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October 19, 2007

Be a Ha-Ha Hero

There are only two ways to get an official Baja Ha-Ha tattoo: Participate in the event, or fly down to Cabo with a bunch of Latitudes – thus becoming an instant Ha-Ha hero!

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Is anyone out there flying down to Cabo to rendezvous with the Baja Ha-Ha XIV fleet?

If so, the Rally Committee would like to ask your help. They’re looking for volunteers to bring down a bundle (15 copies) or more of the November Latitude 38. It’s become a long-running Ha-Ha tradition to give each boat the latest edition at the Awards Ceremony. And frankly, if there were no magazines to distribute, well, it could get ugly. A full-blown mutiny could ensue and possibly the sacking of Cabo. (Yeah, okay, that happens on a nightly basis anyway, but you get our point.)

So if you’re flying south on or before Saturday, November 10, please lend a hand – you’ll become a Ha-Ha hero for doing so. A bundle or bundles will be delivered to your home or residence. Or you can come by the Latitude office in Mill Valley and pick them up. (Contact us by email.)  Thanks in advance, from the Committee and the 680 Ha-Ha participants!

Jessica Cup this Weekend

One of the great annual sailing spectacles on San Francisco Bay is the Master Mariners Regatta, held every Memorial Day weekend. But it’s certainly not the only event on MMBA’s calendar, and it’s not the only chance to see classic yachts in action. There is also the Jessica Cup held in the fall – this weekend to be exact. While not quite as large or steeped in history as the ‘main event’ (which traces its roots back to the mid-1800s), the Jessica Cup – aka the ‘Mini Mariners’ – has this year attracted a field of 28 boats for two days of competition and a no-host crew/friends dinner Saturday night. Racing will take place in the main Bay off the hosting St. Francis YC.

Brigadoon and a competitor round Blossom Rock at the Master Mariners Regatta.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So if you’re out sailing this weekend, swing by and check out racing the way it used to look before they invented fiberglass and aluminum. But, as with all racing, please stay well clear (and preferably downwind) of the action.

Where are the Vacant Berths in Mexico?

If you’re taking your boat to Mexico and need a berth, there are limited options, and you need to get on top of it right now. Here’s our review, with the information being good as of today:


Marina Cabo San Lucas – Starting at noon on November 8, all the vacant slips will be reserved for Ha-Ha boats. Nonetheless, many boats will have to anchor out. Cabo is sportfishing country, so not only will this place probably be packed most of the season, it’s also very, very expensive. Fortunately, there’s lot of room to anchor in the bay, the further east you go, the calmer it normally will be.

Puerto Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo – Harbormaster Jim Elfers reports that they’ve finally broken out into the sea and there are currently seven boats in the marina. While all 70 berths in Phase One are in contract, they can be rented out short term on a transient basis. Note that this is a work in progress. Elfers doesn’t need any boats, but will try to help people in dire need. Some might even be allowed to anchor or Med-tie in the basin. While not quite as expensive as Marina Cabo San Lucas, the rates will rock you. Unlike Marina Cabo San Lucas, which is 19 miles to the west, Puerto Los Cabos is much quieter and is striving for a ‘country club’ ambience.


Marina de La Paz – Booked for the season. As is the case with all booked marinas, if you’re right there, you might call to see if they have a cancellation.

Marina Costa Baja – Booked for the season following the Governor’s Cup for Ha-Ha boats and other cruisers on November 17.

The lovely pool at Costa Baja Marina in La Paz. While booked for the season after the Governor’s Cup for Cruisers, you could always call to see if there is a cancellation.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Marina Palmira – Booked for the season.

Marina Fidepaz – There are approximately 38 slips available from 39 to 99 feet at this brand new Singlar Marina, complete with nice facilities, fuel dock, and Travel-Lift. If you want a berth in La Paz this winter, get on the phone or email right now. Not half an hour from now, but right now. Call Rodrigo at 011-52-6121242153 or 011-52- 612-124-2206. For prices on all Singlar Marinas and facilities in Mexico, visit And yes, it’s ‘gob’, not ‘gov’.


Singlar Puerto Escondido Moorings – Singlar has about 170 moorings in Puerto Escondido, and they’ll have one for you. They also have a Travel-Lift and dry storage.


Marina San Carlos – Booked. But check if you’re in the area.

Marina Seca Dry Storage – With 600 (!) boats on the hard already, they are full. However, they are buying adjacent land and should be able to take more boats in a month or two.


Marina El Cid – Booked for the season.

Marina Mazatlan – Office Manager Eldira Lizarraga tells us they have 35 open slips from 41 to 48 feet, but none of these slips have power. For many people seeking to leave their boats to fly home for Christmas and such, this is much better than nothing. Call her immediately at 011-52-669-669-2936, or email her.

