Northern Ranger Heads South - New Latitudes, New Adventures! 

We have had a change of heart - a while ago we had the opportunity to trade up to a Nordhavn 50. It was too much of a deal to pass up, and although we absolutely love the 46, we saw an opening for dealing with the un-acknowledged two foot ( four foot) itis and we bought Worknot, an N50 we had the pleasure of meeting on the 2015 Cubar cruise. The story has unfolded through this blog somewhat - and now we have done the Cubar 2017, in our new Northern Ranger II - another stellar Nordhavn that we have totally fallen in love with. 

In a perfect world, we would be able to keep the 46 up in Canada and cruise her around the Pacific Northwest, but that is not possible. We are hoping that someone will fall in love with her the way we did, and we will once again be a one boat family ( I lie .... we have about 14 little boats up at the lake and down on the coast and on the 50 - but it would be nice to divest ourself of the 46 and make someone else's life perfect the way ours was when we found her.

And so the story continues - we are back in Mexico, the future is unclear but I see more cruising ahead! And again, we have found the boat of our dreams, our forever boat, and we know she will take us on lots more adventures! 

Some photos from our two legs down to La Paz - Anacortes to San Diego, and then the Cubar Rally , from San Diego to La Paz!  

La Paz to La Cruz...the voyage continues


Best laid plans blah blah blah 

We have had some really wonderful days at Costa Baja, with friends around to hang out with at dinner ( great

restaurants here... after a week of cooking it’s nice to eat out!) We haven’t been going to the Beach Club

because of the Great  Beach Club Affair.... basically we don’t want to pay for something that used to be free

and which we supported by buying food and beverages, and tipping our servers well. Oh and we pay a fairly

substantial amount in monthly moorage fees. And take advantage of the four restaurants that are part of the

marina. But I digress. We don’t need the beach club. We like to think that they miss us more than we miss

them. Besides it’s not exactly been stinking hot in the afternoon...yet...

Anyway the time has come to cross over to La Cruz, our first order of business on this next great  boat

adventure.  Wind kept us at the dock and having friends there made it extremely easy and tempting to stay,

but we have to get moving and there appeared to be a weather window this morning.

We got away from the dock and headed out...

And of course it was windy. And as we came out of the lee of Espiritu Santu it got downright nasty. After much growling and a lot of rolling around with a few crashes ( things falling, not boats colliding) thrown in, we opted

to turn around and head up to the island and anchor somewhere out of the wind for the night. 

The boat can handle it, we can handle it, but honestly we don’t really have to. So we don’t.

Now of course various weather predictions are giving us different forecasts. Hopefully the right one will give us a window to cross. 

Espiritu Santu is a magical set of islands just a stone’s throw from La Paz. It is frequented by day-tripping

pangas schlepping  eager tourists out for a snorkel or some whale and seal watching, kayak groups who enjoy the aqua crystal warm waters and pink sand beaches, and boaters like us who have a number of bays to

explore and find shelter from the storms. This is where we last spent almost a week as the northers blew up to 45.. we opted to not choose that bay this time! A bit further along is Ensenada Grande, an anchorage on the northern island made up of three different sized lobes. You can anchor several boats  in each one, but yesterday

there were only two boats total  and the most northerly bay was empty. Perfect!

I had hoped to be somewhere special to watch the lunar eclipse and the red blood blue moon (or something

like that).. however as the evening darkened the clouds thickened and I was apprehensive about even seeing

the moon let alone the eclipse.

And sure enough... no lunar shots for me. However  my overly active dreamimagination took over and I had

two rather fun dreams about watching the moon from several different exotic locations on the boat so I didn’t

feel as though I missed anything.  Much.

This morning I cooked a breakfast of oatmeal and we left the anchorage nice and early. 

It was calm, it was warmer, but it was cloudy. I will take cloudy if it means no wind.

As soon as we rounded the south end of Espiritu Santu I had both lines in the water, but the only 

entertainment of an aquatic nature was one solitary whale, a pod of dolphins, lots of baitfish... and not much

else. Silver lining- didn’t have to kill a fish today. I was ready though.. have my turkey baster and bottle of

cheap vodka ready to anesthetize the fish before I have to do my fish bonking...and all the other stuff I won’t

mention that has to be done before the fish is ready to cook.  It’s a lot of work... just saying...but worth it..ugly

job but someone’s gotta do it.

