WOW WE REALLY ARE GOING TO MEXICO !!

The Ha Ha departed at 11:00 from an imaginary line
outside San Diego Bay.  Engines off & the 1st boat to
cross the start line at 11:00 with it's Spinnaker up
wins a bottle of Pussers Rum.
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1st Sunset off the Coast of Mexico,
We expect many more to come ;)
We're ready, the helmsman is steering towards the
start, the foredeck crew has the Spinnaker sock up
and is ready to pop the chute, we are close to the line,
not too close and we are within sight of the rally
committee boat...  The captain notes the light wind and
commands the sock be pulled up, so that the Spinnaker
.
let's see now, Maureen is making faces, maybe I had better not retell this entire trip one
hour at a time.

The first leg is 3 days & 2 nights.  The beginning of the race, the wind was light, but we were
sailing to Mexico.  We had our spinnaker up and all day the wind built, we were flying south
beautifully.  The 1st big tactical decision regards going inside or outside of Islas Los
Coronados.  We chose to sail fast, the long way and stayed outside along with 1/3 of the
fleet.  Beautiful sailing and sometimes head to head racing with boats we crossed wakes
with.  A great day, and neither Katherine nor David were green yet.  We might lose the rally
to a boat on the inside of the island or even farther out to sea, but we beat everybody we
are close to in our imaginary head to head sprints.

Unfortunately the foredeck crew leader (David again) had tied the tack of the Asymetric
spinnaker to the bow pulpit not the anchor pulpit.  At some point Maureen and David were
questioning the trim of the Spinnaker and David realized the bow pulpit was now pointing
skyward (to quote the previous owner, another lesson learned ...)

About 23:00 the winds died, and Maureen commanded the iron gennaker (diesel) be started.
 The rally rules allow motoring as long as the ships log reports sail vs. motor time accurately.  
On this 1st leg, we had some good wind, and some dead times.  50 miles offshore and the sea
glassy and rolly.  Our log shows that we sailed 36% of the 1st leg & motor sailed 64%.The
watches the first leg were Justin & Maureen 4 hrs than Katherine and David the next 4.  
Somehow the kids are able to sleep on their off watch, all day, whenever ... David & Maureen
have not yet got the hang of sleeping when we are supposed to, so we feel pretty fatigued at
times.

Our final night at sea, as we were coming down a channel between islands, brought the
densest fog we'd seen since departure day in SF.  While Justin & Maureen had watch the
radar was our only source of vision.  Naturally we see a blip on radar coming in from the
west.  Closer & closer it approaches on the screen, outside all we can see is the reflection of
the red & green running lights in the mist.  Just as stress levels are reaching maximum,
Justin looks out the window and lo and behold, there is a boat out there!  Fog lifts just in
time to avoid waking the surly crew currently off watch !

The morning of the 3rd day, about 8am we came into Turtle Bay and dropped anchor.  Rum
rations for all hands, we sailed excellently, and really minimized the use of our diesel engine.  
Land fall is spectacular, beautiful desert hills, beach and a curious small Mexican village.
                                                                                                                                          -D
Some good fun
on la playa
Tenacious at
anchor in Bahia
De Los Tortugas
Duke is ready to go
back to the big
Party after a stroll
to a sand dune
dude, like  click on
the chart dude
the town of Turtle bay is in the "bust" mode following the "boom" when it was a thriving fishing
village with a sardine factory.  Dusty roads, dilapidated buildings, a rickety old pier, and a couple
of restuarants.  The panga's zoom around the bay picking up garbage from the cruisers ($2 per
bag, we need to get bigger garbage bags!), bringing ice, picking up laundry, serving as taxis
etc...We'd heard plenty about the challenges of landing your dinghy on the beach in the
breakers-we had the wheels on, the safety bracelet in place, Duke had his life jacket on-We were
ready!  David timed our approach perfectly and we floated in easily onto the beach-what's the big
deal?  OK, so Duke has a thrilling time on the beach and eventually we drag the dinghy back into
the water to head for home.  Immediately it becomes clear that departing the beach in breakers is
going to be much more difficult than landing.   We climb up one wave & CRASH on the other
side, now a bigger wave is coming at us and wouldn't you know, it breaks right on top of us.  I
duck so David gets drenched as much as Duke and I in the front of the dinghy.  This experience
pretty much establishes Dukes' attitude towards the dinghy for the next month...He knows he has
to get into it in order to get to the beach, but he really hates the dinghy!


Do these two
slacking swabs
really have the
watch ??
will fill early and we can cross the start line in full sail.  11:00 the cannon sounds,   ooops, the
wind is really light, the helmsman (captain David) has us on a down wind approach to the line,
maybe if he would have turned up to a beam reach the chute would have filled...  maybe if we
were slightly closer to the line, closer to the committee boat ...  oh well.  Not too far away to
the south, a better captained crew crosses perfectly and earns the rum, next time, we'll be
ready, next time.
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