Roosevelt Lake Sep 24-26 Event Recap

In 2020 with Roosevelt Lake hitting the 100% full water-level mark and our usual sailing site Horse Pasture/Bermuda Flat completely submerged we had to scramble for a new site.  Windy Hill did the trick.  We had to launch from the ramp, but resourceful cat sailors could find a nook or cranny to beach the boat not too far from our camp-sites–which were excellent–with defined sites, ramadas, fire-pits and bathrooms and awesome views.  We had three events there in 2020 with the lake level ranging from 99% to 89% full.  Fast-forward to 2021.  We had a good event in March, but then with June temperatures hitting 112 (at-the-lake!) we called off the June sail.  The bright side of that was the lake levels were steadily decreasing and it looked like our first fall event would have us back at Horse Pasture. Horse Pasture does not have designated sites, does not have ramadas, or fire-pits or event decent bathrooms.  So why, you ask, would we want to sail there?  Because you can park your catamaran on the beach and plop your tent right next to it.  I have never sailed anywhere, including Mexico, that is more convenient.  However, to sail there the lake level needs to be between 50-60% (which is actually more or less the ‘normal’ level for Roosevelt).  At the start of July the lake level was 66%, well on its way to the prime level of 50-60%.  And then the July monsoons hit and we had near record rainfall.  Rather than continuing to recede the lake level jumped back up to 70%!  So, why am I rambling on about this?  Because when Mary and I left for Roosevelt lake the morning of September 23rd we still didn’t know the location of the event!  We had scouted the lake a week and a half prior.  Horse Pasture was iffy.  There were a few spots, but the level was too high, up in the weeds and there were a lot of bugs.  To be honest Windy Hill wasn’t much better.  The camping was still good, but the lower lake level meant the designated camp-sites were farther from the water and the view was not as good.  And of course there we would have to ramp launch-and-retrieve.  So we decided to wait until the day of the event to decide the location.  We would first drive by Horse Pasture and if the conditions weren’t good we would proceed to Windy Hill.  I had already decided we would probably end up at Windy Hill.   When we arrived at Horse Pasture the level was down an additional 1% to 69%.  Still high, but to my delight we found a good, unoccupied, dry spit of beach!  We wedged the RV between two tree-sized weeds about 50 feet from the water, set the trailer, boat, and awnings up strategically to reserve space for a group and lit up facebook and Whatsapp group with the news!  We were on!

Mary and I arrived Thursday morning.  Winds were lighter but steady and decent.  We arrived so early we took a nap and by the time we launched the winds had disappeared.  But no trouble, we just beached the boat and waited for them to come back!  Because you can do that at Horse Pasture.  🙂  The wind did arrive in the late afternoon as it frequently does.  Got in some great double-trap runs between 3-6pm to end the day.  The first to arrive to join us were Diane Norden and John Henderson with their new-to-them Hobie 16.  My former <sniff and cry!> crew.  They were excited to sail it for the first time and made it in time Thursday to join us for dinner.

Friday dawned and the weather was beautiful, but the wind had abandoned us. Crystal and Tom arrived with their Hobie 16 mid-morning.  Chris Picknally joined us soon after with Ana and his Flying Fish G-Cat.  Richard and Maryann, the parents of new-to-the-fleet Darren and his G-Cat (who knew there were two!! 😉 arrived and set up their RV to the back of us a spell.  The wind kicked-in about 3:30pm and there were four cats out on the water chasing each other.  Darren then arrived with his G-Cat and threw it up in record time and was out on the water by around 6pm.  His son Damien also set up a laser-like dinghy, so we had 5 boats on the water!  I should add that Darren wins the award for bringing the most shore-support-crew!  Christy, Richard, Maryann, Damien, Jade, and one more son and his girlfriend (sorry I missed their names!).  Thanks for bringing them all out Darren, it was a lot of fun!  Friday evening people and boats continued to roll in. Steve Dawson (H16), Karla and their daughter set up camp, as did new-to-the-fleet Mike & Mike (M&M), and Cathy (Hobie-18). All made it in time for some good talk around the fire.  Late in the night, while falling asleep I heard some engine noise and some general shouts, and nodded off thinking to myself: that has the mark of one Jim Tomes.  Sure enough come daylight there is a massive motor home muscled in all the way to the front of the beach!  But no catamaran.  So it couldn’t be Jim Tomes?  After reviewing Whatsapp I found a Jonathon Magic picture of Jim’s rig.  A perfect match!  Jim, Heather and Jake had arrived!

