Friday, October 28, 2011

Mexican Odyssey

With the clock ticking down to the start of the Baja Ha-Ha Rally we put Interabang in a slip at Cabrillo Isle Marina near the San Diego airport.  We were busy for a solid week.  Days were focused on completing a long list of boat projects and provisioning for our voyage down the Baja California Coast.  Evenings were spent with great friends.  The car that Roy and Mary Roque loaned us was a godsend.  Ken and Monica of Endeavor loaned us a fabulous Mexico cruising guide, and gave us a ‘comal’ for warming tortillas and making quesadillas.  We had great fun with Jeannie and David and they gave us many great cruising tips, educated us on Mexican pastries, and gave us an awesome cruising cookbook.  Darrell and Sarah of El Tiburon had us over for cocktails and filled in many of the blanks about our entry into Mexico.  Marina life is expensive and cushy - no worries about making water or keeping the batteries charged – nice, but a little boring.  On Sunday, Chuck, our crew, landed at the San Diego airport and walked across the street to our marina.  Time to get this Baja party started.

Jeanne and David visiting us at Cabrillo Isle
The rally started on the morning of October 24 and it was time to shift into sailing mode once again.  A parade of boats was scheduled before the start of the race.  Wanting to avoid the frenzy of all the rally boats leaving at once, we were the first to leave the dock and creep our way to the parade staging area.  A half hour later we and one hundred fifty other sailboats were slowly motoring to the start line.  The Dolphin, a large sport fisher, presided over the fleet with TV cameras and local dignitaries looking on.  Trisha blew the horn wildly, trying hard to get us on TV.

With light winds, the race organizer announced on the radio that it was “time to get out of town” and start motoring to Mexico.  A few hours later, the fleet had sailed into Mexican waters.  We celebrated the event by drinking a Tecate beer and dutifully raising the Mexican flag on the starboard spreader.  There was still no wind to speak of, so the fleet motor sailed at six knots through the night and into the following morning.  The next day brought more wind and the most glorious day of sailing.  We raised the symmetrical spinnaker at about 1000 and spent eight hours screaming southeast.  At one point, Trisha heard a boat on the radio say, “The boat with the blue spinnaker is kicking my ass.”  It was a sweet ride.
Derrick and Chuck toasting the border crossing

Flying the "kite"
The next night we motor sailed with full main dead down wind with six to eight foot following seas.  Every three minutes or so we would catch a large wave and surf down its face.  Interabang’s hull speed is just shy of eight knots, but with the boat surfing we are able to reach much higher speeds.  At one instant, speed over ground was 10.6 knots on the GPS.  This is wicked fast and we had a great time surfing through the night.

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