Friday, February 01, 2008

Doldrums of January and Day Three

Wind Rush eases along on a quiet winter day in New Mexico's Elephant Butte Lake.

The good news is that we sailed during three days in January. The other news is that we haven't seen much good wind and we now have even more boat projects to do. Last weekend, the auxiliary engine, which we use occasionally, quit running while giving us a great deal of aggravation. Because of its misbehaviors and a bad gasket we had to drag it through the water during Saturday's Frostbite Race (which was entirely mild and lacking in frostbite -- and which saw the wind fizzle out to nothing). The topping lift for the spinnaker pole broke and then went hiding in the mast. And we still have lots of other boat projects that need to be done.

At least, if we can sail more during February than we did in January, and so on, we'll be off to a good start on the sailing year. So far in January, we had a nice Saturday afternoon sail on Zorro's Constellation on January 5th, followed by a frustrating day of trying to race in light air on last Saturday, January 26th.

Then, on Sunday, the 27th, Carol Anne and I sailed out at noon in modest breeze, which after a while became more promising, leading us to sail from Marina del Sur and around Rattlesnake Island. But, just as be sailed around the west side of the island, the breeze vanished and it was my turn to paddle 4/10 of a mile back to the ramp. Stormy conditions had been forecast but never really appeared; a few 10 to 15 mph gusts finally showed up a couple of hours after we'd put the boat away.

I also got in a small bit of accidental sailing that won't be a part of the official count; on Friday, when I was trying to motor from Marina del Sur's boat ramp to the Rock Canyon Marina, the motor quit and I wound up fishing the mainsail out, bending it on and hoisting it, and sailing a short distance to Marina del Sur in quite light air.

Last Saturday night (January 26, 2008), a group of Rio Grande Sailing Club members got together to do a good bit of planning for hosting the Clifford D. Mallory men's sailing championship eliminations for our sailing association. The Sailing Association of Intermountain Lakes comprises sailors from Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and western Nebraska. With the Texas Sailing Association and the Central States Sailing Association, it forms one of US Sailing's geographic areas, Area F.

The championship eliminations will be sailed by teams of four on J24 sailboats provided by the Paseo del Rio J24 Fleet 141. We hope that at least a couple of J24 teams will show up from Colorado, Wyoming, or Nebraska to give us some excitement and sailing fellowship and enjoy a bit of what for them would be early-season sailing on the first weekend of May.


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