Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ha Ha Sets Sail For Cabo

It's an escape from gray cubicle walls for Megan Buechler, a reprieve from pancreatic cancer chemotherapy treatments for Thomas Christensen, a medical school graduation present to themselves for Seth Strattan and Sophie Candille.

To others, it's a retirement party, a family trip, a line on a bucket list.

It is the Baja Ha-Ha, the mostly relaxed but potentially hazardous two-week sailing rally with the ridiculously perfect — or is perfectly ridiculous? — name. Yesterday, smiles washed over sailors' faces in waves.

Nearly 200 boats, hundreds of sailors and a few dogs in life preservers paraded along the glassy water off Shelter Island yesterday morning at the start of the 16th running of one of the world's most popular sailing events.

Billed as the largest offshore sailing event in California and the world's second-largest cruising rally, the party will end nearly 800 miles away in Cabo San Lucas early next month after stops in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria.

Organizers warn sailors they'll get “the opportunity to have an adventure, not a guarantee of happiness.” The rules, as such, warn entrants that the ocean “exposes mariners to all perils of the sea,” but also contains this caveat: “There shall be no whining! And no sniveling either!”

Read the article here.

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