"This is the best party we’ve ever seen at the Santa Barbara YC," said the bartenders. Since the venerable club was founded in 1870-something, that’s saying a lot. Bob Marley would have been proud.
One hundred twenty-five mariners from 40 boats showed up Saturday for the reggae-themed SoCal Ta-Ta ‘Reggae ‘Pon Da Ocean’ Kick-Off Party. Santa Barbara YC put out a great spread. Judging from the heavy loads on some of the plates, a few of the sailors hadn’t eaten in weeks — and weren’t sure where their next meal was coming from. Just kidding. And no worries, as there was plenty of delicious food to go around.
With hurricane-generated swells from Norbert possibly a threat to calm conditions at Smugglers on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, Mike Pyzel, who has done the trip well over 500 times, advised the group of about four alternative anchorages on what’s expected to be the less-rolly north side of the island. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.
The group was fun-loving but responsible in the best Ta-Ta / Baja Ha-Ha tradition. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was when about 100 of the participants conga-lined down the top of a wall to a blaring reggae version of the Stones’ Start Me Up. "It looked like nothing but fun, and it was," said the PooBob. "It was also a sobriety check. We wanted to make sure nobody got a Walking Under the Influence (WUI) citation going back to their boats." And none did.
The sailing part of the weeklong SoCal Ta-Ta — with stops at Santa Cruz Island for two nights, Channel Islands, Paradise Cove, and Two Harbors, Catalina — starts this morning. We wish you were here.
It’s amazing how one brief conversation can be a springboard to life-changing adventures and lasting friendships. This happens all the time at Latitude 38′s Crew List parties — where skippers in need of crew mix and mingle with able-bodied sailors who are eager for a ride. This phenomenon will repeat itself this Wednesday night at our annual Mexico-Only Crew List Party and Baja Ha-Ha Reunion at Alameda’s Encinal YC. The shindig runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and is free for registered 2014 Baja Ha-Ha skippers and first mates. Others pay $7 cash at the door. There’ll be a no-host bar, door prizes and free snacks. Many Baja Ha-Ha sponsors are expected to attend to share knowledge with first-timers, and representatives from Sal’s Inflatables will be on hand to give a liferaft demo on the ‘dance floor’.
If you’ll be skippering a boat into Mexican waters — as part of the Ha-Ha or otherwise — you should definitely plan to arrive early and take in a special (free) Mexico cruising seminar put on by longtime harbormasters Dick Markie of Nuevo Vallarta’s Paradise Village Marina and Geronimo Cevallos from Mazatlan’s Marina El Cid. Topics covered will include safety, timing, weather, provisioning, paperwork, health care, navigation and fishing. They will also discuss current government regulations. The program will begin promptly at 4:00 p.m., downstairs at the Encinal. We’ll see you there.
Remember also that you can get a head start on making crew connections by signing up on our free, online Crew List.