Saturday morning hadn’t dawned and the rain kicked in.  It rained for much of the morning.  As seven and eight AM rolled by more folks were up and started gathering, sheltering under the group canopy, waiting for the rain to slack and the sun and wind to come out.  Chris provided breakfast casserole for all those awake (it was awesome Chris, thank you!), the morning winds kicked in and a lot of people got out on the water.  More folks rolled in, Jonathon Magic and Eugene (C2), friends of mine (Junko, Sylvia, and Brian and thier tear-drop style camper), Chris’ friend Nestor and his daughter Mia with a waverunner, and Mike & Mike’s nephew and girlfriend.  The sun and toys came out.  The beach was covered with water toys: cats, a laser, eFoil, wing foil (thanks Tom and Crystal!), and kayaks!  And dogs!  Oh the dogs. Zuno, Rocky, Scout, Ginger, Louie, Jack, Pickles, and Aurora. They were friendly and had a grand time racing around the camp!  As did Ana and Mia (human girls this time).  It was exciting to see the energy of such a good turnout.  Jonathon cooked dogs (hot-dogs that is) for everyone for lunch, Tom put on a righting-bag clinic after the wind had died down after lunch, and also taught people how to ride the eFoil.  Nestor allowed the group to ride the waverunner.  Lots of activity, lots of good conversation, and a lot of fun on the water.  To close it out the group put on a fantastic and delicious potluck.  That was “Fleet 42 style” as Scott Agan likes to say.

All good things eventually end, so at the end of the potluck a lot folks elected to pack up and head home.  The overnight forecast was for Sunday to be rainy and stormy most of the day.  We said a lot of goodbyes.  A few of us stayed to Sunday.  It rained overnight, and into the morning again, but like Saturday it cleared up around 9am.  Mike and Mike got in another sail, as did Jonathon and Eugene, and Tom & Crystal.  Mary and I were thankful to take down the boat and pack up the RV in the clear weather window.  We were on the road thirty minutes when the rain kicked in again.  Some backup on the roads for weather and accidents but everyone made it home in reasonable order.

This was really a great trip and turnout.  Everyone was great about contributing in some way.  That really is Fleet 42 style.  Thank you all.

Photos (sorry requires fb): https://www.facebook.com/media/set?set=oa.235306118611111&type=3

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Pinata Regatta

Fleet 42, if you are interested in joining Pinata regatta in the fall looks like we should put in for reservations now!

Btw, if you go to the group main Facebook page, you can find the Playa Bonita form under the “files” tab. Fill it out and send it in!

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Roosevelt Lake Spring Fever Sail

Well, the “Spring Fever” sail event lived up to its name!  Scott and Mary arrived bright and early Thursday morning at 7:15 am to the Windy Hill camp ground at Roosevelt Lake to secure a good central camp site for the group.  Only to find a good portion of the campgrounds already occupied!  We did manage to secure a spot close to the only workable “beach”.  A rocky and dead-bush guarded shore but serviceable with some ingenuity, determination and a good pair of pruners!  

Fortunately, more people cleared out Friday and Brett and Tina arrived towing their F18 C2, followed closely by Jeff and Earl (F18) and they were both able to secure close-by camp sites.  Scott and Mary were joined by friends Diane and John, and with that we’d achieved Fleet 42 critical mass!  Saturday morning reinforcements arrived with Ken and his Nacra 5.2, Chris & Anna and their G-Cat, and Rich and Richard and their bicentennial Hobie 16.  They managed to score and share another great camp-site nearby so we were set!

Thursday and Friday had light but pretty steady winds.  Water temps were cold but the air temps were in the low 80s, sunny but with enough clouds to really highlight the beauty of the lake in pictures.  Pictures here:  https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUZT1Wb  We made use of the conditions to break in some new skippers.  Lessons came complete with a lovely paddle back to shore at sunset, no extra charge!  

