Monday, November 27, 2017

Baja Ha-Ha Cruise

The Baja Ha-Ha Cruise

Doug, George, Skip and Dave

Started by Richard Spindler, (of Latitude 38), twenty-four years ago, the Baja Ha-Ha is a cruise that departs San Diego in October of each year. Its primary goal is to safely get a fleet of sailing vessels to Cabo San Lucas, with a couple of stops along the way.

This year, I got a chance to participate because Dave Allmen wanted to take Lahaina Roads on it. So on October 29, Dave, his brother Doug, long time friend Jim Long (a.k.a. Skip) and I departed from Oceanside to join up with the other 130 Ha-ha vessels in the Ha-ha fleet in San Diego.

Lahaina Roads docked in San Diego.

We skipped the Ha-ha parade in San Diego and made our way to Ensenada, checking in there and avoiding the crowds of boats that would be checking in, in Cabo san Lucas.

Doug and Dave relaxing on deck. 

Docked at Ensenada.

After a brief stay in Ensenada, we headed south for Bahia Tortuga or as we know it - Turtle Bay.

Sailing southward wing-and-wing.

A beautiful sunset at sea.

Unfortunately, we didn't have much wind and ended up motor sailing most of the way. Regardless, it was a good run.

Anchored amongst the fleet in Turtle Bay.

Drone's view of the fleet in Turtle Bay. 

Time for fish tacos and a Corona at Maria's.

Downtown Turtle Bay is a pretty quiet place.

The Lahaina Roads crew in clean t-shirts getting ready to venture into town.

The pier in Turtle Bay.

Maria's from the air.

Baja Ha-ha traditional beach party.

Anchor lights on as evening approaches.

During our two day stay in Turtle Bay, we walked through the small, dusty town, had fish tacos at Maria's and briefly attended the Ha-ha beach party.

The following day the fleet sailed out of Turtle Bay in 10-12 knot winds. The winds eventually blew 20- 25 knots, giving us a great three day sail to Bahia Santa Maria.

The fleet leaving Turtle Bay for Bahia Santa Maria.

Lahaina Roads at sail.

A visit by dolphins is always a welcome treat.

Skip in Bahia Santa Maria with a full moon behind him.

Doug, Dave and Skip on the beach in Bahia Santa Maria.

Local fishing pangas in the village.

In Bahia Santa Maria, the Ha-ha typically sponsors a big lunch party on shore. Mexican families come from quite a distance to prepare a meal and even bring a local band to play for the fleet.

Baja Ha-ha lunch festivities.

Dave brought candy for the village kids.

After a two day stay in Bahia Santa Maria, the fleet picked up anchor and headed for the final stop of Cabo san Lucas.

The fleet sailing towards Cabo san Lucas.

Approaching Cabo.

The quintessential arch of Cabo.

At dusk, anchored along the beach in Cabo.

Baja Ha-ha party at Squid Roe in Cabo.

Aside from the final awards ceremony, in which everyone is awarded a prize, the other fleet sponsored event is an evening of dancing at Squid Roe. We stayed for a while but opted for some more fish tacos at a nearby taqueria.

Waking up to a surprising guest in the harbor.

After anchoring overnight, we left Cabo and headed for San Jose del Cabo, just 17 miles around the corner. We arrived in Puerto Los Cabos and docked there until I flew back home. Meanwhile, the crew's other half (Kristi, Carolyn and Lee) had flown in from San Diego and were staying at a hotel in Cabo san Lucas.

Docked in Puerto Los Cabos.

Stay tuned for Part II - The Voyage Back to Oceanside.