Newport 30 Sea Ya, Lost at Entrance to La Paz
November 30 - La Paz, BCS

Sometimes tragedy strikes when you least expect it. Such was the case late Sunday
night when Alex Heller's Long Beach-based Newport 30 Sea Ya was destroyed at La
Paz - after enduring a very rough trip north from Cabo.

Skipper Alex Heller in happier times.

According to Heller, he and crewman Tom Church had clocked winds as high as 47
knots and seas as high as 12 feet during the trip to La Paz from the Los Muertos
anchorage. "By 1730, winds dropped and I was able to run through the La Paz
channel," he reported. Having been on the helm for nine hours, Heller then gave
the wheel to Church, who apparently veered into the shallow water of the area's
fringing reef. Sea Ya was soon hard aground. After the tide rose in the early
morning hours, Sea Ya eventually floated free, but her keel and rudder had been
badly damaged. Before they could secure her the keel broke off, flooding the hull,
and the boat ended up grounded in two feet of water.

Although Heller and Church were unharmed, the potential for resurrecting Sea Ya is
doubtful. However, the local cruiser community mounted a massive effort to salvage
as much of her gear and equipment as possible. The boat was uninsured. "It took
two weeks to get here," said Heller, "and I may be staying longer than expected."

Looking dapper on the docks of Cabo, Alex and Tom
had a great trip south with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet.
Photos Courtesy Sea Ya
Back to
Original HaHa Biography.
See Ya - Newport 30, Axel Heller, Temple city, CA

Axel's boat name says it all.  He's outta here.  Gone.
Until we met him a couple of weeks ago we couldn't understand
why he was so adamant about becoming the very first Ha-Ha
entry this year.  But after learning that he's been itching to make
the trip for over a decade, we understand his enthusiasm.  "After
thinking about this trip for 11 years, going through a divorce and
settling for a smaller boat than planned for, I am now finally
ready for my permanent vacation!"
A retired electronics ace, Axel is an active member of the Coast
Guard auxiliary, and he often volunteers to instruct classes in
safety and navigation.  Joining him on the trip south and beyond
will be Tom Church and John Gray.
Cruising Community Rallies Support for Sea Ya
December 2 - La Paz, Mexico

A horde of cruisers, some newly arrived from Cabo, assist in the salvage of Sea Ya's gear at La Paz.

Whether it be in Mexico, the South Pacific or the Caribbean, one thing that's universal about the international cruising
community is that cruisers always open their hearts to help other sailors in need.

The latest illustration occured earlier this week in La Paz, Mexico, when dozens of sailors turned out to help Alex Heller
salvage equipment and personal possessions from his battered Long Beach-based Newport 30 Sea Ya. As reported
earlier, the boat was grounded, floated free, then lost steerage and was grounded again late Sunday night.

Since her keel was ripped off and she was holed elsewhere, Heller was forced to make the heart-breaking decision to
scrap her. He will hold a dockside sale of his gear today. Hopefully he'll find an affordable replacement boat soon.

Photos Alex Heller
That's Justin on the foredeck getting stuff from
below (in the red Fairview Highschool hat), David's
on top of the cabin disassembling the boom.