<<Written on April 19, 2022>> As I write this, we are approaching Panama City, and the Panama Canal. Last night was our last night anchored in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific is home. It’s been home since we bought our first boat, an Old Town canoe that we paddled around Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island, Washington, where we once lived. That was 2001. Twenty-one years of being home on the Pacific are about to come to a conclusion when we transit the Panama Canal later this month. We found ourselves floating around in the Pearl Islands thinking about this, and about how much we have loved living on Red Rover in the Pacific. And with that, this post was born. Here we go! Alison and Kevin’s favorite places – Red Rover Pacific Addition!
Top 20 Favorites – not in order of love, but rather of geography
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
What’s not to love? Incredible vistas, whales, puffins, sea otters, glaciers, a feeling of being very small in an enormous, natural world.
Totem poles, a charming town with Russian roots, memorable meals out, watching the fishing fleet prepare for their trip north.
Takatz Bay, Baranof Island, Alaska
Waterfalls, mist, waterfalls and more waterfalls. Stunning.
Tracy Arm, Alaska
Navigating the ice bergs (aka bergie bits), a thundering glacier, waterfalls and a dance party.
Joe’s Bay, Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island, British Columbia
“I think we’re alone now.” And we were. Kayaking, dog swimming, wilderness.
Bacchante Bay, Clayoquot Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Steep cliffs, misty mornings, bears and beauty.
Toba Wilderness Marina, Toba Inlet, Desolation Sound, British Columbia
Hiking with Leo and Mamie – N60 Paradise Found, Dig and Pam – MV Rubenesque. Stunning vistas, friends and waterfalls via dinghy.
Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Washington
Oh, so many memories, with Red Rover and our previous boat, MV Island Dog. Hiking with “walk-tails,” kayaking, relaxing. Sunsets…
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
Forever a favorite through all of our boating. But… what about that 4th of July with Shawn and Elizabeth on N43 MV Freedom where the Nordhavns were rafted?
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Turning 50 with Deb, Craig and Julia on the boat, swimming with whale sharks, Carnival 2020 (crazy fun), morning walks on the Malecon. Tacos. And more tacos.
Turning 50 during Carnival!
Loreto and Marina Puerto Escondido, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Our second home. People we love. Hiking with the crew, wandering, anchoring and a fishing tournament that included Sunday Funday with Deanna and Hilda. Friendly, charming Loreto.
V-Cove, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Caves, cliffs, a white sand beach and turquoise water. Three weeks on the hook with Hugo and Michelle N55 Gitana, and many more days spent blissed out in this 2-boat anchorage.
San Juanico, Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Incredible geology, rock formations, beaches, snorkeling, hiking, organic farm visit during COVID, friends.
La Picazon and Isla Coronado, Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Diego and Anna and their family. Lazy afternoons and the best margaritas in the world. People who live in our heart. Hiking the volcano on Coronado, watching rays dance, white sand beaches. Hilarious evenings at anchor with friends old and new, and sing alongs on the flybridge under the stars.
There are margaritas on Red Rover. Stu has been enjoying them as well.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bay of Banderas, Mexico
A real Mexican town that embraces the cruising community. Pat and Alexa N50 Noeta love. Dance parties on Red Rover with paletas, eating our way around town. Building an ofrenda for Dia de Los Muertos.
Dia de los Muertos shrine
San Christobal, Chiapas, Mexico
Stunning light, friendly town, indigenous Mexican experiences. Hot chocolate at sidewalk cafes. Wandering galleries.
This is one of our favorite places we’ve been on land.
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Jungle! Monkeys, toucans and scarlet macaws. Crazy fun adventures with Doug and Mary – N46 One Life. Peaceful corner of the world.
Islas Secas, Golfo de Chiriqui, Panama
White sand beaches, palm trees, jagged rocks, incredible snorkeling.
Coiba Marine National Park, Panama
Untouched beauty, on the surface and below the water. White tipped sharks, sea turtles, incredible sea life and snorkeling.
The beaches of Las Perlas Islands, Panama
What I always dreamed a beach could look like…
And a bonus (added after this was written!) – Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
History seeps out of every corner. Stunning building restorations proudly face the sidewalk. Guna women sell their wares on corners. The incredible story of building the canal can be felt, and learned throughout this neighborhood. Oh and the food!
