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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La Cruz

Well we finally made it!

The weather gods looked kindly upon us, and we were able to achieve our goal of crossing to the other side just in time to have dinner with Sea Level II and then say goodbye to them!

Our original plan had been to head to Muertos just around the corner, grab some sleep, and then head across and down around midnight. The weather made us change our minds... it looked good! Forecast was favourable, and the waters were docile, so we just kept on going.

Great decision! It was 48 hours , approximately 400 miles, of some of the best seas we have cruised on. Even at night those pesky winds didn't get higher than 15.. it was a long slow roll from behind most of the way down, then it switched as we passed the tip of the Baja and we were taking them on the nose.

All in all totally comfortable.

 
just the way we like it!
just the way we like it!
 
As night fell and the moonless sky turned dark I was once again blown away by the stars. The Milky Way was like a white puddle spreading out across the sky... Orion's Belt and Sirius were absolutely brilliant... and best of all, there was very little traffic on the water so no 'which way do I go???" moments. Favourite view was coming up one morning before the sun rose and the moon had finally come up and it was a perfect " star-dogged moon".. stunning...

 
a star dogged moon
a star dogged moon
 
We settled into our shifts relatively easily. Although we usually try for three hour shifts, on such a short crossing I don't mind stretching it out, providing I'm not seeing double or mistaking stars for cruise ships...or vice versa which I guess would be worse.

Basically with just the two of us we try to give the other as much sleep as they need but also recognize that sometimes even two hours is too much time to be awake - which means you can go roust out the sleeping crew member and let them take over!

 
sliding into the night
sliding into the night
 
 
here comes the sun!
here comes the sun!
 
I love night passages - easy to say after this one, as it was marvellously uneventful. But still.. we have had some rough nights and long passages and I still enjoy it. The other half is not so keen. Maybe it's because, although his usual role is that of perennial optimist, out on the water especially at night some of my pessimism seeps into him. On the other hand, I seem to empty all negative thoughts from my brain and just live in the moment. The ocean, the stars, the phosphorus glittering in the waves... the dolphins lit up around us , chasing the bow waves... even the silly squid darting through the water and sometimes ending up on our deck. ( this trip eight made it to the lower deck and one particularly athletic soul ended up on the top deck! )

Missed my chance for calamari though as I didn't collect them until they had had a chance to dry out and deposit lovely black squid-prints on the deck.

 
orange sunset... gorgeous.. but no green flash.... rats!
orange sunset... gorgeous.. but no green flash.... rats!
 
We made good time in spite of the initial current working against us. At times I saw 9 1/2 knots, although we never changed the rpm (1600). As we worked our way south it was fun to see the temperature rise, as well as the humidity, and not so fun to see the engine room temp rising along with it. New keel cooler is hopefully in our future, one that is appropriate

for the size of engine on the boat. And another engine room fan... one of these days!

Our arrival time had been estimated to be around 1000 after 48 hours of cruising, but with the good speed we made, in spite of slowing down to try to get us there at that time, we still came into Banderas Bay around 0830. No sign of life at the marina office so we just idled around outside the bay, hoping to see some whales, but unfortunately they were uncooperative this time! One whale hell-bent on going somewhere else and a small pod of dolphins were all we saw.

 
circling Banderas Bay
circling Banderas Bay
 
We connected with Sea Level II and decided to tie up next to them in one of the empty slips until we could get our assignment, which worked out perfectly. Finally a chance to hang with our cruising friends... we really missed seeing everyone this year!

 
Sea Level reunion!
Sea Level reunion!
 
 
why I didn't get a photo of the two boats when they were next to each other Is beyond me... last chance to see them together... for a while.... maybe...
why I didn't get a photo of the two boats when they were next to each other Is beyond me... last chance to see them together... for a while.... maybe...
 
The only downside is out on the big-boy docks the swell is unbelievable and no amount of springs and lines reduce it. However it was for just a night and by the next morning I decided I would have been happy to stay out there. It was quiet- the party boats take off and land from the inner harbour and provide all sorts of entertainment, so the outer docks are somewhat quieter. However there are lots of comings and goings on the smaller docks so there's always something, or someone, to watch!

We had dinner at the marina restaurant Frascati- with Piredmus crew Tim and Michelle, who had decided to head north with Sea Level II (convoys are always more fun!)

Then we went to bed... and slept like logs. I didn't even wake up when Sea Level started up and chugged off at 0530. Quel surprise!

Their original plan had been to pick up their crew in San Jose del Cabo and then rendezvous with Piredmus in Mag Bay, taking advantage of the opportunity to whale watch..however all weather apps, charts, and Omni Bob indicated a different narrative. The ocean for the foreseeable future was turning a rather alarming shade of purple and red on the charts, indicating high winds and seas up to 15 feet with a 10 second period. Ugly.

Schedules... they will either run like clockwork or kick you in the butt. They certainly aren't for the faint of heart, which may explain why we tend to avoid hard dates at all costs.

We were just lucky that we found a good window to cross, and that was just for 48 hours. Doing the bash up to San Diego in March means windows are few, far between, and fickle.

We are disappointed that our own unforeseen glitch in scheduling makes a trip down to Barra Navidad a non-starter, but there is always next year. This is a great place to get lost in, between people watching ( we are a minority power boat amongst a sea of grizzled sailors and young exuberant families getting themselves ready to cross oceans ... although some of them have been getting ready longer than others!) and the actual town of La Cruz which has grown some new condos since we were here last, but still maintains the same small fishing village vibe that we come for. A side trip to Buceras and into PV the other day confirmed our decision to stay here rather than anywhere else. Crazy busy!

And the Sunday market has doubled in size and as long as we get there early it's great, with food, vegetables, clothing, art, and local crafts ... brilliant!

The offending hot water heater part has been ordered from Amazon, to be delivered to our friend's house sometime at the beginning of April . Speaking of hard dates... I am a bit nervous about this, but I guess if it doesn't arrive before we have to leave ( weather gods rule)... we'll get it somehow or another.

So that means several more weeks here... no hardship, and there are some more adventures to organize. Yesterday our friends drove us up to the beach just north of here, for a few hours of beach time and some swimming. Great place to bring your lounging apparatus, a cooler of snacks and drinks, and a good book or good conversation. Also great for some long-distance whale watching!

 
umbrellas at the beach, beautiful day for some sand and surf
umbrellas at the beach, beautiful day for some sand and surf
 
 
 
 
flight of The pelicans
flight of The pelicans
 
 
fairly large yellow bellied sea snake washed up on the beach..no one wanted to touch it or help it, kinda see their point, as it is very poisonous...one of those things you know exists but put in the back of your mind and hope never to see in the water....
fairly large yellow bellied sea snake washed up on the beach..no one wanted to touch it or help it, kinda see their point, as it is very poisonous...one of those things you know exists but put in the back of your mind and hope never to see in the water....
 
 
nice place for a walk
nice place for a walk
 

Comments

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 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.
---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! http://hellowh983mm.com
---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
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 !!!

Kim

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.