Taco House and Hodge's Corner for dinner.

We and the other Etchells, "Constellation", got a tow out to the race course and then we did a bit of a tune-up with the other Etchells, including a bit of a tacking duel that was a preview of what happened after one of our starts; these provided good entertainment for the rest of the fleet, although they showed us skill areas where we can continue to improve and gave "Dotcom" a chance to get ahead of us for a while. Carol Anne and crew started well and mostly sailed well (at least we're getting a bit better) and were 2nd and 3rd across the line and 4th and 3rd on corrected time for the A fleet. ("Dotcom" and "Dumbledore" corrected over us by a minute and a half and half a minute in an hour-long first race, so we had lots of fun and close racing. We and "Dotcom" probably crossed and ducked each other a dozen times in the two races, and we enjoyed a very brief lead over Zorro until he was able to shake us eventually with a tacking duel and false tacks.)

We had one or two goofs but were able to fix them. One of them was a little bit of buoy confusion that gave us an "opportunity" (!) to do a fast spinnaker douse and re-hoist. The winds were not as fluky as sometimes, though still plenty shifty. Also, there were a couple of times when the winds played us a naughty trick and brought some of the mid-fleet boats down upon us, cutting our lead. Such is lake sailing.

After the racing, instead of us waiting for a tow in the moderate winds, "Cornhusker" hopped onto USA 38 with "Seymour" and "Twinkletoes" while "Zorro" came on board to give Batgal and the rest of us some coaching. We ran downwind under spinnaker, and got to play with heeling the boat to windward and projected the chute way out.

Sunday wound up not having folks do anything on the water; our family ran up quickly to Heron Lake to check up on the marina there.

Here's a holiday happening for those who didn't make it south this weekend: the NMSC is holding its holiday party this Saturday, Dec. 8, from 6:00 p.m. onward, at the Coronado Grill in Bernalillo, NM (north side of town, just west of the river, across from the Jackalope and Casino). The manager and part owner is our long-time friend, "Aquawop", the former DamSite Marina manager. All New Mexico sailors and friends are welcome.

We'll be down at the Butte a lot this winter. Let us know if you think you have what it takes to be a hardy happy frostbite sailor and need a ride on a fast boat!


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