Friday, December 29, 2023

200 Plus

I got a little write up in our local sailing magazine, Latitude 38, the other day. I was asking fellow readers how many days they sail in a year? Here is the article: Emeryville sailor Craig Russell wrote us last week to ask about other people’s sailing habits. “How many days a year do you sail the Bay?” he asked of our readership. Craig is a longtime Latitude reader and has sailed in seven Baja Ha-Ha’s, often on other people’s boats, as he commented on our June story, “Could This Be the Last Year for the Ha-Ha?” “I have had some very unique experiences on the Ha-Ha over my seven voyages to Cabo,” Craig wrote. “I arrive in San Diego (boatless) on Friday before the start. I knock on hulls and network until I find a boat that needs help. Last year there were few slips available so they created an anchorage just for Ha-Ha boats. I rented a jet ski and knocked on hulls. By Sunday night, I always found a boat. Some with families, some couples, and Go For Broke in 2011. I always look forward to the great people I have met on the Ha-Ha and several are still friends 13 years later. Thank you to all the great folks and friends I have met on the water!” In 2017 Craig bought the Jeanneau 40 Aquarius for a voyage to Z-town [Zihuantanejo, Mexico, aka Zihua] and back, adding that he’s been sailing on the Bay for the last 40 years. “Needless to say, I am addicted to sailing and it is my passion,” Craig wrote. And here’s where his question comes in: “Currently, I am sailing about 200 days a year in day sails and trips to the Delta and Monterey. A lot of days it seems I am the only boat out there.” And so, with thanks to Craig for raising the question, we ask you, dear readers, “How many days a year do you sail the Bay?”

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Baja Haha - The Movie

A few years back, a fellow Haha'er put together a nice little movie about the rally from San Diego to Cabo. Enjoy and happy new year!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Historic Surf Hits New Jersey (they are calling it the best waves in 100 years)

I grew up on the east coast in Delaware and surfed up and down the coast as a teen. If we had 3 foot waves were were happy. If you showed this footage to any surfer and asked him to name the location, he would not pick NJ in a million years!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Red Sea Trouble for Cruisers

By now you have most likely heard about the aggressions in the Red Sea against our Navy forces. Round the world cruisers use the Red Sea to get into the Mediterrainean when coming from the west. The other option is go around South Africa which is a much more difficult and longer route. I have been reading about the conflict and it is not pretty. Fortunatly, we have much more sophisticated arms and can usually avoid the carnage. I did not realize how many attacks there have been. Here is a graphic that shows the extent of the conflict. I don't think many cruisers are currently choosing this route.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

My Favoriye Pics Featured on H2UH0

Been blogging almost 20 years and although I have slowed down on the pics, I hang on to many that I have featured and here are a few of my favs. Click the pic to make it bigger.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Delivery Skipper Tells His Side of the Story - The Sinking of Boatbumgal

This is an explanation from Ray McCormack, a USCG-certified 200-ton captain from Vancouver, Washington, on the sinking of Boatbumgal during this years Baja Haha. A cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The boat sank at the entrance to Turtle Bay, the first ancorage of the rally, about 350 miles south of San Diego. "On October 29 2023 I was contacted by the owner of BoatBumGal to help sail her boat from San Diego to La Paz while joining the Baja ha ha fleet. We mutually agreed that I would not be paid, but that she would pay for my expenses. We also discussed about the condition of the boat, and my position on the boat as being the most experienced individual on board out of the three of us." "Flew down to the boat on Monday morning October 30, after arriving to the boat I could see that this late 1970’s boat had marginal maintenance. Just as an example the tricolor light was wired into the running lights, the led deck lights where wired into the steaming light, and the AC charger on board had a 110 male plug that was plugged into a 110 plug box and was not on any breaker." "I figured that with traveling the Baja Ha Ha fleet there is safety in numbers. So we departed later that day around dusk, about 9 pm we saw the house bank run down to 10.5 volts, so turned the boat around and we went back into port. Next morning, we investigated batteries, regulator, and alternator. Found the charging post on the alternator was severely corroded and the main feed line terminal had basically fallen apart. After re-crimping the cable, cleaning all terminals and post on the alternator, we reassembled and finally got over 14 volt charging at the batteries while engine was running. We tried departing again around 5 pm on October 31." "As we headed down the coast we saw that the auto pilot would make 30 degree turns with out notification, this was a sign that the battery voltage was compromised. We proceeded to get out the portable generator and hook it up to shore power for charging batteries. Also, we found that when putting the auto pilot in standby mode the hydraulic pump would not release the helm for 20 seconds." "Around 10 pm on November 2nd I awoke to the boat healing over from wind. Got up and found that we had an offshore breeze blowing about 22 knots. Eased the sails and made the decision to turn inland a bit to mitigate the wind conditions the boat was seeing. The sails and rigging on this boat were quite aged. The boom vang had already broke off the mast. Our route had us going into the center of the entrance of turtle bay as noted by cruising guides, and this is what I have done over my last 4 times into turtle bay. The new plan was to run the 10 meter depth or 30 feet to get close to land allowing us to take the sails down. Usually when I deviate from my planned route I will drag my weigh points over to the new intended route, I did not do this which means I had no reference to the boat changing direction. Also, my coastal explorer stopped showing tracks for reference of the direction of the boat. I had a ticket out with rose point to try and address this, but this laptop is now in 40 feet of salt water." "At around 1 am we noted the battery voltage was dropping off again, so we started the generator but then the 110 breakers at the panel were tripping. We dragged out the extension cords to make it so the generator would be directly connected to the AC charger via that 110 male plug mentioned earlier. There was quite a bit of activity in the cockpit while this was going on and I suspect this is when the auto pilot made a turn, and I did not know about it." "Suddenly the crew up on the rail says he sees rocks, and just then I sea the breaking water on rocks. Immediately I tried putting auto pilot in standby, but it would not disengage. So I reached for the gear shifter to slam it in reverse, but just as I touched it we slammed into a rock. She popped over the rock and laid over on her port side. Each swell that came by flipped her over to the other side as she moved farther up onto the rocks." "Eventually we ended up on the port side again, and that is when I saw cabinetry moving down below and large amounts of water coming in. Bryan got on the radio and started making may day calls. It was high tide and the water was just starting to ebb, which dragged us off the rocks. We all put on our life jackets, Bryan went for the dinghy motor and gas, while I went to set the anchor. Eventually we all met at the back of the boat, the rail was just a few inches from the water. Got my Leatherman and cut all the lines holding the dinghy and we worked our way forward to the bow." "She slipped under and we fired up the dinghy motor and started heading toward the turtle bay pier. A fishing panga found us and gave us a ride to the pier, where were able to get a hotel for the night. Next few days the turtle bay folks, and in particular Maria’s helped us out so that we can make our way home. This was a terrible tragedy, with the owner losing everything she has. I am thankful that we are all safe." "Many questions can be asked: Should this boat have even made the trip? Should we not have been close to that shore? Should I have dragged my route over so that I had reference of direction? I hope others will learn from this mishap; I know that I learn something every time I go on the water."

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Jeanneau's New 55: A Catamaran on a Monohull

The boat just won Boat of the Year! Some of the features are very inspired. This is hull #1 and a Austrailian couple has plans to sail 1300 miles in the western Med for a shake down cruise. Go to the 10:45 mark for the start of the tour of this fabulous new cruiser. If I could find that $1.5m I had sitting around here I would buy one!