Due West Adventures

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

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
30 June 2016

Sights & Sounds of Puerto Vallarta

29 June 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
Check out more photos from this post in our Photo Gallery.

s/v Due West is snuggly tucked into Marina Vallarta for the 2017 Hurricane Season. Our canvas sun-shade is up to protect her from sun and heat. However, IF/when a storm is forecast, everything will be taken down and stowed below deck. We are in a single slip with finger-piers on both sides of us, meaning we can tie-off in the center of the slip and not rub up against the docks or another boat.

Although hurricanes are very rare in Puerto Vallarta (last one was about 22-years ago) we do NOT take them lightly! If you've been reading our blog for long, you'll remember last September's post on Hurricane Newton which was WAAAAYY too close for comfort. And we can get remnants of them passing by Banderas Bay (like we did last year up in the Sea of Cortez), as Hurricane Dora just this week brought us 3-5" of intense rain in the biggest thunder and lightening storm we've ever seen. This year the Pacific Hurricane forecast is for 16 named storms, with 6 of them being classed as major (Category 3-5!) Yikes, that's about 4 more than last year!! Oh wait, climate change is not "a thing"...right, almost forgot. Fingers crossed PV will continue it's streak of NO hurricanes this year.

We plan to be in Puerto Vallarta/Banderas Bay area through December, then hope to continue on down the coast of Mexico towards Panama next spring and on to Ecuador by next summer. But as you know by now, our plans are written in sand at low tide and we're taking things one-day-at-a-time and will see how Kirk's recovery continues.



Meanwhile, we're loving our new condo-sitting gig (THANKS Judy & Paul!) and daily beach watching, beach walking, and beach-clean-up. The views and scenery on the beach change daily, if not by the hour, or even by the minute sometimes. Anything goes on this beach...fun to watch and walk along.

Kirk continues to grow stronger and regain more balance every day post stroke, and is back to practicing yoga 4-5 times a week (including Restorative Yoga below), while continuing his siesta naps every afternoon. However, he's still not quite sail-ready, as he can get light-headed which effects his balance and coordination. He's progressing poco-a-poco (little-by-little.)



Heidi has started her first Restorative Yoga teaching gig at Davanna Yoga, nothing permanent but filling in for other yoga teachers who are on summer vacation. Next week she'll start teaching Hatha yoga IN Español for Ángel Yoga, a community class on the beach for locals. Yikes, she really needs to bone up on her Español body-parts quickly. Thankfully the class is very appreciative and helpful.

The furbies are loving their new condo-life: lots of fresh air, room to race around, and big decks to keep an eye on the world below. Tosh got his hair-cut, or most of them actually... he's now sporting "electric boots and Bengal mohair suit"... or is it "Kinky Boots" with a Lion's Tail!? Hopefully this will help to keep him cooler in the summer heat and humidity. His fur is much thicker than Tikka's and he really sweltered last summer. Tikka would have nothing to do with him for about two weeks post-shave?!? Maybe she was just jealous of his new outfit? Luckily they're mostly back to being buddies and chasing each other around again.


Tosh-the-Jungle-Cat loves how his stripes really camouflage him when he's hanging out in the palm-frond jungles of the condo deck. Even post-shave his stripes were on his skin...and his Kinky Boots didn't give him away. Check out pix of his mohair suit and electric boots in our Photo Gallery.


Tikka the green-eyed lady lounges on her pink bed, finally warming back up to her brother whom she ignored for 2-weeks straight after he got his hairs-cut. Not sure what she was so tweaked about, she's got her own stylin' Go-Go boots that Nancy Sinatra would die for!

Ironically while summer is peak tourist season for many of you, this is now OFF season for gringos here in PV, but many Mexican nationals vacation here in the summer and there's still a lot going on around town. So we've decided to make this post short on text and long on photos and videos, to give you a better appreciation of the "real" Puerto Vallarta, daily street happenings that the gringo tourists of PV may not experience, and the fabulous art and organic architecture that can be found all around town.

