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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
sailing to Bahia Magdalena

yesterday's beach party at Bahia de las Tortugas (Turtle Bay) was quite an event. There were several hundred sailors who all brought potluck, and the locals had set up a dance floor and DJ, and a taco vendor sold great tacos for 10 pesos (1 dollar) each. People had to arrive by beaching their dinghy in the surf and one dinghy got flipped by the waves. There was a tug of war between the sexes, with women on one side (a hundred or so) and fewer men on the other (maybe 30). The women won handily. Pascale and I and another sailor from a boat called Vanishing Point shopped in the little town for a pinata and candy and trinkets to fill it with, and we had a pinata party for the 20 or so Ha-Ha kids.

This morning at 8 a.m. the fleet started, except us an a few other boats who lagged behind for various reasons. We had to get diesel fuel, and we had made an appointment the day before for diesel to be delivered to our boat at 7 a.m., but we have learned that the Mexicans here treat appointments and time estimates very liberally. We finally fueled up and were on our way at 9 a.m.

So now we're sailing on beam reach with about 16 knots of wind, just about perfect sailing conditions. Our boat speed is 7 knots. Our destination is Bahia Magdalena, which is about 220 nautical miles away. There will be absolutely no services where we will be anchoring, no town, no civilization, just a beach. But you can count on there being a good Ha-Ha party.

We just caught our first fish! It's a small tuna, we think a bluefin. I guess we'll be having tuna for lunch!

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11/04/2006 | Darroll
Thanks for the update and all the great information during the Ha-Ha. It's great for those of us watching the progress.


11/04/2006 | will
congrads on the first fish. more to come.
Turtle Bay

On the Pier. Umm, didn't there used to be TWO kids

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The Cuddlebugs at Catalina

Casino in the backgroun

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local color

We got up after a restful night sleep at anchor in Bahia de las Tortugas, or Turtle Bay, to warm sunshine and pretty warm (72 F) water. When we arrived, we were at the outer fringe of the anchorage, but when we got up in the morning, a hundred or so new boats had arrived.

We found that our anchor light had burned out, so we ran our running lights all night. We'll go up the mast tomorrow and try to change the bulb.

A weather system is scheduled to come in tomorrow, with 35 knots wind forecasted. This will last a few days and hopefully be finished by the time we are supposed to depart. If not we will stay put until it does. We're not on a schedule, so there's no sense in beating ourselves up with bad weather.

We had "lunch" on shore at the restaurant by the beach. By the time the food arrived, we were ready to call it "dinner". But this was no surprise, since the restaurant -- and the town -- are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of "yates". This town normally gets few or no visitors, but one weekend a year, they get 200 boats! I think they make a whole years' revenue in this weekend.

The town is very rustic, with no paved roads, and one tiny grocery. The meat in the meat case was covered with flies. I took a pass on the meat.

They were charging a dollar to use the toilet at the restaurant. (grumble)

The fleet is having a big party this evening at a restaurant in town, but we're in need of rest and will have dinner aboard. Pascale's making spaghetti with tomato sauce and sausage. We'll have a cozy dinner and watch a movie.

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11/03/2006 | Gloria
i've been reading your posts, as I havea friend crewing on this trip. Wonder if you had a list of other boats posting blogs?
His name is Ron Sherwin.
11/10/2006 | Bruce
Yes, such a list wouldn't be a bad idea, but I don't know of one. It would be great to have links to the known blogs from the Baja Haha we site. Maybe suggest it to the Baja Haha organizers for next year.
Arrival in Turtle Bay

We arrived in Turtle Bay, our first stop in Mexico, this evening at 9:15 p.m., which makes for a 57 hour trip, I think. Today was rocking and rolling, with winds in the 25 knot range, and huge (for me) wind waves. Calou was surfing down the fronts of these waves at 10 knots. We put in a reef late in the afternoon, and still managed 9 knots.

We were met by dolphins, hundreds of them, playing with our bow wave, and jumping in the air. John in the forepeak could hear them "talking".

Due to the very rough conditions, it was difficult to cook, but I volunteered for galley duty, warming up some chili con carne that we had cooked in advance and vacuum sealed, and cooking some green beans in the pressure cooker.

