Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Etchells sloop "Caliente" enjoys good New Mexico breezes

The Etchells sloop "Caliente" heads north back toward Rock Canyon Marina after a couple of hours of good sailing on Elephant Butte Lake.

A first good look at USA 438 as her crew enjoys good sailing conditions under sunny desert skies in New Mexico.

After dropping one boat off for storage in C D Crouch's lot in Elephant Butte, I retrieved the boom on which "Zorro" had repaired the outhaul and installed it on Carol Anne's USA 125, "Black Magic". I'd arrived at the marina just in time to see another Etchells, USA 438, "Caliente", sail south from the marina, but not in time to get any pictures.

Closer view of "Caliente"

Starboard view of "Caliente"
But, after I finished my boat chores, visited with folks on the marina patio, got a copy of Latitude 38, and enjoyed an ice cream cone, "Caliente" began to peek over the horizon as she and her crew returned toward the marina.

"Caliente" in sparkling desert sunshine. That gave me time to hop into the kayak with a camera and paddle out into the lake. Conditions were great for sailing; at the time I rendezvoused with "Caliente" the wind had settled down a bit from about eight knots to six or seven. The lake had few enough powerboats that the chop was mainly from the wind and the well-ballasted Etchells could easily ride through the small, perhaps foot-high waves... though on the kayak I had to paddle carefully to keep my equipment mostly dry.

Aft view as "Caliente" approaches Rock Canyon Marina. As "Caliente" approached her mooring behind the partial shelter of the marina and its floating tire wall, the wind settled down yet more, to just a handful of knots (about 5-7 mph) -- perfect for picking up a mooring.

Back at the marina at the end of a gorgeous day at Elephant Butte Lake


At 7:34 AM, July 26, 2011, Blogger Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Etchells! What a fine, fine craft! Great lines. No jib?

At 1:12 PM, September 03, 2011, Blogger Pat said...

The boat was being worked on, or maybe the crew was just taking it easy. Usually there would be a jib (but no genoa; the Etchells only have a jib or spinnaker for a headsail).


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