50 nm from Marina Vallarta to Ipala
We left Puerto Vallarta very early, in near darkness,
around 6:00 a.m., on Saturday morning,
so that we would be sure to be rounding Cabo Corrientes by noon, before
the afternoon winds picked up. We had heard that Corrientes was a lot like
Point Conception in California, nothing to be toyed with, and the worst
time to round it was in the late afternoon when the winds maxed out.
Our goal was to be safely esconced in the little bay behind Punta Ipala
by 1:00 p.m.
Inasmuch as we were trying to avoid the winds, it was no suprise that
we had to motor out of PV in a nearly dead calm. Once we were out of
the putrid harbor, I started the watermaker and, as usual, put a line
in the water to see what I might catch. I set up with our "Mexican
flag feather" lure, the one with the red and green feathers, and let
out a hundred yards of so of line out behind the boat as the sun
rose over the mountains of PV.
Within a few minutes we got a massive hit, the line tearing out of
the reel very quickly. I reached over to grab it and set the hook,
and could tell there was a very big fish on. The pole bent nearly 90
degrees and I was afraid the line would break. Then it went slack
in my hands, and when I reeled it in, the lure and leader were gone.
Perhaps the leader came untied, or perhaps the line broke, but either
way, a big one had gotten away (as well as our favorite lure).
I put a new leader on the line and ran another feather out, this time
a bright flourescent purple one. No hit right away this time, so
we whiled away the morning chatting and reading about our next
destinations. Then about an hour later there was another big hit
and I grabbed the pole, set the hook, and found myself in a somewhat
prolonged battle with some kind of a big fish. I could tell he was
big because it took me nearly 20 minutes to get the 100 yards of line
up to the boat. We slowed the boat down during this time so as to
not put any further strain on the line. Finally we got the gaff hook
out and I brought this large, probably 25 lb, Crevalle Jack aboard.
We didn't really know what to do with him, so I just kept the gaff hook up
in the air for like 15 minutes hoping he would just expire and save
me the work, but he didn't. So we got our little Tony Gwynn
souvenir baseball bat from below, and I gave the fish a couple
of whacks on the head with it until he stopped squirming around.
After cleaning him, no small task in itself, we ended up with 4 nice
two-three lb fillets. And tho the meat wsas dark, when we cooked
it, first poached in lemon and ginger, and then later, with bbq
sauce, into shish-ka-bobs, it was quite tasty. After two full meals,
we still have enough for another two full meals. Ah, ya gotta love it.
When we finally rounded Cabo Corrientes, we could see why everyone
was so cautious about it. Although the weather prediction was for
2-3 ft seas and 5-10 knots of wind, at the point there were 6-8 ft
seas, very chaotic, and 20-25 knots of wind with gusts to 30. There
was a strong current, sometimes setting with us, sometimes against us,
that, when it was against the prevailing wind, caused the waves to be
very steep, and like I said, chaotic.
We were plenty happy when we
pulled into Ipala around 1:00 pm, after 50 nm from PV, to find it,
at least by comparison, somewhat calm and smooth.
We dropped our anchor in about 30' of water, well off the point,
and not in the most protected place, as there were a lot of pangas
and fish farms in the very small bay. We didn't bother to get the
dinghy off and go to shore as it was apparent there was hardly
anything there but a few palapas and maybe a single restaurant.
The next morning, Sunday, after a somewhat rolly night in the anchorage,
we decided to proceed directly to Chamela, another 50 nm south, which
promised to be somewhat more protected.