Chase the Blue Dot

New Mexico: Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta, Part 2

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I promised in my last post, New Mexico: Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta, that I’d post the remaining photos from the balloon regatta. Although I pretty much stayed in one place to capture the Lady Jester and Cool Beans balloons, there were still opportunities to catch other hot air balloons that were fairly close.

On the beach

Touchstone Energy balloon almost inflated.
Touchstone Energy balloon almost inflated.
To the left of Lady Jester, several other balloons were in varying stages of inflation.
To the left of Lady Jester, several other balloons were in varying stages of inflation.
Both of these balloons were headed to the beach at the same time.
Both of these balloons were headed to the beach at the same time.

Over the water

This is where the unique part of the day was for me. I had never seen balloons participate in a regatta style before, or anywhere near water. The baskets could easily touch the water and have the water drip out almost instantaneously.

Water coming out of a basket on the lake.
Water coming out of a basket on the lake.

You’ll notice that the people inside the balloons wore life vests. This is a requirement of the pilot and any passengers in this event.

Some balloons got really close to each other when entering the water.
Some balloons got really close to each other when entering the water.
A colorful balloon that caught my eye.
A colorful balloon that caught my eye.
This balloon flew almost directly overhead, so I was able to capture it.
This balloon flew almost directly overhead, so I was able to capture it.
Several balloons over the water, tethered to their boats.
Several balloons over the water, tethered to their boats.
The New Mexico state logo balloon and another balloon.
The New Mexico state logo balloon and another balloon.
More hot air balloons, with the Civil Air Patrol balloon in the back.
More hot air balloons, with the Civil Air Patrol balloon in the back.

We had planned to stick around the area and attend the balloon glow at the local golf course, but we looked at the weather forecast and radar, which changed our mind. It was a good thing, since the balloon glow was cancelled officially about 2 hours beforehand. No worries, I’ll get to see plenty of balloon glows at the upcoming Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!  🙂

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