San Diego produced pea-soup fog for today’s start to the Nada Ha-Ha (the socially distanced alternative to the canceled 2020 Baja Ha-Ha). There’s also a 6-knot wind. So instead of a start line, Nada Ha-Ha ringleader Patsy Verhoeven says they decided to do “a rolling start and head out away from traffic.”
Eleven boats checked in at this morning’s roll call in San Diego, with a further 15 boats starting from Ensenada, and another 13 are either starting late (in the next two days) or may have missed the roll call. “I estimate a fleet of almost 40 boats.”
This Ha-Ha lite will be a cruise-in-company event without the social, shoreside activities normally associated with the annual migration south. The November issue of Latitude included profiles of some of the fleet members who will be starting their voyage south, with the first stop coming up in Turtle Bay. We weren’t able to include all fleet members in our November story, but we’ll add information about some of the other sailors who are heading south in this and upcoming issues of ‘Lectronic Latitude.
One of these sailors is Don Gehringer from Yuma, AZ, aboard his fast 55′ catamaran, Mañana. Don reports he has only sailed north on the Pacific Coast — when he was bringing his boat from Panama — so this will be his first time heading south on the Pacific Coast. And he says, despite her size, Mañana is pretty easy for two people to handle. Don has been sailing for ten years and Mañana is the only boat he’s owned. He was planning on sailing to the South Pacific this past spring, but due to the pandemic was rerouted and quarantined in Honolulu.
Don’s longest prior passage was the return to the mainland. Now he’s ready to return to warmer water and the Sea of Cortez. Hopefully, if all goes well, he’ll get another chance to sail to the South Pacific in spring 2021, but if that doesn’t happen, he’ll probably return to the US. We asked Don about his sailing heroes and he named Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast.
Looking at the Nada Ha-Ha entry list, about 55 of the 72 boats signed up are scheduled to leave tomorrow from San Diego, and some from Ensenada. We heard from Katie Smith aboard the Seawind 1160 Flite Deck, who said they’re one of the boats already checked into Ensenada, Mexico, and will be joining the Nada Ha-Ha fleet as they pass by.
After doing 13 prior Baja Ha-Ha’s, Patsy Verhoeven is set to take her 14th Ha-Ha sail south. It was just in the August issue that we told the story of Patsy’s return Baja Bash with friends Maggie Busby and Linda Keigher. Patsy will be giving us a full report on the Nada Ha-Ha for our December issue.