Baja Ha-Ha Sets Sail

Nearly 200 sailboats filled the bay as they headed south.

By Susan Taylor
|  Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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Nearly 200 sailboats left <a title=San Diego Monday for the 760-mile trip to Cabo San Lucas." />

Nearly 200 sailboats left San Diego Monday for the 760-mile trip to Cabo San Lucas.

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You've heard of tailgating, road trips and even redneck yacht clubs but what happened Monday on San Diego Bay gives "party trip" a whole new meaning.

Nearly 200 sailboats left San Diego as part of the Baja Ha-Ha, a two week trip to Cabo San Lucas.

Leaving for Mexico isn't anything new. "It's like the birds and the whales and everything else. South is a good direction to go when winter is coming," said Baja Ha-Ha spokesperson John Arndt.

But the owner of a sailing magazine decided to put out an invite to the sailors who made the annual trip to all leave at the same time. Thirty of them showed up. Now, 16 years later, the Baja Ha-Ha rally has grown. For this trip, 193 boats registered and Arndt believes 180 set sail Monday.

The boats sailed past the western tip of Shelter Island earlier monday  morning. They'll stop in Turtle Bay, Santa Maria and end up in Cabo San Lucas on November 7.

"Every day it gets warmer and warmer and warmer. It gets better and better sailing the further south you go," Arndt said. "Of course you meet a lot of friends on this trip."

When Mexico cities put out food, drink and music on the beach to meet the boats, it's easy to understand how friendships are formed.

The event is touted as the largest offshore sailing event on the West Coast. Follow the trip on the Latitude 38 blog.

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