Sunday, February 15, 2009

And then there were 12

...days of sailing so far this year. Today's plan was for us to borrow a swaging tool (ours was back in Albuquerque) to re-swage the main halyard to its shackle and replace the damaged mainsail with a heeavier-weight main. We also caught up with people at the marina and I discussed plans for the Anniversary Cup, a bigger-than-usual regatta that we'll host on May 30th of this year.

Eventually I wound up on Black Magic as Carol Anne lowered the boat and trailer on the drop line and I then paddled the boat to the courtesy dock and got the boat ready to sail. Carol Anne parked the trailer and Expedition and hopped on Zorro's Echells.

Winds were extremely light when we met out on the lake just a few hundred feet from the marina, and didn't improve much in the next half hour. Gradually, though, the breeze built up to something tolerable and we crossed the lake and got in some generally good sailing in breezes of 2 to 6 knots, flying spinnakers for a bit and doing various maneuvers. The skies were becoming dark and cloudy by the time we sailed the boats back into the slips at Rock Canyon Marina and we just had enough light to put the two Etchells away for the night.

Tomorrow is a holiday for some people in the United States (Presidents Day). The wind forecast is quite decent with maximum sustained winds from the south at 5 to 10 mph in the morning and from the SSW at 10 to mph in the afternoon (possible gusts to 25 mph).

Weather history for Presidents Day weekend 2009 at Elephant Butte Lake
Sunday (KCTS Sierra Co. airport, about 6 miles from lake)
time wind
1353 variable dir., 5 mph max. winds
1453 variable dir., 5 mph max. winds
1553 from South, 5 mph max. winds
1653 calm
1753 from Southeast, 3 mph max. winds

1153 SE 8 mph
1253 SW 10 gust 20 mph
1353 W 18 gust 28 mph
1453 W 17 gust 23 mph
1553 W 23 gust 31 mph
1653 SW 20 gust 26 mph
1753 W 13 mph

Rio Grande at San Marcial floodway, 644 cubic feet per second
Elephant Butte Reservoir, 4353.29 feet elev. over benchmark, 681,460 acre feet, 5 cfs outflow, 2100 February 15, 2009

Snow pack -- snow water equivalents
Upper Rio Grande, 22% above average
San Miguel/San Juan basin, 17% above average
New Mexico
Rio Chama basin, 36% above average
Upper Rio Grande, 20% above average
Sangre de Cristo, 23% above average
Gila Basin, 54% of average

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