Costa Alegre

I have to apologize. It’s been a bit too long in-between blog posts lately. I’ll try to post a little more frequently to get you back up to speed. Just before we left you in our last post we were sitting at anchor in Punta de Mita, waiting for a weather window to go South.

Mike from PV Sailing does the weather during each morning net. Between troughs, highs, lows, afternoon thermals, soft and hard conditions, Mike has the info on the best time to leave the bay. Conditions around the cape were looking soft, so we gave it a go.

Rounding the Southern most point in Banderas Bay, called Cabo Corrientes.

Rounding the Southern most point in Banderas Bay, called Cabo Corrientes.

Turning South out of Banderas Bay around Cabo Corrientes we begin to experience Mexico’s Costa Alegre, (Happy Coast). The Happy Coast stretches South of Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad. One hundred and forty-six miles by car, or one hundred three miles by boat. Just a blink of an eye by car (three hours and eight minutes.) By boat? A minimum of 18 hours (traveling at 6 knots), and a maximum of however long your captain and crew feels up to milking the journey.

We left Punta de Mita the moment we saw the wind kiss the water. It was early, but we called our buddies (Cake and Sequoyah) to tell them what was up.

“Maluhia leaving the anchorage here! See ya around the corner friends!”

We did not want to battle an afternoon thermal while rounding the cape of currents, Cabo Corrientes. It’s advisable to round the cape early in the morning hours as winds are lighter. We were a bit behind on our departure time, as it was already dawn. Maluhia aimed right down the slot with the Tres Marietas Islands to her starboard and the cape to her port.

Our friends on Sequoyah sailing in Banderas Bay.

Our friends on Sequoyah sailing South.

Less than 50 feet to our port, the biggest adult whale we had ever seen shot straight up out of the water! A small playful splash from this ginormous whale shot a tidal wave of water into the air. I screamed then checked my pulse. No time for photos. Pretty sure I stopped breathing. We slowed down to scout for more whales, then beelined it away from the commotion. Holy large fish! Maluhia and crew felt small in comparison to the massive humpback.

“Did you see that whale?” . . . “Right. What whale?”

The light house marks the cape at Cabo Corrientes.

The light house marks the cape at Cabo Corrientes.

The wind, waves and current were gentle on us as we rounded the cape. The early morning land breeze, about 10 knots from the East met with the North Westerly current and swell, littered the water with gentle rolling hills about 4-5 feet at a period of 14 seconds. Maluhia floated gracefully up and then down each one.

Safely beyond the cape.

View of the light house at the cape of currents.

Maluhia rounding the cape to go South.

Maluhia after rounding the cape to go South.

Our second whale sighting of the day. This one wasn't as scary.

Our second whale sighting of the day. This one wasn’t as scary.

IPALA

By afternoon a new decision had to be made by Maluhia’s crew. Stop in Ipala or continue overnight to Chamela? A quick survey among friends revealed that Colorado Dave had now arrived and joined Valhalla. John and Dave had left the dock in La Cruz and were heading out of the bay rounding the corner to join us!

Cake was ahead of them. They were hedging on going straight to Chamela. Sequoyah was in sight traveling closer to shore to get a better look at the light house that marks the cape. They were planning on stopping at Ipala.

Anchored in Ipala.

Anchored in Ipala.

Alan and Carol join us for lunch.

Alan and Carol join us for lunch.

Maluhia’s crew decided the thought of having an enjoyable night at anchor was more popular than spending a night at sea.  The swell entering Ipala was favorable, we could stretch our legs, eat some chow, and get some rest.

Serene scene at anchor in Ipala.

Serene scene at anchor in Ipala.

The village of Ipala.

The village of Ipala.

Part of the beach at Ipala.

Part of the beach at Ipala.

Aboard Maluhia we sat down to enjoy a quick bite to eat with our friends Alan and Carol on Sequoyah. Shortly after, we were approached by a local man on a panga. Normally, being approached by pangas at anchor does not happen very often in Mexico. Sometimes it happens when the anchorage is secluded, and in that case it is usually to ask you if you want to buy fish. (This happened to us in the Sea of Cortez.)

Panga fisherman racing back to the village with the catch of the day.

Panga fisherman racing back to the village with the catch of the day.

But this man wasn’t selling fish. This man was asking us for, . . . wait for it . . . pencils.

Pencils? Yes. Pencils for the local school. I was able to muster up a collection of 5-10 pencils and a few spanish learning books we had bought at the beginning of the school year to practice any Spanish we might have missed from grades 4-8. The pencils and books were well received and the man continued on his way.

Categories: Amigos, Anchoring, Buddy boating, Cruising, Living aboard, Mexico, Passage Making, Sailing, Whales | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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