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Photos of the Day

November 24 - Yelapa, Mexico

With the cruising season in full swing in Mexico, some cruisers have already gone over to the mainland to check out Yelapa. Our Photos of the Day are from that accessible-by-boat-only spot on the south coast of Banderas Bay, about 10 miles from Puerto Vallarta.

The jungle vegetation at Yelapa is unlike anything on the Baja Peninsula.

The Yelapa crew for this trip: Adam, Janet, Donna, Robert, Chris - and that's Barbara struggling to lift a wheelbarrow full of air.

The shoreline, with the waves almost crashing into the jungle, is beautiful.

The cascada or waterfall up behind the Mexican community on the west side of the bay is one of the premiere attractions. There's a second fall up above it.

The anchorage at Yelapa is steep too and it's easy to drag. Be careful, as one of the three 82-ft M boats ever built was reduced to kindling on this beach. Beyond the beach are rugged mountains without roads. If you go back far enough, they rise to 6,000 feet. It's prime dope growing country back there, and the smell of ganja is a familiar one in Yelapa.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Ha-Ha Participants Spent over $5 Million in Sailing Industry

November 24 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

"Baja Ha-Ha participants might be interested in the result of the survey we took in Bahia Santa Maria," says Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler. "Based on surveys completed by 139 of the 145 skippers, here are the results:

- Average size boat was 41.5 feet.
- The most popular sizes were 42 feet (16) and 46 feet (13)
- The average value of the boats, as estimated by the owners, was $206,000
- The least expensive was valued at $15,000, the most expensive at $1,000,000.
- The average Ha-Ha skipper reported 25 years of sailing experience.
- For 76, the Ha-Ha was their first significant trip.
- When it comes to plans, 9 were only doing the Ha-Ha; 22 plan to 'commuter cruise' in Mexico for the winter season; 26 plan to cruise for one season only in Mexico, and a surprising 80 skippers said they plan to spend more than one season in Mexico or beyond.
- The average owner invested $35,000 in the event. Some didn't spend any additional money, while one owner reported investing $450,000.
- Three years was the average time spent "preparing for the Ha-Ha."
- The most common items purchased for the Ha-Ha were electronic charts (46); sails, both working and spinnaker/gennakers (46); GPS (41); EPIRBs (37), insurance (32); liferafts (30); watermakers (29); anchors (29); outboards (26); SSB/ham radio (26); weatherfax (22); generator (21); dodger-bimini (21); dinghy (20); Satphone (19); autopilot (19); radar (17); anchor windlass (12); new prop (12); anchor windlass (12); refrigeration (9); windvane (4).

Why Do Sailors Prefer a Fair Wind?

November 24 - San Diego

Brendan Busch of the SC 52 Isis had a great sail south in the Baja Ha-Ha from San Diego to Cabo, with the wind from aft all the time. What happened when he had to return to San Diego a short time later?

"The trip back was not nearly so pleasant. The notion of a four-day return to San Diego was a pipe dream - it took us six hard days of frightful bashing, with only a four-hour stop in Turtle Bay and an overnight stop at Bahia San Carlos."

This is what Isis looked like going the 'right' way.
Photo Latitude/Andy

Remember the Men and Women in Iraq

November 24 - Iraq

We know the war in Iraq is controversial, and we don't want to get political, but with Thanksgiving tomorrow, we encourage each one of you to take a couple of minutes to think good thoughts and maybe say a prayer for our troops in Iraq. For on the individual level, we're absolutely confident that our men and women in uniform have no desire but to help the people of Iraq live better lives, with just a fraction of the freedom and opportunity we enjoy here in the United States.

Classy Classified: O'Day 32 Center Cockpit

November 24 - Northern California

Great sailer, roomy saloon, 2 staterooms, 2 heads. Complete upgrade in last year: Masthead antenna, new standing rigging, roller furling, cushions, mattresses, rebuilt dodger, bimini, cockpit enclosure, bottom job, keel bolt inspection. H/C pressure water, refrigeration, gimbaled CNG oven. $30,000. Email: Pat or call (916) 488-4140.

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