At Last! We Have a Departure Date.

It’s official, in 170 days, we’ll point Felicità south, bound for Cabo San Lucas. We’ve opted to join the Baja Haha, an annual rally where cruisers headed for Mexico all depart San Diego on the same day. It’s a 750 nautical mile trip from SD to Cabo and will take us 12 days.

Tim was fairly neutral about our joining the rally, while I felt pretty attached to the idea. My rationale had nothing to do with safety or leveraging the rally organizers as resources–both reasons that some people opt to join the ARC in the Atlantic or the Pacific Puddle Jump in the Pacific. The trip to Cabo is fairly straight forward (go south-and then turn left when you don’t see land). It’s less complex than most of the blue water miles we’ve done. Plus, we just did the trip with our friend, Onno, last year.

So, why my attachment?

First, by joining the rally (and spending the money to join), barring anything catastrophic, we have a specific date that we have to depart. The reality is that there will always be one more (or 10) thing to do. One more part to order. One more email to send. At some point, we just have to go. So, Halloween 2022 it is!

The second reason is the anticipatory/celebratory element of the rally. We’ve been explicitly working toward this day for 4.5 years and implicitly for decades. While this moment is understandably not a big deal to most people who are not us (and, is a little bittersweet for some of our friends and family), for us it’s a BIG FREAKING DEAL. It’s going to be super fun joining in on the festivities in the week leading up to departure and to join the parade of boats as we all exit San Diego Bay together.

And, finally, there is the social aspect. The rally organizers host four parties. One in San Diego, two along the way, and a final party in Cabo. So there will be lots of opportunity to meet fellow cruisers (lots of boats already entered) who we’ll likely bump into (hopefully, not literally) while we cruise through Mexico over the next couple of years.

Not to mention the fact that our great friend, Michelle and her mate, Mike, will be jumping on as crew. Michelle and I met in 2016 on an offshore training passage in the Caribbean. And then, Michelle, Tim, and I sailed from Maryland to St. Thomas together. In the years since that trip, we’ve both met our sailing mates with whom we made big sailboat purchases. Michelle and Mike are the proud owners of a Caliber 40 that lives in Galveston, TX. She’s a great shipmate and we’re looking forward to getting to know Mike!

Only 57 projects left on the list. That seems like a lot, but we’ve completed 134 projects — probably more that never got written down. And, even more noteworthy is the fact that all major projects are complete.

This time next month, I’ll be back in San Diego and the shakedown sailing begins!


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Meet Gretchen & Tim

Meanwhile, over on Instagram

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