The famous arch of Cabo San Lucas was our goal (well, that and the “We Cheated Death Again” dance party at Squid Roe that marked the end of the Baja HaHa sail). The Captain wanted to arrive around mid-day, so he calculated we needed to weigh anchor at about 3:30 am. Ugh.
The official start of Leg 3 was scheduled for 7 a.m. which would be fine for larger boats (the longer the boat, the faster it sails). But we are only 38 feet, not 50 or 60 like some of the big boys. Several of the smaller boats opted for an earlier start so they would not arrive in the dark, or have to spend another night at sea.
But as they say, the best laid plans…..
Quick background: when anchored, the big hunk of metal (anchor) is supposed to dig into the bottom of the sea (sand, mud, loose rock) and that plus the weight of the chain you roll out keep the boat in place. If there are high winds, or the boat swings around to a different direction, or you just did a piss-poor job of setting the anchor to begin with, the boat could move and drag the anchor along the bottom of the seabed. This is called, cleverly enough, “dragging anchor”.
The Captain has an app on his iPhone called (I love this) “Drag Queen”. After we set anchor, the phone figures our current position, he inputs the maximum movement we will tolerate, and if the boat exceeds that, the Queen’s alarm goes off.
Guess what we heard at 12:15 am?
Nothing jolts you wide awake like the idea that your boat and only home may be on the move without you at the helm.
It turned out to be a false alarm, but since we were wide awake and alert anyway, we decided to just go then instead of trying to sleep for another couple hours.
By 12:45 am we were motoring out of Bahia Santa Maria. You’d think with a nearly six hour head start we would have been alone on the seas for the next day and a half, but by the next afternoon the bigger boats were coming into view on our AIS system and many of them beat us into Cabo San Lucas.
It’s a week after that leg as I write this, and I remember the leaving, and the arriving at the arch, otherwise it was just another couple days at sea, some of them bouncy, trying to sleep and maintaining the watch schedule. John caught another dorado (I never thought I would get tired of eating mahi-mahi but it’s starting to happen).
While approaching the finish line for the leg, I was eagerly anticipating snapping a picture of the arch at that one perfect moment, maybe even on video. For hours I had planned this in my head.
It was gonna be awesome.
Unfortunately, as that very moment approached, the radio came alive with Nakamal’s name and our marina slip assignment information.
We got assigned a slip in the mega-yacht basin. The slip is designed for two smallish luxury yachts and they managed to squeeze seven of us tiny sailboats into it. Nonetheless, it may be the one and only time I get to say “We are docked in the mega-yacht basin”.
Thursday – Saturday were the wrap up events of the Baja HaHa. Cabo San Lucas is a tourist mecca, lots of restaurants and bars near the marina, fun events with the HaHa group and the final wrap-up awards ceremony on Saturday. No need to write about that, you can google it and learn anything you want to know.
Each division of the “race” has a first, second and third place award. Nobody finishes worse than third in the Baja HaHa. We finished solidly – and proudly – in third place, right along with everybody else who wasn’t first or second.