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Monday, October 24, 2011

Mexico Bound - Baja Ha Ha 2011 Crusiers Rally

October 24, 2011
Position: 32°05'N 117°05'W @ 4:40PM
Underway Baja Ha Ha Cruisers Rally leg 1 San Diego, California to Turtle Bay, Baja Mexico (about 336 nautical miles on the rhumb line).

296nm to go to Turtle Bay

Around 10AM we lined LightSpeed up with about 157 other boats for a pre-race parade past the local TV news reporters off the tip of Shelter Island in San Diego Harbor. The wind was super light, but we managed to drift across the pre-start parade line with our Spinnaker up, but not necessarily set. We got an A for effort as we were the only ones to even try to fly a chute. The official Baja Ha Ha rally started at 11AM and we again ghosted toward the start line again with the spinnaker up. For our efforts to sail in the nonexistent winds we won a free pizza from the Grand Poobah of the Ha Ha, Richard of Latitude 38 fame and the race organizer.

The first few hours of the rally we all motored in dead calm conditions per race instructions from the Poobah. We sailed a southerly course inside Coronado islands past the tuna farming pens and Kathy had to dodge a tug pulling a tuna pen. Apparently, red tide has set in and the tugs are used to move the pens to clean water. As the wind built to 6-8 knots true the Spinnaker was set and we enjoyed shutting down our engine. As the day progressed into evening the wind built a touch to 9-10 knots true which was an improvement, but less than we'd like for a downwind run. We can't complain too much as we're managing about 6 knots of boat speed in 10 knots true. The weather outlook is for more light winds.

Weather is only so so with a thick marine layer making everything grey and limiting visibility to only a few miles. It's a joy to go barefoot after so many months of shoes and socks in the Pacific Northwest, but it's still a bit chilly.

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