Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baja Ha Ha Leg 1 Day morning update

October 25, 2011
Position: 30°24 N 116°25 W @ 10AM

Baja Ha Ha Leg 1, Day 2 Morning update.

Yesterday, we flew our spinnaker into the evening as the winds went light. A little after sunset we decided to drop the big sail when our boat speed dropped into the 3 knot range with 6-7 knots true wind. At that point we fired up our port engine and motored with the remainder of the fleet overnight.

The biggest hassle with the Ha Ha is the density of boats for the first 12-18 hours. A moonless night demanded super vigilant attention to the surrounding boats via AIS, Radar and visual. At one point we could see 17 boats in a 180 arc ahead and 40 boats in a 180 arc astern. Up to 15 of these boats were in a 2 mile radius or less. I will add that every boat ahead of us was motoring and had likely never set a head sail all day. Not sure why you'd enter a sailing rally then not even try to sail? Seems like a few of these guys are racing to Turtle Bay burning tons of fuels so they can be first in line at the fuel dock to be sure they get their fill. The problem with this wasteful behavior is that there is a limited supply of fuel at Turtle Bay so the faster they go the more they waste the more they screw the boats in the back of the fleet.

Our watch schedule overnight was:
1500-2200 Dave
2200-0100 Kathy
0100-0400 Dave
0400-0730 Kathy

This worked great for me and I slept well. Kathy got some solid sleep as well which doesn't always come easy the first night out.

So Kathy had a great breakfast ready for me at 07:30 and we popped the spinnaker up in the building morning winds. Mostly 10-13 knots true from 330T which is driving us along nicely at 6 to 8.5 knots on a surf. Pulling past all the bigger 45'+ mono-hulls that motored past us overnight. Our AIS shows most of the nearby boats running around 4-5 knots. So for those who wonder about catamarans, light wind performance is one of the big benefits. Our 6-8 vs there 4-5. Plus, flying a spinnaker on a catamaran is so easy and we can run deeper downwind due to creating our own apparent wind. So we get speed and course over the much longer mono-hulls.

Beautiful sunny skies today with outdoor temps at 65F making for another barefoot, board short, short sleeve day aboard LightSpeed. Trailing a fishing line, but water temps are hovering around 60F and we need a few more degrees warmer before we hit the Yellow fin tuna which are reported to be about 160nm due South of San Diego.

Our new kitten 'Shell' is doing great having gained her sea legs. Lots of energy and tons of laughs as she tears around the cabin attacking both real and imagined objects.

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