Ha-Ha Leg 1
24 October 2011 | San Diego to Turtle Bay MX
Nicki / Light wind & sun
10/24 - 10/26
Photo: Pod of dolphin moving through the fleet (#1967)
Of the 172 boats registered for the Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally, 140+/- started. Boats gathered outside of Shelter Island in San Diego Harbor and paraded out of the harbor, tooting horns and playing music. Tall ships and fire boats joined in the parade, adding to the festivities. It was quite a spectacle! Both exciting, and a bit overwhelming to be within such a large group of boats. Winds were extremely light, so the official rally start was under main sail and power. A few hearty soles deployed their colorful spinnakers and whispered along, falling well behind the fleet, but determined to sail the whole rally. We weren't that hardy! It wasn't until the following morning about 7:00 that there was enough breeze for the rolling motor start to be called and the whole fleet was under sail.
20 miles or so out of San Diego, at about the Mexican border, a pod of a couple hundred dolphin moved through the fleet, jumping out of the water in a long line. It was quite impressive, and I took it as a sign of a good voyage to come.
At this latitude, the sun sets around 6:00 P.M., and our first Mexican sunset displayed a long red line along the Pacific horizon. Aaah! What a nice change from the fog and cloud banks of the upper coast. There was no nighttime feeling of being closed in, although the masthead lights of the other boats in the fleet confirmed we weren't out there alone and needed to keep a good eye on the navigational instruments.
Phosphorescence was magical at night, twinkling on the water surface, blending with the star filled sky. As I sat my night watches, I thought how much I would love to have had my sister Becky there in that magic place with me. I know she would have loved it too.