Baja Ha-Ha XXV 2018 Cruisers Rally
Find us on Facebook

Baja Ha-Ha XXV


The Ha-Ha, of course, is the 750-mile cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with R&R stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. This will be the 25th anniversary event.

So far we have a total of 17 kids/teens on boats signed up. The breakdown is as follows:

The girls are ages are 2, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9, 11, 16, 16, and 18.

The boys are ages 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 11, and 14.

That makes a total of 13 in the 5 to 14 age group, with most of them 6 to 10.

It also means there are three in the 16 to 18 range, who aren't really kids, and who will probably hang more with the folks in the 20s. We don't have a count on folks in there 20s, but there are a number of them.

These are the 'kid' numbers as of today. We expect there will be more 'kid boats' that sign up. By the same token, we can't guarantee that all 'kid boats' that have signed up with actually start. But most do.

In any event, this gives parents some idea of what to expect.

Unless someone objects, six weeks before the start of the Ha-Ha we'll share the email addresses of all 'kid boats' so they can get in contact with one another. We know how important it is for kid boats to be able to meet up with other kid boats. For if the kids are happy, everyone is happy.

If anyone wants to head up a 'kid's group', please contact the Poobah, who has a budget set aside for the kids.

As of today, there are 143 paid entries, which is a little bit higher than normal. Twice previously we've have over 200 paid entries, but we don't expect that many this year. Thank god. As mentioned previously, about 15% of those entered don't start for one reason or the other.

We've received a record number of multihull entries, 21 total. Wow! Of these, 19 are catamarans and two are trimarans. The cats sailing with other cats, in many cases there are sisterships, is going to be a blast — and educational.

In addition, five motoryachts have already entered, which is also a record.

Boats can sign up for the Ha-Ha until right before the start. BUT boats that sign up after October 1 will not be featured in the Meet the Fleet booklet, and there is a slight chance they will miss out on some of the swag.

At this time each year the Poobah starts to hear from entries who moan, "I'm not sure my boat will be ready, I have so much stuff to install and all the trades people are so busy."

It's true, boat workers and most yards are very busy at this time of year. The good news is that there are lots of boat workers and yards in Mexico hungry for your business. And if you base your choice of workers and yards on the recommendations of others, you can get great work done. Did you know that boat work costs less in Mexico than the States?

In just one example, the Poobah had Profligate, the 63-ft catamaran that is the mothership of the Ha-Ha, get the complete spa treatment by Peter Vargas and crew of Sea Tek at the La Cruz Shipyard. They painted the mast, the boom, twice faired and then painted the topsides, painted the bottom, painted the beams, and painted the name and hailing port back on. They did a fabulous job for an incredible bargain price. I'm not saying they are the only good yard in Mexico, but they've done three major projects on Profligate over the years, including building a much needed hardtop for the cockpit, and have always done a great job. Once again, Peter and his Sea Tek crew aren't the only ones who do good work, but they've always done the Poobah right.

The bottom line is that if your boat is seaworthy and you're just adding all kinds of gear or need painting or cushions, don't think you have to rush to get it done here in the States. You can get it done in Mexico, and most likely for a lot less. And as many have noted, it's a lot more fun getting boat work done in sunny Mexico than rushing to get it done in chilly California. Once you're in the tropics, everything is a lot more chill.

It can be hard to find a spot to keep your boat in San Diego right before the start of the Ha-Ha. Here are some of the options:
1) Yacht clubs. These are probably all booked up by now, but give them a try.
2) The Port District's 26-berth marina at the end of Shelter Island. Boats can stay for 15 days at $1/foot/night. Go to the Port of San Diego website to try to make a reservation. It may be too late, as this is a popular option.
3) Ha-Ha vet Karin Phares, now office manager of California Yacht Marina in Chula Vista, reports that about 10 Ha-Ha boats will be staging at her marina, and she still has seven more berths available. "We're going to have to buy more tequila," she says. California Yacht Marina is about seven miles from Central San Diego Bay, but Kenny Knoll, who will be doing his third Ha-Ha on his Irwin 65 Jersey Girl, has been coming up in his dinghy in the morning when there is rarely wind on San Diego Bay.
4) You can also try all the other marinas in San Diego Bay, but they may be sold out unless a lot of their fishing boats are headed south in early to mid October.
5) The San Diego Port District website also lists the three places you can anchor.
— A1, also known as La Playa Cove, right between the San Diego and Southwestern Yacht Clubs. This is a 72-hour weekend only anchorage, from 9 am on Friday to 9 am on Monday. It's perfect for Ha-Ha boats both in timing and location. But you'd better get there right at 9 am on Friday before the start of the Ha-Ha because it's limited to 40 boats, and it's also very popular with locals.
— The A9 anchorage next to the Coast Guard Air Station across from the airport. Out of county residents can stay free for up to three months, but you must sign in with the port and get a permit, and there is a limit of 20 boats. (The Port of San Diego has been a great friend of the Baja Ha-Ha, so if it's calm, they may, no promises, not be sticklers about the 20 boat limit.)
— A5 Glorietta Bay, south of the Coronado Golf Course on Coronado. There is a 72-hour limit and is good for a maximum of 20 boats. It's not the most convenient, as you have to take a car or bus or ferry to get over to the 'mainland', but it's lovely and so is Coronado.
6) A lesser known option is to anchor for up to 72 hours at Sail Bay, which is at the southwest tip of Mission Bay, which is separated from San Diego Bay by two-mile thick Pt. Loma and Ocean Beach. But it's an easy bike ride and there is Uber and buses to the Ha-Ha nexus at Shelter Island. To our knowledge there is no limit to the number of boats.
7) As mentioned before, Ensenada is yet another option, one that might be particularly attractive to smaller boats as it cuts close to 60 miles off the long first leg. And it's not that hard or expensive to get to the Shelter Island area for the Ha-Ha Skipper's Meeting and Kick-Off Party.

Speaking as the Grand Poobah, I'm very excited about this year's 25th anniversary event. If you have questions, you mail email me at, and I'll do my best to answer them as best I can in as timely a fashion as I can. My job — and my joy — is to try and help you have the safest and most enjoyable Ha-Ha possible.

The photo is of Sail Bay, Mission Bay. You cannot anchor elsewhere in the bay unless you have a very small boat because of a moderately low bridge.

Baja Ha-Ha, LLC

417 South Hill St., Suite 646
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Please note: This is a mailing address only.

Web Baja Ha-Ha

Important Dates | About the Ha-Ha (FAQs)
Latitude 38 Crew List | First Timer's Guide to Cruising Mexico
Sponsors | Alumni Lists | Links | Berthing | Home

Web site produced by Latitude 38, the West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
Click here for a list of distributors.

© 2018 Baja Ha-Ha, LLC