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 - Hurricane Newton Part 1: Eye of Newt
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Arial view of Puerto Escondido and Hidden Harbor. The two "Windows" to the east side of the bay had been enclosed by rock dikes hundreds of years ago by the local native tribes. The only way into the bay is via a very narrow entrance  in the south. The marina and boat yard can be seen where the roads are. The rest of the land around the bay is uninhabited desert.
Multiple hurricane prediction models show the various paths that Hurricane Newton might take. These were a moving target, changing by the hour. Some hurricanes are easier to predict the tracks on...Newton was NOT one of those "easy to predict" paths.
These ominous clouds were building on Monday evening as we were finalizing all of our hurricane prep.
Windyty.com shows Hurricane Newton as it
View from our hotel room where the rain was pouring down at almost 2" hour and the palm trees were blowing sideways...swimming pool (turquoise right background) was filling with palm fronds.
This diagram shows the mooring buoy, how we were attached, and what broke...After the hurricane the marina claimed it was an "Act of God" and held no responsibility. They even claimed that their moorings are not intended for hurricane use, even though they are in a known hurricane hole? "This navigational chart not intended for navigation..." Right.
Oh what a difference a day makes. Beautiful sunrise over the Sierra Gigantes, 24-hours after Newton passed by.
Thankfully when we arrived at Due West on Wednesday morning, she was still standing upright on the small scree rocks in the mangroves.
Onboard Due West you can see how close to shore we were. Had we heeled to port our boat would have been cushioned by mangroves. Off to the starboard side water was almost deep enough to float us, so we were likely lifted up onto the rocks by surge after the hurricane.
Looking straight down Due West
Friend John from s/v Ingenium helped dive the boat and move rocks out of the way of the rudder so it wouldn
The Mexican Navy in their Safeboat patrol boat and Diver Carlos finally returned to help just AFTER high-tide had passed. They pulled on the kedging lines to heel us over more and finally pulled us off the rocks.
Captain Kirk watching the Mexican Navy and Diver Carlos pull us off the rocks.
This great shot by friend Ruth from s/v Sea Flee who was on board with us shows our angle of heel as Due West finally started to move off the rocks, the starboard gunnel was totally under water. We had put the dodger back on while we waited for help, and were ducking behind it incase one of the tow/kedging lines parted under the strain of 900+HP. Thankfully no more lines parted!
The spectators: other cruisers in their dinghies came to watch and cheer!
The scree pile surrounded by mangroves where Due West ended up. If we had to go aground, this was definitely one of the "luckiest" place we could have gone aground.
Captain Kirk and John thanking the Mexican Navy after their SafeBoat assisted in pulling Due West off the rocks.
Another great shot from our friend Ruth showing Due West under her own power motoring for the boat yard. No damage to the prop/shaft/strut. We were SO incredibly lucky, it could have been so much worse...