May 2, 2014

The Baja Ha-Ha and SoCal Ta-Ta

The early-morning start of the last leg of the Ha-Ha from Bahia Santa Maria. Despite the early hour and ‘marine layer,’ it’s already 75 degrees. It won’t be any cooler at midnight under the cover of stars.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Thanks to blundering by the Mexican version of the IRS last November, we’ve had concerns on how it might affect the number of entries in this fall’s Baja Ha-Ha. But in the 24 hours since announcing that signups for the Ha-Ha have begun, 34 paid entries have been received. Entry #1 was Patsy Verhoeven, ‘La Reina de la Mar,’ of the La Paz-based Gulfstar 50 Talion. She has done so many consecutive Ha-Has — sailing all 750 miles each time — that we’ve lost count. Although Patsy has a boyfriend, this year she’ll be sailing with an all-women crew.

First Day’s Entries:

  • Talion / Gulfstar 50 / Patsy Verhoeven / La Paz, MEX
  • Arluk III / Cabot 36 / Wayne Peters / Vancouver, BC
  • Quest / Golden Wave 42 / Michael Thirkill & Cybele Abbett / Brookings, OR
  • Family Circus / Lagoon 470 / Chris & Heather Tzortzis / San Francisco
  • Champagne / Hunter 456 / Yhomas Junod / Newport Beach
  • Cavale / Cheoy Lee 44 / Michael & Mary Tutty / Seattle, WA
  • Long Windid / Jeanneau SO 42 CC / Daniel & Marla Slattery / Chula Vista
  • Wind Dancer / Hunter 466 / Phil Helman & Desley Oliphant / Pleasanton
  • Abby Normal / Island Packet 41 / Brad & Gay Gibson / Seattle, WA
  • Third Wish / Norseman 447 / Jeff Goldfarb / Long Beach
  • Penelope / Hans Christian 38 / Karl & Susan Gierga / Scappoose, OR
  • Kandu / Tayana V42 CC / Eric & Leslie Rigney / Ventura
  • Cool Change / Pacific Seacraft 31 / Rick & Cindy Patrinellis / Sausalito
  • Optimus Prime / Beneteau 49 / Keith & Dana Jensen / Cameron Park
  • Plan Sea / Island Packet 45 / Richard & Jenny Freeman / San Diego
  • VikingMor2 / Morgan OI 41 / Kenneth & Lori Lillo / San Diego
  • Impulse / Hunter 336 / Chris & Doug Rockne / Portland, OR
  • Freya / Cal 2-46 / Steven Straitiff / San Diego
  • Starshine / Outbound 44 / Patrick & Melodie Williams / San Francisco
  • Starfire / Islander 32 / Jeff Delaney & Dawn Brooks / Channel Islands
  • Nova / Catalina 42 / Michael Pernitzke & Ina Tabak / Alameda
  • Sisu III / Kadey Krogen North Sea 48 trawler / Ron & Janet Inberg / Seattle, WA
  • Mana / Cape George 36 / David & Holli Swanson / Ventura
  • Pelagic / Hallberg Rassy / Michael & Amy Bradford / Portland, OR
  • Petrel / Rhodes Annapolis 30 / Dane Faber / Sausalito
  • Miss Lorelei / Beneteau Oceanis 361 / Michael Niggli / San Diego
  • Destiny / Island Packet 38 / Roberto Anima / Redwood City
  • Indigo / Pacific Seacraft 34 / Brian & Marya Lipiec / Camp Pendleton
  • Scoots / Able Apogee 50 / Eric & Vandy Shrader / San Francisco
  • Papillon II / Pacific Seacraft 37 / David Boyer / Vancouver, BC
  • Between da Sheets / Beneteau 42s7 / Rick & Sharon Seeber / Seattle, WA
  • Double Docs / Pacific Seacraft 37 / Thomas Balgooyen & Lucie Merkle-Balgooyen / San Francisco
  • Cockpit / Beneteau Oceanis 440 / Renald Bouchard / Vancouver, BC
  • Saturna Spirit / Beneteau 411 / Katherine Blade / Vancouver, BC

We’re growing more confident by the day that there will not be a repeat of the Mexican SAT fiasco of last November, when hundreds of perfectly legal foreign boats were impounded for up to four months while the Mexican version of the IRS determined that, yes, the boats were in the country legally.

First of all, everybody in the Mexican government knows how badly the blunder hurt the country’s reputation, and they don’t want a repeat. As a result, the government is making a big push to encourage foreign-owned boats to come on down. Secondly, the harbormasters of Mexican marinas are currently working with the government on a new Temporary Import Permit, one that will eliminate many of the things that caused problems with the old ones. We’ll have details soon. Lastly, the harbormasters now know exactly what the SAT was looking for and how they want it provided.

The Ha-Ha is an offshore event, so bruises are to be expected.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Ha-Ha is open to boats over 27 feet that were designed, built, and have been maintained for offshore sailing. For all requirements, visit the website. If you’re ready to do the Ha-Ha, the 750-mile cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, sign up today here. The event starts on October 26 and ends at Cabo on November 8.

