From Wednesday through Saturday, Tadpole and I served as dockmasters for the New Mexico Sailing Club marina at
The dockmaster serves a couple of purposes. One is to keep an eye on the marina as an extra measure of security, with a radio to call the State Parks officers if there’s any trouble. In the event of severe weather, the dockmaster checks that all the boats remain securely tied up, and if one is damaged, the dockmaster can notify the owner. Also, dockmasters help sailors entering and leaving their slips, especially in high winds or if the sailors are inexperienced. The dockmaster also does miscellaneous maintenance and fix-up jobs on the marina; a “job jar” is maintained for that purpose.
One benefit of dockmaster duty is social – especially on a busy weekend, the dockmaster gets to meet a lot of people as they come to cook their meals on the gas grills in the pavilion, and impromptu pot-luck meals often happen. It’s fun swapping tales with other sailors: how they got into sailing, how they got their boats, adventures they’ve had on the water either here or elsewhere. Prospective new club members also often drop by, and it’s fun to be able to show them that, yes, there is sailing even in the desert and the mountains.
Since the previous weekend had been a holiday weekend, this past weekend was very quiet, with few sailors coming to the lake. That meant Tadpole and I got a lot of reading in (including SAT prep for Tad), and he did some work on one of the marina walkways, attaching pieces to make it wider and more stable.
One drawback of dockmaster duty is that somebody has to stay either at the marina or camped out on the point above the marina at all times; the dockmaster can’t go sailing. So for most of four days, we watched what would have been perfect sailing weather go mostly to waste – calm mornings, but 10 to 20 mph in the afternoons, sunshine, and almost no boats out enjoying it.
Friday night, Tadpole drove south to
Tadpole returned Saturday evening, and then Sunday we packed up the camper and headed back to