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!  

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Back to La Paz

Gee it's great to be back home again... well, if you consider La Paz and

Costa Baja kind of our home... but here we are, preparing for the next leg

of our Mexican adventure.

We found a decent window to cross over, and after saying goodbye and

spending a few more hours with the children at the La Cruz English School,

we untied our lines and took off. Plamor, who was staying at Paradise

Village, headed out at the same time, and we were all anticipating the

security of buddy boating across for the two overnights we were going to

have to do. Unfortunately no one bothered to check with each other about

which route was chosen... to the west of Islas Marias, or the east? And

considering you have to stay 20 miles offshore of the entire group of

islands, as there is a prison colony on Maria Madre. So if you end up on

opposite sides of the island you are certainly not close to the other boat.

And that is what happened! We were puzzled about why we couldn't see each

other on radar, or see an AIS signal, or even raise each other on VHF. I had

a suspicion that we had chosen different paths but Lawrence was quite

convinced the rational route was the route we took, for a direct course to

Muertos..even though on our way down we had gone on the inside...It became

obvious that was not the case. We eventually managed to establish contact on

the radio, and this was confirmed. Next time I will remember to ask what the

other boat's intentions us a lot of puzzling later on!

So we really were surrounded by nothing .. seemed like no one else was out

there , except one sailboat, some very far away cruise ships and one oil


The first day and night, as predicted, was lumpy, with steep waves causing

us to bang and crash as we drove into them headfirst. ( scooped up one

little squid somewhere when the bow buried itself in the water) That bulbous

bow certainly makes for a noisy ride! But nothing too onerous, the bell

never rung so it wasn't that bad.

As usual several birds ( boobies?) were trying to land but couldn't hold on

to our railing..however we found out later they hitched a ride up top,

judging by the mess they left behind.

It was a full moon, and I saw the shadows of the birds crossing over the bow

as they hovered above trying to pick out a landing spot. I also had the good

fortune to be on watch when a pair of dolphins streaked towards us to play

momentarily in the bow wave...the moon lit them up and the phosphorescence

made them glitter .. it was breathtaking! But other than that, no whales..

or anything else for that matter.

Next day as per weather predictions everything calmed down, wind dropped and

the seas flattened. It was a great day, but an even better night. I happened

to take the sunset watch this time, and experienced that total darkness that

happens when the sun sets but the moon doesn't come up right away. I was

mesmerized by the stars! Unbelievably glorious! But watching the moon rise

was absolutely spectacular. I really have to figure out my camera, as it was

totally impossible to get a picture of that red moon rising up out of the

darkness... and once she was up in the sky it was like navigating with a

streetlight outside.

We had decided to bypass Muertos, and get to La Paz without stopping. The

weather was supposed to turn nasty the next day, so we had opted for a

longer passage to get us tied up in Costa Baja sooner. We were able to talk

to Plamor at this point but for the life of us we could not see them. In

fact we didn't catch sight of them until they came around the corner into

the inner harbour to dock! So much for safety in numbers! It was great to

tie up again at Costa Baja, there are always friendly dock hands helping

with lines, and it is a noticeably quieter marina! ( well except for the

nights when the whole complex hosts some pretty wild parties but at least

that is not every night)

entering the Costa Baja outer harbour - some biggggg boats hanging
entering the Costa Baja outer harbour - some biggggg boats hanging
out here!]
our view from the back deck - bit different from La
our view from the back deck - bit different from La

So we have reprovisioned, and Lawrence has been changing filters and fluids

in the wing engine. The weather has been nice but definitely not as warm as

La Cruz- however, it is warming up every day and I think it's only going to

get better. Locals are still wearing sweatshirts and long pants, mind you -

only us crazy gringos walking around in shorts and teeshirts.

my morning walk
my morning walk
Our plan is to head north for almost a month, catching up to Tanglewood and

maybe seeing some more wildlife, and explore places we didn't have a chance

to get to last time. Plans for the return home have changed, and we have

decided to fly out early April, spend some time with family and friends and

get to the lake to check things out and do our taxes.. then fly back down to

spend the rest of April and some of May. At that point we will drive the red

truck home, head back to the lake, and this season's cruising will be over.

All told we will have spent more time on the boat than we have ever spent up

at the lake! It has been interesting, and fun - I am always fascinated to

see how couples handle the time away vs the time home. A lot of it depends

on the grandchild equation... not having any, we aren't pulled all over the

place wishing we could be with them while we really want to be cruising. I

have a sneaking suspicion it won't make that much difference to one of us, I

will have to put my foot down when I think it's time to see family... or

make sure that we can arrange for boat visits so we have some quality time

while enjoying our cruising lifestyle. And when grandchildren do come, and

grow up a bit, travelling with granny and grandpa on their boat could become

a fun option.

I certainly don't remember ever thinking that one day we would be exploring

Mexico in our boat for months at a time.. but here we are. It is astonishing

how many people do this, and the number of persons who have been doing this

for years - either boating or living on land. What was once an inconceivable

fantasy is actually almost commonplace. I have to say kudos to the Cubar

group for organizing the voyages that allow neophytes like ourselves back in

2015, to come down the coast well prepared and surrounded by seasoned Baja

travellers. Aside from the obvious benefits of travelling in a pack, we are

grateful for the cruising friends that we have made along the way.

So we are looking forward to our voyage up north, hopefully one of discovery

where we find new ( to us ) anchorages and towns and beaches to walk, bays

to snorkel.

time to vamanos!


sandra nerreter 11/22/2017

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


Jim & Tara 8/28/2017
How exciting for you!  A new boat is always a dream come true.  I came across NRI for sale on 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.
---Reply posted by TimothySops on 2/14/2018
Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So nice to seek out someone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with slightly originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the web!
---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!)
BillC 4/27/2017
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?
Kim 10/31/2016

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 !!!


Mary Lou 5/16/2016
...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.