Saturday, March 27, 2010

On the road, yet again

Carol Anne, Gerald, and I left south Texas Saturday just before noon, stopping in Alice and Junction for lunch and dinner and for the night in Fort Stockton.

We haven't decided yet whether to continue west through El Paso and then north to Elephant Butte or north through Carlsbad and Roswell and thus to Albuquerque. I'd like to verify that damage to Carol Anne's boat trailer was minor and check everything at the lake, including progress on the new mast-up lot.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Final Journey

Family members and friends joined us Friday in sending my father to his final rest.

The service my dad had requested was a simple graveside rite, but it was graced by an honor guard from a local American Legion post, which presented the flag and gave a gun salute. That was followed by the religious service, during which I gave one of the readings.

Before the funeral our family had arrived very early. Gerald and I helped carry the coffin with my father's body from the hearse to the gravesite. After the ceremony, some family members visited family grave sites in the cemetery.

Strangely Stressed out Southward

For the moment, we're about five miles further from the river (Rio Grande) than usual.

Today we paid a thousand bucks for a hole in the ground...
and one which will only be visible for a very short time.

Which reminds me of the riddle,
"What is it the grows longer the more you cut it?" (see below)

Today I bought a box. A wooden box, made of pecan wood.
It was an expensive box, even though it doesn't have a mast, keel, or rudder.
And, I'm not going to get very much use out of it.

It could have been worse; I could have bought the box with the woodland camouflage deer-blind-style lining and embroidered big buck. Update: I'm informed that that pattern was "mossy oak break up".

And then I got another box, a really big one that goes around the first box. This box is made of concrete and is much too heavy to carry. I think its purpose has something to do with making life easy for lawn mowers.

But, at least today I realized that I'll probably wind up with a very small real estate "investment".
Unfortunately, its uses are very limited... you might say the owners' association has some really killer restrictions even if the location is to die for.

But, it does fit in with a wise-guy New York sort of joke...
good friends will help you move, but
really good friends will help you move bodies.
Any youse guys gotta problem with that?

And, a ditch is what grows longer the more you cut it.
You dig?

You see, a week or two ago I dug a lovely ditch and after many hours of labor found the buried treasure for which I was toiling ... well, a couple of sewer lines, anyway. But they were exactly the ones for which I was searching.

Now, quite possibly this post would qualify for Tillerman's "Strange" posts category, and certainly there is great justification for some strangeness, but it does all have meaning and reason lurking in the background.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Update: Elephant Butte to Bat Country

Last weekend Carol Anne and I participated in the spring series 2 regatta at Elephant Butte Lake along with Maine sailor "Boothbay". CA has covered some of the details in her blog. In short, we had a variety of wind conditions although the wet and cold were a bit much for some during the early part of Saturday.

During the previous week we'd also attended a northern fleet social dinner for the Rio Grande Sailing Club.

A sudden change of plans has forced us into a new course, however. We are voyaging toward different waters. More to come.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sailing update

At the beginning of the week Carol Anne and I were down at the lake during Carol Anne's spring break from teaching at the community college. A couple of mast-up committee members and I met with state park managers at Elephant Butte Lake. I also got some exercise digging a transect trench to locate a buried sewer line that crossed the site of the new mast-up site.

Then, on Tuesday, Carol Anne and I got to join "Dumbledore", "Uncle Jesse", and another member who wanted to sail his Frers 33, "Blue Agave", for one of the first times ever.

Winds were light, ranging from not much to about 8 knots, but we made the best of it. We did have to motor the last mile back to the marina, but by then we'd covered several miles under sail and had a fine day.

Back in Albuquerque, Carol Anne and I attended a memorial service for a former sailing club member and then joined about 14 other sailors for a northern fleet social.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday sailing for Spring Series 1

Sunday's second race during Spring Series 1 2010 at Elephant Butte Lake saw relatively reasonable and consistent sailing, with winds ranging from 6 to 13 knots. Here the J/24 Kachina runs the long downwind leg on the far east side of the course.

Normal, Ordinary Trip to Elephant Butte Lake

What makes a trip to Elephant Butte Lake, ordinary, normal, humdrum, blah, boring, and strangely unstrange? Not sailing does the job for me. During the weekend, we only got in one race because of light air on Sunday and no sailing on Sunday when the Etchells decided not to sortie into a stiffish breeze, so we did race committee.

Then, on Thursday, I made yet another trip to the Butte, this time to meet with state park officials to work out some hitches with the new mast-up storage lot. Again, close to the water, but definitely no sailing.

This weekend has not much promise for wind. But, we'll see what we get.

Light air Saturday at Spring Series 1, Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico

The Etchells sloop "Black Magic" approaches the finish of Saturday's light air race at Elephant Butte Lake. Sunday would bring more wind, but neither the Etchells nor the MC Scows sailed on Sunday, so we helped with race committee on Sunday.

An MC Scow follows two J/24s to the finish during the Spring Series race on Saturday, March 6, 2010, at Elephant Butte Lake.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Normal Sailing at Elephant Butte Lake

Although Saturday was predicted to have some pretty nice breeze, we wound up with practically none and completed just one race in quite light conditions -- water just barely rippled and not much more wind aloft.

Sunday I wound up having to help on the committee boat because we had a bit too much wind -- trying to run a race with dragging anchors on the committee boat was a bit frustrating as we bounced up and down in the waves and had to use the motor to hover in position.

One of the races actually happened in 10 knot winds, too oddly close to what some other places might consider normal. We also had rain, sun, rain/sun, the usual 90 degree wind shifts, and conditions generally mocking the weather forecasters.

All in all, perfectly normal sailing weather at the Butte.