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March 13, 2023

It’s Official — Baja Ha-Ha XXIX Registrations Open May 9

Well, we said it a month ago, but now it’s (even more) official. The 29th annual Baja Ha-Ha cruisers rally from San Diego to Mexico casts off in October, with registrations opening on May 9. That’s a little over eight weeks from now, leaving you plenty of time to work through any excuses you may think you have to not sign up and enjoy one of the best cruising rallies on the planet. 

To help you hit that May 9 deadline, here’s the official press release that will give you the details, and the incentive you’re seeking.

Baja Ha-Ha, the world’s most chill long-distance offshore sailing rally, is set to depart San Diego on Monday, October 30, for Cabo San Lucas. As always, the 29th annual running of the event will include R&R stops at the funky little lobster village of Turtle Bay and the spectacularly surreal Bahia Santa Maria.

Let’s not forget the famous Turtle Bay cruisers versus locals baseball game.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha Sailors

Over 12,000 sailors have done the Ha-Ha, some as many as 12 times. The event consists of three legs — 360 miles, 240 miles, and 175 miles — over a two-week period.

There are eight major social events, from the Last Cheeseburger in Paradise Kickoff and Costume Party in San Diego, to the world-famous Here to Eternity Kissing Contest in the surf at Medano Beach in Cabo. It’s six months of fun and adventure packed into just 13 days.

Typical Ha-Ha weather conditions are California Casual, with light to moderate wind and seas. To date, 83 out of 84 legs have been off the wind. While air temps can be cool the first two nights, participants are soon in shorts and T-shirts.

Baja Ha-Ha sailboat
No foulies to be seen here.
© 2023 Ha-Ha Sailors

The fishing is excellent, with tuna, wahoo, and other fish.

One of the major benefits of the Ha-Ha is the tremendous amount of knowledge and boat parts in the fleet for those who need assistance on the way. Even free sail repair by Ullman San Diego at the two intermediate stops.

Each day brings a roll call, weather reports, and for boats with SSB, a net. During stops, there is an extremely active VHF net.

Unlike most offshore sailing events, Profligate, the 63-ft catamaran mothership, accompanies the fleet the entire way. She’s a vet of over 50 trips up and down the Baja coast.

For the first time ever the fleet is expected to be able to clear into Mexico at Bahia Santa Maria rather than Cabo San Lucas. It should be much quicker and easier, and there is no customs or agriculture check.

The Ha-Ha is open to boats 27-ft and longer that were designed, built, and have been maintained for offshore sailing. Each boat must have at least two crew with overnight offshore experience.

Sign-ups start on May 9 at The earlier a boat signs up, the greater the chance of getting one of the few berths in Cabo San Lucas.

A New Life for the Herreshoff Ketch ‘Arua’

There’s nothing like the beauty of wood. We recently discovered that PICYA Staff Commodore Winston Bumpus had teamed up with friends to acquire the beautiful 30-ft mahogany ketch Arua. We were curious, so we asked Winston for some more background on the boat.

Herreshoff Ketch Arua
The comfortable, inviting cockpit of Arua.
© 2023 Winston Bumpus

He sent a few photos and replied, “The boat is a modified L. Francis Herreshoff 28 design ketch that is just under 30-ft. It was built in 1962 by Far East Yachts in Japan. The hull and interior are mahogany made with quality Japanese joinery. As I understand, it was first purchased by someone in Southern California. Afterward it spent 30 years in Sausalito with a family who regularly sailed together and she eventually became more of a weekend getaway for them in Sausalito. They then did a major renovation on the boat around 2010 before putting it on the market shortly after.

Herreshoff Ketch Arua

The warmth of wood.”It was purchased in 2010, by a great guy and racer from the Sequoia Yacht Club who brought it to the Port of Redwood City Municipal Marina. He had the Atomic 4 replaced with a new Yanmar diesel in 2012 and raced the boat. He had a painting business, so maintaining the brightwork was something he knew how to do. He has now retired and needed someone to take it on that not only could appreciate it, but could maintain it.”

