Day 1, October 31

Dear Friends—We are sorry about not sending updates more regularly. A reading of the next three emails will explain why.

We were all up early to take some of the last relaxing showers for the next 10 days. Quick breakfast, topped off the water tanks, other final tweaks and we left our slip at Sun Harbor Marina about 0930 to join the other Ha Ha boats for the parade. Incidentally, Harmony is classified in the Desparado Division for the race/rally reflecting what bad-ass sailors we are. 😉

Great day with mostly sunny skies and fairly warm. The female inmates aboard Harmony wore their orange prison garb for the start of the race in hopes of capturing a prize. Crews on other Ha Ha boats in San Diego Harbor also wore their costumes. The best were the Vikings. Their costumes looked like they were right out of a movie. An all-guy crew on one boat was dressed up in amazing iridescent green mermaid costumes complete with coconut halters.

The parade officially started with a gun at 1000 hours with all 138 boats starting from San Diego passing in review of the race/rally committee boat which contained Mexican and U.S. officials including the Mexican Consul for San Diego. Other boats will join the Ha Ha from Ensenada as we sail past. It was a thrilling sight to see all of the boats strung out in the Harbor and headed down the channel. The official starting line was at Coronado Roads which is south and a little east of the end of the harbor entrance channel. With a countdown by the Grand Poohbah over VHF radio, we all started sailing over the start line about 1100 hours. The Ha Ha had begun. The winds were fairly light out of the northwest and all of the boats stayed bunched up for many hours. Then the wind began to rise and the boats began to separate. The forecast was for light winds today and building tomorrow to 20 knots. Not so. We were all sailing downwind with gusts at 20-24 knots late in the evening and through the night. We grabbed a quick dinner of salmon burgers and other finger foods as we dealt with the rolly conditions. We reefed the genoa at 1900 hours when the wind was a steady 17 knots. We tucked in for the night and our watch schedule. Boat speed was about 7 knots.

Captain Melody, Barbara, Mike, Avghi and Jeannea