Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekend update

Last Saturday morning I was up early and drove to the training center at Elephant Butte Lake State Park. There, I joined marine enforcement officer Kevin and Coast Guard auxiliarist Woody to help teach a New Mexico Boating Safety Class. I need some more hours of practice teaching and observation to be fully qualified to teach the class, so they had me present the third and fifth segments of the class, which dealt with navigation (including Rules of the Road) and emergencies.

After the class, Carol Anne, "Cornhusker:, and I went to the Rock Canyon Marina and out on Cornhusker's Freedom 21 sailboat. We had a challenge, though; the outboard motor wouldn't start. It was not sparking. Fuel was getting into the engine from either the internal fuel tank or the external tanks (this engine has a selector switch) but the engine wouldn't try to start. So, we gave up on the big lump of metal and sailed out of the marina. On the lake we were able to play, sailing at times with "Zorro", who was out in his Etchells.

Sunday was almost windless most of the day, and was more of a day for sleeping in or working on boats (Zorro and Penzance, in particular, worked on Penzance's Etchells, trying to prep it for new topsides paint). I kayaked around the lake for a short while, then attempted kayaking in the river, but at its 2700 cfs flow rate the Rio Grande below the dam was too powerful for me to enjoy paddling upriver in the hot weather.

Finally, toward late afternoon, we got enough wind to sail with Zorro in his USA 38 "Constellation" and the winds were more or less consistent. We kept to within a mile or so of the marina in case the weather changed, but the winds remained very usable and Zorro had us do a spinnaker set and douse on one of our runs just to keep us in practice. The sail let us finish the weekend on a good note.


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