We came around into Bahia des Muertos in the mid-afternoon and had pretty much our pick of spots to anchor - we stayed away from the four or five sailboats already settled in and got ourselves firmly hooked.  As soon as we were done, a big old sailboat came barreling in straight for us - he stopped not that far away, went forward and dropped his anchor, and then disappeared belowdecks. We laughed, because really, what else can you do? A huge bay with tons of space and you get close enough to almost touch us? As the afternoon slid into evening more and more sailboats have come in. Those that choose  to anchor close to us are in for a bit of a surprise when we start up our engine at midnight and leave.  Ah well... no wind, no one is swinging, it’s all good. We hope.

Later - we had dinner early and went to bed.  Muertos is a good anchorage, a popular spot for fishermen to

drop their boats in the water and head out. There is a good restaurant on the beach, and some small resort

rentals. Up on the hills are huge houses, owned by who knows whom but they definitely have money! The

beach is long, with lovely sand and some very interesting rock formations that look more like fossils than rocks. We didn’t get a chance to go ashore this time - quick dinner, a few hours sleep, and we were gone by 1230

am. The full moon behind the clouds provided good light, somewhat obscured and soft but still good for

travelling. I love it when the full moon also doesn’t set until the sun comes up - makes for more comfortable

night cruising. Travelling in inky darkness, even with radar and good charts, electronic and otherwise...can be a bit nervous-making.

Lawrence took the first watch and I got in the first  chance to sleep. It was pretty calm when I went to  bed..

and I was surprised to actually get a few hours in. However by the time I woke up I could tell the wind was

picking up. I took over, and although the wind was steadily crawling up, the seas were staying relatively calm. Lawrence took over again around 0800 and surprisingly enough I got a few more hours in. This time the wind

definitely picked up - now it is about 20 - 22. However at this point the seas are still just choppy. The sun has

come out too. There are big clouds all around us though and I worry about lightening and thunder.  Not in the

forecast... but who believes in those things 100 %?

So we appear to be less than halfway across, between Cabo and Mazatlan. But we aren’t going to Mazatlan so we still have a ways to go! When I think about it, this is probably going to be the furthest from land we have

been.



Friday morning, 0732

Sun has risen - we have had one and a half nights and this will be our second full daytime leg - we are abeam of the Islas Marias but over 20 miles away because that is how far you are  supposed to stay away from  them..lovely islands, penal colony, they think poorly of people getting too close.  20 miles at least it is!

Last night was good - first of all we seem to have definitely figured out the watch rhythm, and even sticking to

three on three off we get lots of sleep. When we aren’t on watch, or making a meal or doing engine room

checks...we are sleeping. 

There was to be a course change in the early hours so our watch reflected that - I fed us ( leftover leftovers...

chicken and beans and rice done Mexican style can be turned into so many different things!!! ) and then took

over.  It was cloudy and rainy... a bit windy... but not rough. As the sun set a couple of birds did some recon on the boat and then, one by one, they settled onto the rail at the bow.  It took bird number two a while to get

himself down...and when he did he sidled  up to the first bird until they were huddled together , and the two proceeded to preen. That lasted almost my whole watch... I went to bed, after pointing out various fish boats and other issues and the birds, of course, to Lawrence.  Three hours later, there was another bird on board. Identifying them at night was hard... big... not gulls... not frigates... maybe boobies? Gannet? Anyway - one more sleep and when I woke up at six they were still 

As the sun came up I got lots of pics of them, silhouetted in the beautiful sunrise...no one seemed too

concerned...

Back inside, Lawrence and I were talking about something and both looked up in time to see a splash the size of Krakatoa not that far off our bow. My once in a lifetime Fox Talbot moment and I missed it! So worried about the silly birds ( yes they pooped on the bow) that I missed seeing one of Nature’s most magnificent creatures

do what had to have been a complete out of the water broach or breach RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE

BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE!   

One can only dream about something like that. Ah well... We saw the splash. We know it happened.

And now- we still have one very silly youngster who refused to leave when his parents did, although they

cajoled and threatened...and even the human with the camera did not get him off the rail. So there he sits.

A picture of misery, scanning the skies every few minutes, gazing  into the water wondering if a meal will

magically appear, and the object of ridicule as several elegant terns have swooped by close enough to have

only been taunting him.

