October 30, 2006

Start of the Ha-ha

Hi Everyone!

What a wonderful day.

It's a bit cooler today than it's been for a while, but we got off to a great start this morning at 11:00 AM PST on the Baja Ha-ha. Next Stop, Bahia de Tortugas - Turtle Bay. At the present rate of progress, we should arrive around the middle of the day on Wednesday.

We left the Silver Gate Yacht Club Guest Dock this morning at 9:15 AM and made our way out to the start area. We arrived a bit early, so we motored around as the fleet gathered. There were 183 sign ups for this years rally and around 160 started. We'll have a better number tomorrow or so.

The start with this many boats is always a little hectic, so we held back from the crowd until after the start. After all it's a cruisers' rally and not really a race.

We were better prepared today than ever before and got our spinnaker up just at the start. The winds were light so we only were doing 5 knots or so for the first hour. Then the winds picked up (to around 15 knots maximum) and our speed picked up to. We have consistently averaged around 7.5 knots. We've even had periods in excess of 8!

It's now approaching sunset and winds are starting to diminish and move aft, so we're slowing down to under 7. We'll see how this holds and figure out what to do as we approach nightfall.

During the day we worked our way by most of the fleet and are now among the front 10% of the boats. We think, it's hard to figure as the boats have spread out all over the place.

We've had an occasional dolphin playing around the boat and have had an overall wonderful day.

That's the news from Raptor Dance - off the coast of Baja just off Ensenada.

Warmest Regards,
Bill and Mary

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