This upwind trip along the desert (and mostly deserted) coast of the Baja Peninsula between Cabo San Lucas and San Diego is known as The Baja Bash. It has a reputation for being a chore because the sailing is often uncomfortable and difficult. It is a price many are willing to pay to sail that same 750 miles downwind the “right way” in the Baja Ha-Ha.
It is the first time we’ve done The Bash because we sailed previous Ha-Ha’s on Corsair 31s. These can be folded, loaded on a trailer, and towed behind an average-sized pickup truck or SUV. Orange, being a more substantial boat, is not so easy to break down and transport overland, so she would be sailing back on her own bottom.
We sailed out of Cabo San Lucas on Sunday, November 10, with Rick Waltonsmith (owner of Transit of Venus) and Danna Pomykal of the SF Bay Area. Both are experienced sailors looking for adventure and to see what The Bash was all about.
It was a surprisingly pleasant trip considering its reputation, but we did get lucky with the weather. The afternoon of the second day out of Cabo was rough and windy, but that was the only really bad weather we had. One afternoon was so calm and glassy that we got out the SUP and wakeboarded behind the boat for fun.
Marine life was out and about during the trip. We saw hundreds of dolphins, a few whales, sea lions, and flying fish.
It took a while getting to Bahia Santa Maria due to strong headwinds, but after that, we were able to keep up a good pace motorsailing with moderate wind and mostly-flat seas. We arrived in San Diego in less than six days, nearly two days ahead of our planned best-case arrival. With time to spare and some nice weather ahead of us, Danna and I abandoned our plans to fly north from San Diego and sailed Orange the rest of the way up to Ventura by way of Avalon.
The Bash was hardly a chore for us, but our timing just happened to be right. It is said that the most dangerous thing on a boat is a calendar. This is particularly true for The Bash because the geography, current, and prevailing wind combine so that even moderate weather makes progress so difficult and slow that it’s just not worth the effort. Better to wait until there is clear weather ahead before venturing out. If you do, The Bash can be a lot of fun.