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windsurfing in New Mexico
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I think that is a windsurfer on the upper left!!


lake Morgan.jpg
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lake Morgan.jpg


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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That said....I still sail there a half dozen times a year. Hey, wind is wind!

And...I think Shiprock is beautiful...but, you cannot see it from the lake when the wind is blowing...too much dust! Not complaining...it's dusty when it cranks!!! Smoke stacks make excellent wind socks...seriously!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. We watch for those plumes to appear as confirmation as we approach from the SE, tearing down back paved and unpaved roads. They're visible for tens of miles if the dust doesn't obscure them.

I went to sleep one night near your picture's vantage point, on the bare clay 20 or 30 feet from the water's edge. We woke up at dawn in our van to find ourselves 30 feet out into the lake, parked in several inches of water. The lake's water level is controlled by a fixed spillway; this was apparently wind-driven tilt, not just a higher lake level.

I just wish that power plant, which at 0.5 miles long is MUCH bigger than photos make it look, weren't sitting directly in the path of the prevailing wind. The wind in that shot is post-frontal W to maybe NW clearing wind, which can be pretty clean and very strong. Southerlies are very gusty, but give Morgan WSers a two-mile reach.

BTW, Morgan has very good bass fishing. A bud often drove down from northern Utah just for that, and had a refrigerator in his garage labeled and stocked with "Morgan Lake bass". The was once a surprisingly nice WSing shop < 10 miles away, and a local WSer snapped two plastic Tiga wave boards in half on Morgan. Interesting place, considering how remote it is, and the power company loves us there; we're good PR.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5888

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ascott,

Feeling a little bit used by our divisive character from the Great Northwest?

Regarding New Mexico, I was only there once for part of a day in late December 1974, so I can't offer much. However, I did see a very interesting site driving due south from Shiprock to Gallop. While looking straight ahead, the landscape was entirely white with snow. Yet, looking directly back through my mirrors, the landscape was brown and bare, totally devoid of any snow. For me, it was an insightful duality rarely seen.
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youwindsurf



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 666
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
If I state something as a fact, I can back it up, often even prove it.
LOL Laughing
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to make the move to New Mexico some time in the next few months - not for the windsurfing, obviously, but i am glad that I will be able to do some sailing while I am living there!

Time to pare down the gear. I am thinking:
1) boards: keep an 85 liter slalom and 110 liter free-ride
2) sails: 4.2 - 6.5
3) wetsuits: shorty, 3/2 steamer.

Will that cover me pretty well? any need to hold on to a 5/3 wetsuit?

Thanks.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HELL, yes ... and a dry suit unless you will live in Farmington and sail only at Morgan. There's a lot of good wind while the water and air are cold. And don't get rid of any sails or boards; every piece of gear you have will extend your sailing time noticeably. Do you REALLY want to sit on shore or stay home during the first windy weekend in weeks because you sold your full nuke gear? (I've seen NM blow harder all day than I've ever seen the Gorge blow even briefly; Chinook winds averaging 40 are not rare, and 50+ is fantastic fun with Gorge nuke gear. I got a LOT of use out of my 65 liter boards in NM.) Do you REALLY want to drive 30 to 185 miles to the lake (or a whole day to Corpus Christi) for a good forecast, only to get nuthin' but good 7.5 and 125 liter wind? (Conchas fishermen whine about getting blown off the lake many midsummer days by winds averaging in the upper teens.)

Some of the most disappointed and frustrated WSers in NM are the ones who pack and plan according to forecasts, are confined to weekends or take precious vacation days off work, drive 185 miles to the lakes, then realize that they have to sail reality, not forecasts.

And I can't imagine limiting ones' smaller boards to slalom gear; you'll get beat to pieces at many spots on most windy days and won't fully appreciate the better swell. One guy snapped two plastic Tiga Waves in half at Morgan, and Conchas and the Butte get much bigger swell and chop than Morgan.

I don't think people realize how freaking windy NM gets. It's a serious curse for non-WSers. State Farm refused to renew my car insurance until I explained that my nearly annual windshield replacements were due to windstorms, not accidents. And because its wind is not any steadier than -- usually gustier than -- Gorge wind and has no opposing current, some spots get at least as choppy as some of the Gorge's choppier spots. Worse yet, how would you like being stuck on a slalom board on those rare but marvelous days that the swell is clean and chest-to-head-high?

Minimalist gear is fine if one sails 1) 5 minutes from home 2) any day 3) the trees start moving. But when any of those three caveats is unrealistic, you'll want a wide variety of toys and you'll want them at hand. Just as with global warming, the Superbowl, and that closing hour barfly you took home in desperation, forecasts and reality are only marginally correlated, if at all.

BTW ... where in NM are ya going, what kind of work, and where are you considering living? My work, for example, had flexible hours and was on the southern edge of Albuquerque, but I lived in the next county north for better lake access and just plain better living conditions.
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beallmd



Joined: 10 May 1998
Posts: 1074

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iso has it right. I learned and sailed at Morgan and was lucky to live 1/2 hour away in Farmington. There are still a couple of sailors that go there but not much now I'm told. Anyway Morgan is heated as described above and is quite sailable from Feb (rig up in the snow) to mid June when the wind gods get tired or something. I certainly agree you need everything from nuking stuff to gear that will allow one to get through the lulls in May and June. I am a big boy and often used a 4.0 there and occasionally my wife's 3.4 and tiny board. Yep, there's wind and water in NM. Beautiful state with a varied and interesting culture. Good luck in the land of enchantment. I may end up back there someday, who knows.
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. Interesting to know. Shoot, that's going to make it more difficult to pare down the gear. (I have 8 boards right now!)

FYI, I plan on moving to Santa Fe. I will likely have a flexible schedule.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That puts you closer (than from Albuquerque) to Cochiti (aka "Soshitty") Reservoir, so called because it's beyond gusty, as it's behind a huge dam behind a mountain range. SF is closer to Conchas out east, but much farther from Elephant Butte. Let's face it: no one moves to Albuquerque OR Santa Fe for the windsurfing. The FOOD, yes, but not the WSing. I lived between SF and Albuqueque.
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