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October 26, 2022

You’re Welcome To Join the Baja Ha-Ha Kick-Off Parade on Monday

The 28th Baja Ha-Ha is set to kick off this coming Monday, with the start of the rally off the south tip of Shelter Island, near the Harbor Police station. With over 130 boats signed up, it makes for a spectacular start to anyone’s Monday morning, especially if you’re about to start the 750-mile sail south to Cabo. Anyone in San Diego with a boat is welcome to come out and escort the fleet out of the bay, or give them a cheer from shore on Shelter Island. In addition, the Grand Poobah has invited anyone who wants to attend the kick-off party on Sunday the 30th to jump into a costume and join the fun at the West Marine parking lot on Rosecrans for an entry fee of $12.

West Coast Multihulls
Guinevere King and Kim Dumas from West Coast Multihulls went out on one of their catamarans last year to give the fleet a great send-off. They’ll be out again this year.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The fleet starts right off Shelter Island, with fireboats conducting a water display with lights and sirens. The Sportfishing Association of California brings the historical America’s Cup starting gun aboard the committee/media boat Dolphin to signal the start of the regatta. The starting sequence is a series of five signal shots (9:40 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.). Participants in the starting sequence will include representatives from the Mexican government, the Port of San Diego, San Diego Working Waterfront and other community leaders. The consul general of Mexico in San Diego, Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez, will signal the start of the event.

Baja Ha-Ha
The start of the Baja Ha-Ha is on Halloween day, and traditionally many participants wear the costumes from the previous day’s Halloween Kick-Off Party.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Current weather forecasts (knock on wood) look reasonable for the Monday start and the sail south. The fleet is currently gathering in San Diego Bay to make final preparations and get their costumes together for the kick-off party on Sunday. Then it’s off to the rally on Monday.

Baja Ha-Ha start
If you want to watch the fleet head out, have your boat off the tip of Shelter Island by 9:20 a.m. on Monday.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

On Saturday afternoon the 29th, at West Marine, USCG Search and Rescue specialist Douglas Samp will give a presentation on emergencies at sea and how to get help from the Coast Guard. This will be followed by Andy Turpin from 5 – 7 p.m. with information on the 2023 Puddle Jump, including long-stay visas, bond exemptions, kick-off parties, restrictions, and PPJ events.

For those who are headed south or those dreaming of doing so, it’s a fun weekend in San Diego, where you can learn more, live more, and be inspired by those who are making the break this year. The Grand Poobah and Doña de Majorca will be leading the pack aboard Profligate as the fleet heads to the warm, welcoming winds and people of Mexico. See you out there.


Good Jibes With Ronnie Simpson on the Global Solo Challenge

This week’s host, Nicki Bennett, is joined by returning guest Ronnie Simpson to chat about his preparation and campaign for the 2023-2024 Global Solo Challenge. Ronnie is an Iraq war veteran who discovered sailing after being wounded and has since sailed well over 100,000 miles.

Ronnie Simpson's Sparrow on Bay
In his 20s, Ronnie mounted two sponsored campaigns for the Singlehanded Transpacific Race and won his division in one of those.
© 2022 Ronnie Simpson

Hear how to prepare to sail around the world and find sponsors, and how Ronnie found his boat, Sparrow (hint: Good Jibes played a part!); about the helpful gear he’s getting together and the things you need to move around in life to make opportunities like this a reality.

This episode covers everything from fundraising to singlehanding. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • How did Ronnie enter the Global Solo Challenge?
  • When does he start?
  • What’s the story behind Sparrow?
  • Who is sponsoring Ronnie so far?
  • What’s the coolest experience he’s had on Sparrow?
  • How do you support him?
  • What’s the single thing he’s most excited about during this campaign?
  • How long is the Global Solo Challenge?

Donate to Ronnie’s campaign here:

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

Thanks for listening to Nicki Bennett and Ronnie Simpson on Good Jibes with Latitude 38. Subscribe here to receive Latitude 38 at your home each month. And remember, sign up for our weekly Good Jibes newsletter for a chance to win one of five BoneHead Sport headsets. BoneHeads go around your ears, not in them, so if needed, you can hear what’s going on around you while you listen to your Good Jibes podcast or your favorite sailing songs. We’re giving them away in celebration of the one-year anniversary of our Good Jibes podcast. Sign up here.