Saturday the forecast big winds arrived around 1:40 pm.  Everyone took off hither and thither all around this section of the lake.  Scott, Mary, and Diane zipped off to their new favorite destination of Haystack Island.  It’s a pretty magical island as it is invisible until you are nearly on top of it!  Meanwhile Chris was sailing with Anna and Richard Jr on the cat-in-the-hat striped G-Cat looking pretty fabulous.  Ken was showing off his multi-hued and bedazzling Nacra 5.2, and when he heard a fleet new-comer, Alex, was interested in a ride, was kind enough to head in and pick him up at the dock.  Meanwhile Jeff and Earl had sprung the spinnaker on the F18HT just before the wind kicked in.  The still water reflection of the F18HT in its spinnaker wardrobe came out in an awesome picture.  Meanwhile, Rich was soloing on his Hobie 16 and decided to let the wind push him around.  Twice.  Rich, you are looking pretty practiced at the speed-boat assisted righting procedure!  Scott, Mary, and Diane, after gawking at Rich’s capsizes, headed back out one last time, trying to make it to the bridge.  Got close enough to take the picture and then decided to zoom home so as not to be late to the Saturday evening potluck.

Everyone got more than their fill of sailing, the last ones off the lake coming in around 4:30 pm.  Everyone pulled their boats out at the ramp, deciding not to deal with the rocky shore.  Despite the large number of campers at the lake, many did not have boats, and the ramps were blessedly free of competition to pull out.  We all had plenty of time to make our best dishes for the potluck by the fire.  Good time had by all.  

Sunday morning most started packing up, but there was still good wind forecast and Ken headed out to try a new spinnaker.  Chris was also heading out for more.  In the end, despite some initial worries about finding good camp sites, everything worked out absolutely great.  6 boats turned out, 14 people.  Great weather, sailing and company.  Thanks all for coming out.  Hope we see you too at a future event!

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America’s Cup

Charlie Spitzer forwarded Scott Winkler this compact summary of links for the America’s Cup, in case you’ve missed it and want to check it out. Some pretty crazy sailing going on down there!

Round Robin

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3fkbIb1V-o

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CFLSEsZWlE

Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPPOBLXM0BA (USA capsize @ 22:50. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUTJG3Hf_s)

Day 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCJxLRAGTE4

Semi-finals

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPmeg70tVtM (USA hit 50.8 kts)

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaqqIVahZtw

Day 3: not needed

Finals

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwC029__eTM

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T4rIljV1r0

Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGULFCJGnVY

Day 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QldJ0OWZLyg

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Fleet 42 “Unofficial” June Outing…

Hi Fleet 42,

Hope this email finds you all well and good.

Some more news on the local catamaran sailing front.  The Pinata Regatta hosted by Fleet 514 in October has been canceled because of too many unknowns with fall-out from the Corona Virus.  The Hobie cats may still go down and do a fun sail, depending on conditions (open border, etc).  Fleet 42 will also still go down to Mexico if it is open or do the event at Roosevelt Lake if not.

The Fleet 42 June event to Roosevelt Lake is officially canceled.  But unofficially we are going.  Similar to our last Lake Pleasant outing, the situation is too uncertain for an official outing (Horse Pasture is underwater, lake is at 99% full as of 5/24) but I think we could pull off an unofficial event.  What this is really saying is I can’t find a spot on the lake where I feel I can reasonably guarantee a good, convenient group location, but individually we may be able to do so, and even make a good group event out of it anyway.  

So, if you would like to join the “unofficial” event at Windy Hill in June, I will be there from Jun 18th to Jun 21st.  I will be at Windy Hill Recreation area in the Coyote camp area, hopefully somewhere in sites 280-293.  Sites 292 and 293 actually have beach access and I will try to get one of them.  We could land there but not launch.  However, we can not count on getting those sites so best to regard this as a launch and land from the ramp event.  Here is a link to satellite maps of the areas that I put together with some annotations.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/14VldRePsz3FcXGBXYdgFzSG3dbJ0D28tG35Csmz3HKY/edit?usp=sharing

Note, a campsite is $25/night for a normal space and $50 for a double.  No RV hookups, but it has picnic tables and shade awning and bathrooms.  Even showers, although they are currently closed because of the virus.

We will do a potluck Saturday evening if there is a group present.  Send me a note if you think you might come.  I’ll post again on arrival on Thursday to give everyone a heads up on the conditions.

Looking forward to it!!! Roosevelt Lake is as full as you will see it, and very pretty!  We camped at site 283 this last Sunday through Wednesday (without boat unfortunately) but had a good time.  If you have any questions about the campground or conditions there, shoot me a message.  Hope to see you there!

