Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sailing Fun; Spring Series 3 at Elephant Butte Lake, April 10-11, 2010

Last week I'd been ill and was worried about being able to sail in last weekend's Spring Series Regatta. As it turned out, I was in decent enough shape to hold up to Saturday's somewhat breezy conditions while doing foredeck duty on Carol Anne's Etchells, "Black Magic". "Penzance" helmed and Carol Anne and "Cornhusker" were also crewing.

Despite a spectacular spinnaker blowout partway down the run for the first race, we had fewer things going wrong and more fortunate course selection than the other Etchells on the course and were even able to save our time against the J/24's and J/22's even without flying a spinnaker after the incident. I don't think we'd ever scored back-to-back bullets but there must be a first time for everything and we were fortunate on Saturday.

During Sunday, "Penzance" had returned home to play his horn in a concern and we were joined by "Boothbay" and his son, while "Cornhusker" sailed her Freedom sloop. But, lack of wind prevented any races from being run Sunday morning, so we returned to Rock Canyon Marina and then adjourned for lunch at Hodges.

Afterwards, we returned to the marina and found a nice breeze had begun to fill in on the lake. "Cornhusker" and I ferried Black Magic across the lake in increasing, if slightly unsteady, breezes. Upon our arrival at the courtesy dock, though, we saw a big herd of bass boats gathering for a weigh-in at the end of a bass tourney and preparing to haul out on the boat ramp. So, we sailed around the marina and bay for a while in 10- to 20-mph winds under mainsail only to kill time. The bass fishermen were very competent and efficient, so it wasn't long before the ramp was clear and we were able to haul Black Magic out and put her away in the mast-up storage lot.

Just as we were finishing, "Zorro" called and offered a ride on his boat, "Constellation". So, Carol Anne and I zipped back to Rock Canyon and hopped on board. We sailed down the lake a couple of times with returns under spinnaker in 7- to 17-mph breezes which made for fantastic sailing, keeping us entertained until almost sunset before it was time to sail Connie into her regular slip and put her to bed.

So, it was a weekend with quite a bit of good sailing and time on the water.


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