Fast Race, Cloudy Skies Define Halloween Race

On Saturday, October 22, Del Rey Yacht Club ran their annual (except for COVID-related 2020) Halloween Race.

Mexican Divorce and Obsidian
Neil Fraser’s 1D35 Mexican Divorce (left, second-place overall) crosses paths with John Staff’s J/111 Obsidian (third-place overall).
© 2022 Margie Woods

Local meteorologists had been predicting rain, wind gusts of 50-60 knots in the nearby Antelope Valley, cold temps and all manner of strange things emanating from the storm forming off Baja. More than one cruise ship abandoned Puerto Vallarta and points south to get back to the safe harbor at L.A./San Pedro.

Aboard Javelin
Aboard Daniel Murphy’s J/125 Javelin (fifth-place overall).
© 2022 Margie Woods

The Halloween Race is DRYC’s annual end-of-season informal, whimsical event in which boats can sail in either direction across the starting line and round the marks in any order.

The 8.75-mile inverted (pursuit) start course has drawn criticism for the “any way you decide to go” practice until most competitors grin from ear to ear (wind permitting) and say how much fun they’ve had.

The 2019 event saw most boats, including famous all-female circumnavigating Maiden, drop out due to lack of wind.

None of the extreme weather showed up. Winds early in the morning topped 12 knots and diminished to about 8 knots by the 1 p.m. first start. Gray clouds were the order of the day; the sun finally peeked out for an occasional glimpse after about 3 p.m.

Dan McGanty’s J/111 J/Boss finished first overall, with an elapsed time of 1:37:24.
© 2022 Margie Woods

All 22 starters finished by 4 p.m. An abundance of hot racing machines sported new working canvas and gigantic code zeroes, although the little guys and cruisers did well too.

Lee Lewis’s Martin 242 Sandbox finished in fourth place overall.
© 2022 Margie Woods

Lee Lewis won his class in Sandbox, a Martin 242, starting as the “pooch” boat. Cruiser Class winner Gary Schaffel and Odyssey sailed the course in a bit over 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Odyssey, a Tartan 4000, finished 14th overall.
© 2022 Margie Woods

The sailors enjoyed an all-you-can-eat taco bar and super-cool Halloween decorations. Many participated in a costume contest.

MisQue in halloween costumes
Some of Jerry and Lea Kaye’s C&C 25 MisQue crew appear to be in trouble. Their crime? Being over early.
© 2022 Margie Woods

Prizes were carved box-shaped wooden pumpkins courtesy of talented woodworker and racing rules guru Tucker Strasser.

Teaser crew with prize
Mike Guccione’s Beneteau First 36.7 Teaser finished second in Class B and sixth overall. The crew is showing us their very cool prize.
© 2022 Margie Woods

See complete results at

Brian Finds Golden Ticket and Wins Latitude 38 Hat

It’s that time again! Earlier this month Latitude 38 reader Brian Ackerman found a Golden Ticket in his October issue.

Brian Ackerman holding Golden Ticket
Yes, the “Golden Ticket” is actually blue. We’re just keeping you on your toes.
© 2022 Brian Ackerman

Right now Brian is “between boats,” but he is a licensed captain (500 gt/Oceans), he manages the marine operations at Moss Landing Marine Labs, and he’s a longtime port captain.

Brian’s spouse Melissa is commodore at the Elkhorn Yacht Club “in beautiful Moss Landing,” Monterey Bay. This also happens to be the location at which Brian picked up his winning copy of Latitude 38. Don’t you wish you’d gotten there before he did?

And here’s an interesting fact Brian shared with us: For the past few years he’s been trying to raise money to build a 111-ft Tom Wylie-designed research vessel. If you’re reading this, Brian, we’d love to know more about this plan of yours!

Brian is claiming a turquoise Latitude 38 cap as his prize.

A Sailor’s Memories of the 109-ft Herreshoff Schooner ‘Ramona’

A few weeks ago, we were invited to attend a Wednesday evening talk at the Sausalito Yacht Club. The scheduled speaker was Margaret (Pinkie) Pomeroy, an SYC member and Sausalito native. Pinkie was to give a talk about a South Pacific cruise she took with her family when she was 10 years old. Armed with a slideshow and a mind full of memories and humor, Pinkie engaged the room with stories of her six-month-long adventure.

