Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

24 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico
02 November 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
11 October 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16 September 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
29 June 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
26 May 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
07 April 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
26 February 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
30 January 2017 | La Cruz, Nayarit, MX
24 December 2016 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
20 December 2016 | Banderas Bay
27 November 2016 | La Paz, B.C.S. Mexico
14 November 2016 | Bahia San Carlos Mexico
17 October 2016 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
30 September 2016 | San Javier, B.C.S.
25 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico
12 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico
04 September 2016 | Nopolo Norte - Loreto
12 August 2016 | La Paz, Baja California Sur

Merry-Merry, Feliz-Feliz, Paz-Paz

24 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Boat, not a creature was stirring, not even Tosh & Tikka!

...But wait! Before we get into the holidays, we need to catch you up on the past two-months since our last post: including a road trip through Mexico back to the states to renew visas and visit family, moving back aboard s/v Due West after 9-months ashore, helping release sea turtles, the Festival of Guadalupe, a Winter Solstice Sunrise hike, and more.

Because there's so much to share, we're putting most of the photos and captions in the Photo Gallery, with a preview below. Please flip through our Photo Gallery for the whole story...

Tosh B'gosh is ready to PLAY at a moments notice, and ALL the world is a toy! He especially LOVES fetching his new red wrist band from Judy & Paul. What's even funnier is that although Tosh & Tikka had been off the boat for almost 9-months, once back aboard it was as if they'd never left. Not one second of adjustment period, they were just HOME. And Tosh went straight to the cupboard where we hide his favorite "Da-Bird" toy 9-months before, crying and scratching for us to get it out and PLAY! :-D Meanwhile Tikka just loves stretching out on her settee.

Road Trip Mexican Style

In early November, we hit the road to drive to Arizona to visit family and renew our Mexican tourist visas. Lots of interesting sights along the way and so great to visit Heidi's Dad Verne in northern AZ, her parents Jean & Pete and sister Kari in Tucson, and cruising friends along the way. Kirk also got to see an hold High School buddy Ray, fun to catch up!

Jajajajaja! (Hahahaha!) This is what it's like driving on the highways in Mexico... they turn a 2-lane road into 5 lanes or more! :-O

Oldtown Mazatlan

Hundreds of Old VW Bug parade through Mexico!

San Blas Cathedrals old and new.

A spectacular sunset greeted us back to the USA.

Family in Arizona

Heidi's dad Verne lives in New Mexico and drove up to meet us half-way (for a weekend in Flagstaff and Sedona), so we wouldn't have to be on the road for another 2-days. Thanks for a great weekend Dad! Meanwhile, Heidi's sister Kari was driving a U-Haul from Jackson Hole to Tucson area for Heidi's parents Jean & Pete. We rendezvoused with Kari in Flagstaff and Heidi rode in the U-Haul with Kirk in tandem.

Capitán Kirk and Verne at Wupatki National Monument, Arizona.

The moving crew: Kari, Pete, Kirk, Heidi, and Jean, unloaded boxes into the garage.

Thanks for a GREAT visit Jean/Mom and Pete and for being the mail-house central for so many cruisers!

Back Aboard Due West

Wahoo!! After nine-long months ashore, Kirk has been given a clean bill of health and A-OK to move back aboard Due West. His post-stroke balance issues are virtually gone, and he's feeling 90% back to his old self. As you saw above, the gatos del mar LOVE LOVE LOVE being back home. And it's super nice for us as well. BIG THANKS to our friends Judy & Paul for their hospitality, and letting us condo-sit for them for five-months. PLUS for kitty-sitting for us while we made our road trip!

Besides loading up on hard-to-find boat parts, a trip back to the states always includes stocking up on our favorite gluten-free and organic foods from places like Trader Joe's and Thrive Market online (http://thrv.me/RMBtd1), not to mention high-quality cat food and cat litter which are impossible to find or very expensive in Mexico. Laundry and Dish soap in Mexico are also FULL of toxic chemicals and day-glow colors, so we load up on those as well. Now where to STOW everything!?!

HUGE shout-out of THANKS to our good friend Don from s/v Windcharmer who re-painted our whole head for us while we were gone! Kirk had been in the middle of this project when we learned he had a wire lose in his pacemaker and had to go under the knife, plus recovery time so our head sat half-done. Kirk was super-bummed as painting is one of his FAV tasks. We are so grateful to Don for stepping up to the plate, and to Lisa for being gracious about Don spending so much time on our behalf! Once we retuned, Kirk painted the two little accent walls RED. Why Red? Because we had our boat Fengshui-ed (is that a word?) and it turns out that our "Money Center" is in our Head!? Which is a NO beuno place to be... so they suggested adding RED to the head, along with a rock to "ground" our money center. We're going with it! :-D

Festival of Guadalupe & Sea Turtles Too

This festival stretches from December 1-12 every year, and Is one of the biggest celebrations in Puerto Vallarta. Check out last years blog post where we go into more details on the event.

Mexicans LOVE to celebrate EVERYTHING! And Piñatas are a big part of their celebrations, these were being made for the Festival of Guadalupe.