SoCal Ta-Ta spinnaker fun. Paul Marston’s curiously named blue-hulled Contour 34 Orange gives chase to Profligate, the mothership, on leg two just south of Pt. Mugu. The wind would later kick up before Pt. Dume, allowing the boats to hit the mid-teens. Both Orange and Profligate will be back this year.

© 2014 Paul Martson

As for the second SoCal Ta-Ta — aka Reggae Pon da Ocean — all the basic arrangements have been made for that September 7-13 Ha-Ha-style cruisers’ rally from Santa Barbara to Catalina, with stops at Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Island, Paradise Cove and Redondo Beach. New this year? Reserved group berthing at Santa Barbara, as well as a kick-off cocktail party at the Santa Barbara YC. We’ll also be having an onshore party at the King Harbor YC and at the Main Bandstand at Two Harbors. We’re just finishing up the online entry form, and we plan to start accepting entries on May 15. Since the fleet will be limited to 50 boats, we’ll give advance warning on ‘Lectronic of the opening for entries.

Want a ‘free ride’ for your boat in the Ta-Ta? Send us a photo of the captain and the first mate in their most extreme reggae attire before the end of next week. If Ta-Ta judges decide yours are the best outfits, your entry fee will be comped. Ja mon!

Tatoosh on the Loose


Although 53 years old, the 80-ft custom ketch Tatoosh was looking as sweet as the day she was first launched as she roared past Pt. Loma yesterday on a strong Santa Ana breeze.

© 2014 Molly Cadranel

It’s been 40 years since the splendid 80-ft ketch Tatoosh graced the lagoons of French Polynesia, while owned by actor Peter ‘Easy Rider’ Fonda. From what we know, that trip was one of the greatest adventures of Fonda’s life. So naturally he was thrilled to hear that longtime owner Bob Cadranell, of San Diego and Seattle, and a boatload of buddies set sail for those islands again yesterday — officially the largest boat of 243 registered in this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump rally. 

Usually the boat owner is the most serious-looking guy in a crew photo, but Tatoosh’s skipper Bob Cadranelll (center) obviously knows how to have fun. Although no youngster, he still races in one-design fleets and occasionally does battle in his R-class boat Ace. Standing, left to right, are: Charlie Pelly, Rudy Hasl, Cadranell, Eric Newton, Mark Smith. Seated: (L) Phil Hasl, (R) Doug Ver Meulen.

© 2014 Molly Cadranell

"I am so happy that Her Royal Highness, Queen Tatoosh, is going to be doing what she was meant to do," Fonda wrote in a note to Bob’s wife Molly yesterday. "Sail long distances over vast amounts of open ocean for no other reason than you simply want to. Couldn’t ask for better. And this is the boat that was made to do it very comfortably, and at 10 to 12 knots — hell, I pulled two hours of 13+ kts — with a full fore triangle of headsails, mizzen staysail, mizzen and mainsail. We were surfing, man!"

Seen here at the helm of Tatoosh in ’74, Peter Fonda was obviously having one helluva good time crossing the blue Pacific.

© 2014 Dave Welker

That’s a pretty good trick in 62-ton wooden classic. She was designed, by the way, by the aptly named Ben Seaborn, and launched in 1961.

Molly, who’ll serve as ‘comms officer’ while the boys are offshore, explains, "I’m not sure how long they will be in French Polynesia, as these guys are just hell-bent to get out on the ocean and sail, sail, sail." After a pit stop in Tahiti (a 3,400-mile crossing), they plan to turn north to Hawaii (roughly 2,200 miles), then angle back to the Bay Area (another 2,000 miles) where Tatoosh will likely be seen at the St. Francis YC and Pt. Richmond’s Sugar Dock late this summer. 

Late-Season Santa Ana Waves Hit Avalon

Last Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t the best days to sunbathe on the beach at Avalon, reports Kate Olsen, Administrative Assistant for the Avalon Harbor Patrol. "We had a late-season Santa Ana, which resulted in big waves on the beach. We knew there were going to be waves from the northeast, so we were prepared and moved boats accordingly. We either got everybody tucked in near the casino, or in the case of one owner who didn’t want to leave his mooring, doubled up on his lines. He was fine. Some boat owners took the lee on the back side of the island."

Olsen also reported that it’s been "incredibly hot," again thanks to Santa Ana conditions bringing wind from the desert. "It’s been in the 80s, and last night at 7 p.m. it was 83 degrees."
All in all, everything is fine at Avalon, and the friendly folks in the Harbor Department are looking forward to a busy season of helping boat owners have fun and be safe.
Since the prevailing wind at the Channel Islands is from the northwest, many of the best anchorages are open to waves from the northeasterly winds of Santa Anas. How do you know if a Santa Ana is coming? It’s easy, even if you’re not listening to the weatherman. Your boat decks will be dry in the morning and the air will be unusually clear.
We think you’ll like the cover of the May Latitude 38. Perhaps best titled simply as “Smokin’,” it shows the West Coast-based Hotel California, Too roaring down a wave at the recent Voiles de St.
The brutally active sailboat racing season in the Northeast Caribbean — which we take to be between the British Virgins and Antigua — is not over, but the end is nigh.
As mentioned above, the 12th biennial Transat AG2R has come to a thrilling conclusion in Gustavia, St.