Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quick New Mexico Lake and Sailing Update

Sadly, our camera blanked out and lost a couple of weeks' worth of pictures. So, no New Year's day pictures of the Heron Lake Marina are available to be posted.

On the first Saturday of the year, January 5th, Carol Anne and I drove south to Elephant Butte Lake. The wind was a bit stiff, but temperatures were rather pleasant, breaking into the 60s. With a few whitecaps on the lake, we and Zorro weren't at first sure, but decided to go out on Constellation and join the one other sailboat that was the only boat on the lake.

We were rewarded with a few hours of very nice sailing. The wind varied quite a bit in strength, from about 5 to 25 mph steady with a few stronger puffs, but overall wasn't bad. Now and then the wind built up long enough to send whitecaps our way, and sometimes we'd crash through a "rogue wave", but at other times the lake was more settled. The wind began south-southwesterly and gradually clocked more westerly. We kept the boat depowered to make life a bit easier, since we'd not been sailing for several weeks, and romped up and down the middle section of the lake several times. Finally, as the sun lowered, it was time to put the boat away before dark.

It was a great start to the year, with some precious pure sailing. No spoiled bad-sport America's Cup billionaires, no five-million-dollar hired hands or flotillas of attorneys, no glitz, no hospitality suites, nothing but wind and water and a fast hull slicing through the waves and big grins on the crew.

Upcoming events
Rio Grande Sailing Club
Frostbite Regatta, Saturday, January 26, 2008
10:00 a.m. skipper/crew meeting at Hodge's Corner Restaurant in Elephant Butte
1:00 p.m. start time

New Mexico Sailing Club
Board and club budget and general meeting
Friday, January 11, 2008, 6:30 p.m. (gather at 6:00)
Potluck dinner
El Dorado Community Center (I25 from Santa Fe to exit 290, south to Amistad, then wind about 1 mile west to the white fence with the community center and old rail station building)

Eagle Scout ceremony
Saturday, January 19, 2008, 6:30
Piru community center, Albuquerque off Juan Tabo south of Central

Lake Conditions

Elephant Butte Lake continues to rise and has come up almost 9 feet since the low point in October, but is seven feet lower than this time in January of 2007.

4,333.14 feet elevation above benchmark, 419,524 acre feet

up 1.2 inches and 1,184 acre feet in 24 hours,
up 4.3 inches and 4,220 a.f. in 71 hours,
up 8.76 feet and 96,219 a.f. since October 25, 2007.
inflow of 258 cubic feet per second in the San Marcial floodway

Heron Lake is lowering as contractors remove their water, but recent snows have slowed the withdrawals and put a little water back in the lake. The New Mexico Sailing Club marina in the Willow Creek cove was frozen in about 3 inches of ice as of New Year's day. About a foot of snow has fallen on top of the piers, as well.

7,144.35 feet above sea level, 196,733 acre feet

down 1/8 inch and 38 acre feet in 24 hours,
up 3/5 inch and 157 a.f. in 71 hours.


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