[Ipala, Jalisco, Mexico; 2014.2'N/105 34.4' W]

Punta Ipala forms a small cliff and rock-ringed cove about 15 miles south of Cabo Corrientes (and about 45 miles SW of Puerto Vallarta) that is well protected from all points except south and southwest . The village is small but quite neat, with a broad white playa (beach), a panga anchorage, a crumbling rock pier, a small reef and a wreck near the beach.  Anchorage is taken anywhere in the bay, giving wide berth to a 2' rock on the eastern side well off shore.  The bay comfortably hold 5 - 7 boats.


While in Bahia Ipala, we were invited ashore to a palapa on the playa called Liz Adriana.  In company of vessels Alkahest, Compass Rose and Anticipation, we learned the domino game of Mexican Train as we sipped cerveza, margaritas and crunched tostadas with salsa or ceviche including a local shellfish that tasted a bit like conch.   Adriana (owner, chef) waited patiently, prepared a wood-fired barbecue and grilled a small local white fish with this recipe as we played dominoes and absorbed the intoxicating cooking aromas.  Jim and Jane Fleming of Anticipation (a Union 36) graciously provided this recipe.


achiote pepper paste (1/2 of bar)

olive oil



1/4 to 1/2 of onion, finely chopped

chicken stock + water to form paste

pinch of sesame seeds (optional)


Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Heat in saucepan and reduce to thick consistency.  Cool. 

Prepare small  white fish (6-8 inches) by scaling, then cutting in half to butterfly so that both halves of fish lay flat with flesh up (skin down).  Brush fish with achiote pepper sauce and let marinate for 15 +/- minutes.  Grill and brush with additional sauce while cooking.  Remove when fish begins to flake and serve immediately with rice (arroz), fresh salsa and warm corn tortillas.