Sunday, April 17, 2011

Heron Lake Marina a week ago, April 9, 2011

Heron Lake Marina from the south, April 9, 2011, a week before the marina had opened and only about a month after ice had melted from Willow Creek Cove.

Now, a week later, the marina has only just opened and the first boat (one above was a temporary visitor) of the season is now in the marina and the first dockmaster is on duty.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lazy Day at Elephant Butte Lake

Here's a feel for a gentle Sunday afternoon at Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico, with pictures taken on March 27, 2011.

Etchells 22 sloop "Black Magic" in temporary marina slip after having been solo-launched that weekend and sailed up to Rock Canyon.

Terry skippers his O'Day 22 toward a temporary slip while he waits for someone to get a boat out of his regular slip at the Rock Canyon Marina.

Rental houseboat and reflections with marina gas dock and Elephant Butte scenery in background.

Greetings from Larry's Pride

On April second, we drove to El Paso to help continue the birthday week celebration for "Zorro" and catch up with the "pride" -- about ten cats in and around the house plus two honorary cats (Connor and Sugar Bear, the dogs). The pride is run by the feline trio of furry Oscar, Coochi (mostly Maine Coon Cat-ish), and white Frisky. Getting pictures can be a challenge with the animals swirling about the home.

"Window Dressing" (Squeaky is one of Zorro's old-timers.)

Frisky and friend

During our visit we also had lunch/dinner down the hill at the Cincinnati Street club, a bar and grill near the University of Texas at El Paso.

Almost caught still

Connor, the honorary cat

Something that needs a truck to take it places

This twenty-eight-foot K-Z Durango fifth-wheel travel trailer has been in storage for a while, with its present owner now living in Maui, Hawaii. It looks like it wants to go places.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Last snow of the season?

Buccaneer 18 sailing dinghy waits for warmer weather to sail at Heron Lake in northern New Mexico.

Even though some parts of the Southwest USA have seen 90-degree (F) weather recently, last night's snow was a reminder of how quickly spring weather can change from balmy to brittle. We awoke this morning at our cabin to a half inch of white stuff all over the ground along with sub-freezing temperatures. However, now the sun is out and the snow is likely to disappear soon, perhaps for the entire summer excepting the occasionally mountaintop dusting. And that also means that spring runoff has starting, and that Heron Lake is beginning its springtime rise in water level.

Peek at neighbor's cabin to the northwest after late-sprig snow in northern New Mexico.

Small trees to west were briefly dusted in snow.

View south; when the lake is higher an arm of the lake can be seen.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Truck Spec Tech Talk

This evening I learned that a 2002 Ford F-450 SuperCab 4x4 truck with a 7.3l turbo diesel engine and automatic transmission could tow a boat and trailer weighing up to 17,400 lbs. (assuming the 26,000-lb. GCWR is not exceeded). That would be a moderately large boat.

Ford F450 specs for 2002
7.3L Turbo Diesel V-8 (6.8 is the gasoline V-10, by the way), OHV overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder, 4.11 x 4.18 bore/stroke (in.), 444 ci (7277 cm3) displacement, 17.5:1 compression ratio, 250 hp @ 2600 rpm (automatic), 505 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm.
1D or 2D diesel fuel, hydraulic electronic unit injection (HEUI) direct ignition,
6 quarts oil capacity with filter
4 speed automatic overdrive transmission (4R100), gear ratios 2.71:1 1st, 1.54:1 2nd, 1.00:1 3rd, 0.71:1 (OD), 2.18:1 reverse, 2:00:1 converter

4-door SuperCab, front suspension non-independent rigid axle with stabilizer bars; rear suspension non-independent live axle, leaf springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars

Power recirculating ball steering, 17.09:1 ratio,
Front brakes 13.0 3 outside rotor diam. (in.), 9.06 inside rotor diam. (in.), 244.81 sq. in. total swept area per axle
Wheels, standard 16” 8-bolt, largest tires available P225/70 Rx 19.5 all-terrain

F-450 SuperDuty 4x4 SuperCab, 161.8 DRW, 4,018 front (lbs), 2,988 rear (lbs), 7,006 lbs. total, 15,000 lbs. GVWR, 7,990 lbs. payload

Trailer Towing, F450 7.3L Dl V-8 Turbo Diesel 4x4 DRW, either:
4.30 axle ratio, 26,000 lbs. GCWR, 17,400 lbs. maximum loaded trailer weight
4.88 axle ratio, 26,000 lbs. GCWR, 17,400 lbs. maximum loaded trailer weight

Dimensions, (inches) – nearest available are for F-350 4x4 DRW:
158.0 wheelbase, 247.6 overall length, 95.5 width, 40.7 front legroom, 32.4 rear legroom, 68.0 front and rear shoulder room, 67.4 front hip room, 67.3 rear hip room, 41.4 front headroom, 38.5 rear headroom, 38 gallons fuel capacity, 57.15 ft. curb-to-curb turning diameter, 59.76 ft. wall-to-wall turning diameter