Thursday, November 1, 2007

Completed first leg of the Baja Ha Ha

We are now anchored in Turtle Bay, Mexico. It has been cool and windy on the trip down. Some of the boats that were more offshore reported gusts to 30 kts. We had sustained winds in the mid 20s for most of the ride south.

The start of the rally in San Diego was very exiting: 170+ boats all sailing at the start. Shirlee was at the helm and I was getting the spinnaker ready for launch. Shirlee did great dodging and weaving amongst the fleet. At 10:00 AM the cannon sounded and the fleet was off. I did not do so good getting the kite up. After two attempts and untangling the various lines, we had the spinnaker flying and we were doing 8 kts on a close reach headed for Mexico.

We started fishing soon as the boat and crew were settled on long tack. We started catching mackerel and promptly releasing them. From the morning radio check-in no tuna catches were reported until Wednesday (10/31). And that's when we caught our first yellow fin. It was about ten pounds and very tasty. Last night we had an appetizer of pan seared tuna. Tonight we'll have the remainder of the tuna grilled with soy, ginger, garlic and lemon.

So far the boat is holding together. I have two things to fix: a towel holder needs to be reattached in the galley and a set screw in the bimini needs to be tightened. Other boats have not been as fortunate. The list includes raw water pump failure, all batteries dead, leaking one gallon per minute through the keel bolts, four boats with torn main sails, two shredded spinnakers, two broken travelers, and a sprinkling of non- or poorly-functioning radios. I'm feeling really good about Solstice and our two seasons of shakedown/breakdown in B.C. and Alaska.

Today's plan is for showers and a no-host party in town. I plan on fishing in the bay just to see what's down there. There is a potluck beach party tomorrow. The plan is to leave Turtle Bay Saturday (11/03).


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