Due West Adventures

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

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

Dia de Los Muertos, Puerto Vallarta Style

02 November 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
You can view more images from Dia de los Muertos in our Photo Gallery.

This is our third time experiencing Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, the first time was 20-years ago in Yucatan. Last year we were in San Carlos. This year in Puerto Vallarta was by far the best. You may be familiar with the face-painted Catrinas y Catrines, sugar skulls, and colorfully decorated altars...

In case you're not familiar with this Mexican tradition, here's a little background. The celebration of ancestral spirits has been a Mexican tradition dating back to to 3,000 B.C, pre-Mayan and Aztec days. When the Spanish Missionaries arrived in Mexico in the 1700's they tried to abolish this custom with out any success. So instead they incorporated some Catholic icons from All Souls Day, and today the Dia de Los Muertos celebration encompasses traditional indigenous customs along with a few Catholic ones sprinkled in. Each village, town, and city puts their own spin onto the celebrations, so you may experience different customs in different parts of Mexico.

As we learned, the traditional painted faces and sugar skulls are just a part of the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. Graves and cemeteries are also decorated with bright orange, strongly-scented marigolds which help lead the spirits of the deceased ancestors back home for 24 hours of celebration each year on November 2nd. Family gatherings and parties to celebrate their ancestors include favorite foods and drinks of the deceased.

This is a HAPPY time to CELEBRATE LIFE, and is not a sad, mournful event. As it was explained "we are not sad that they are no longer with us, we are happy that they have come back to party with us for one night each year." The festival in Puerto Vallarta culminates in a parade from the cemetery to the Malecon.

No Tricks! We even got the Green Flash on Halloween night!

In other news, Kirk has recovered great from his latest pacemaker re-wiring, and we're currently visiting family in the states while friends Judy & Paul are taking care of Tosh & Tikka for us. We MISS our furbies! Stay tuned for another blog post soon about our road-trip Mexican style! In the mean time we'll be enjoying Banderas Bay this holiday season, so let us know if your'e coming to PV for the holidays, we'd love to see you!


Check out lots more images from Dia de los Muertos in our Photo Gallery.
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 - La Cruz & Sayulita
Photos 1 to 48 of 48 | Main
San Jose del Cabo to La Cruz, 280 nautical miles, about 48 hour passage.
Kirk still wearing long-sleeves on our first sunset out of San Jose del Cabo.
Night-watch selfie. Tosh makes night watches infinitely more exciting, he always wants to play fetch at 0300!
The Southern Cross constellation can be seen from about 20° Latitude N.
We finally found the WIND... albeit light wind, at least the jib got a nice workout.
Kitty yoga? Tikka
Half-way to La Cruz, it finally got hot enough to sail naked, or at least with minimal clothing. The only problem was, all of the warm-weather clothes were stashed away! So Heidi went spelunking under the salon-bunk to dig out some cooler clothing.
Half-way across our passage, we tossed our first "Message in a Neal
The off-watch crew, sleeping in the new-found heat of the day.
Sunset half-way across the Sea of Cortez.
Sunrise over La Cruz as we enter Banderas Bay.
Arriving in La Cruz early morning, Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Sayulita Beach Umbrellas.
Coney Island...er, uh, Sayulita?! :-)
Downtown Sayulita with banners flying.
SO many bright and colorful buildings in Sayulita, like this orange hotel...
... and this Hot Pink Blue Corn Cafe...
...and this Green building which also happened to have incredible GF Pizza!...
...and this blue building, every color of the rainbow really!
Lovely hotel courtyard in Sayulita, rooms were about $50/night, if we go again we
Arty spa entrance in Sayulita was so ZEN...
River through Sayulita is habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna.
Indigenous Huichol (
More Huichol art: Jaguar head.
Brightly painted clay frogs, more Huichol art, they worship many animals.
Corner produce market in Sayulilta.
Panga fishing fleet at La Cruz.
This red beach bar complete with beach umbrellas and chairs is jut across the parking lot from the marina in La Cruz.
"Downtown" La Cruz, only a few blocks wide and mostly dirt or cobblestone streets.
A typical house in La Cruz.
Typical La Cruz streets and buildings.
Besides the Marina, La Cruz is mostly houses, a few small shops and stores, and a few gringo  bars and restaurants like this Green Tomatoes (note the bull out front)...
...and this Rojo Gecko bar with live music.
Some Mariachi dudes in La Cruz...
Our new Mantus swivel connects our anchor chain to our amazing Rocna anchor, keeping the chain twist-free.
Heidi sundress shopping at the La Cruz Market.
Our new Huichol hand woven pillow from the La Cruz Sunday market
Huichol painted wood bowls at the La Cruz Sunday Market.
Vibrantly colored Huichol jewelry and clothing at the La Cruz Sunday Market.
More bright Huichul clothing and textiles, many items have animal themes to them.
Tikka has become little-miss-ADVENTURE in the warm weather. She loves checking out the boat from every angle, here she
Tosh and his favorite O-ring toy, which he fetches endlessly, or carries around in his mouth, looking like a fierce lion!
The Gatos del Mar, sleeping atop the refrigerator, covered in a wet rag to help keep them cool. Tikka often sleeps with her head/front legs hanging off of something. Wonder how she doesn
The house-band at Philo
Due West wearing her finest African Queen awning (over the aft end of the boat) and $30 Costco sun-shade (over the bow.) The African Queen awning that used to protect her from rain and snow, is now keeping her cool in the TROPICS at last!! :-)
Sunset over La Cruz.