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Baja Ha-Ha Fleet Reaches Bahia Santa Maria

November 1 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

As you read this, the Baja Ha-Ha XI fleet is slowly trickling into Bahia Santa Maria, the event's second stop, located roughly 600 miles south of San Diego.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Pictured here are scenes from the annual Turtle Bay beach party (above) on the second day at that huge natural anchorage, and shots taken shortly after the start of Leg Two (below), which was one of the quickest ever thanks to excellent wind and sea conditions.

Photos Latitude/Andy

With any luck we'll be able to bring you another report on Wednesday, as the fleet heads south for Cabo San Lucas.

Turtle Bay

October 29 - Turtle Bay, Baja California

Traffic jam at the Turtle Bay pier

The Baja Ha-Ha XI fleet has arrived at Turtle Bay, a remote fishing town located 360 miles south of San Diego.

Boat to boat service from the new fuel boat, Services Annabelle

Although winds were variable during leg one, some boats hung in there and sailed the entire way. After a bit of rest, fleet participants explored the town, hiked the hills and did a bit of partying at local restaurants - and at the Vera Cruz disco.

The Vera Cruz restaurant made itself conspicuous with the addition of a massive inflatable Corona bottle.

View overlooking Turtle Bay and the anchorage, with the entrance at far right

The Internet café charges a flat rate of two bucks a visit.
Photos Latitude/Andy & Richard

Today [Friday], the annual beach party is scheduled, with the start of Leg Two slated for Saturday morning at 0800.

A Light Air Great Pumpkin

November 1 - Pt. Richmond

Sunny weather, gigantic turnout (207 entries in 22 classes), tried-and-true format (three scheduled buoy races on Saturday and a 12.5-mile fun pursuit race on Sunday), a rockin' Halloween party on Saturday night. . . There was nothing not to like about Richmond YC's Great Pumpkin Regatta this weekend. Well, a little more wind would have been nice, as the accompanying pictures suggest.

From Saturday's highlight reel: Kim Desenberg won all three races with Mr. McGregor to win the 8-boat Wabbit class; Scott Easom, sailing Attitude Adjustment with Liga and Soren Hoy, likewise straight-bulleted the 9-boat Express 27 class; Scott Sorensen's Little Boat of Horrors trumped the 22-boat Moore 24 class with a point to spare over Vaughan Seifers' Sparrowhawk; and - everybody sit down now - Commodore Tompkins won the 10-boat Open Class with his Wylie 39 Flashgirl, topping Rodney Hagebols' 1D-35 Sensation on a tiebreaker. This may have been Commodore's last race on Flashgirl (and, as far as we know, his first victory!), as he and wife Nancy are heading off cruising in a few months.

Attitude Adjustment, Express 27 #1, was one of Saturday's winners.

Sunday's starters were serenaded by a steel drum and guitars aboard Pelican, the race committee boat.

Roadmaster Brad Butler led a Moore 24 sweep of Sunday's just-for-grins pursuit race around Alcatraz and Angel Islands. Butler, who regularly drives down from Seattle to campaign Eclipse with the local Moore fleet, was first to finish, followed by Rowan Fennell's Paramour and Scott Sorensen's LBOH.

The crew of Eclipse. Skipper Brad Butler is on the right.

Virtually everyone who went counterclockwise around Angel Island and Alcatraz finished ahead of the clockwise contingent. It wasn't an obvious call off the starting line as, for the first time we can remember, the fleet was split about 50-50 as to which way to go. Astra, Mary Coleman's Farr 40, was the first 'wrong way' boat, coming in 65th out of 132 finishers.

Complete results and answers to the Trivia Quiz can be found at www.richmondyc.org. We're out of space for pictures today, so we'll have some party pictures on Wednesday. Presumably some will show up on the RYC site soon too.

Judge Dismisses Case Against Organizers of Cuba Race

November 1 - Key West, FL

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that charges were dismissed Friday against the organizers of a sailboat race from Key West to Cuba, who were accused of violating the Trading With The Enemy Act.

But the charges were dismissed without prejudice to the United States to seek a superseding indictment, which means the federal government could press other charges. The U.S. Attorney's office is reviewing the decision and exploring its options.

Peter Goldsmith and Michele Geslin had been charged with two counts of providing unlicensed travel services to Cuba. If convicted of both counts, they could have faced a sentence of 15 years. Boats competing in the Key West Sailing Club Conch Republic Cup departed May 22, 2003, for Havana and several Cuban shore communities after receiving pre-race warnings they would be violating U.S. Department of Commerce licensing regulations. About 20 yachts took part in the race, then in its third year.

For the full story, see www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/miami/sfl-1029cubatripsailing,0,6479315.story?coll=sfla-news-miami

Dawn Wilson Update

November 1 - Dublin

No, she's not out yet. American cruiser Dawn Wilson remains behind bars in Dublin, CA, and your cards and letters to the parole board could still make a difference to her impending release. As you may recall, Dawn was incarcerated in Ensenada in April, 2003, and charged with possession of prescription drugs without proper (Mexican) authorization. (She did have a prescription from an American doctor.) From there it was a downward spiral of crooked cops, inept attorneys and biased judges - which eventually resulted in a five-year sentence. Dawn's fiancé, Terry Kennedy, has worked tirelessly to get Dawn released.

As part of a prisoner exchange, Dawn was transferred to a prison in Oklahoma, and to Dublin in mid-October.

Kennedy and State Congressman Bob Filner (D, San Diego) are trying to get Dawn released on a time served basis. Reportedly, the equivalent crime, of carrying prescription medication without a prescription in the U.S. carries a max
sentence of three months. Mid-November will mark her 19th month in prison. "It is amazing to me that our government can release hundreds of Iraqi prisoners in the blink of an eye, as was done just last week, and yet an American that has overpaid for whatever she was supposed to have done, according to Mexico, is still is being held," says Terry.

Anyone wanting to support Dawn can do so in a letter or phone call to: Parole Commission, Attention Tiffany Moore, 5550 Friendship Blvd., Suite 420, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Phone (301) 492-5990. Fax (301) 492-6694. When you write on her behalf, you MUST include her prisoner I.D. number - which is #47256-180. For the complete story, log onto www.dawnwilson.com.

Singlehander Bails Out

November 1 - San Francisco

As reported in the current issue of Latitude 38, 23-year-old Roslin Forrest departed Vancouver aboard the Columbia 34 Scotwork, intent on becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate alone. Unfortunately, she hit the bad weather and rough seas so common on the run down the West Coast, which resulted in her becoming seasick and unable to keep food down. She was advised to pull into San Francisco Bay, where she announced last week that she was abandoning her dream of a solo circumnavigation as she realized it was beyond her capabilities.  

"Roslin will think about her future plans for Scotwork after she has rested and discussed them with her family, friends and supporters," notes a release on www.roslinforrest.org

Cast Your Vote

November 1 - Cyberspace

No, we don't mean the presidential election tomorrow (although we hope you'll vote in that, too). We're talking about a survey currently in progress on the Scuttlebutt Web site. The question: After the 2007 America's Cup, should the event be "fixed" by regularly updating the types of boats sailed in it, or should the boats be left the same? There are good arguments for both sides. Check them, and the survey, out at www.sailingscuttlebutt.com.

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