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 - Working on Boats in Exotic Locales: Ensenada
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Cruiseport Marina H-dock, or more specifically Hache-Ocho (H-8) has been our "home" for the past 2 months. It
Big THANKS to our cruising friend Don from Windcharmer who lent a hand in getting Due West moved from Cruiseport Marina over to Baja Naval Boatyard for our haulout. The tides, surge, and/or fog can sometimes make this a hairy ordeal, but luckily our haulout went off without a hitch.
Due West was backed into the slings where the guy at Baja Naval took the utmost care to check, double-check, and triple-check that the slings weren
Our inflatable kayaks and jerry jugs of spare diesel, water, and gasoline stowed on deck. Yellow jugs are diesel (four 5 gallon tanks), Blue jug is water (one 5 gallon tank, and Red jug is gasoline for the outboard and Honda generator.
It
Kirk checking out the prop, covered in barnacles and growth. But otherwise we were very pleased to see how good the bottom looked.
The quintessential working-on-boats-in-paradise shot, a warm sunny day with palm trees swaying in the background, mimicking the palm trees on our boat logo!
Yet more care taken by Baja Naval, they wrapped our SmartPlug electrical cord in plastic to keep it clean. While it may be a waste of plastic, any cruiser can attest to how dirty a boatyard can be, and this was a nice way to keep our cord clean. Overall, Baja Naval was THE cleanest boat yard we
Even in the masking and painting while raising the waterline up 4", they did a fantastic job. We were also pleasantly surprised to see that OSHA would approve of all the masks, gloves, and safety gear to protect these workers from toxic chemicals, not something you might expect in Mexico.
The prop being buffed clean of all marine debris, so hopefully we
Tosh and  Tikka wondering WHY we are swinging about up in the AIR instead of in the water?! It
Besides raising the waterline, the other main reason for our haulout was to replace our raw water (salt water) intake sea strainer that filters seaweed and other sea stuff out of our the engine cooling water. Our old sea strainer (see green bronze piece in middle) allowed in too much debris in it
The fur-kids LOVE it when ever the floor boards are opened up (or any locker doors are opened), new smells and places to explore..."how can we help?!"
The new sea strainer is a work of art, a glass lid you can see into to know when to clean it out, and an easy-open access for cleaning. It even fit within the 6" bilge space under the floors! Some boats have very deep bilges for storage and running pipes and hoses—not us, so things are frequently a tight squeeze. BIG THANKS to our friend Miles in San Diego, where we had this new sea strainer shipped to after overnighting it from Florida. Baja Naval wasn
What
Ever the helper, Tikka (and Tosh) always want to be where "Dad" is, doing what he is doing... handing him tools, or playing with his zip-ties and o-rings! "Can we be of any more assistance?"
Another project was adding netting to the lifelines to make it less likely the fur kids could accidentally fall or be launched off the boats in waves or curiosity. They
We needed to get some canvas work done, and William (Bill) came HIGHLY recommended through several cruisers at Cruiseport Marina. William made us dinghy chaps which we
Ta-da! The finished dinghy chaps, made from Sunbrella. The exterior edges are held down by shock cord under the lip of the rubber trim on the dinghy. The interior edge is weighted down by small bags filled with  sand or pea-gravel. It
When not in use, it
And speaking of theft deterrents, our outboard is ALWAYS locked to the dinghy, or locked to the stern rail on Due West. Outboards really like to go "walk-about" in the tropics. In an effort to discourage ours from going walk-about, (or to more easily spot it if it does?!) Akkkk...... Attack of the Psychedelic Jellyfish...
So we decided to turn our outboard into an ARTBoard with the help of a few cans of florescent spray paint...Heidi loves any excuse for an ART project!! :-)
Yamaha 15
Tornillos Alvarado is Captain Kirk
And boy did Tornillos Alvarado come in handy for helping to get all of the screws and bolts to finish installing our solar panels.
No two solar panels or attachment points are alike, so there is no standardized attachment device. Look at 10 different boats, and you
At long last, our two rail-mounted solar panels are finally installed, giving us 300 more watts of electricity from the sun. These new panels, in combination with our existing Bimini mounted panels, now give us a total capacity of 32 amps/hour. This keeps our batteries charged up and powers everything from our refrigerator, and 12 volt lights, to our SSB radio, VHF radio, and chart plotter/radar, keeping our carbon footprint low.
Captain Kirk is SO happy to finally have solved the solar panel mounting problems that first began in Oxnard.
Whew! It
Captain Kirk, A.K.A. Sherpa-Kirk bringing home provisions for our next leg of the journey.
Some of our provisions get stowed under floor boars, but as mentioned previously, that space is only about 6" deep, so it
This is what the main salon looks like after a trip to Costo and other provisioning before a big passage. For a few hours it looked like a tornado hit Due West, then one-by-one things find homes and get stashed away, and our main salon becomes livable again.
We
The shadows area growing L-O-N-G in Ensenada and it
Adios Cruiseport Marina and Ensenada, it
 
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