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 - Isla Espirto Santo, Isla San Francisco & San Evaristo
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Map of our travels from La Paz to San Evaristo and back again. We did variations of this trip twice, once with the WWS (Women Who Sail) Rendezvous, and again with our Seattle friends Jared & Karen.
Bonanza Beach view from our kayaks, east side of Isla Espirto Santo, where we anchored for 3 days before arriving at La Paz (see previous post.) The first day we had the entire bay to ourselves, then each day more and more boats showed up, including 12 kayakers camping on the beach on our last day.
Due West anchored in Caleta Partida, though the water looks inviting, it was still a bit on the cool side (74°) and we saw quite a few jellies, so we weren
One of two fishing villages on the cut between Isla Partida (this village) and Isla Espirto Santo.
The second fishing village on the opposite bank from the first, is on Isla Espirto Santo. The cut between the islands is very shallow and can only be passed by dinghy at hight tide.
Kirk and Jared dinghying to the Sea Caves. The geology around here makes us feel like we
View of the ever-changing shoreline along Isla Espirto Santo on the way to the Sea Caves.
Another view looking south from the Sea Caves along the eastern shore of Isla Espirto Santo.
Entering into the Sea Caves on Isla Espirto Santo. The water is a magical neon-turquoise color.
Inside the Sea Caves on Isla Espirto Santo, looking out a "window" in the cave. We dinghied into the cave which was about 80
Looking up inside the Sea Caves, made of conglomerate rock...hoping for NO earthquakes while we were inside the caves.
Cormorant silhoutte looking out from inside the Sea Caves.
Seattle friends Karen & Roger on s/v Meridien dinghied over from the next cove to meet us in Caleta Partida in the shallow dinghy channel. So good to see them even for a few brief minutes.
Isla Espirto Santo National Park: The shoals of Caleta Partida Bay (in some places only 1-2
Heidi  and Jared, sailing to San Evaristo.
We saw several individual dolphins and one pod of about 10-12 Bottlenose dolphins which surfed our bow wake for several minutes of play. None of our photos were quite as good as this photo, courtesy of Heidi
Panoramic view of Isla San Francisco from the top of the ridge. This birds-eye view really shows the crater well. Photo courtesy of Jared Smith.
Heidi, Karen, and Captain Kirk getting ready to hike up the ridge on Isla San Francisco.
Due West anchored in picturesque Isla San Franciso, a former volcanic crater with white sand beaches and turquoise waters.  We are the white sailboat in the middle of the photo, next to a white powerboat.
Top of Isla San Francisco looking north-east down the coast. The rocks on this island are high in both iron (red) and copper (green) content.
Sunset over Isla San Francisco filled with WWS boats.
The first night of the WWS Rendezvous, prizes and fun times for all, including the few DH
Heidi and Seattle friend Teresa, on the WWS Rendezvous. We were happy to kid-nap Teresa off of her charter boat to come sail with us for a couple of days.
Cardón cactus in bloom on Isla San Jose. These larger cousins of the Suguaro cactus can grow to 70
Sea birds swarming the fishing boats in San Evaristo.
Lupe Sierra & Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae (right) and her daughter-in-law cooked amazing food for 65 people at the Women Who Sail Rendezvous. We took Jared & Karen back there the following week for another delicious meal. Fresh fish from the day
The BYOB (bring your own BOAT) crews at the WWS Rendezvous. So much fun to meet up with so many people that Heidi had previously known only on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Frankie Grant (far left).
Cows and goats hanging out in front of the San Evaristo "Mini-Super" Tienda. For a small town of 40 families, 5 hours drive from anywhere... this tienda actually had quite an amazing selection of food including fresh produce. Heidi asked the owner if she could take a photo inside the store, but she declined.
The "Mini-Super" tienda in the little fishing village of San Evaristo.
The dogs of San Evaristo with the Agua Purificada and Heilo Purificada plant in the background.
The Heilo Purificada (ice from purified water) was "bag-your-own" at 20 pesos (about $1.20 US) per kilo. Since we didn
Karen, Steve & Sherri from s/v Pablo, Heidi, and  Jared on the beach in San Evaristo. Here you can see "Aventuras
"Aventuras" our dinghy sporting her new dinghy chaps (gray sumbrella cover); art-board motor; and new dinghy-wheels in the UP position. These dinghy wheels help us to "drive" the dinghy up the beach, away from the surf and rising tide.
Signs on the beach "Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle your feet" as you get in and out of the dinghy at the water
The crazy antics of these Mabula Rays (a type of smaller manta ray) kept us entertained on several occasions. Again, Heidi
Jared, who used to be allergic to cats, declared Tosh & Tikka to be "hypoallergenic" and got some cute shots of them as they played with him each morning... nothing like having your cats wake up your guests at 0500 to PLAY!
Tosh & Tikka chilaxin on the main traveler, at anchor.
Karen, Jared, and Kirk hanging in the cockpit.
Mix-master Jared Smith making our nightly margaritas with fresh limes, tequila, and "Controy"! They were delish!
As we returned to La Paz, we passed our new South Korean friend, Moon on s/v Adele. We first met Moon in Ensenada several months ago. Now he was leaving on his single-handed voyage back to South Korea, via Hawaii! We wished him fair winds and following seas, and will be eager to hear from him when he next gets internet access.
 
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