    Scott Winkler – Commodore-Fleet 42

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From our Commodore

Hi Fleet 42,

Much of the world seems to have come to a standstill, but we are still here and I thought I’d send out a quick note!

Although Lake Pleasant and Roosevelt Lake are closed to camping, they are both open to day sailing.  Chris Picknally, Ken Gerrard, and Duane Darling are some who have made it out for day sailing at Lake Pleasant.  Reports have been that it has been good sailing!

Meanwhile, Roosevelt Lake is 99% full.  I’d really like to sail on a maxed out Roosevelt Lake!  If camping opens, I will try a trip to the lake to see about camping at the RV campgrounds and launching from the campground boat ramps.  This will not be as convenient as camping on the shore to be sure, but the lake sure is pretty when it is full, and I want to sail it!  Will send out an update if that looks good and that is probably what we will do for our June event, as Horse Pasture is unlikely to be out of the water by June.

In other news, the AZ Fleet 42 Whatsapp group is gathering a good following!  For those unfamiliar with it Whatsapp is (yet another, sorry!) communication tool.  This is kind of a cross between a bulletin board and text messaging.  Works well for group communications (and is completely encrypted).

Here is how I view our communication tools:  Email is our official communication tool.  I’ll use it for “official” updates on calendar events and fleet and general news.  I view Facebook as the tool to post relatively time-insensitive information, such as trip reports, pictures, technical questions, etc.  And finally I consider Whatsapp best for tactical, in-the-moment communication, i.e. “I’m going to the lake tomorrow!” or “Where’s the turn-off to cat-point”, etc.  You are welcome to use or not use these tools, they are not all for everyone.  If you do decide to try Whatsapp, it has a subtle but obvious visual notification indicator which means you can turn off the audio notification (the beep), which I recommend.  Here is the invite link:

AZ Fleet 42 link to join my WhatsApp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/FVaxqRI6qAkLJ3kP9h323k

If you are heading out to the lake and looking for company I recommend continuing to post to both Facebook and Whatsapp to get the word out!

Finally, in the last email, I mentioned putting on a virtual regatta at the end of April.  I’ve been sailing in this online “game” and I like it!  But, in addition to it being not quite ready for a prime-time group event, I didn’t sense too much interest in the group for it.  So tabling the idea for now.  If you would like to try it (and match race me) here is the link.  https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/

 Ok, hope to see you all, as soon as we can, in real-life on the water!!

Scott Winkler – Commodore – Fleet 42

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Fleet42 News and Update

Hi Fleet 42,

Well, a lot has happened in the world since the last update.  I hope this finds you well and still positive as I know the Corona Virus has adversely affected many, either health or livelihood.

Thinking about sailing may seem like a luxury now, but I believe it is a good, healthy, positive distraction.  So, I hope this distracts you in a good way.

First, lets get all the bad news out of the way.  Last email we did cancel the April Roosevelt event.  Cinco de Mayo regatta has also been canceled.  Both Roosevelt and Lake Pleasant are closed to camping, although there is some question as to whether day use is still allowed.  I could not reach the rangers at Roosevelt which doesn’t bode well.  In any event, no ‘official’ events from the fleet in April or May.  I am leaving the June event on the calendar for now. 

In better news, we did hold a very successful event at Lake Pleasant just as the guidance for the Corona Virus was coming down.  I think we managed to have a good time while still upholding our social distancing obligations (which at that time were still just being promulgated). I’ve just sent a separate email recapping the event.

So, now the good news?  All the Arizona lakes are full and beautiful.  And I am determined to hold a regatta in April!! Not only will there be a regatta but it will be a one-design race!  How can we do that??  Well, yes, it is going to be a virtual regatta.  This won’t be for everyone but I think it could be a lot of fun and a great way to stay connected.  I’ve been playing it.  Y’know, its pretty good. I still love the starts and suck at the race itself, just like the real thing.  And we can set up a Fleet 42 specific regatta so we can race each other.  I can finally (maybe) beat both Brian Willess and Jim Tomes! 

So, I’ve spent some time learning this ‘game’ (they are partnered with World Sailing, btw).  It isn’t easy, initially I found the controls and environment confusing.  Same as when I started to sail!  Its like starting over.  I can host a Zoom meeting the week before to demonstrate/answer questions to get people a fast start, if there is interest.  You can play either on a PC or download the app to your phone.  I recommend the phone initially, although I am using the PC now.  Google/Search “Virtual Regatta Inshore”.  If you are interested in doing this, download and go through the training.  Shoot me an email if you do.  Or if you have questions.  I could use some help trying the Custom Race feature (I need someone else online to try it with me!).