We got to help out with a sea turtle release. Volunteers collect the eggs when they are laid, and incubate them in protected sanctuaries (out of the reach of birds, raccoons, and some poaching Mexicans who still consider them a delicacy.) Once they hatch, the baby turtles are kept for a few days to give them a better chance of survival, then released after sunset to keep the birds away. The sea turtles imprint on the sand that they crawl through on the way to the water, and will return to the same beach where they were released, regardless of where they were laid. The only have a 1% survival rate to full sexual maturity so any helping hand they can get is great. Heidi's toes for scale on just how LITTLE these cute little turtles are!

Merry-Merry, Feliz-Feliz, Paz-Paz

Due West is all decked out in her holiday finest as are we! We are thrilled that Seattle sailing friends Chris & Eric along with their daughters are visiting PV for the holidays, and we look forward to taking them out for a day sail this week. Kirk's first time out sailing since his stroke! We're also enjoying re-connecting with cruising friends who are returning to Banderas Bay for the holidays, including our old Elliott Bay Marina dock-mates Jill & Brent on s/v Cayuse.

Wishing everyone a Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo, y Paz, Paz, Paz!


Capitán Kirk, Heidi, Tosh, & Tikka too!
Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
Captain Kirk grew up sailing on Lake Washington and has been boating his whole life. He has been racing sailboats for about 40 years, including two Vic-Maui races (from Victoria, BC to Maui, Hawaii), one in 1990, and the other on Due West in 1996. [...]
You can see pix of our boat here: Due West Interior Photos and in the Photo Gallery. Our racing friends call us "The [...]
Home Page: http://svduewest.com
Due West's Photos - Santa Barbara + Southwest Road Trip
Photos 1 to 42 of 42 | Main
Santa Barbara Palm Trees and  Dolphins, what more could you want? Anyone surprised that Heidi was born here?! ;-)
Santa Barbara Beach, calm this day, but HUGE waves pounded it often during the past few weeks.
Santa Barbara Yacht Club Opti kids racing program, so fun to see them out in the BIG ocean!
A very artistic homeless man was asking for donations to take a photo of his creations on the beach. We gladly obliged.
Classic old Santa Barbara Train Station.
Santa Barbara Mission, Heidi actually remembered going here with her mom when she was about 3!
Santa Barbara Mission with Friar Junipero Serra.
Interesting Gaudí-like house in downtown Santa Barbara. Heidi
A great visit with old river-running friend of Heidi
Oh no! Not Captain Hook again?! This time he was after Captain Kirk
While Kirk was tangling with Captain Hook, Heidi ran into one of her Native American ancestors. :-)
Santa Barbara Pier and Marsh.
"Went to the Fortune Teller...Had our Fortunes Told..." We both have nice long lifelines and auspicious things to come...what a fun, random thing to do in Santa Barbara!
We left the Fortune Teller and walked and right into this phenomenal Santa Barbara Sunset, WOW! That
Jolie took these sweet pix of Tosh and Tikka while she and Scott cat-sat for them. BIG THAKS Jolie & Scott!! :-) xoxo
Downtown Santa Barbara decorated for the holidays.
Holiday lights and spirit in Santa Barbara.
Seattle was SO thrilled to have Kirk back for a visit, they threw him a parade! And if you know Kirk, you know how much he LOVES parades! :-)
BIG HUGE THANKS to our Seattle Peeps who helped move our stuff from the storage unit into the truck. Kat & Willie, Heavy, Jesse & Kelsi, we couldn
Seattle put on a show for Kirk, everything from SUNSHINE and Holiday Lights to Rain and COLD...
Another BIG HUGE THANKS to our Port Townsend/Port Hadlock friends who helped unload the truck at the other end. Sharpee, Sandy, Carol & John, Everett, and Frosty you guys ROCK! We SO MUCH appreciate all of your help on that COLD day!! xoxo
Seattle sunset with the Olympic Range and The Brothers peaks may not be as colorful as Santa Barbara or Tucson, but it
Southwest scenery passing through Arizona.
Gorgeous southwest scenery on the way through New Mexico.
A trip through the Southwest wouldn
More roadside kitsch in Hatch, there
Famous Hatch Chilies drying in the sun.
Local Hatch farmers grow, dry, and pack their chilies for sale around the country.
Kirk photo bombing the family photo with Heidi, Willa, and Dad Verne.
Tom & Norma
Fun holiday decorations around Albuquerque. Made us think of YOU Noelle! :-)
This New Mexico solar farm stretched for a mile in every direction, very cool!
The photo bomber is at it again, Heidi
Family selfie!
Amazing Tucson sunset rivals Santa Barbara!
BEST. FOOD. Since leaving Seattle! River City Grill, Yuma Arizona. Leave it to us to find the only sailors and sailboat marooned in the desert!? Proprietors Tony & Nan have an old Columbia 29 in the back of the restaurant, plus their current boat is in San Diego. I googled "Gluten-free Yuma" and stumbled upon this place, perfect in every way: atmosphere, decor, friendly staff; lots of GF/vegan options, and the most delicious blends of spices and flavors, like this West Indian Coconut Curry Shrimp served in a coconut shell! GO EAT HERE. NOW.  :-)
Heading back to Santa Barbara, it was SNOWING in the San Jacinto mountains near Palm Springs!?
More dolphins and palm trees, we must be back in Santa Barbara Toto!