The 28th Baja Ha-Ha is set to kick off this coming Monday, with the start of the rally off the south tip of Shelter Island, near the Harbor Police station. With over 130 boats signed up, it makes for a spectacular start to anyone’s Monday morning, especially if you’re about to start the 750-mile sail south to Cabo. Anyone in San Diego with a boat is welcome to come out and escort the fleet out of the bay, or give them a cheer from shore on Shelter Island. In addition, the Grand Poobah has invited anyone who wants to attend the kick-off party on Sunday the 30th to jump into a costume and join the fun at the West Marine parking lot on Rosecrans for an entry fee of $12.
The fleet starts right off Shelter Island, with fireboats conducting a water display with lights and sirens. The Sportfishing Association of California brings the historical America’s Cup starting gun aboard the committee/media boat Dolphin to signal the start of the regatta. The starting sequence is a series of five signal shots (9:40 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.). Participants in the starting sequence will include representatives from the Mexican government, the Port of San Diego, San Diego Working Waterfront and other community leaders. The consul general of Mexico in San Diego, Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez, will signal the start of the event.
Current weather forecasts (knock on wood) look reasonable for the Monday start and the sail south. The fleet is currently gathering in San Diego Bay to make final preparations and get their costumes together for the kick-off party on Sunday. Then it’s off to the rally on Monday.
On Saturday afternoon the 29th, at West Marine, USCG Search and Rescue specialist Douglas Samp will give a presentation on emergencies at sea and how to get help from the Coast Guard. This will be followed by Andy Turpin from 5 – 7 p.m. with information on the 2023 Puddle Jump, including long-stay visas, bond exemptions, kick-off parties, restrictions, and PPJ events.
For those who are headed south or those dreaming of doing so, it’s a fun weekend in San Diego, where you can learn more, live more, and be inspired by those who are making the break this year. The Grand Poobah and Doña de Majorca will be leading the pack aboard Profligate as the fleet heads to the warm, welcoming winds and people of Mexico. See you out there.