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Hadn’t been to Roosevelt Lake in quite awhile, so I figured I’d head on up there to see if I couldn’t rattle loose another fender bolt off the trailer. The drive may take slightly longer than the all-freeway route to Lake Pleasant, but it is beautiful.

Sure enough, by the time I got to the supermarket in Globe, I found another fender bolt had gone bye-bye. Rats.
I’ve gotta climb up on the boat, break out the tool bag and fish through the spare parts bag for another one. No joy.
I did find a small bolt and nut that’d work for the 5-mile double-back to the only hardware stores I know of in this town. Less than three bucks later, half of that being gasoline, I’m driving the final leg of the trip to the lake.

Pull into the ramp area, and start the approximately two-hour process.
As I’m getting ready to step the mast, another sailor with a nice looking Hunter ambles on over to say “Hi”.

He introduces himself as Allen, hailing from Pinetop, and offers his help. Well, thank you, sir! Many hands make work light, and that little outboard of mine never felt lighter. After we get the Macgregor set up, I have to check out the Hunter.

Nice lookin’ boat. Clean as a whistle. Water-ballasted, swing-keeled, and according to Allen, very fast. Well, she looks it.

I get out onto the lake proper just before sunset, and head on over to the marina. While I’ve been professing a desire to anchor out more, my card-key works here (but not at Lake Pleasant, STILL, Pensus Group…), so why not use what I’ve already paid for? On the other hand, it would have been the best night of all three, wind-wise, for anchoring.

Straight up, I chickened out on anchoring this trip.

Day 2-
Motor out of my slip and raise sails. There’s a gentle breeze out of the East, and I tack my way thataways. As I’m passing Allen’s campsite, I see him standing on the shore. I call out “You going sailing today?” All I hear is mumbling.
“You can sail on my boat”, I offered. More mumbling, then something about “15-20 minutes”. “Okay”. I spent the meantime on the slalom course, weaving in and out of the “NO WAKE” bouys near the ramp. When Allen shows up at the dock, he’s got his dog, Simba. He loves boating.

Cool. First dog on the boat. Fur was everywhere!

We set course for Salome Creek, a large feeder. I hear the locals call it “Sally Mae”. Allen takes us adroitly to the entrance, then we fire up the outboard for the passage into the creek. After a few minutes of motor-sailing, the outboard sputters and quits. I’ve seen this before, and have been able to keep her puttering along by giving the fuel bulb a squeeze. She changes RPMs a little just before quitting, so I can usually keep her going.
Allen’s got a different plan, though. We pop off the cover, and he starts looking over the carburetor. He’s searching for a metering screw, thinking it may need an adjustment. He locates a suspect hole on the carb, and seems to think the screw has fallen out!
This is practically a brand-new carburetor, and if this is the case, we search the interior of the motor casing for the errant screw. Found a rubber washer down there, and that’s all we could find. Allen keeps on troubleshooting, and gives me a few possibilities. Metering screw, fuel pump, leaking hoses allowing air into the fuel stream, etc. I suspect I’ll be acquiring a manual for this motor. We keep on keeping on by squeezing the fuel bulb every now and then.
Back out onto the lake, Allen’s cell phone rings. It’s his daughter, who’s heading towards the lake with a surprise for him. Her ETA is around 1400, so we’d better start heading on back towards the dock. What little wind we had was coming right out of our destination, and that seems to be the norm. “We’ll be there in about 20 minutes”, says Allen.
About an hour later, we’re being tied up by a couple of lovely young ladies.

That’s daughter Samantha, behind the wheel.

And the surprise? Well, I guess it was Rick! He’s from Tucson, too.

So my boat’s tied up at the ramp’s dock on a Friday afternoon. Think I could leave it there for very long? Not bloody likely. Untie and shove off, so others can use the dock. The weather report from NOAA says it will become more and more breezy, culminating in gusty conditions on Sunday. That’s in addition to the already flukey winds here at Roosevelt. According to Allen, “If you can sail in Arizona, you can sail anywhere”. Well, that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
Not too much later, I pull back into my slip for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 3-
Out on the lake by 0700, and head Easterly. There were a few sailboats out yesterday that hadn’t returned to the marina, so I set off to find where they’re hiding out. Sally Mae is where. As I’m approaching the creek mouth, three sailboats under motor emerge.
I got the chance to fly my spinnaker that morning, but the winds started changing direction quite a lot, making it kind of difficult. You’re watching for luffing (when the edge of the spin flops around), working the tiller to keep your heading in relation to the oddball winds, and gybing the mainsail when said winds dictate. Give me a steady breeze that can hold a heading, please?
No, now you get doldrums! Douse the spinnaker, and fire up the outboard. I’m heading to the other end of the lake. As I’m passing the ramp, I notice Allen’s boat is gone. A quick sweeping look through the spyglass discovers a boat about his size West of the dam. Another look-see shows there’s wind over there, too. I’ve got a following breeze now, so I set the sails in a wing-on-wing configuration, and make my way towards the other boat. Yep, it’s Allen alright, with crew. They’re doing a little swimming (brrrr!). I sail a quick circle around them, yammer some, then head further West.

The winds pick up, and with a vengeance! Soon, I’m nervous as usual, because my boat’s heeling. I’m a bit of a control freak, you see, and when my boat starts getting blown onto it’s side, I start rounding up (pointing into the wind) before the boat has a chance to do it on it’s own. I guess I’ll have to take a knockdown or twelve before I can let go. Plus, I didn’t have the heavy swing keel locked down. If I happened to get knocked over, the keel could swing up into the hull, causing the boat to go “turtle”. That would mean upside-down in the water. No, thanks.

I’m heading back towards the ramp, and the winds keep getting stronger.
I douse the sails, and think about just motoring in, but I find I’m able to make headway under the highly-reefed genoa alone! I didn’t think this was possible, but it was happening! I’ve got this little hankie of a foresail, and I’m heading into the wind! Passing the Salt River wind tunnel, I get some extra push from the South, which didn’t help my disposition at the moment. Not looking forward to having to dock solo in these winds, either.

I heave to outside of the no-wake zone, and prep for docking. Fenders, docklines, sails secured and keel cranked up. Thank goodness, there’s a couple of folks on the dock to toss a line to. I had approached the dock on it’s leeward side to minimize any possible crashing, but the bow was pointing out towards the lake. I figure I’ll just horse the boat around the dock to the windward side, but the breeze said “Uh-uh”. Once again, another boater volunteers his assistance! We get her brought about, and onto the trailer she goes. Thanking everyone, I pull up the ramp to where I can tear down the boat. But first, a beer. And man, that beer was good.

It’s too late in the day to even think about driving back to Tucson, so I take my time on the tear-down. I’ll sleep on dry land tonight (In the boat, of course). I was also keeping an eye out for Allen and crew to make their way back. Finally they appear around the bend, and I head over to help them haul out.
I enjoyed dinner with the gang, a small campfire and some guitar playing.

Day 4-
I’m up before the sun, making coffee and finishing the boat for the road, when ‘ol Rick pops out from his pickup. I offer him some coffee, and he gives me a hand dropping the mast. The gang’s planning to visit the Salado Ruins, just up the road a bit. It’s a collection of adobe structures situated in the side of a cliff, that date to around 1100-1400 AD. It’s well worth the steep walk to see them, but I’m gonna head back to Tucson.
Again, thanks to all. I hope to see all y’all again, sometime.


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