Thursday, December 13, 2007


Last weekend our family participated in the (static) parade of lights at Elephant Butte Lake. Our son became the "chief engineer" in arranging 3,600 lights on a friend's sailboat. December 1st was scheduled to be the last regatta date at the Butte, but high winds blew out the racing. Races are set to resume on January 26, with the Frostbite Regatta, followed by the Chute-Out on February 16.

This coming weekend our travels are likely to be much shorter; Saturday evening will be the holiday party for the New Mexico Sailing Club, to be held in Bernalillo, New Mexico, at the Coronado Grill. Mark, our host, is the former manager of the Dam Site Marina at Elephant Butte Lake and is a sailor and diver. For those who so desire, we will hold a white elephant exchange. Everyone who participates brings a wrapped gift and draws a number. The person with number one chooses a wrapped present and opens it in front of the group. Subsequent participants may also unwrap a present, or they may "pirate" an already-opened present. If a present is pirated, the person who loses it gets to choose an unwrapped present or may pirate any opened one other than the one that just got taken. Once a gift has been pirated twice, it is retired and exempt from further raids.

Wolf Creek Ski Resort, the back side of which is upstream of Heron Lake, is reporting 99 inches of snow. That's good news. Recent winter storms have helped get the snowpack off to a decent start in the high country.

Elephant Butte Lake is at elevation 4,329.00 feet above benchmark as of Thursday morning, December 13, 2007. It is up 1.9 inches in 24 hours and 6.7 inches in 71 hours. Water inflow at San Marcial is 481 cubic feet per second. The lake is up 4.62 feet and 49,127 acre feet since the low-water point on October 25; it's come up a bit more than an inch per day.

The pass to the west of Rattlesnake Island has a minimum depth of about 2 feet. Long Point will probably become an island again by the end of February.

Heron Lake is at elevation 4,324.38 feet above msl, with 214,527 acre feet. It is going down, with contractors taking their allotments. It is down 2.9 inches and 986 acre feet in 24 hours; down 8 inches and 2,774 acre feet in 71 hours; and down 2.53 feet and 10,584 acre feet since October 25.

Sailors may enjoy the full moon on Sunday, December 23, and January's Geminid meteor shower.


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