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Rudy's Pacific Odyssey
10/31/2009, Turtle Bay

Early morning out in the cockpit, coffee mug in hand, watching the gulls and pelicans circling for food, and dolphins and seals surfacing nearby, was a special treat. After breakfast Rudy and I set out for town in the dinghy for me to go back to the internet shop to send my e-mails.

Before we left Rudy had cooked a pork roast to take to the pot-luck. After it had cooled he set about slicing with the critical eye of Stig evaluating every slice.

The pot-luck was held on a beach outside of town. We went there at about 1300. With a steady wind in the bay, the mile or so up wind provided a wet trip for the bow riders. But with the water at a comfortable 70 degrees and with low humidity, we soon dried off. We pulled the dinghy up the sand and set out for the beer line. Already a substantial collection of dishes had been assembled and more were to follow.

The organizers had set up beach volleyball and Michael soon took his place on the court. Stig and Aleta met some old friends and Rudy and I fell into conversation with Dave and Joy Robinson from SBYC who were sailing their Beneteau 46. They plan to go into the Sea of Cortez after the HaHa. Since I was wearing my Wind Child/Hospice tee, we enjoyed recognition by several PNW sailors who congratulated us on our 1 out of 8 performance - which by the way has now been corrected to 1 of 7 a out of total fleet of 170 to have sailed the whole first leg. We also learned that this was the most wind they had ever had on a Baja HaHa, but that from here on to Cabo, the wind is expected to revert to the more typical light out of the NE backing to NW as the day proceeds.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning when we were down to 2-3 knots of boat speed in fog we had wondered about the wisdom of our choice to stay inshore. We learned however from talking with people who had gone offshore that they had virtually no wind for most of the night, so ours turned out to be the better choice.

Rudy and I took an early spot in the food line and were soon enjoying a selection from the many dishes. We watched Michael for a while, who by now was really into his game, then took a long stroll along an almost deserted white sand beach.

Soon it was time to head back to Wind Child and wrap up a great day with a glass of wine and a delightful rice dish that Stig and Aleta concocted.

This may be our last message until Cabo. We are still not able to send or receive from the boat.

Leg 02: Baja HaHa
Skipper thrilled
10/30/2009, Turtle Bay

We just found out this morning from the roll call that we were 1 of only 8 boats, and certainly the smallest in the whole fleet of 170 who sailed all the way. (170 eventually left SD, some did leave SD but turned back).
Naturally everyone, especially Rudy, is thrilled and proud.

Leg 02: Baja HaHa
Beer and cabbage
10/30/2009, Turtle Bay

Dave wrote:
We just had a walk around town and saw several internet cafes so I was able to use WiFi. We did a bit of shopping in town. Rudy insisted on finding unrefrigerated cabbage since he says it keeps better. No-one could question his knowledge of meat and produce. His meals are simple and nutritious - just what is needed on a boat.

Aleta encouraged us to have a couple of beers since she claims there is an electrolyte in beer that counteracts the effects of dehydration, so we consider our trip to the bar as needed therapy.

A local named Miguel rowed out in his little dinghy and latched on to us. He took our trash and laundry and guided us to the stores, money changer and the internet outlets.

We heard there is a party in town tonight but the big deal is the pot-luck on the beach tomorrow.

We bought local shrimp from a boat and Stig and Aleta are going to cook them for dinner.

There is still some wind in the bay but it's hard to tell what it is like outside. We heard the wind and sea conditions are going to last until Saturday. Boats are still coming in, some took the cautious route and went back to San Diego.
At roll call this morning we were one of the first boats to report "in Turtle Bay" to which the host replied, "you guys must be riding a rocket ship!"

Aleta wrote:
Today was a terrific day. We spent half of it walking along the dusty streets of Bahia Tortuga, in grid-search style, helping Rudy find the perfect head of cabbage...must be the correct size and not refrigerated so it would survive longer without refrigeration. We checked every store in town...really...all three of them. After successfully achieving our mission we quenched our thirst with cerveza at the palapa on the beach near the dinghy landing. Actually we had had two each by then, and fish tacos, at another palapa to fuel the search.

