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Lake Mead


The Original Macgregor 2012 sitting in James Bay cove on Lake Mead

Feeling rested and relaxed we packed up and headed to the familiar waters of Lake Mead. We first sailed this lake on our original 1979 Macgregor 25 in August of 2012. I was able to get away from work and as I was gratefully relieved of my duties by my partner in crime for a much needed vacation. Back then our original float plan was to take us to Catalina Island, but a crazy weather pattern that brought blinding fog and unpredictable winds forced us to head east and trailer the boat to this lake. We made some great memories on that trip so we wanted to relive some of them to see if maybe they were just in our dreams. Perhaps this trip is what set in motion what is now the Fukarwe Adventures.   After all we cannot change he winds, but we can adjust our sails.

We pulled into the Lake Mead RV Village for a night to get the boat ready with plans of launching where we did before at the Las Vegas Marina ramp. The RV resort was great with all the expected amenities. We organized things, did laundry, and were ready to hit the lake the next day….or so we thought. The weather arrived out of nowhere and that night we were startled awake by some serious thunder storms that brought impressive lightening and pounding hail! We both love a good thunderstorm and after living in San Diego for so long we have been neglected of such delights.

View of the storm over Lake Mead from our Camping spot.

View of the storm over Lake Mead from our Camping spot.

The sound of rain drops pattering on the RV roof was soothing to fall asleep with after the initial ferocious storm front rolled through. We wondered what the weather forecast would look like the next day. Stormy weather for the next couple days allowed us to get caught up on emails, website stuff, and contacting family/friends and enough time in the breaks of the storm to take a little hike to the lake shore. It seems we will have to take advantage of these unexpected downtime situations to do take care of these sorts of things. Desert storms can appear out of nowhere and disappear just as fast! We also took advantage and decided to take a little side trip with our “land yacht” to the Hoover Dam. The RV resort we were at is only 7mi from the dam and the weather was shitty so why not!? Thoughts of national lampoons Vegas vacation rolled through my head as we drove across the Hoover Dam and almost ran over some tourists trying to take pictures in the middle of the road. No harm no foul. Chevy Chase would have been proud! Despite what some people say we were pretty amazed at the size of this thing. I wouldn’t make it a final destination of any trip, but if you have the chance to see it I would highly recommend doing so.

Hoover Dam Pondering

Hoover Dam Pondering

Once that nasty weather pattern past through we launched the boat and retraced our path through the water from years ago. As it turns out, lakes change with time just as we do and even though we found the same coves/anchorages, it just wasn’t the same. The place doesn’t really change, but you do. We were not disappointed however and did find a sweet little sandy beach on which we put the boat and had a great day swimming and exploring an entirely different shoreline. Blue enjoyed chasing his ball and digging holes in the sand. I enjoyed diving off the stern rails of our boat and Bailie floated on the raft.

The water level was low, of course, which made the beaches bigger, but the navigation a bit difficult since once again the maps are based on high water levels. At the end of the day we put the boat in at Calville Marina where we had stayed on our last trip here.


Sandy Beach on Lake Mead

The low water level was very apparent in this marina as it looked completely different and the main launch ramp wasn’t even accessible. They did move some things around so that there was a ramp and plenty of dock space available even with the low water levels. They have a small dock store and a restaurant up on the hill which we visited on our previous trip here. We were really looking forward to getting a cold beer, wings, and watching the Penguins game. There was only a very long and steep hill in our way….once again thanks to the very low water levels. We made the 20min hike up the hill only to find the bar was closed…whomp…whomp. So back down the hill we walked to the boat which was sitting calmly in her slip. Not a lot going on here so we decided that the next day we would load up and move on to Lake Powell and he next leg of our journey.


Leaving Calville Marina Lake Mead

1 Comment

  1. Leona Dimen says:

    I Loved Hoover Dam when I went to see it in 2005! I was amazed at how awesome it is and the tour I took was incredible! Hope you were able to take the tour too! I also loved the desert drive on thru to Arizona What an incredible experience seeing all those stunning specimens of cacti!!! Would love to live there! Some beautiful homes with large cacti and tremendous xeroscaping. Hope the weather cooperates with your future plans……
    Take care. Catcha later!
    – Leona 🙂

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