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 - Ensenada
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Ensenada shops and local scenery...this is the "touristy" cruise-ship street, much cleaner and more up-scale than the rustic rest of this traditional Mexican town.
Celebrating a WINDY New Years day with our friends Rick & Maryalice on s/v "Notre Isle", so glad to catch back up with these great peeps we first met in Santa Cruz, CA, many miles and many moons ago!
New Years Day festivities local-style...check out these COOL electric animals the kids were riding...where do we get one of those!?
New Years Day juggling clowns entertaining the locals and tourists alike in the local city plaza.
SO FUN to meet up with our Seattle friends Susan & John from Nord Sail One. Shared the same dock in Seattle, now on the same dock in Ensenada, what are the odds?!
John & Susan with Silver Belle aboard s/v Nord Sail One.
Kirk and Dave, another Elliott Bay Marina K-Dock connection!
Overview of Cruiseport Marina, Ensenada...showing the proximity of Due West to the baños, cruiser
The cruise ships dock adjacent to the Cruiseport Marina offices (yellow building in background).
Resident osprey nest to the left, osprey on the light pole, and two cell towers in the background, one them disguised as a fake palm tree!
Our resident Osprey keeping watch over Cruiseport Marina.
Rick, Heidi, and Jim at the Ensenada flea market where Rick & Maryalice picked up a great Wagner cast iron skillet for only $2!!
One of the many produce stands at the Ensenada "flea market." Though not a lot of organic produce here, they did have lots of things you don
More produce from the "flea-market", check out these amazing prices in pesos (currently one peso is worth 6¢!)
Some of the gorgeous produce we got at the "flea-market" produce stand, washed and ready to eat, and costing less than $6US for all of it!
Vibrantly colorful spices in the "flea-market" spice shop. NO artificial colors here, these are actually ground up peppers of a wide variety. SO beautiful!
Heidi perusing the bulk spices and herbs in the spice market.
Fenix Baja Fish Tacos were raved about by lots of cruisers and locals, but we found better ones closer to the marina!
Rick, Maryalice, Heidi & Kirk waiting for lunch at Fenix Fish Tacos.
Locals eating at one of the many Baja Fish Taco stands all over town. Lunch for two: $4 US!
Beautiful Guadalupe Cathedral, can be seen from many areas of Ensenada.
Love seeing all the hand-painted signs here, this "lost art" is not lost in Mexico!
Lovely old "Oasis" house in Ensenada.
Ensenada shops and local scenery...with the Guadalupe Cathedral towering in the background.
More Ensenada scenery, hand painted signs, and quirky shops.
LOVING all of the bright Mexican colored buildings here...look past the doorways and there are often beautiful gardens behind the walls.
More colorful buildings everywhere you look...makes town seem like a Fiesta!
Feliz Navidad from the local school kids...This one goes out to Heidi
Funky-cool house with lots of plants...
Storm clouds forming in paradise...
The calm before the storm...or between the storms!
Captain Kirk on the Can-Mex SSB Cruiser
Heidi suited up in foulies to sit in the Cruiser
Hanging out in the Cruiser
Another day in Paradise: Kirk, Maryalice & Rick hanging out in the Cruiser
Tourist Trinkets for the cruise-ship crowd...
Tires, sewage, and other debris washing down the river after the big storm, right into the cruise ship berth, and out to sea...
Heidi shopping at the organic produce market, just look at the size of the cauliflower!
Kirk and Rick, our intrepid Sherpas to the rescue!
Sherpas had to stop and refuel, while the gal out front was advertising "We
Due West with new lashing boards and spare jerry cans of diesel and outboard gas all ready to go.
Due West getting her bottom cleaned, we were lucky to find a diver here, they are few and far between.
The water-man cometh...finally!
A 27-year-old French "kid" owns this classic 100-year-old schooner "Lun II", reading to set sail for the Caribbean where he
Tikka chilaxin after a hard day of PLAY, so wiped out she crashed on the floor!
Tosh chilaxin after a hard day of PLAY... to this boy, ALL the world