Shrimpers & Humpbacks - The 150 mile sail from Mazatlan to Chacala was our second double-handed overnight. There was very little traffic when we crossed the Sea of Cortez, but the route from Mazatlan south from 5 to 15 miles offshore was the territory of commercial shrimp boats. Several times during the night we saw their lights in the distance and later their images on radar. We made our best guess at their direction and made obvious moves to keep out of their way. At one point there were 10 shrimpers within a few miles of us.
We saw whales, too; spouting, breaching, tail slapping and sometimes doing an aggressive maneuver where they seemed intent on creating the biggest possible splash. Possible reasons for that behavior include fending off a challenging male, females agitated with an escort, or a whale not comfortable with a boat's presence. We kept our distance when they were aggressive, but what an amazing display.
Chacala - We had several stopover options for our sail to Puerto Vallarta. Chacala sounded best and we weren't disappointed. This is a fair weather anchorage for just 5 or 6 boats … the weather was fair and there were just 5 boats anchored here. The anchorage is well known in the cruising community, but Chacala is not yet a major tourist stop, a bonus for us.
Chacala was beautiful and a very relaxing destination. We'll be back!