Singlar Boatyard Mazatlan – This facility is now open and hauling boats. You may be able to dry store your boat on the hard.


The Singlar facility at San Blas has been delayed and won’t be ready to accept boats for six months or a year.


Paradise Marina – Booked through April.

Vallarta Marina – Booked for the season.

Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz a.k.a. La Cruz Marina – This new marina won’t officially be open until December 15, but Manager Christian Mancebo says that lots of Ha-Ha boats will be moving in starting November 15. While the basic facilities will be in by the official opening on December 15, this will still be a work in progress. Contact Christian at 011-52-322-293-4064 or


Marina Puerto de La Navidad – The 207-berth marina is booked for the season. Once again, not everyone shows up, so if you’re in the area, call and see if they have a cancellation.


Marina Ixtapa – Berths are available in all sizes. In addition, they have a boatyard with a 250-ton Travel-Lift. 

There are a few other smaller marinas and options in Mexico, but the above ones are the biggies in the most popular areas. Most folks doing the Ha-Ha and needing a berth for their boat should immediately make arrangements with Fidepaz in La Paz, about 135 miles from Cabo; Marina Mazatlan, about 250 miles from Cabo; or Marina Riviera Nayarit, 300 miles from Cabo.

If you’re returning home for several months, having your boat hauled is an option. There are many places with dry storage space. Puerto Escondido and the new Singlar spot in Mazatlan are two of them.

If you don’t need a marina, no sweat – there are many places to anchor, often times right next to a marina. In some spots –  such as Puerto Escondido, La Paz, La Cruz, Tenacatita Bay, Barra, and Zihua – folks will take turns watching other people’s boats on the hook, allowing them to go home. This is very common almost out of necessity in Mexico.

For a complete list of numbers and email addresses of the marinas, refer to Latitude’s First Timer’s Guide To Mexico.

Female Speed Sailing World Record

You can call Sjoukje Bredenkamp fast but don’t call her easy. The 19-year-old South African kiteboarder has worked hard to become the fastest female speed sailor in the world, a feat she accomplished on Tuesday in Luederitz, Namibia.

Sjoukje Bredenkamp is the fastest wind-powered babe in the world.

Sjoukje Bredenkamp
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bredenkamp, who claimed the title of fastest female kiteboarder last October, was competing in the month-long Luederitz Speed Challenge when she hit 42.35 knots, beating by more than a knot the previous record held by a windsurfer. It wouldn’t surprise us a bit if this determined young woman set her sights on the overall speed sailing record set by windsurfer Finian Maynard in 2005 with a speed of 48.7 knots.

Mini Transat

And they’re off! Leg 1, from France to Portugal, is 1,100 miles while Leg 2, from Portugal to Brazil is 3,100 miles.

© 2007 Pierrick Garenne / Grand-Pavois

The 89 entrants in the 16th Transat 6.5 Charente-Maritime/Bahia de Madère – a.k.a. the Mini Transat – are making their way to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, from La Rochelle, France. The Mini is a 21-ft singlehanded offshore flat-bottomed boat built to rigorous guidelines and was the forerunner to the Open 60.

Isabelle Joschke, one of six female skippers, has retired from the race due to boat damage.

© 2007 Pierrick Garenne / Grand-Pavois

The two-leg, 4,200-mile race was created by British skipper Bob Salmon in 1977 to promote offshore racing without abusing financial and technical capabilities – no Kevlar or carbon sails, no weather routing and no outside communication allowed. It really is a solo race.

Looking very lonely on a big sea, Adrien Hardy’s Brossard is in 9th place at this writing. Downwind, the Mini boasts 394 square feet of sail area.

© 2007 Team OCEAN

The large mix of international racers, including six women (the class helped launch the solo ocean racing career of Dame Ellen MacArthur) are due in around October 25.

Free Pelican Rides

The folks at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, dedicated to teaching sailing and seamanship skills, as well as keeping maritime traditions alive, are offering free rides on Pelicans at Aquatic Park tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fly around on a Pelican tomorrow at Aquatic Park.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you don’t know, Pelicans are lovely little 12-ft centerboard gaff-rigged sailboats designed by William H. Short and developed specifically for San Francisco Bay. If you can’t make it tomorrow, the program will be offered again on November 3 and 17. Email or call Madeline Eustis at (415) 797-2421 for more info and to RSVP.

For those of you surfers who’ve had enough of the crowds in the line-ups at Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, County Line, Malibu, Huntington Beach, Newport, Trestles – heck, just about anywhere in California – there is an alternative.
Black ties and rubber boots are strictly optional at tomorrow’s Tall Ship Education Academy’s annual benefit reception.
Southbound cruisers take note: Be sure to check out ‘Lectronic on Friday (10/19), as we plan to run a detailed overview on the status of marinas in Mexico.