The trip to this point has been both exhilarating and exhausting. We sailed hard for three full days and two long nights. We learned that some sailors had left the race early because of the high winds (25-30+ knots) and choppy seas and swells to 15 feet (and one boat sunk after a whale snuggled up to it. Darned exciting!) We had several beautiful whales swimming along side after leaving San Diego but they kept a respectful distance of 30 feet. The high winds and large swells to this point in the trip have provided Michael and I with a rare chance to drive downwind in very difficult conditions.

In addition to seeing whales we've had the good fortune to see lots of dolphins, porpoise, flying fish and seabirds. We even had gulls flying out from the mainland thirty miles away to check on us...perhaps they thought we were fishing...or they may just have been enticed by the aroma of Rudy's delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookies coming out of the oven. No lie. He was baking cookies at 7am yesterday in heavy seas and strong winds after two nights with little sleep. As you might guess we are eating quite well and will all have to trim down when we get home.

Leg 02: Baja HaHa
Finished Leg 1 - All safe and sound
10/29/2009, Turtle Bay

Due to the weather the organizers suggested that those with less experience or small kids might slip into a harbor overnight - many did. Those that sailed as we did saw winds up to 30 knots from the NW, waves 10-12 feet. In the early hours the wind died and there was some fog for a while. Then the wind came up and lasted for the rest of the time. A head shackle opened on our spinnaker and it dropped into the water. We pulled it in and it is now drying. After that we ran wing on wing sometime with 2 reefs. we crossed the finish line at 1540 and anchored in the bay just after dark.
We all enjoyed the sailing even though it was a bit challenging at times. Beats drifting around waiting for the breeze.
We saw whales as close as a boat length away and never thought of them as a threat, and many dolphins some of which accompanied us into the finish. (One of the boats was bumped by a pod of whales, but no-one was hurt and all have been rescued.)
It was good to anchor and get a restful sleep.
Having radio problems.

Leg 02: Baja HaHa
Leg 2 Begins
10/26/2009, San Diego

After a good breakfast and clean up we left the dock at 0900 and headed for the assembly area ready for the parade at 1000. While we were waiting the organizers did a role call to account for all of the entries. At the appointed hour we fell into line and motored past the officials and paraded out towards the starting area..

At the 1100 start time there was little wind so the starters called for a rolling start which consisted of motoring down course at about 6 knots, or until advised to sail,

8 minutes after 1100, the rolling start was called off and we were allowed to sail. We hoisted the spinnaker and set off on a starboard gybe.

The wind has freshened to 15 knots and our boat speed is about half of that. The water is blue and sun is warm. As Rudy said, "this is what I came here for."

As things look right now, we expect to carry the spinnaker all night. The forecast is for increasing winds up to 25 knots tomorrow

Anne here. Only just received this email so there is some delay in me receiving the information.

Leg 02: Baja HaHa
Sunny & Warm in SD
10/24/2009, SDYC

We are now at San Diego Yacht Club. Impressive digs! Yesterday we did our major shopping at Costco. We still need to get fresh veggies from Vons. We will get them tomorrow,as in Sunday (not ma┼łana - yet)
This morning Michael and I took Cruising With Rudy-101. Everything has its place, and if the boat did not come with one, Rudy designed and/or improvised something. He has done an amazing job of organizing his boat to make it efficient and functional. Now all we have to do is keep that way!. I passed my first practical test after breakfast by remembering where the fish slice is supposed to go. Seriously though, this is the way a well run yacht should be, with five people in a limited space things can soon get out of hand if some organization and discipline is not applied.
We reviewed the major components of our meals for the next two weeks including plans for the Potluck at Turtle Bay. After taking care of a few little jobs this morning and packing the sail locker, we are going to take time off to relax and maybe do a little sightseeing.


Leg 02: Baja HaHa

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