Covers keep the varnish protected.
Arua has been well cared for through the years.
© 2023 Winston Bumpus

“So I put together a partnership of two dear friends and myself. One of [them] is a retired woodworker, who worked on wooden ships at Mystic Seaport and also helped build the scale model used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie among other things. The other lives part-time on the West Coast and part-time in Martha’s Vineyard. He previously had a Herreshoff 12 1/2 and has spent summers at the Wooden Boat School in Maine.”

Herreshoff Arua
Archive shot of Arua. She’ll be back on the Bay soon.
© 2023 Arua

“So we are excited to take this beauty on and know there is varnish in our future. We look forward to taking it out on the water soon.”

There’s something about the warmth of wood that grabs a sailor’s soul. It’s always a pleasure to see a beautiful boat in the hands of sailors with the skill and appreciation for its heritage.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club Cabo Race on Course

Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s 2023 Cabo Race started on an uncharacteristically wet Friday, but is heading south to the sun in Cabo. The boats are currently stretched out along the Baja coast, making their way south in mostly lighter airs with the MOD70 Argo leading the pack.

You can follow the light-air action down the coast of Baja to the finish in Cabo San Lucas.
© 2023 YachtScoring / Yellow Brick
Dehler 46 Favonius
Greg Dorn’s Dehler 46 Favonius, seen heading upwind on the Bay during the 2022 Rolex Big Boat Series, is now heading downwind to 80-degree weather in Cabo.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

This is a nonstop race to Cabo San Lucas with boats usually finishing within three to five days. Follow the race here.

Sailing-Art Mystery Solved by ‘Latitude 38’ Readers!

The greatest mysteries in life are often solved by sailors. It never ceases to amaze us just how knowledgeable our readers are. (Note, we did not say “surprise.”) After all, they’re into everything about sailing, and most sailors love to learn about and solve sailing mysteries. In this case, the mystery was in the form of an artwork owned by Chris Juhasz.

Below is a photo Chris sent us of the picture he’d owned since the mid-’70s, but knew nothing about. Enter the Latitude readers who came up with the answer.

Mystery Photo
Chris was right in looking to Latitude readers for the background on his piece of art.
© 2023 Gilpin

Readers commented that the location was Diamond Head or Molokai Channel, and that the boat was Blackfin, Stormvogel or Windward Passage competing in a Transpac race, many decades ago. And they were right, in part.

Tom Patterson joined the conversation with this: “Windward Passage (when she was ketch rigged and had a bowsprit) off Diamond Head, setting new elapsed time record and winning the Barn Door Trophy in Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpac, July 13, 1971, in the time of 9 days, 9 hours, 6 minutes. Passage also won the race overall.”

Tom wrote that the picture is a charcoal rendering by artist William C. Gilpin (1917-1988) of Newport Beach, CA. (Most known for his portraits of Hollywood stars.) Tom then added that the rendering was based on a photo taken by Fotoboat, Santa Barbara, and was the cover shot for the 1973 Transpac program.

sailing art mystery
This screenshot shows Chris’s mystery art on the cover of the 1973 Transpac race handbook. Note the price in the corner, $1.00.
© 2023

Skip Allan then chimed in, concurring that the rendering was created from a photo taken by Dick Clevel, owner of Fotoboat, which specialized in Transpac finish photos. In this race, Windward Passage won the Barn Door. (The Barn Door is a trophy awarded each race for the Fastest Monohull Elapsed Time in the race. Originally the “First to Finish” Trophy.)

The list of winners goes back as far as 1906.
© 2023 Transpacific Yacht Club

Skip added, “The reason the mainsail panels are narrow is we’d just taken delivery of a Hood main, whose sail cloth was woven on looms intended to weave cloth for pillow cases. If you look closely at the ’73 Transpac handbook photo, I’m the kid in red shorts up by the mast.”

Chris Juhasz was delighted to learn at last about his mystery sailing art and wrote to thank Latitude 38 readers. “Thank you again. A near lifelong mystery is solved. Windward Passage will remain hanging proudly in my office in Idaho.”

Well done, everyone. You can all stand down and go sailing, until the next mystery arises.

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