Ten days ago the 2023 Baja Ha-Ha opened its cabin doors to registrations, and with 64 boats now joining the southbound rally later this year, we’re coming back to our earlier post, “Five Years On: Where are the 2018 Baja Ha-Ha Sailors Now?”
Ha-Ha Poobah Richard Spindler emailed the 2018 fleet to ask where they are now and what they have been doing since arriving in Mexico all those years ago. Here’s part two of their responses.
Steve Schafer, Shooting Star, Hylas 42, Napa:
“After the Ha-Ha I crossed over to Mazatlán and headed down to La Cruz for New Year’s. I departed the Puerto Vallarta area in March 2019 and headed to La Paz for a month. Then we went up the eastern coast of Baja, finally crossing over to San Carlos, where we left the boat for the summer.
“In November 2019 we crossed back over the Sea of Cortez to Agua Verde, then worked our way down to Cabo. From Cabo we motored north to San Diego, passing the 2019 Ha-Ha fleet as it headed south. I was upgrading Shooting Star for the Pacific Puddle Jump when COVID hit, and ended up selling the boat to a young couple. I now live in Prescott, Arizona. But I miss the ocean and Mexico.”
Eddie Harrison, Harizon, Dufour 310, Chicago:
“Both our 2017 and 2018 Ha-Ha’s were great. We continued south after 2018, through the Panama Canal, to Providencia, Roatán, Mexico again, Cuba, into Miami and trucked the boat back to San Francisco. The Ha-Ha was fabulous and set it all up.”
David Hostvedt, Severance, Wauquiez 43, Seattle:
“Although we planned to go farther, we fell in love with the people, the food, the weather, the beaches, the culture, and the community of Mexico. We got as far as Barra de Navidad, Mexico, and decided to make it our home. We moved off the boat in 2021, rented for awhile, then bought a house here on the water in 2022. Barra is our forever home.
“Many thanks to the Ha-Ha for helping us make it down here. We wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it without you.”
Marshall Peabody, Tenacity, Roughwater 33, Seattle:
“I enjoyed the Ha-Ha very much. My boat has remained in Mexico — La Paz or Nuevo Vallarta — ever since. I spent a season doing the mainland coast to Zihua, another doing Baja to Bahia Concepción, and spent the COVID year in Paradise Marina. In the meantime, I have loved exploring Mexico, taken many trips inland, found crewing opportunities that took me to Nicaragua, did the ‘Bash’ on a boat returning to San Diego, and last season ‘Puddle Jumped’ with another Ha-Ha boat, Aldabra, to the Marquesas and Tuamotus.
“The Ha-Ha launched me into the sailing lifestyle that I’d dreamed about for decades! Thanks for helping get me where I’ve always wanted to be!”
Donald and Roz Franks, Ramble on Rose, Caliber 40 LRC, San Francisco:
“We are still cruising. We spent the COVID years in Mexico, then left Chiapas in November this year. We’ve stopped at El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and just arrived in Panama. We will most likely go through the Canal next year to begin exploring the Caribbean side.
“My advice to cruisers is to get Starlink, it’s a game-changer. It makes so many things easier, even for those of us who don’t work. Good luck with the Ha-Ha 29.”
Kent and Cathy Powley, Coquette, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45, Seattle:
“We continued cruising all the way to Panama, then west to the Galápagos, French Polynesia and Tonga. We’re now in Hawaii and will head to Alaska next.
“Cruising Mexico and Latin America is great. We particularly enjoyed Bahia del Sol in El Salvador. Learn at least a few words of Spanish and use them, as it goes a long way with the locals.”
Derick and Barb Sindell, Stray Cat 2, Lagoon 380, Vancouver, BC:
“We’re still out cruising aboard Stray Cat. After three seasons in Mexico and a year off due to COVID, we decided to head for Panama. We left Puerto Peñasco in October ’22 and we just arrived in Vista Mar Marina in Panama a couple of days ago. We plan to transit the Canal in early May so we’ve got a few weeks to explore the islands and Panama City. We will leave the boat on the hard in Shelter Bay and go home to Vancouver for five months.”
Steven and Karen Kittle, Parrot Head, Beneteau Oceanis 35.1, Point Richmond:
“We had a blast on the Ha-Ha!
“We are now in the process of selling our home and moving out of the Bay Area to San Diego. We plan to sail out of San Diego and explore farther south, and maybe even do another Ha-Ha.”
By the way our neighbors up the hill took off with the 2021 Ha-Ha fleet. ‘Just a few months,’ they said. They still haven’t come back!
Sign-ups and all the details can be found here: Baja Ha-Ha XXIX