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

Felicità and Salt Whistle arrived in Mazatlan in time for high tide and we’re safely and happily tied together at the dock. 🔹 Docking is not a favorite activity, especially when you have to drive through a narrow channel famous for being really shallow. 🔹 But this sweet little bird came and sat on the lifeline right as we made our approach to the channel and I like to think that was Captain Steve coming to tell me to relax. 🔹 He died four weeks ago today which makes me really sad. I wish I could call and tell him all about the awesome crossing we just did. 🔹#sailing #catalina42 #sailingcouple #mazatlan
It’s been a magnificent day of sailing. All the hard work we did to get the boat dialed in was for days like today. 🔹 And as if it could get any better… a simultaneous sunset off the stern and moonrise off the bow. #daysyoulivefor #catalina42 #sailing #seaofcortez #sunset #moonrise
All is well aboard the good ship Felicità. We’ve dialed back a bit to try to time our arrival to be at high tide tomorrow morning. 🔹And I’m going to work on making an early dinner. But first, some rest for me!
We’re having a great crossing to Mazatlan. Heavy winds this morning for about five hours, but we knew it was coming and had two reefs in the main and switched to the staysail with two reefs once the winds hit a sustained 24 with gusts to 29. 🔹 We’re crossing with our buddy boat, Salt Whistle, pictured here just moments ago. 🔹 We’re 60 miles from land and Starlink seems to be working like a champ. 🔹 We technically could switch to our Genoa as winds have dropped to 14. But, Tim is resting and I don’t want to get him up with the ruckus a sail change will cause. 🔹 Plus, we went so fast this morning, we’re about two hours ahead of schedule right now. So, for now we’ll poke along. 🔹 #sailing #catalina42 #catalina34 #sailingcouple
Tilly, our beloved @hydrovane , is back in service for our 30 hour sail across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. 🔹 It’s been a minute since she’s been out of the garage. I think Felicità perked up when Tilly arrived on the scene today. 🔹 We had an amazing sail today and anticipate that this next leg will also be a good one. #sailingseaofcortez #seaofcortez #sailing #catalina42 #sailingcouple #hydrovane
Headsail poled out, preventers on. Making the 45 mile run down to Cabo Frailes today. 🔹 If you read our tracker (link in bio), you know we were anchored in a rolly anchorage. Happy to report last night was calmer. We got some sleep.🔹 Life is good. 🤙 #sailing #catalina42 #sailingcouple
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