The Mexican mainland coast south of Puerto Vallarta and Bandares Bay is called the Costalegre, which can translate as the happy or light-hearted coast. Our experience, exactly, since we have found the living - and the sailing - to be easy here. The water is warm, the winds are light and steady, the days sunny and hot, and the evenings cool. There are a chain of good anchorages, close enough together so that the passage from one to the next is an easy daysail. The seas have been calm, allowing us to set the spinnaker and make long downwind stretches under sail. Once at anchor, we swim off the stern, and enjoy gentle evenings and mornings.
Most of our anchorages have been adjacent to small Mexican towns, but we had one memorable anchorage off the community of Careyes, where our crew member Doug has family. Careyes was built by Italians, and mimics resorts along Italy's coast, with homes and hotels hanging off the steep shore. We anchored among tall rock outcrops, and rowed to shore through the surf to enjoy lavish hospitality.
In this calm, sunny stretch of ocean, we have had clear views of whales, sea turtles, and a range of dolphins and fish. Mac had one memorable tug of war when he caught a big fish. It took him twenty minutes of hard work to reel the fish in so that we could identify it as a Crevalle Jack - not good for eating, but a beautiful fish nonetheless. We have high hopes that we will catch something we can eat soon!
A week out of Bandaras Bay, we pulled into Barra Navidad, where Doug - very reluctantly - jumped ship and returned to Seattle. He was great crew, and also lucky, as the Costalegre has easily been the most pleasant, scenic, and warmest stretch of sailing in all of our travels on Indigo
Note - there are new photos posted on Flickr. Click on the link to the right that says "Photos from Indigo's Crew".