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!

xoxo

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
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 - The Minister & The Mermaid
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Big THANKS to Puget Sound Cruising Club (PSCC) friends Rob & Teresa (who circumnavigated the Pacific a few years ago) for hosting a fun backyard BBQ Pizza party with more Bainbridge Island cruising friends. Seen here: Rob, Paul & Judy. We hung out with Paul & Judy in Mexico and picked their brains for Panama and Ecuador cruising info before they shipped their boat back to the Pacific Northwest. We
Painterly image of cruising friends Teresa and Lisa. HUGE THANKS to Teresa for your wonderful hospitality and use of your car while we were there! And to Lisa for past and future use of your buoy at Puerto Escondido! See you in La Paz this fall...
PSCC Cruising friends Mike and Wendy & Garth chatting in Teresa & Rob
Our good friends Devon & Jim always make us feel so welcome in their beautiful home near Port Townsend. We watched it grow up from a muddy field to a construction zone, to a shining gem of a home over the years. They hosted a little get-together with our Port Townsend area sailing friends, then took us crabbing for fresh Dunguness, which we are so MISSING in Mexico, a highlight of our trip. Many THANKS Devon & Jim for all you have done and continue to do for us, we miss you!
Marrowstoners Carol and Devon with Heidi...so good to see these girls again, we miss you so much and hope you come visit soon!! :-)
Boys will be boys! Kirk hanging with his pals: Jim and Sandy. Seems like just yesterday we were all together! We loved having Sandy as one of our crew down the coast from Port Townsend to Newport, Oregon, too bad Neptune foiled the trip to San Francisco.
Heidi and Johnny G, who named us "The Minister & The Mermaid", as Kirk was going to officiate a wedding, and apparently Heidi looked like a fish out of water in jeans and a sweater!? ;-)
No gathering at Devon & Jim
Frosty jammin
Jim, Heidi (a.k.a. The Mermaid), Devon, Kirk (a.ka. The Minister)...we LOVE and miss these guys!
Frosty, Patti, Jim, and Devon... What?! The Mermaid is eating a hotdog?! Yes, Heidi was in hotdog heaven! It
We got to see Carol & Johnny G
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a stop at the Ballard Fred Meyer, to see our FAV checker Emma! She hails from Columbia and has always helped us with our Spanish. She was impressed that we knew much more then when we left! :-)
We were lucky to be in Seattle on a summer Thursday night to race in the Elliott Bay Marina Downtown Sailing Series with our friends Regina & Mike on s/v Quo Vadis. Not so lucky with the weather, Seattle welcomed us home with rain and lightening requiring jeans and jackets to keep warm. What a difference a week and 24° latitude makes!? Fun to see a few of our old marina neighbors too. As some of you remember, s/v Due West was a regular in this regatta for the past 15 years and we always loved taking people out on the water who didn
The UP side to the clouds and rain...this beautiful sunset over Elliott Bay Marina.
And now, the whole reason for our trip back to the Pacific Northwest... to attend the Mazama-Rama with Wedding, where The Minister would officiate the ceremony of our "nephew" Braden marrying Molly the Fox of course!
The Minister "Captain Reverend Kirk" bestowing last pearls of wisdom on Braden before the rehearsal.
Our "niece" and "nephew" Kelsi and Braden at the Mazama-Rama with Wedding.
Mother of the Groom, Sara and The Minister "Captain Reverend Kirk" before the rehearsal. Sara, Kirk and friends had cycled Europe 30+ years ago when Sara was pregnant with Kelsi! Such an honor for Kirk to represent Bob for this wedding.
To ensure people wouldn
The beautiful wedding ceremony site with chairs for almost 200 people on a river floodplain clearing in the forest.
Kelsi and her husband Jesse graciously hosted us in Seattle for a few days before and after the wedding, fed us delicious healthy meals from their garden, and lent us a car to get around. So much fun to hang out with them, but way too brief! Here
The King and the Queen of the Ball: Molly & Braden hamming it up post rehearsal, headed to a delicious gluten-free meal cooked by Braden
The Minister... Photo credit: Sandra Burr.
Mid-ceremony in the 85° heat and stillness, a gusty-breeze blew through the ceremony, Braden and Kirk simultaneously exclaimed “Bob!”, as Kirk was miked the audience heard him, laughed, then got a bit teary.
I now pronounce you "Dr. & Dr.", er, uh "Husband & Wife, Braden & Molly!" [Molly is a naturopath and Braden is a dentist, both on Whidbey Island, and it seemed like most of the guests were natural healers of one type or another. Fun to be with such a health loving crowd.] Photo credit: Sandra Burr.
Oh what a dance party it was, complete with Hava Nagila chair dance, Molly and her girls dancing to Madona
North Cascades National Park and North Cascades Highway, a beautiful drive through gorgeous mountains, was a welcome relief to the 104° heat we left behind in La Paz!
The Minister & The Mermaid with the Early Winters Spires in the background. One of the most beautiful drives in Washington state, Molly-the-Bride requested that everyone stop to take in her favorite view from Washington Pass Overlook.
One more party in Seattle before we headed back to Mexico. Friends Karen & Jared (who visited us in La Paz last spring) hosted a fun-filled get-together on their deck with a view of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. A mini-reunion from a sailing trip several years ago to the BVIs with some of these folks: Kathy, Lu, Ian, Jared, Karen, John, Heidi, Willie, Kirk, and Mike. Thanks so much for the hospitality and party (during your retirement/birthday week no less Karen!), and for the ride to the airport at an un-godly hour Jared! :-)  [If you
Heidi
We couldn
The Seattle sunsets did not disappoint!
Ugh! And then we had to PACK up all of the boat parts, gluten-free food, vitamins and supplements, cat food, and let
Yes, it totaled exactly 400 pounds of stuff, split up among 5 duffles and a box. Note to Alaska Air flyers: Although your first two bags can
Our dear friend Miles toured us all over San Diego County (this view above Black
BEST Cat Sitters in the WORLD! Not only did John & Boni take stellar care of the Furbies, they rented a jeep and picked us up at the Cabo airport along with our 400 lbs of luggage! (See it strapped to the roof behind our heads?!) We had to leave room inside the jeep for people and a Costco run. Thanks guys, we hope to return the favor!
Tosh & Tikka beating the heat in La Paz, sleeping on the salon table under the A/C unit...they
 
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