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July 5, 2019

Baja Ha-Ha Entries Surf Past 100

Based on the fact that Glory, Jennifer Frost and John Sweeney’s San Francisco-based Chance 55, became the 103rd paid Baja Ha-Ha entry in early June, it appears that the 2019 Ha-Ha fleet will be another robust one. Entries are running at almost exactly the same pace as in the last several years.

The Ha-Ha, to be run for the 26th time in a row this year, is the world-famous 750-mile cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with R&R stops at fabulously funky Turtle Bay and pristine Bahia Santa Maria. It’s open to boats over 27 feet in length that were designed, built, and have been maintained for offshore use. The dates of this year’s event are November 3-16.

The parade out of San Diego — seen here in 2017 — is truly a sight to behold.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

What’s different with this year’s Ha-Ha? First, the event will start a week later than in previous years, in deference to climate change, to increase the buffer with tropical storm season. Not that a tropical storm has ever crossed paths with the Ha-Ha route during a Ha-Ha.

Second, the fleet will spend one more day in spectacular Bahia Santa Maria, and one less day in Cabo San Lucas. There are several reasons: It makes the second leg a much more leisurely one, and it gives everyone another relaxing day in the always-favorite Ha-Ha stop.

The Grand Poobah is also happy to announce that Layne Carter, Coast Guard Search and Rescue Specialist for RCC Alameda SAR region, has made it his “number one priority” to address and meet all the members of this year’s Baja Ha-Ha fleet. To this end, Layne will be at the Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party at the West Marine Superstore in San Diego on November 3, and give a late-afternoon or early-evening presentation on either November 1 or 2.

“Hey, can you pass me a beer?” If you haven’t been in a raft-up like this before, then have you really lived?

For complete entry information on the Ha-Ha, which has been enjoyed by an astonishing 10,000+ West Coast sailors on more than 3,000 boats, visit For those who have already signed up, 2019 Ha-Ha burgees, sponsors’ special offers, and the updated version of the First-Timer’s Guide to Cruising Mexico, will have been mailed out near the end of June.

It’s Learn to Sail Month

The American Sailing Association wants to energize folks to start sailing by proclaiming this July the first-ever Learn to Sail Month. For every new sailing lesson purchased in July at one of their 350 certified schools nationwide, the ASA will make a donation to Sailors for the Sea and their mission to save the oceans.

“With our July Learn to Sail Month campaign, we want people to know sailing is for everyone,” says Lenny Shabes, CEO and founder of the American Sailing Association. “There are so many options to take group lessons, share and rent new boats, or buy older, smaller boats. More Americans are focused on having new experiences. There’s nothing better than sailing that’s proven to calm the mind and soothe the soul.”

Beneteau 42 sailing
A Sausalito-based Beneteau 42 in Modern Sailing School & Club’s fleet.
© 2019 Modern Sailing School & Club

“Sailing, one of America’s favorite pastimes, is rebounding here big time after hitting rough waters in the 2008 recession,” writes ASA’s media contact, Matt DeMargel.

The ASA has some thoughts about why younger folks aren’t sailing (and why they should be):

  • With the loss of pensions and rising healthcare costs, Baby Boomers are working longer and later in life so they’re not sailing as much. Their millennial and Gen Z offspring don’t get as much exposure to sailing as earlier generations.
  • Today’s young people earn 20% lower incomes, amass half as many assets, are less likely to own homes, and have 50% of the net worth that Boomers had when they were the same age. The ASA is out to prove that sailing is an accessible and fun activity for everyone, regardless of income.
  • Young families engage in more time-consuming activities for their children like travel baseball and competitive dance that didn’t exist years ago. Sailing turns the family into a team of their own, working together for a fun and exciting day on the water.
  • Baby Boomers were more of a hands-on  generation — repairing bikes or rebuilding old cars. Technology attracts younger generations to more sedentary screen-time activities, like building websites. Learn to Sail Month encourages everyone to get more hands-on by enjoying the restorative activity of sailing.

Click here for Latitude 38’s list of sailing schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey.

Why Aren’t You Sailing Right Now?

Thank you so much for your readership, Latitude Nation. 

But if you’re reading this, may we make a suggestion? Please stop reading this, and go sailing. That’s what we’re doing. We actually wrote this on Wednesday, and let the Internet do its automated thing so that we could stay away from the office, away from work, away from land . . .

This could be you.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Today, July 5, is not actually an official Latitude holiday. We are all taking a vacation day, so please don’t hear us preaching to you from the lofty perch of our paid-vacation day.

We will, however, reiterate points we often make: We all need more time to chill. And the world would be a better place if everyone was sailing. We’re doing our part — we hope that you’ll do yours.

If anyone needs a note from us to give to your boss, just let us know.

Shootin' the Breeze
South Bay Youth Sailing on the Move The Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, or PYSF, has steadily been building its ranks over the years.
America's Cup 36
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron required Stars + Stripes Team USA and DutchSail to confirm their ongoing commitment to the 36th America’s Cup by July 1. The first announcement came from Long Beach Yacht Club on June 29.
Restricted Areas
The US Coast Guard reminds mariners to stay clear of fireworks-display barges and shoreside facilities during the upcoming holiday. Temporary safety zones have been established surrounding fireworks displays.