We started the Baja Ha Ha rally on October 29 at 11:00 with a parade and sail past of the committee boat which had the dignitaries and press on board. It was similar to rush hour traffic if you can imagine 149 boats coming from several different marinas within the San Diego area, all trying to organize ourselves into a line 3 or 4 boats wide, close to each other without touching and trying to go about the same speed. We finally had a good parade set up and then the Navy sends a large ship in bound right through the centre of the channel. So much for our good-looking parade.

Looking the part in our Ha Ha t shirts
Getting ready for the parade start

As we’ve come to expect, but quite contrary to most of the Baja Ha Ha rallies, there were very light winds for the first few days. Most of the fleet motored the entire way to the first stop at Bahai Tortugus, also known as Turtle Bay.

Turtle Bay

Fuel is available here. You have two options. Option 1, load your jerry cans into your dinghy, run to the beach, lug them 5 blocks to the gas station, fill them and then lug the now heavy jerry cans back to your dinghy and back to the boat. Option 2 take your chances with the sketchy fuel pier where you don’t tie up but anchor off and back up close to the pier and they send the fuel hose out to the boat.

Fuel Pier

We all anchored in the bay and then went ashore. The beach is amazing. A walking tour of the town, all 10 blocks of it doesn’t take too long so everyone heads in search of food and drink. The three or four restaurants / bars go absolutely crazy trying to keep up with the demand.

Turtle Bay beach

The Ha Ha tradition is a friendly baseball game between the residents and the cruisers. It’s a fundraiser for the town and afterwards all the baseball equipment the cruisers brought is donated to the kids in the town. A great time was had by all.

Community baseball

After a two day stop we are off again for a 48-hour sail to Bahia Santa Maria. Again, very light winds and lots of motoring sailing.  On the way down, one of the boats in our group sailed into a large, poorly marked drift net.  Of course, this happens at 2 in the morning. The fisherman cut most of the net away and then took off but still left a large chunk caught on the keel, prop, and rudder of the sailboat. We offered to tow them the 30 miles or so to the bay, so they could dive the boat and remove the remainder in the daylight and calm waters of the bay. There was no further damage and once the net was removed they were good to go.

Bahia Santa Maria
The Fleet in BSM

Bahia Santa Maria is a large bay with a beautiful beach that goes on for miles. It is sparsely populated with just a few fishermen and their families that maintain homes here. For the Ha HA group these families all get together and prepare a meal of fish, rice and beans that they then sell to us cruisers. $15 per plate and 2 beer for 5 bucks. The dinner price might be a bit high for what you get but these folks probably make more in our 1-day visit than they do the rest of the year, so you think of it as charity rather than business. The really cool thing that the Ha Ha organizers do is to have a band brought out to the bay to play for us while we have our meal. Eating, drinking, dancing and socializing on a remote and gorgeous Mexican beach is a very surreal experience.

The third and final leg of the rally takes us to Cabo San Lucas. Finally, some wind. We had one of best sailing days ever. A sunny sky and warm winds from behind us allowed us to raise our spinnaker and run this way for 12 solid hours. We could have carried on all night like this, and some boats did, but with just the two of us on board we took the spinnaker down at dark. Safety first!

We arrived in Cabo San Lucas at 14:00 (2 PM) on November 8th. There is a sport fishing tournament on all weekend and with our 149-boat fleet showing up there is no room available at the marina so a whole bunch of us are anchored along Cabo’s beach. The tourists in the hotels are looking out over the water at us we and we are looking out of the water at them. We had a “I cheated death again” wind up party at the Squid Roe bar in town the other night and a beach party yesterday afternoon. Tonight, is the awards ceremony / party and then over the next few days we will all be departing to continue our trips on our own. The Baja Ha Ha has been a blast. Its been well organized and has made our first time cruising Mexico easy and fun.

On the way into Cabo San Lucas
Arches at Cabo

We have exchanged information with many of the boats we have met and look forward to catching up with them at different ports along the way.

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10 thoughts on “Hola Mexico

  1. It is good to hear you had a good trip and all went well.
    Thankfully there are good people like you two ready to help other boaters out when in need 🙂 Lucky they were!
    Thanks for blogging,
    Chris

  2. Hi guys. Wow what an amazing time you two are having. So carefree , sun are you swimming lots? The ha ha sounds cool. Will you do it again? Miss you lots.

    1. Hi Karen. Thanks for following and we are glad you are enjoying our story. We had a great time on the Baja Ha Ha and would do it again if we were in San Diego and headed back this way. Will be up in Van for Christmas and will see you then.

  3. Hi Barb ad Derick!

    How long are you going to be in Baja? Paul was just there last week and I’m heading down there in a few.

    Meghan

    1. Meghan. We will be cruising the Sea till mid December then back to Van for a bit then back here in the new year for some more cruising. Looks like we will be in Mexican waters at least a year and maybe two

  4. Hello Darrick & Barb this is Bo! My wife Angel and I met you at Shelter Island the day before you left on the Bahaha. I just wanted you to know that I was following you on your cruise and living vicariously through you until we can do the same as you’re doing.

    Safe travels til we meet again!

    1. Bo. Thanks for following us. Let us know how your search for a larger boat goes. Maybe we’ll see you and Angel out here one day 🙂

  5. Congratulations on making it to Mexico! You were mentioned in a write-up of the Ha Ha on the Latitude 38 website for helping a fellow boater.

    Ken & Anne
    Vancouver

    1. Thanks Ken. I’ll always try to help a fellow boater when I can. I look at it as building on the boat karma bank. You never know when I’m going to need the help one day. Hope to see you and Anne out here someday soon.

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