Firefly – From LA to Baja

Hay mas teimpo que vida!

Sail on and eat well! Track Kristin and Captain Peter as they travel from LA to Baja on “Firefly”, a 50 ft Trimaran. Check out this page to see updates of their adventure!

Day -1: From Newport to Mission Bay, San Diego

Saturday October 28 began early, as Captain Eric moved his glorious tri, Firefly, from it’s mooring to the dinghy dock for the crew to load up.

Pirate Kristin headed straight to the galley to get familiar with it and start breakfast — with a crew of four guys who had been up for hours getting the boat ready to go, no time to waste!  Today was moving the boat from its home at Lido Island in Newport Beach to the rally start-point in San Diego.  Sadly, that’s as far as Kristin gets to go; someone has to keep working a land job for now!

Breakfast today is a culturally-appropriate and Dia de los Muertos-friendly sweet potato, poblano and chorizo hash with eggs and avocados.  After peeling potatoes while the rest of the crew loaded gear, Kristin got things cooking to prevent mutiny before we even got out of the harbor!

Crewman Eric took us out alongside the early-morning rowers in the Newport Beach harbor.  He’s a local live-aboard in the harbor, so a good candidate to navigate the “rush hour!”  Crewman Larry ready to take over in case Eric decides it’s time for a morning nap.

Breakfast is served to a thumbs up from the crew!

No rest for the wicked…the guys rigged the screecher sail for a day of light air…

While Kristin got lunch marinating for a few hours…serrano ham-wrapped tuna muffalettas to come.

But first, finally out of the harbor and under sail with a course set for Mission Bay, time for a nap.  Crewman Peter has it right!  Tune in later in the week for updates from the route to Baja.  And watch future Galley Pirates posts for today’s breakfast and lunch fare!

Day 3: The Start!

After a Sunday of switching out crew — Pirate Kristin jumping a train home, and Rachel arriving from Kona, HI — as well as last boat prep, provisioning, and a Captain’s Briefing, Firefly screamed across the start with some fifty or so other boats bound for Turtle Bay in Baja Mexico!

The Baja Ha-Ha rally travels 750 miles from San Diego to Cabos San Lucas and has done for 24 years now, with 3,000 boats and 10,000 sailors having made the trip.  Firefly is crewed by folks still burdened with land jobs, so will hit the first stop in Turtle Bay, turn around and return via Guadalupe Island, weather permitting, in 10-days or so.

At last report, while still in range of US cell towers, she had left the rest of the fleet far behind and was cruising at 10kts toward Mexico!  Crewman Peter having taken over galley duties, smoked chicken and andouille gumbo was on the stove for lunch.  Fair winds, and fine fare, Firefly!

Days 4 through…oh who knows…we’re on ‘boat time!’

A lot of folks have asked whether a “rally” like the Baja Ha-Ha is a “race.”  To which boaters know the only answer: if two boats are going in the same direction…it’s a race.  Just perhaps not official.  That said, bragging rights are almost more critical in a rally than a race since there’s no official “winner.”  So here is proof of Captain Conard and Firefly in the front of the pack!

Relegated to primacy in the galley — and thus bestowed with Honorary Galley Pirate rank by Caroline and Kristin — Peter whipped up some fresh guacamole and settled back with some reading from Latitude 38 — the west coast’s answer to Spinsheet!

Someone mentioned it was Halloween back home, and the Pumpkin Sail was appropriately raised.

And what’s a better lunch after guacamole, en route to Baja, than Frito-Bag Nachos!  Galley Pirate Peter becoming veeeeerrry popular.  He may never get the helm back.

Ahhhhhh, is there ANYTHING better than setting the hook in time for a gorgeous sunset?

Turtle Bay in Baja is, first and foremost a fishing town, but welcomes the Ha-Ha every year.  The local pelican population, well they tolerate the influx of competition for their fish.

Captain Conard heads to the rally party sporting his Galley Pirates swag…thanks for the advertising, Captain!  Hope you’re taking your shirt’s advice.

Peter took a quick hike to survey Turtle Bay from a bird’s eye view.

Then headed to dinner, making sure to feed the Dia de los Muertos dog first.

Headed back north, we discovered a fantastic new breakfast.  We had a jar of our Peter’s Famous Cranberry Sauce stashed in the icebox.  It was a batch Kristin had made with local Louisiana satsumas — and a bit more of them than the recipe called for — in place of the oranges.  It is FANTASTIC over Greek vanilla or honey vanilla yogurt, and NO SCURVY!

After a LONG slog northward toward San Diego — the notorious headwinds sailing north along Baja are why there’s such a vigorous market for northbound deliveries! — the crew bartered for some lobsters from a local fisherman.  Thankfully there was enough butter left in the icebox for a true feast.