Baja Ha-Ha XXV 2018 Cruisers Rally
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Baja Ha-Ha XXV


We're using the photo of the sometimes great actress — we loved her in The Misfits, her last movie, which was also Clark Gable's last movie, and nearly the last movie for Montgomery Clift — to show that fashions change.

Like fashions, methods of ocean navigation change, too. Back when the Misfits came out in 1961, there was no GPS, no SatNav, not even any small boat Loran. Cruisers couldn't just pull out any one of many handhelds devices and instantly know where in the world they were to within a few feet.

Back in those days, and for a couple of decades later, most sailors navigated using a combination of celestial navigation — when there weren't too many clouds — and dead reckoning. Which is why a lot more boats were lost in those days.

But just as some people have an affection for classic movies, some sailors have an affection for classic methods of navigation. So it is that naval architect Paul Kamen, whose sailing resume includes everything from a Singlehanded TransPac in a 25-footer to countless crewed TransPacs, to countless other offshore events, will again be offering a class in celestial navigation during this year's Baja Ha-Ha.

Paul held a similar class during last year's Ha-Ha, and it was well received by a small group of enthusiasts. So if you're doing the Ha-Ha, and have a sextant, contact Paul at The first class will be a noon site class during the stop in Turtle Bay.

What to do if you don't have a sextant? Bring a cardboard box, a pair of scissors, and a nail. Antonio, the captain of the Ocean 71 Big O that I used to own, had a Basque friend who had given up a high paying job running a cargo ship to run a series of successively smaller private charter yachts. One of the ways he liked to have fun was to navigate across the Atlantic using a swinging arrow pinned to the side of Budweiser Beer box. Bring such a box along, and we bet Paul can show you how to use it to at least approximate your latitude.

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