Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday update, more sailing in southern New Mexico

Today Carol Anne, Gerald, and I drove south to Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico. We entered the state park and unlocked the sailboat mast-up storage gate, hitched up Black Magic, and launched the boat. While I was rigging sail, Gerald returned to boat trailer to the storage lot and Carol Anne and I waited out a light rain shower. After Gerald returned, Gerald and I took off to shuttle the boat north to the Rock Canyon Marina, just a few miles north.

Winds were gusty, so we elected to do without the jib, but sailing under just main the boat had some peculiarities and took a while to get moving. Once the boat was sorted out, we wound up bashing into increasingly steep and choppy seas as the winds built up into the 20s with probably gusts into the 30s and we started crashing through the breaking waves. It was a wild ride for quite a while, but eventually things lightened enough so we could make a well-controlled entrance into the marina and a tidy docking.

At the marina we caught up with a few sailors, but didn't see others; some people weren't arriving until later in the evening or until Saturday morning. We took the heavy main off the boat, since we'll be using a different one tomorrow.

Carol Anne plans to be on "Windependent" tomorrow. By lake standards the Hunter 34 is a big boat, and tomorrow's race is more of a cruiser-style race, so it may be a bit of a floating party.

In other developments, I may have to drive to Texas next week.

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