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Do You Like Pineapple on Your Pizza? The Baja Ha-Ha Poobah Wants To Know

For those who are thinking of signing up for the Ha-Ha, and those who have already signed up for the Ha-Ha, the Poobah has a special request. When filling out information for the Meet the Fleet Guide, please be as complete as possible. The Poobah knows it’s a bit of work, and it’s more work for him. But he wants the booklet to be as informative and entertaining as possible. Because what’s more fun than sailing side by side with another boat halfway down Baja in the middle of the night, and being able to turn to the booklet and realize, “Hey, they like pineapple on their pizza, too!”?

As an editor for more than 45 years, the Poobah has no problem taking bits of often unrelated information and turning them into something readable. So don’t fret about sending raw material; he’ll do the polishing. But the more detailed the information, the better. For example, a lot of skippers list their occupation as “engineer.” That’s better than nothing, but it would be more interesting and informative if you mentioned what kind of engineer you are. Civil? Train? Software? Because “engineer” is by far the leading occupation of Ha-Ha skippers. It’s the same thing with nurses. “Emergency room nurse” tells us a lot more about you than just “nurse.” Similarly, if you are in sales, it helps to know if you sell specialized aviation propellers, or Fentanyl in San Francisco’s Tenderloin.

Age counts, too. People want to know if you’re 29, 39, or, like the Poobah, 75. Many women are sensitive about age, of course, so unless a woman is 35 or under, her age isn’t mentioned.

Baja Ha-Ha
Bahia Santa Maria is just one of the spectacular locations Ha-Ha sailors enjoy.
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

If you report your crew is “Joe Blow,” that’s not informative beyond that he probably identifies as male. It’d be so much better if it were “Joe ‘Jo-Jo’ Blow, 28, an options trader and influencer who loves Creedence but hates the Eagles, the Celtics, and anchovies on breakfast cereal.”

Yes, it sounds a little silly to have you list a couple of favorites, be they movies, vegetables, rock ‘n’ roll bands, desserts, quotes, sailing heroes — whatever you want. But it humanizes you and begins to flesh you out. Maybe better still, list a couple of movies, vegetables, rock ‘n’ roll bands, desserts, and quotes that you hate. That might be even more revealing. The Poobah doesn’t need all your favorites and dislikes, just four or five.

Naturally, you don’t have to disclose any information if you don’t want to. But it’s more fun for everybody if you do. And remember, the Ha-Ha is about fun, so funny responses are encouraged. Self-deprecation is always good, and if you can’t laugh at yourself — or at the Poobah — who can you laugh at?

If you’re like a lot of skippers and don’t know who your crew will be, don’t worry about it. You can provide that info later or not at all.

Here’s an example of a fun bio — although it could benefit from more preferences about movies, vegetables, rock groups, and that kind of stuff:

Fio — Jeanneau SO 54 (W), Jay Dozier and Barbara Benson, San Diego / Kerrville, TX.
Jay, 54, is a small-business owner, while his “life partner” Barbara is a kitty cat owner. Their crew will be Melanie Benson, Barbara’s sister, a — bless her heart — nurse/midwife; and Jay’s son Abe Dozier, 17, a student of life.

Jay crewed on a ketch in the Caribbean in the ’80s and has day-chartered boats, but Fio is the first he’s owned, and he’s owned her for two years. “Fio had been in a rental booze-cruise fleet in the San Diego Bay area since the day she was born in 2005,” Jay reports. “But she believes she was destined for a greater legacy. Her previous two owners did not listen to her requests for adventure, but with new sails and rigging, we’re going to help her see the open ocean, some whales, and whatever else is out there.

“More about our crew,” says Jay. “I’m a three-time poison ivy survivor, and make biscuits and sauces. Barbara, who prefers cats and naps to managing a restaurant, does not like musty, half-dried towels but does love my biscuits. Neither of us really knows how to sail, but Barbara has watched some YouTube videos.

“Barbara’s sister Melanie has sailed some, but it’s unlikely Jay will hear her suggestions over the JBL speaker playing Swans or Gorillaz — music Barbara considers ‘so weird’. However, if anyone gives birth during the Ha-Ha, Melanie knows what to do. As for Abe, he’ll add to the sailing of Fio as much as you would imagine any 17-year-old screenager would. He will, however, be able to silently hold his gaze on an unspecified point on the horizon longer than the rest of us.

“Our dream destinations would be Panama and the Galápagos, but we’ll return to San Diego after the Ha-Ha, then do the Ha-Ha again in 2024.”

The Poobah hopes these bios give you an idea of the kind of stuff he’s looking for. It’s also important for the quality of the result to get the information to the Poobah ASAP. After all, he can’t do a good job if he has to do 100 of them in two weeks.

If you had intended to send the information later, or if you left something out or have something to add, please send your information now to: [email protected].

This year’s Ha-Ha dates — and it’s possible this could be the last Ha-Ha — are October 30 to November 11. Complete details can be found at Sign up today!

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