The lake she is sinking like a stone, two feet lower than at the link there which was a week ago. I mean fifty-one percent of capacity? Whoa. On the other hand, we’ve been here before, just three years ago, in fact, and it’s not yet as low as it was in 2000. The important thing to remember about Texas, folks, is that, for us, drought is normal.
Having sold the family sloop, we no longer pay much attention to the ups and downs of the reservoir called Lake Travis. It has been quite low in previous droughts, but seems to be trying to set a new record in the ongoing one. It is now at six hundred and fifty-five feet
below above mean sea level, which is roughly twenty-six feet below normal. Worse, it is forecast to continue its plunge to around six hundred and twenty feet.
Nevertheless, in the interest of soothing hysterics who worry about the droughts of global warming (though it is the potential rising of sea water rather than the falling of lake surfaces that has them upset), this has happened before, and quickly (say, within thirty days) has come back to this. So, in other words, unless you own a lakeside home (which is now a gully-side home) there’s almost certainly nothing to worry about. What goes down has, historically, come right back up.
The Chicago Bears already were down on RB Cedric Benson for a pitiful average of 3.4 yards per carry–a product of chronic injuries since leaving Texas in 2005 as its only running back to gain a thousand yards in four consecutive seasons. Now his pro career is in doubt after his third arrest (but first pepper-spraying) since 2002. This time it was at Lake Travis’ hard-partyin’, drunk-on-the-water Devil’s Hollow (Cove)–charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.
Got the propane torch working Monday to finish soldering all the electrical connections and so I mounted the Minn Kota 55 on the motor mount on the family sloop this morning–snaking the power wires through the cavernous compartment under the cockpit to the midships battery. Wired and locked the thing to the mount to prevent theft by a casual thief. (A determined one wouldn’t be deterred even by a chain.) In reverse, with the dock lines on, the 55 piles about an inch of water against the stern. So we’re good to go on the first light-air day. The wind was whistling in the rigging this morning, not a day I’d normally go out even with an outboard. Cold front tonight will probably kick up more wind. So maybe Saturday will be the first chance to try it out on a sail.
Not enough to sail, that is, this morning on Lake Travis. So I about blistered my fingers trying to start the Suzuki outboard. Finally caught but would only race. Turned it down to idle and it quit, so I started it again and let it race until it finally would idle. Still trying to find on Google why little outboards do that. Finally gave up on sailing and came home, bringing the wood backing for the swing-keel winch home to glue the laminate where it is coming off back on. Never a dull moment with a boat. Will try to sail tomorrow.
Not exactly the Seablogger’s "Wheel of Karma," but his mention of needing a bottom job for his cabin cruiser in order to sell it reminds me I need to get one for the family sloop just to keep using it. It’s been almost seven years. Too long, even for fresh-water Lake Travis. It sets my teeth on edge when I notice the way the grunge is creeping above the water line on the transom. I used to get the specialized sanding and paintwork done every four years, but that was before the price topped $1,000. Nowadays it’s also harder to find a place on the lake to do it, as environmental laws harrass those who try to provide the service. I think Easy Street marina might still offer them. I need to call and find out.
All that Hill Country rain yesterday has the Llano and Pedernales rivers running almost 4,000 cubic feet per second. Since both feed into the Highland Lakes, it’s just a matter of time before Lake Travis starts climbing again. In fact, the LCRA is predicting a rise of about half a foot by this evening. Fortunately that would be only about 683 feet msl, and the rain is expected to be over by tonight.