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Ideal Conditions for Ha-Ha Leg One

November 2, 2016 – Off Cedros Island, Baja, Mexico


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Here comes the sun. . . One of the coolest things about sailing in the 750-mile Ha-Ha rally is experiencing little 'gifts' from Mother Nature, such as splendid sunrises and sunsets — not to mention night skies salted with a gazillion brilliant stars. 

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While sailing past Cedros Island this morning, the Baja Ha-Ha XIII Rally Committee checked in to report that conditions have been splendid since shortly after the Monday-morning start: steady winds of 15-22 knots from the NW or N, which drove the disparate fleet toward its first rest stop — at the fishing village of Bahia Tortugas — at an unusually fast pace. "It's been the fastest first leg I can remember," said the event's Grand Poobah, who has done all but the second Ha-Ha.


Marcela Celorio took a break from her duties as Consul General of San Diego's Mexican embassy Monday, to salute the departing fleet with a blast from San Diego YC's historic America's Cup shotgun. She and other government dignitaries were thrilled to observe the departing fleet, and welcome them into Mexican waters.

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Among this year's participants was David Addleman of the Monterey-based SC50 named X, which he bought in Malaysia. After sailing more than 6,000 miles to get home to California — much of it upwind — David reports that he and his girlfriend, whom he met in Palau, are absolutely thrilled with the ideal downwind conditions. That said, X lost a lower portside shroud yesterday, causing her crew to sail only on starboard jibe until they can effect a jury rig.

Also reported via the daily radio net, Matt Miller's Long Beach-based Ericson 29 Vital Spark broke her boom and tore at least one sail, but is continuing south.

Elsewhere within the fleet, there have been few breakdowns reported and little onboard drama, although the liferaft broke loose from Chris Perkins' Hylas 56 Manuela during the night, and is probably adrift — fully deployed — somewhere north of Cedros. (US Coast Guard and Mexican Navy have been informed.)


Although the fishing generally gets better farther down the course, some boats are already reporting catching tuna and mahi — and having fresh sushi shortly afterward. 

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Most of the fleet — which has swelled to around 150 boats thanks to the addition of many Ensenada starters — should arrive in Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay) by tonight or tomorrow morning. 

At noon tomorrow, the fleet will shake loose their sealegs during the annual 'Ha-Ha Rules' baseball game, where every batter gets as many pitches as it takes to get a hit, and fielding errors are rampant. There'll be a beach party on Friday, followed by the start of Leg Two on Saturday morning at 8. Stay tuned for further updates. 

- latitude / andy

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Cruising When You Were Young

November 2, 2016 – All Over the World


Romayne and Cameron Riddell, in what the well-dressed cruising kids apparently wore back in the day. 

© 2017 Emily Riddell

We love the accompanying photos that were sent to us by Cameron Riddell of Los Angeles. They were taken between 1970 and 1976, when he and his family were cruising the Med — mostly Greece — aboard their Hillyard 43 cutter Gay Vandra. This was long before the time of modern electronics and other conveniences on boats. It was also long before many boats were out there cruising.


The Riddells' yacht was Gay Vandra, a nice-looking Hillyard 43 cutter. 

Photo Courtesy Emily Riddell
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Riddells’ was a family cruise, starring Stuart, the dad; Emily, the mom (who was undoubtedly in charge of dressing the kids in such a natty manner); daughter Romayne; and son Cameron.


Loading Gay Vandra with provisions for traveling on the French canals. 

© 2017 Emily Riddell

If the name Riddell is familiar to you, perhaps it’s because father Stuart was a longtime surveyor in the Bay Area. Now 87, he and Emily live aboard a houseboat in Sausalito.

The final two photographs are of the 77-year-old teak and steel schooner Eros, which Cameron and his partner recently purchased with plans to engage in the Caribbean and Northeast charter trade. Read more about Cameron and the 103-ft (LOD) staysail schooner in the November issue of Latitude 38.


Cameron is all grown up now and has his own international business. And he and his partner now own a 115-ft (LOA) schooner that they bought to charter. 

© 2017 Cameron Riddell


The Riddells' schooner Eros was once owned by Stavros Niarchos, she was honeymooned on by King Juan Carlos of Spain, and was most recently owned and completely refit by Bill and Grace Bodle of the Sugar Dock in Richmond. She's available for you to charter from Nicholson International Yachts. 

Photo Courtesy Emily Riddell
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

What about you? Do you have photos from 20, 30 or even 40 years ago when you were cruising? If so, we think it would be cool if you shared them with Latitude and our readers. We'd also like to know what effect you think cruising had on your life, for better or worse.

- latitude / richard

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November Latitude Hits the Docks

November 2, 2016 – West Coast

As you may have already read elsewhere, the November 2016 issue of Latitude 38 is the last with founder/publisher Richard Spindler at the helm. Published yesterday, this 473rd volume is sure to become a collector's item, so you won't want to miss it. (You'll be happy to hear that Spindler, aka 'the Wanderer', will continue to contribute his unique editorial voice, and most of the rest of the crew are still on board.)

November issue

The November issue of Latitude 38 came out yesterday.


Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In this issue, young sailors share their stories, we celebrate seven diverse one-design fleet champions, and we meet a sampling of sailors who are even now sailing south with the Baja Ha-Ha. Max Ebb takes on seasickness; starting with the J/70 Worlds, Racing Sheet recounts a whole passel of championship regattas; and Calendar includes a comprehensive list of Midwinter Series. Letters, Sightings, World of Chartering and Changes in Latitudes round out the editorial content. And, be sure not to overlook our much-loved and unique Classy Classifieds and display ads.

Pick yours up at one of our distributors, read it online, or order a single issue or subscription here

- latitude / chris

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Welcome to La Paz!

November 2, 2016 – La Paz, Baja California Sur


Guess what city in Baja is welcoming the Ha-Ha fleet once the event is over? 

Photo Courtesy Cat 'n About
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"On the evening of October 24, officials in La Paz unveiled the new 'La Paz' sign on the malecon," report Rob and Linda Jones, who left Puget Sound long ago aboard their Gemini 3000 catamaran. "We heard that it was made to be ready for the arrival of the Baja Ha-Ha boats."

What a nice thing for La Paz to do. Each year La Paz is the favored destination of members of the Ha-Ha fleet. We think it's a smart idea to dash up there while the water is still warm. La Paz is a fun city that has everything, but, best of all, it's only about 20 miles to the first of the gorgeous and unpopulated islands just to the north.

On November 22, 4-7 p.m. the La Paz Beach Party will take over La Costa Restaurant with Mexican folk dancing, live music, food and drinks, door prizes and more. The party's free for the first 50 Baja Ha-Ha XXIII participants; everyone is welcome to join the fun.

- latitude / richard

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