Baja Here We Come

For the 24th annual rally to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the Baja Ha-Ha fleet has a fine breeze at the start in San Diego.

Mark Pillsbury

For the 24th annual rally to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the Baja Ha-Ha fleet has a fine breeze at the start in San Diego.

No more breakfasts at Denny’s. No more last minute trips to West Marine. Another run to Target? We can live with out it.

It’s Monday morning, Oct. 30, and it is time untie dock lines, roll up shore cords and set waypoints for Bahia Tortuga, roughly 450 nautical miles distant, the first stop on an 850-mile sail south to the tip of Baja, California.

Under gray skies and a threat of rain, some 150 boats awaited their turn to join the gathering parade marching toward the starting line off Point Loma. The nautical conga dance began at the Coronado Island bridge, snaked its way past the towering office towers downtown and headed to the mouth of San Diego’s harbor, where fire boats, their siren blaring, sent plumes of spray aloft as the fleet passed by.

For the next 10 or so days, I’ll be aboard the Seawind 1190 Meriweather. Owner Steve Price, a Minnesotan with a second home in Loreto, Mexico, has joined the Ha-Ha to get his new boat to the Sea of Cortez. He and Loreto neighbor and sailing buddy Randy Brown had already completed sea trials of the sporty cat and had begun filling the lockers with stores for the voyage by the time I arrived, rarin’ to go, from Boston. Rounding out the crew is West Coast Multihulls’ Kurt Jerman, the veteran cat guy in the crowd.

Sunday was a whirl of last-minute activities, or maybe I should say frantic chores, that ranged from check-in to food shopping to skippers meeting and parking lot party at the Ha-Ha’s local headquarters, the West Marine parking lot. It being nearly Halloween, costumes were in abundance. My first impression: this is a fun-loving crew.

Thanks to Iridium Go! And OCENS One Mail, I’ll be posting daily updates of our southbound adventures at sea and ashore. Ha-Ha- on! Ten minutes and counting until the start.