20 Moments and Memories
Ahhh. But, what about ________ (fill in the blank)? It is impossible to choose. But, then again, there are favorite memories and experiences that while they aren’t in our top 20 destinations, they are moments that keep popping up in our happy conversations. Here are 20 of them. There are so many more.
San Francisco Chinatown and the Golden Gate Bridge
“Heading out to San Francisco…” croons Jimmy Buffet. Maiden voyage of Red Rover from San Diego to Seattle. Going under the Golden Gate Bridge. Chinatown dinner with “crew” – Laura, John, Richard, Grandpa Darrel
Slow afternoons at the dock, and the Harbour Public House in Winslow, Washington on Bainbridge Island
A weekend escape, happy place during the years of Monday-Friday work in Seattle. A destination with many, many friends.
Dixon Entrance at sunrise, entering Alaska
Arriving in Alaska at sunrise, coffee in hand, feeling a sense of accomplishment.
First NAPS, Port Ludlow, Washington
Small but mighty, the first Nordhavns Around Puget Sound. Ribs cooking in everyone’s galley. Nordhavn Family.
Leaving our slip for the last time… Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle
What a feeling! We’re going cruising!
Octopus Island sign making, Octopus Islands, British Columbia
Rain, rain and more rain. Carving and coloring our boat signs with Dig and Pam – MV Rubenesque. Adult beverages.
Pizza Party Shutdown, Blackfish Sound, the Broughtons, British Columbia
“I thought you’d be a bunch of 20-somethings.” Having our Pizza Dance Party with Leo and Mamie N60 Paradise Found shut down by the fishing lodge manager.
Big Left Turn, Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean, Washington
We’d dreamed of it for years. And then it happened. “Cool Change” on the stereo. Alison barfing. Four of us cheering in the pilothouse (Kevin, Alison and our friends Kevin and Laura – MV Airship)
Laura and Kevin after the Big Left Turn (which was just after midnight)
Redwoods and Coastal Exploration
Wandering the Redwoods and the California coast in a rented minivan with Scott and Abby (then of N47 Epoch) and Laura and Kevin (MV Airship / Slowboat.com) while waiting on weather in Crescent City, CA.
Fleet Photo Taco Run
Scott (N47 Epoch now N55 Orenda) calling the shots on the VHF, Kevin flying the drone, Alison driving the boat nervously with boats on all sides. Hilarious VHF chatter at the conclusion of a fun, long journey with new Nordhavn friends.
Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parade, Puerto Vallarta
Al pastor street tacos, Mexican culture, friendly PV, respect and love.
Mag Bay Fishing
Early days of COVID, providing work for people without any, catching fish with friends, Hugo and Michelle, N55 Gitana. Mag Bay – a Red Rover safe harbor.
Wine and the Funk Zone, Santa Barbara, California
Summer in California, introducing our daughter Kirsten to wine tasting, and then wandering and boat waxing. Boat waxing wasn’t the star of the memory…
English Fry Up lazy Sunday at Punta Colorada with Seacret
Cooking together, eating and laughing with Jeremy and Hilda N76 Seacret. Friends that become family.
Riding Pulmonias (funny cars) in Mazatlan, walking Old Town
Kevin was sure we would die. I loved it. An unusual change in perspectives! Beautiful, restored Old Town, rooftop dining.
Zihuatanejo Christmas with our Kids, Mexico
Holiday happiness when the kids come to visit. Incredible Christmas spirit in a small, beautiful fishing town. Dinner on the cliff with our family. Malecon selfie-fun.
Making chocolate with Miguel, Tuxtla Chica, Chiapas, Mexico
Eating in a small courtyard, food cooked over fire, learning the points of cacao preparation in the traditional way.
Mist rising at Palenque
Spiritual destination. Mayans before us.
Stilt Restaurant in Estero Jaltepeque, El Salvador
Panga ride with Bill and Jean, selecting a fish, slow and lazy afternoon of being present and learning about El Salvador.
La Leona Waterfall hike, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
More fun with Doug and Mary, hiking and swimming up a river to a beautiful waterfall. Riding in the back of a truck and “doing all the things.” Pura Vida!