The ship was Ramona — a 109-ft Herreshoff schooner (148-ft if you include the bowsprit). She had a steel hull, two diesel engines, a 108-ft mainmast made of Douglas fir, a 92-ft foremast, and 16,000 square feet of sail area. Built in 1920, Ramona passed through a number of loving hands, including her first owner, Carl Tucker; H.W. ‘Bill’ Rohl; a New York banker named Guernsey Curran; and the first mayor of Beverly Hills, Silsby S. Spalding, before joining the Pomeroy family in 1952.

Ramona on the Bay
Ramona as she appeared on Opening Day on the Bay, 1952.
© 2022 Pinkie Pomeroy

That year, Sausalito experienced a particularly fierce March storm and Ramona was swept across the Bay.

“It was two months after Dad bought Ramona. She was moored off the old Bait Shop (presently the Trident). I thought some of the Sausalito old-timers would remember that exciting storm when winds on Mount Tamalpais measured 70 mph,” Pinkie explained. “When those winds blew through the Sausalito harbor, Ramona was torn loose from her mooring and she drifted a mile and a half into Richardson Bay before the Coast Guard got a line on her and towed her around to the lee of Angel Island.”

One year later, Ramona and the Pomeroy family were ready to cast off and set sail for Tahiti.

“Okay, Peg, we’re going to leave on your birthday (March 19,1953),” Dad says. And, being March, it was rolling, pitching stormy weather.

Pinkie’s father, Bill, was the second son of J. H. Pomeroy, a pioneer in the engineering and construction business whose company had many contracts in the Far East and the Middle East. Bill was to become the company’s executive vice president, but not before he took his family on the adventure they would cherish for the rest of their lives. Together with the Pomeroy family of Bill, Peg, Pinkie, and her brothers John and Bill, Ramona carried a crew of six, including a captain and a cook.

Equator ritual aboard Ramona
On April 25, 1953, they crossed the equator for the first time and everyone took part in the traditional rituals with King Neptune and Queen Neptunia.
© 2022 Pinkie Pomeroy

Pinkie and her brothers were taught to sail the same way their father had been taught. “He grew up in Puget Sound and learned to sail by being sent out in small boats.”

Pomeroy kids on Ramona
But it wasn’t just a leisurely cruise. Among their many chores, the kids had to clean scuppers, polish brass, sand and paint the dinghy, paint waterways, and sandpaper the mainmast.
© 2022 Pinkie Pomeroy

The family sold Ramona in 1957. Ten years later, on December 2, 1967, she would come to grief on North Rock Reef in Bermuda.

This is just a small snippet of Pinkie’s story, which was as interesting as it was delightful, and we imagine every sailor in the room felt themselves at the heart of Ramona‘s journey. Yes, she met a sad ending, but during her 47 years on the water she was the source of adventures and memories for dozens of sailors from all walks of life, shahs and actors among them. Before passing Ramona to her next owner, Bill Pomeroy took the Shah of Iran for a sail on San Francisco Bay. Ramona later starred in the 1959 movie A Summer Place, with Sandra Dee and Richard Egan.

Sausalito YC Speaker Series organizers Abe Rademacher and Alia Andrews were pleased with the turnout for Pinkie’s talk, and hope to fully resurrect their club’s monthly speaker series.

“We are always looking for stories that the club might be interested in hearing at the series,” Abe said. “The talks tend to focus on topics that resonate with sailors, either from a historical perspective or more current affairs. We also have talks specific to what could be considered as Sausalito culture, and even a little politics. I’ve always come away feeling like I’ve learned something interesting from each talk.”

Ed: In January 2014, we shared a query from Keith Fullenwider, who asked if anyone knew what had happened to the schooner Ramona that was anchored off Sausalito in the mid-’50s. A reply came from Skip Allan, who wrote, “In December of 1967, Ramona, then under Canadian ownership, hit a reef off Bermuda and sank. Five lives were lost. Ramona ultimately was raised, but she was too far gone, and was ultimately scrapped. Mariette remains the finest example of this class of schooner, and is a stirring sight under sail.”

East West Rendezvous
Last week we posted images of some of the many West Coast connections we met at the Annapolis Boat Show. We thought we'd pass on a few more of the friends you might recognize.