The 750-mile cruisers’ rally between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas, with R&R stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, is back for the 29th time starting on October 30, 2023. (Here’s what 2022’s Ha-Ha send-off looked like.)
Over 14,000 sailors have participated in the event. If you haven’t yet, this would be a good year, as nobody is getting any younger.
The Ha-Ha is packed with activities: the Last Cheeseburger in Paradise and Costume Kickoff Party at West Marine; the fireboat-escorted parade out of San Diego; the world-famous Baseball Game at Turtle Bay where women and children are always safe; the Turtle Bay Beach Party; the children’s Diving Olympics off the back of Profligate; the surreal live-band rock ‘n’ roll party at Bahia Santa Maria; the popcorn throw and dance party at Squid Roe in Cabo; the Beach Party from a private terrace overlooking the fleet in Cabo; the From Here to Eternity Kissing Contest in the surf at Medano Beach; and the Awards Party with free beer for all.
All of the above, of course, is in addition to the 750 miles of offshore sailing, with daily weather reports and roll calls. The winds are almost always light to moderate, and 83.75 of the 84 legs to date have been off the wind.
Perhaps the best aspect of the Ha-Ha is the number of people you’ll bond with over the two-week shared cruising experience. You make numerous friends for future cruising in Mexico, the South Pacific, around the world, and quite possibly for the rest of your life. The Ha-Ha has even been responsible for several marriages, to say nothing of children.
When in Mexico you can’t help bumping into Ha-Ha vets. For example, we were walking through Costco in Puerto Vallarta yesterday when we spotted a couple where the guy was wearing the distinctive Ha-Ha livery: faded salmon-colored “Some Like It Hot” shirt and a white Ha-Ha hat.
It was Jeff and Marcia Parten, formerly of the Bay Area, who did the Ha-Ha two years ago with their Cape George 36 On3. “We had a great time,” they said.
Since then Jeff, a former IT worker, and Marcia, a retired nurse, have been enjoying mainland Mexico and will be heading up into the Sea of Cortez for the summer. Next season they’ll continue on to Central America and Panama.
The Ha-Ha is open to boats that are 27-ft or longer and were designed, built, and have been maintained for open-ocean sailing. There must be at least two crew with overnight sailing experience on each boat.
For the 25th year in a row, the 63-ft Profligate will be the mothership of the event, with the same management team since the first Ha-Ha.
Registration for the Baja Ha-Ha begins on May 9. Mark your calendar.
If you’re on the fence, here’s a peek at last year’s Ha-Ha fun.