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November 1, 2013

Ha-Ha Fleet Hits a Home Run

At the annual Turtle Bay baseball game, seven-year-old Beto Eichen off the Sausalito-based Farr 44 Compañera had one of the narrowest strike zones in the fleet, but he got several powerful hits.

© Fin Beven

Having completed Leg One, the Baja Ha-Ha fleet is currently staged in the remote Turtle Bay, roughly 350 miles south of San Diego. 

As reported earlier, the first leg was an unusual one, as it began with mild headwinds — one of the few times that’s happened in the event’s 20-year history. But by the third day — Wednesday — the fleet was sailing in classic Ha-Ha conditions: 12-20 knots from the northwest with following seas and southbound current. 

The Ha-Ha’s Grand Poobah pitched continuously for two hours, ensuring that every batter got a hit.

© Fin Beven
Crewman Fin Beven and others brought baseball gear to share with the local kids, who were extremely appreciative.

© Fin Beven

The big event yesterday was the annual Ha-Ha baseball game — well named, as the antics of fleet members often brought a laugh. Per the rules, every batter got as many pitches as it took for him or her to get a base hit. A couple hundred players took a turn at the plate, including Swedish skipper Eric Boye of Borghegn 49 Ariel IV, who got one of the longest hits of the day — it was his very first time swinging a bat. Likewise, an Aussie named Robert walloped an inside-the-park home run, his only mistake being that he carried the bat with him the whole way around the base path. 

Except when the Ha-Ha fleet is in, Turtle Bay is a sleepy village where life revolves around fishing activities. As a testament to how healthy the ecosystem is here, hundreds of pelicans call the bay home.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Today’s big event is the Turtle Bay beach party, where fleet members will compare passage tales, play volleyball, body surf and enjoy a massive pot luck. Water temperature in the bay is 70 degrees.  

The fuel pier at Turtle Bay may not be sophisticated, but it serves the needs of visiting sailors and fishermen. Here the Vancouver-based Tayana 48 Indigo Star approaches the rickety pier to top up her tanks.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Leg Three, to Bahia Santa Maria, is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, although a building tropical depression could possibly cause a delay. At this writing, Commanders’ Weather reports that all weather models agree that the system should not affect our course, as the system is expected to peter out south of Cabo San Lucas, where the rally is slated to conclude next Thursday. 

November Latitude Heads Your Way

With the Summer of Sailing now behind us, it’s time to grab a copy of the November issue of Latitude 38 at your favorite yacht club or chandlery. November is a great time to catch up on everything from September’s Rolex Big Boat Series to upcoming midwinter racing around the Bay to the first segment or our annual Season Champions series. But wait, there’s more! The Baja Ha-Ha is now underway, so you can read the final installment of Ha-Ha’er profiles, as well. And while reading about these interesting folks cruising down the Baja, why not investigate the World of Chartering, so you can plan the sailing vacation of your dreams? It’s all in there, and if you’re not in the Bay Area, you can always read the magazine for free on our site!

We had no idea what we were looking at when we sailed into Clipper Cove on Labor Day weekend.
The 20th annual Baja Ha-Ha has been like all the others that came before in that the conditions just keep getting better and better.