The forecast is for winds to build to 35 knots the next few days, but thankfully we'll be on the hook in Turtle Bay.

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11/02/2006 | michael gallagher
I was looking for info on the Ha Ha's trip down, and ran across your site. My wife and I will be heading down mid Dec. about the time your returning. I didn't know about this sailing blog site. It seems great. The position map and link to Google earth are enjoyable. We were looking for some kind of a web site, this looks like the answer. How has it been working for you?
11/02/2006 | Darroll Morehouse
Hi Bruce, glad to hear you made it into Tortuga. Sounds like a good ride down. Please say hi to Mike and Marilyn, owners of Lady Hawke, Mariner 50, if you see them. Tell them I'm watching them.
11/02/2006 | Ryan Bickford
Nice blog. Found it looking for saing overlays on google earth since my parents are doing the baja ha ha too (Yachtsman's Dream, 43 ft Catamaran). Have fun.
Another night passage

It's 2:30 a.m. and we are now surfing at 8.5 knots, the winds are 20 to 25 knots dead astern. The wind waves are big enough to toss the boat around, however the autopilot is holding course very well. We put up the lee cloths on the bunks so teh crew doesn't fall out. The sky is moonless again, as it set long ago. Navigation is primarily by radar.

Blips appear on the screen, then disappear, then reappear, in the same spot in the upper right quadrant, range about 2 miles. But there are no lights to be seen. Must be Mexican fishermen. I changed course by 20 degrees, once, to dodge such a blip. No boat was seen.

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11/01/2006 | steve brazington
sounds like you have good sailing.My wife is on the blackwatch a c&c 39 her name is Carol a pretty blond If you see her tell her I miss her. Good luck, Steve Brazington
11/01/2006 | ribkoffs
Reading your blog reminds me of our passage last year... much the same. The Mexican fishing boats are really interesting and there are also Mexican Navy out there and it can get strange when you are trying to reconcile what you see on the radar with the lights you see. Seen any cruise ships at all? We saw quite a few and when we made radio contact all the captains were great and steered clear of the Ha Ha group.

Fari Winds!
Happy Halloween!

The is the second day on our passage to Turtle Bay. Happy Halloween, everyone! Pascale is sailing the boat while John and I get some needed rest. We're about 20 miles offshore of a place called Bahia San Quintin. The winds are averaging 20 knots with a broad reach from the starboard side, and we are doing about 7 knots under mainsail only. The skies are partly cloudy. We caught up with the fleet despite our 45 minute late start yesterday. We continue to pass lots of boats.

Pascale has a hard time doing galley duty today, because the seas are moderately large, so I've been cooking the meals and doing the dishes. Good thing I like to cook. For breakfast we had "eggs on toast", that is, scrambled eggs mixed with shredded cheese, on a piece of toasted bread like an open face sandwich. Ketchup or hot sauce optional. Plus hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate for the kids. Once breakfast was put away I started on dinner. We had bought an eggplant in San Diego and it was getting ripe, so it was time to use it. I made "eggplant lasagna", that is, thinly sliced eggplant substitutes for the pasta in a traditional lasagna dish. Also in there was the meat sauce of beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil. And I put spinach in some of the layers. And each layer had a mixture of ricotta and mozarella cheese. This cooked in the oven 2 hours at 400. We'll reheat it and enjoy it this evening.

Lunch was ham and cheese sandwiches, and celery sticks with peanut butter.

There's no going hungry on this boat!!

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Night Watch

It's 3 a.m., and I'm single handing while the rest of the crew sleeps. We have 18 to 20 knots of wind blowing from astern. I'm sailing under the mainsail alone and surfing at 6.5 to 7 knots. I am doing the midnight to 6 a.m. shift.

The Mexican fishing boats around here don't have your usual navigation lights. Just one, very bright white light. Some of them are invisible to radar. So it's best to keep a constant visual watch out.

This is a moonless night, and there are no cities on the coast, so the stars are very bright. You can clearly see the Orion Nebula with binoculars.

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