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Counting Down to the Baja Ha-Ha’s Halloween Kick-Off

Last Monday we told readers there were only three weeks left before the start of the 28th Baja Ha-Ha. Today, we make that call for the two-week mark. And it feels a little like the annual countdown to Christmas. The Ha-Ha will take off from San Diego on October 31: yep, Halloween. But there’s nothing to be scared of, unless you’re unprepared, in which case anxiety may or may not make its appearance. To help keep it at bay, we’re sharing Part Two of the Ha-Ha’s Grand Poobah’s updates and tips. Have a read below, and make sure you can check all your boxes. That way you’ll be ready to sail off into the morning sun and head south to Mexico with an air of excitement and pleasant anticipation.

By now everyone should have gotten their Temporary Import Permit (TIP) — or have a plan to get one when in San Diego at the Banjercito across the border from Otay Mesa, or in Ensenada. If the latter is the case, you must be certain that when searching your HIN on this site —…/index.aspx — your boat does not show up with an existing TIP. If there is an existing TIP you need to jump through a few hoops. Need help? Email [email protected].

As per the Rally Instructions, each boat is required to have a functioning form of two-way long-distance communication, such as SSB, Garmin InReach, Iridium GO!, or Satphone. Starlink is fabulous, but it does not qualify because it works within only about 12 miles of the Baja coast. Cell phones don’t qualify for the same reason. If you do not have such a two-way device or do not know how to use it, you will not be an official entry. So if you haven’t purchased your device, do so immediately, and begin to familiarize yourself with it. These devices are terrific but more complicated than a cell phone, so be prepared to spend some time setting up an account and familiarizing yourself with how your device works. A tip for those who will be going with an InReach: Make sure you Bluetooth it to your phone or tablet, as it makes everything from the screen to the keyboard more user-friendly. A tip for those going with SSB: Installation is complicated and time-consuming, and it takes time to learn how to operate the unit. Even then, SSBs don’t work well. SSB installation guru Shea Weston is in San Diego and has solutions, but he’ll be swamped just before the Ha-Ha. In any event, now is the time to respond to Assistant Poobah Patsy Verhoeven with your Satphone or Iridium GO! phone number, or your inReach address (example: [email protected]). You will receive a testing text message in return from Patsy, who is the head of Fleet Communications. When you get the message, answer it, and you will be all set for your daily check-ins. “I want to encourage people to set up their device right away,” Patsy says. “And if they have questions or need help finding their inReach address, they should talk to me. Now is the time before everyone — including me — gets crazy busy.

Shade and solar panels, or other sources of electric power such as a Honda 2000 portable generator. What do cruisers normally bring too much of? Food. There is no need to load up in the States as there is plenty of good food in Mexico.

Baja Ha-ha dinner plate
Yep, food in Mexico is fresh, tasty, and inexpensive.
© 2022 Richard Spindler

While recently getting his hip replaced in Mexico, the Poobah was warned by medical professionals not to purchase generic drugs from the ubiquitous little pharmacies that have popped up everywhere. Several professionals told the Poobah that the generics sold in these places have only about 25% of the drug they claim. The exception is Farmacias Guadalajara, where the Poobah was told the generics are the real deal.

If you’ve read and followed the above tips, and those we shared last week, then there’s a good chance you’re well prepared. Two weeks is not long to wait. See you in San Diego!

1 Comment

  1. Steve Yocom 2 years ago

    Great fun. Thanks. Tried to make the Ha Ha in 2003 but got hung up in Newport for a reason I cannot remember. Followed you guys down two weeks later. Currently anchored in Barra after coming up from Panama. Looking forward to running into the newbies while heading north into the Sea. Thanks for the read

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