Voyage to Mexico and back

This voyage has multiple segments, with different goals for each one, and even different crews.  I’ll list them out, and then talk about them each in a bit more detail further down.  I also plan on posting a blog on how it went at the end of each segment.

Sausalito to San Diego  October 24th to November 1st
Baja Haha: San Diego to Cabo San Lucas  November 4th to 16th
Cabo San Lucas to La Paz  November 19th to 23rd
La Paz to Cabo San Lucas  November 24th to December 4th
Cabo San Lucas to Los Angeles  December 7th to 16th
Los Angeles to Sausalito  December 18th to 23rd

I’m the Captain for the entire trip south, and while we’re down in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), then when we head back to LA, another Captain takes over, and I am still on the boat as crew for the first leg of the trip north.

The biggest hurdle for this trip has been getting the boat ready.  Aside from the normal systems work and upgrades you would expect for a trip of this kind, we also had some major repairs to do.  The boat had a flooding casualty while it was being re-powered, and filled the interior of the boat about knee deep.  Every electrical system that was not designed to be submerged that was below that level has had to be repaired or replaced.  From water pumps to the auto pilot, and the bottom of the main switch panel. While it has made the prep for this trip a very involved process, and made for a very challenging timeline, it has had its upside.  Since I am doing the majority of the repair work, it has given me a much deeper understanding of the systems of the boat.  If I have time, I’ll do a write up on the prep before we go.

Sausalito to San Diego: While this leg is to get the boat to San Diego to sail in the Baja Haha, it’s also serving a larger purpose.  We are using it as part of the qualifications for myself and another instructor to get our Offshore Passagemaking instructor certification from ASA.  To meet that requirement, we are sailing offshore and out of sight of land for most of the trip, and using Celestial Navigation and Dead Reckoning, and only using GPS to check our work.  We also have to do a number of drills while we’re sailing, the major ones being simulated dismasting and jury rigging, and simulated rudder loss and steering by sail trim alone.  We will probably make one stop on the way down, at Santa Catalina Island, so we can also working out the timing and details for running this as a class with students next year.

Baja Haha: This is the annual cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with stops in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria on the way south.  Right now there are over 150 boats registered for the event. 

Cabo San Lucas to La Paz: After we’re done at the end party for the Baja Haha, we take a few days to get the boat up to La Paz, and check out a couple things on the way in preparation for the trip back down.

La Paz to Cabo San Lucas: This is the only portion of the trip with paying customers.  The trip is 11 days total, with a day in port on each end.  We will visit the islands north of La Paz, and then work our way down the west coast of the Baja Peninsula back to La Paz.  More info can be found on the Modern Sailing website at

Cabo San Lucas to Los Angeles: Los Angeles in this is being used as a general reference. This is another part of the trip that will be used for Offshore Passagemaking instructor certification.  The goal is to have the journey be over 1000 nautical miles, and once again be all celestial navigation and dead reckoning.  That puts us making landfall in either Santa Catalina or Long Beach.  At the end of this leg, I get off the boat, and hop on a bus or train and come back home.

Los Angeles to Sausalito: This leg will probably be run close to the coast  and run with standard modern navigation, and quite possibly port hopping the way up.  At this point, this leg is also a bit short handed, soI’m guessing everyone will be pretty tired at this point, and just wanting to be home.

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