Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We didn't spend much for the yule holiday....

... so does that mean we can spend more money on boats in the coming year?

Well, maybe, though I hope our family doesn't break last year's record for boat spending (or for that matter, on spending to repair the Expedition).

Another record, however, we do hope to break. Roughly figured, I sailed about 51 days in 2006(counting some "quickie" sunset sails along with fuller, more honest days on the water) with another 14-plus or so days of kayaking, motoring, and fiddling on boats without sailing. I also spent 7-1/2 days of "work party duty" at the NMSC marina, served on race committees for 7 days (most of those also were sailing days), and raced for 10 of the 51 sailing days. (Carol Anne had about 18 days of racing in '06, plus lots of days of race training, for something like 64 days of sailing, many of them quite intensive.)

Compared to 2005, in 2006 I was out on the water about twice as much, but did somewhat less marina work. That's quite okay. We also invited Tadpole's Boy Scout troop to Heron Lake, where they spent a weekend learning to sail, took a trip to Ventura, CA, to pick up USA 125, and sailed in our first-ever big regatta, the Dillon Open with a hundred keelboats.

Boats keep following us home. "But she looks so lonely, without anyone to sail her." In 2006, our most notable acquisition was "Black Magic", a thirty-foot Etchells "racing dinghy" for Carol Anne. We also picked up another thirteen-foot Sunfish dinghy in August, and a styrofoam Snark sailboat that was given to us in January. By contrast, in 2005, all we added to our fleet was one Sunfish in January and a couple of one-person kayaks in July. Prior to '05, all we had were our MacGregor, which we'd bought in February of 2000, a ten-foot fiberglass rowboat, and a couple of Sunfish we'd bought inexpensively, plus a couple of rafts.

Will our fleet grow or shrink in '07? For the short term, it looks like it's going to...
grow. Yep, sports fans, stay tuned for a major announcement that should appear in these pages in the next week.

This coming weekend we'll be... at the lake (Elephant Butte). Our planned trip to Arizona won't happen, because of other interesting developments, so we'll work on re-launching Black Magic, pop-riveting the gooseneck bracket to the mast, sailing if the weather allows, and generally messing around. And, working on the beginnings of that special project.

Lake conditions as of Wednesday morning, January 10, 2007:

Heron Lake, northern New Mexico, 6 a.m. Jan. 10, '07
7,139.77 elev., 179,359 a.f.
down 1.4 inches and 442 a.f. in 24 hours
down 4.1 inches and 1,255 a.f. in 71 hours
Contractors have removed about 38,000 a.f. of their 96,200 a.f. allotment.
At its low point around mid-April, the cove floor will probably be exposed and about a foot above the lake level.

Elephant Butte Lake, southern New Mexico, 8 a.m., Wednesday, January 10, '07
4,341.80 feet elevation above benchmark, 528,367 acre feet
up 1.4 inches and 1,592 acre feet in 24 hours
up 4.3 inches and 4,789 a.f. in 71 hours
Long Point Island will very soon be cut off from the mainland.


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