Please be sure to check out our Photo Gallery and YouTube Channel for more pix and videos. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!


We had a wonderful surprise visit from our nephew Tate (Heidi's sister's son) and his dad Mark, on a surfing safari for Tate's high school graduation gift. So fun to see this dude who used to hang out at "Camp Due West" when he was ages 6-12, all grown up! By the way, Mark is a novelist with a new book out, if you're a baseball fan and/or a Cubs fan, you're going to LOVE this fun summer read, Wrigley Sanders: Born in the Bleachers.


These cute little boys were so fun to watch. Before the niño in orange could ride the burro he had to walk it back and forth a bunch of times with his older brother riding it. Finally he could ride it with his brother, and he's SO serious about trying to get his rope just right! This was especially fun to see as sadly burros are few and far between in Mexico these days, most having been replaced by cars or ATVs. Check out more beach scenes in our Photo Gallery.


Umbrella ART at one of our favorite hangouts, La Tostaderia (BEST tostadas in town!). BIG THANKS to proprietor Javier for creating this outdoor Art-space! Puerto Vallarta is full of ART and Javier wanted to give his patrons something beautiful to look at. He plans on changing up the art every couple of months.


Looks like this Bug parked too long and a palm tree sprang out of it's roof! LOVE all of the colorful outdoor art, graffiti-art, and wall murals in this town. Check out more art and wall murals in our Photo Gallery.


The "Pink Bus" sends riders a mixed-message: Adorned with pink fringe curtains, an angel on the dashboard and pink-fringed Virgins of Guadalupe all over the ceiling...but what's up with the Play Boy Bunny? This theme is not uncommon, as other busses have religious symbols all over them, juxtaposed with the naked "mudflap girls", or Calvin (without Hobs) peeing!? Besides being a reliable form of transportation, riding the bus in PV is ALWAYS an interesting experience. Check out more interesting buses in our Photo Gallery, and videos of bus-musicians here.


We've determined that Mexico has more shoe stores per capita than any other type of store. This week-long pop-up shoe shop (in a grocery store parking lot) carried hundreds of pairs of shoes covering every wall. Even with so many shoe stores here, it's hard to find good quality shoe...sadly most of them are made of plastic these days.


YES we're on the FUN side of the wall... come on down and experience life in Mexico for yourself, you'll LOVE it!


We are SO PROUD of Puerto Vallarta for having one of the largest LGBTQ communities south of San Francisco, and throwing an amazing PRIDE Parade including the original Rainbow flag from the first Pride Parade in SF. The next day was the Drag Queen competition including: song and dance, rock-climbing wearing a dress, running down cobblestone streets in stilettos carrying a tray full of cocktails, and a blind-folded piñata smack-down of a neighboring country's president, who shall remain nameless. See, we ARE on the FUN side of the wall!!


Many parts of the hillside in downtown Puerto Vallarta are too steep to drive up. So these would-be-streets are beautifully landscaped with stairs, benches, terraces, and trees and shrubs in planters. When it rains these hillsides turn into a man-made "river-beds".


Mexicans are big on decorations, including door knockers, door knobs, handles, key holes, etc.


Vibrant colors abound here and the bright yellow and orange of this beautiful Tiger Lily are two of Heidi's favs.


Puerto Vallarta never fails to provide amazing sunsets... and we never tire of them. Adios el sol, hasta mañana!

Be sure to check out the rest of our photos from this post in our Photo Gallery.

LOVE and HUGS and Happy Summer to you all!!

P.S. Continued GRATITUDE to all of our friends and family who have made donations towards Kirk's medical costs. We are 60% of the way towards our goal!! We are SO thankful for everyone's love and support. If you'd still like to make a donation here is the link. Everyone who donated $50+ should have received a hand-written thank you note from the Captain himself. If you did not receive yours, please let us know, we've been sending them back to the US to mail with friends and family headed that way. Correos en Mexico es no bueno.

Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
About:
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. [...]
Extra:
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 - Sights & Colors of Ensenada
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Entrance to Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/), formerly a hotel and municipal offices, now an amazing transformation into a local artisan and furniture shop.
Dias de los Muertes figures, just one of the beautiful displays of local arts & crafts at Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/). Heidi saw the "no photos please" sign after she had taken a few, oops! They are too pretty not to share!
Beautiful paintings of traditional Mexican Lotería Cards at Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/). If your
Maryalice and Heidi at the TelCel store getting their Banda Ancha wifi USB sticks.
Before our "Haircuts by Ali", on our way to the Apple Store for the first time...
Heidi
Lookin
BIG surf along the road to Ensenada, via bus from San Diego.
Tijuana Boarder crossing with cars going into the US. 18,000 people a day (mostly day laborers) cross this border, making it the busiest border crossing in the world.
People are selling EVERYTHING at the border. Little kids juggling and doing tricks, all sorts of food, and any Mexican trinket you can think of.
Hour 2 of our 3-hour wait to cross from Mexico back into US. They have no separate lane for US Passports, so we American
Anytime, night or day, this border is hopping! Fellow cruisers who live in Ensenada just had an hour wait to cross at 0400!
Edificio Mexico, "Mexico Building", nice old Mexican architecture.
Not-OSHA-approved construction of a new malecón bridge at Cruiseport Marina. Work is going on in four or five sections of the malecón all along the water-front. The yellow track-hoe was so precariously perched atop a pile of mud, we thought it would slip into the water for sure!
Kirk posing in "Gringo Gultch", Ensenada.
Hat-shopping in Gringo Gultch.
A local pescadería, there are tons of them here...
Mariscos truck.
Piñatas are everywhere, with a modern/Disney twist?! Not your mother
Funky Ensenada Architecture pits random buildings next to each other.
Modern lime-green building and palm trees...who
Heidi
"The Purple" apartments, because the other two buildings that you can
Surrealistic Mexican headless female form.
More Mexican architecture, we love all of the BRIGHT colors, especially against the blue sky!
So many Mexican buildings have public courtyards, a nice use of space.
Local taqueria in living-color.
A local hat-stand we pass daily walking to and from the marina and town.
Cruise ship trinket stand with everything from Mexican Sweatshirts to Frida Kahlo.
Colorful, fun, neighborhood shops are everywhere here. Where did America go wrong?!
Great to see Ganesh in the middle of Gringo Gulch, Ensenada.  Shopkeeper Armando is a big fisherman who frequently closes this shop to drive to Muleje or Loretto to go fishing. We hope to meet up with him when we get over to the Sea of Cortez side of Baja.
We
Hotel with hammock reminding us that we need to put our hammocks up. Why haven
Bahia Hotel, Ensenada at sunset.
Another beautiful Cruiseport Marina Sunset.
Mariachi street band taking a break against a perfect store-wall backdrop!
Ensenada night-life with bright lights everywhere. Sirens are everywhere too, we
Stonehenge Ensenada-style? Nope, just nice architecture at Cruiseport Marina.
There
Lest you think these little darling kitties  are always on their best behavior... they aren
After the fight: "Kids! Stop fighting and go to your rooms!"
When I
Sometimes I like hiding out in my fort in the cockpit under the wheel, next to the life-raft.
I like hanging out in any cupboard, as soon as they take something out, I jump in!
I
Mom
Who us? We never get up on the galley counter when you
OMG...we finally caved...and made our first-ever trip to the dark-side. When in Mexico...
And what did we cave for? Some neon spray-paint to trash our our outboard with (and hopefully make it less desirable to steal?); a silicon oven-mitt (that
Modern coconut-ladder beats climbing the trees!?
Ceasar the Coco-man sells about 100 drinking-coconuts each week.
Heidi
When you
Heidi met up with a couple of the gals from Women Who Sail FB group. Vickie and Cindy both live in Ensenada and have been very helpful to us. Women Who Sail is a fantastic group of  7,000+ women sailors all over the globe.
 
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