Sun is up, he’s all dried off after last night’s deluge.... time to leave the nest and get launched, buddy!

 

Huh.. just put down my computer and went to get my hat and when I returned he was gone. Guess his friend

or parent or sibling convinced him it was time! Or he got really hungry.

 

After a few days of clouds, this looks to be a beauty. Wind has died back down ( it got up to around 22 - 25 at one point ) seas are just the tiniest bit choppy or rolly- and I have a foredeck to wash later on before we get to La Cruz.  Don’t want to be handling lines and fenders and stepping in that stuff!!!

 

 

Anddddd... we are here. We were treated to the most amazing  whale show ever as we cruised into the bay.

 

We were given our slip assignment - close to Colibri!


And we were tied up and receiving visitors within an hour. Our friends showed us a great place to eat that included dancing horses( who doesnt love dancing horses!)

(don’t think good restaurants will be a problem here) and then gave us dessert and a tour of their lovely condo after. This seems to be the place where everyone thinks they have discovered a hidden gem... everyone! Gringos of all walks abound- old salts in old shorts with long white pigtails and flip flops, white-haired women in walking

shorts and tight tees clutching a water bottle in one hand and a cel in the other... with a small dog at the end of a leash somewhere in there... tanned and fit and definitely established mommies with scampering blonde

children playing with the Mexican children ... and people like us, eyes round like saucers, skin still northern

pale, wandering over uneven cobblestone and broken sidewalks hoping we don’t wrench an ankle. 

But there are lots of smiles, it’s gorgeous and green here, and I think we will have a good time. 



 

La Cruz is small town on the north side of Banderas Bay. Originally a fishing village, the creation of a large

marina with an extended breakwater gave the town a new appeal. We talked to several people from Canada

and the US who discovered this town years ago and have enjoyed its quiet nature, compared to Puerto

Vallarta, their boisterous neighbour to the south. 

Whether they come by boat, car, or plane, many people have fallen in love and now make La Cruz their home, especially in the winter.

The town square has some beautiful examples of the Huanaxactle tree, from which the town got its full name -according to the story a woman was buried beneath one of the trees. Whatever the story, the trees are

magnificent!




There is a good anchorage too, very secure and well-utilized by numerous sailors who are able to come into the marina with their dinghy to use the facilities and go into town for supplies.

We have paid for three weeks here, and I am hoping to take advantage of the Spanish lessons and free yoga,

as well as do some exploring with friends who live here. And maybe just maybe we will get to take part in turtle releasing! Bucket list stuff!

 


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Comments

Loved reading your blog Penny.   How will I know when you post something or do I have to go in and "look"?

 

 sandra nerreter  11/22/2017

 Reply

How exciting for you!  A new boat is always a dream come true.  I came across NRI for sale on yachtworld.com which brought me here, and I have enjoyed reading your blog entries.  It has been my life's dream to own a N46 for my wife and I to retire to, one day.  We can always dream!  Fair winds and following seas to you, and maybe we will see you along the way, some day.

 Jim & Tara  8/28/2017

 Reply

---Reply posted by TimothySops on 2/14/2018
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---Reply posted by Penny Talbot on 8/28/2017
Hi Jim and Tara! thanks for the kind words... we have loved NRI and she is a wonderful vessel to retire on - hold onto the dream, and I hope that you find your forever boat waiting for you in the future! ( just not ours... although that would be lovely... but we would really like to sell her earlier than later.. she has many many miles end years of adventures in her yet and she needs to be out there making someone very, very happy!)
Cheers!
Penny

Looks kinda hot. Still be rainy and cool here for a few months. WAnt to trade? No really that sun can be very bad for your skin. And any more than 5 drinks a day can be bad for you, but need 7 for hydration, or at least good dance moves. What's a girl to do?

 BillC  4/27/2017

 Reply

GREAT photos Penny !!!  Sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure !!!!

Travel safe and we will see you soon, in La Paz at Costa Baja !!!

Kim

 Kim   10/31/2016

 Reply

...getting up at 3 in the morning to look at the stars... I love it, such a picture in my mind. I'm so enjoying your travels Penny. I feel like I'm in your back pocket...learning so much about living on the water.

 Mary Lou  5/16/2016

 Reply

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