Baja Ha-Ha XXV 2018 Cruisers Rally
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Baja Ha-Ha XXV


California Yacht Marina in Chula Vista

"Even though our marina has filled up quite a bit this year, I still have 45-ft slips available for anyone in the Ha-Ha," reports Ha-Ha vet Karin Phares, who is the office manager at California Yacht Marina in Chula Vista.

"We already have a half dozen or so Ha-Ha entries headed our way.

"I love this time of year when cruisers come to visit on their way south. There's so much electricity in the air when they're here. Last year the Ha-Ha folks here Uber'd or shared a van when they needed to get to North San Diego Bay festivities."

California Yacht Marina is 7.5 miles from Central San Diego Bay. But any berth is a good one just before the start of the Ha-Ha, as they are hard to come by. In fact, historically a lot of Ha-Ha boats have hung a little north — Catalina, Newport Beach, Dana Point, Oceanside — until just a few days before the start of the Ha-Ha.

For those needing to get a TIP, Chula Vista isn't far at all from the Otay Mesa banjercito where you can get one quickly. You cannot get a TIP at the Mexican consulate in San Diego like you can at the consulate in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Berdoo. But as we  said in the First-Timer's guide to Cruising Mexico, we strongly recommend you don't try to get a TIP online. It's easy to get it screwed up, and you have to pay for the document to be shipped DHL.

Other pre Ha-Ha berthing options include Marina Coral and Cruiseport Marina in Ensenda, about 55 miles down the coast from San Diego. Most years there are five to 10 Ha-Ha boats that start from Ensenada. It's a particularly good option for folks with slower boats, as eliminates a decent chunk of the 360-mile first leg. Richard Carr with the Mirror 19 Offshore will be starting from Ensenada for his third Ha-Ha. 

Marina Coral in Ensenada

Starting from Ensenada does not mean you have to miss the Skipper's Meeting or Halloween Costume Kick-Off Party at the West Marine Super Store in San Diego the day before the start. Either you can work with Fito at Marina Coral, who can arrange for one of their vans to take you to and from the party, or you can do the bus and red trolley option between Ensenada and San Diego.

The Grand Poobah does the bus and trolley trip all the time, using the luxury ABC buses. They run every hour — I think on the hour — almost 24 hours a day. And it's just a moderate walk — a half mile or so — across the border where you hop on the red trolley that takes you to downtown San Diego. If you're with a group, you might want to Uber to and from the border.

Figure on it taking 3.5 hours each way. Did we mention that Ensenada has some of the greatest seafood options in the world? While in Ensenada, you can also clear into Mexico.

The Grand Poobah doesn't know about the rest of you, but with Profligate having arrived in San Diego two days ago, he's already to Ha-Ha, and hopes that you are, too.

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