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Almost Time to Get Your Ha-Ha’s Out

Today is just two weeks from the start of the 20th Annual Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. The Grand Poobah and mothership Profligate are rip-roaring ready to go, and hope you are, too. There are 163 entries this year, up a little more than 10% from last year. And the whole Immigration business has been straightened out. See October 2’s ‘Lectronic for details.

The San Diego Police Dock is all but deserted. Of course, that could be due to a price hike, but if you’re desperate for a slip…

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If you’re worried about finding a berth in San Diego — it was a big problem in years past — don’t worry. We checked the Police Dock this morning, and almost every slip was empty. It may have something to do with the fact that slips are now $1/ft per night, as opposed to a flat $5-15/night a few years back, but at least there are slips. The slips are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Need a last-minute haul-out? Koehler Craft and Driscolls Boat Yard on Shelter Island are both ready to help, as are a number of other boatyards in the San Diego area.
In Friday’s ‘Lectronic we ran down a list of the many San Diego seminars slated for the two weeks before the start of the Ha-Ha. Since a lot of people might have been en route and missed that ‘Lectronic, we highly recommend you review the list. In particular, if you just bought a SSB radio and don’t know how to use it or set up SailMail, you should make every effort to attend the October 16 Offshore Communications seminar by Gordon West and Shea Weston at Downwind Marine. Setting up and using a SSB radio is not simple like setting up a VHF radio, and these guys are the experts. The rest of the day’s seminar will be devoted to SailMail, and will be presented by Jim Corenman, one of the two gods of SailMail, the other being Stan Honey. Until you cruise, you have no idea how beneficial SailMail is. For details on the time, location and cost, visit Note also, former US Naval officer Terry Sparks’ Icom M802 Made Simple for Cruisers seminar on October 18, 5:30-9:30 p.m.  
San Diego is a beautiful, bike-friendly city, and the sailing centers of Shelter Island and Harbor Island are pleasantly mellow. But the one thing San Diego doesn’t have — but you’ll find in abundance once you finish the Ha-Ha in Cabo San Lucas — is warm water. And take it from an expert, you’ll find yourself in a better state of mind when you can wake up each morning and simply throw yourself off the transom of your boat into welcomingly warm tropical waters. It’s like being embraced by God.

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In addition to doing a lot of Pacific Cup and other races to Hawaii with big boats, either fully crewed or doublehanded, Philippe Kahn of Santa Cruz has always enjoyed sailing small monohulls off his home waters of Santa Cruz and Hawaii.