I’m not sure if there will be interest in this, but I figure why not give it a try.  I will send out a follow-up post with the date and time of the regatta and maybe a time for a Zoom meeting the week before to demo/answer questions if there are any.

I will also, finally be sending out invites for a Whatsapp Fleet42 group.  I’ve mentioned this before.  This is a replacement for mass text messages some of us have been using.  Again, this is not for everyone, and that is not a problem   If you’d like to join, download Whatsapp to your phone, text or email me, at and I’ll invite you. 

Hoping for fair winds soon,

  -scott winkler

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Spring Fever Sail event, March 20-22 Roosevelt Event Update #3:

Ok, Fleet 42. Some breaking news. The alternate site that we scouted out just last week for our Roosevelt event is also now unfortunately underwater. I’m super bummed. I’m going to cancel the Roosevelt event and Instead we are going to go with an informal gathering at Lake Pleasant. This is your invite if you would like to join us. There are three of us (myself, Jeff Eisner, and Brian Willess) who intend to go up on Thursday and try to get spots at a place called Fireman’s Cove. I have not been there, but I’m told it is flat and a good place if we can get spots. We’ll do our best. Hope you still want to join us. I’ll post directions as a comment, and after we are on site will post on the conditions (crowded or not) and GPS coordinates.

If you do intend to join us, give us a heads up so we have an idea how many may come.

Scott Winkler – Commodore – Fleet 42

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Spring Fever Sail event, March 20-22 Roosevelt Event Update #2:

Hello Fleet 42!

Big update! Our usual Roosevelt sailing location at Horse Pasture is completely submerged!

However, we have found what looks like a great alternative at the Roosevelt Lake Windy Hill Recreation site.  The site is a dirt overflow parking area for the Windy Hill Badger launch ramp.  The ramp is submerged so the forest service opened the area to camping.  We drove up and checked it out, and it looked great!  It is about an additional 15 minutes south of Horse Pasture.  It is a decent sized area, flat, and no rocks.  I liked it better than Horse Pasture and it is much more comfortable than Lake Pleasant.  It does not have a lot of shoreline, but we think we can get there early enough to get a chunk of it, and in any event the area is so flat and smooth it will be easier than Playa Bonita to wheel boats around on cat wheels if needed.  If you have questions about the new area let me know.

In any event, we are going to give the new location a go!  I am super excited to sail in this new part of the lake.  And even more excited to sail with Roosevelt Lake at its max size.  This is going to be cool.  If you do think you may come, give me a heads up.  Any questions let me know.  I’ve updated all the details below.  Note, I’m putting the April event on a temporary hold status.  We will decide what to do for April based on the results of the March event at the new location.

Scott Winkler – Commodore Fleet 42

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Spring Fever Sail event, March 20-22 Roosevelt Event Update:

Mary and I took a trip out to explore Roosevelt Lake today. Turns out the plentiful spring rains have filled up our lake system. Horse Pasture, our usual camping and launching point is completely submerged. No camping there. We got a lead on another spot at Windy Hill so we went to check it out. I have never sailed at Roosevelt when the lake was full because Horse Pasture is where we go, and when it is underwater we don’t go. Well, the lake when it is full is just beautiful. We had a fabulous day exploring all the campgrounds, Schoolhouse, Grapevine, Windy Hill, Frasier, Cholla and even the submerged Horse Pasture. It was a great day. And the spot at Windy Hill looked great. The camp area is actually a dirt overflow parking lot for the Badger boat launch ramp at Windy Hill that the park has opened up because the ramp is underwater. But it looks perfect for launching cats. The lot is dirt/grass, but actually flat with no rocks. Actually better than Horse Pasture even and waaaaaay better than moon-crater Lake Pleasant. There is not a ton of shore line but it is a decent size space. Even if we are not first to arrive (we will try to be–arriving Thursday) we can set up a bit further back and easily cat-wheel if needed. I believe it will work. We are going to go for it!!! We will be updating the March 3/20-3/22 event location with the details. I am *excited* to sail from Windy Point! This is going to be cool! And sailing on Roosevelt at its maximum is going to be super cool!!! Hope to see you there!

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