Baja Haha Day 1
28 October 2014 | Off the Mexico coast
After a glorious boat parade and much fanfare, the 21st Baja Haha fleet headed out from Point Loma at 10:55 am yesterday! Since there was less than 5 knots of wind, we had a rolling (aka motoring, not sailing) start, which has lasted for the first 24 hours of the rally, so far. For the record, the forecast is for the light winds to continue for the next couple of days.
We enjoyed sunny weather and rolling swells for the first day, as the fleet fanned out, each skipper going where he or she thought the wind might be hiding. Some boats went waaaay out, around the Coronado Islands, and beyond, looking for the wind, but reported back that they didn't find it. We chose a close-in, coastal route, as our weather data indicated that there wasn't any more wind out at sea, so we might as well take a more direct route. So far, that's been working out for us. Seán set up his fishing lines in the afternoon, but no fish bit before he took them down at dusk.
We each took a 4-hour watch, beginning at 8 pm: Seán had the first watch, 8 pm-midnight; I had the second watch, midnight-4 am; and Eric had the third watch, 4 am-8 am. With all the boats in the vicinity, and only some of them broadcasting their positions on AIS, we also turned on the radar, just to make sure that we were aware of everyone on the water in our area. All the boats had navigation lights, but the radar and AIS allowed us to know their position and course, as well as just seeing them as a light in the dark.
Our watches were blessed with clear skies and a magnificent spread of stars. After the moon went down, Sirius was so bright that it cast a starshine on the water. Biophosphorescent critters sparkled in SCOOTS' bow wave; Seán had a dolphin or fish jump beside the boat a couple of times; Eric got to see the sunrise. It was really nice to only have to be on watch for 4 hours during the night. Seán is a great addition to our crew.
This morning, Seán had his lines in the water before sunrise. They are still there as I write this, and he has had a hit on one of the lures, but no fish to show for it. Eric checked in with the Grand Poobah of the Baja fleet this morning, then made us a yummy breakfast of eggs and corned beef hash. Then he roasted coffee in the cockpit. That man is a keeper!
We are all up and active now, but I suspect that we'll each take a snooze at some point during the day. We've seen quite a few flying fish (those things are amazing!). Some of the other boats have reported seeing sea turtles, whales, and dolphins, but so far we haven't.
SCOOTS has been scooting along, powered by her engine, and by her sails for a little while yesterday, when we wanted some quiet, sashaying on the rollers. We're hoping to be able to sail a bit today, even if it's just to get some relief from the sound of the engine.
Our current route has us arriving in Turtle Bay sometime tomorrow.