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
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 II: Auditioning for The Blue Man Group
Photos 1 to 38 of 38 | Main
Clip from diver Carlo’s video showing the hole in the bottom of the foam-filled rudder. Luckily (amazingly) the rudder did not fill with water in the 24 hours before we hauled her out.
A few dings and holes in the fiberglass, no gelcoat or bottom paint left on the trailing edge of the keel.
George and Kirk tending lines while Due West was being hauled out of the water. We needed four line handlers, port and starboard, bow and stern (kinda like going through the Panama Canal...but not!) Ruth was a huge help onboard Due West tending lines, then jumped ship to grab a line on shore when the boatyard
First glimpses (face-to-face) of the damage as Due West is hauled out of the water. She actually looked ‘less bad’ out of the water than the diver’s video had indicated (remember, water magnifies things by 25%!)
Due West on the jack-stands just after haul-out. Even with all the damage and dried on sea slime...she
Mid-day lenticular cloud over the Sierra Gigantes. The boat yard is off to the far right, the new marina owners are pouring lots of dollars into the guard-shack (far left) making it uber-fancy. We
Dried on sea-slime and baby barnacles  are difficult to remove once they
An early start to the day is rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over Hotel Tripui pool.
Kirk all suited up for a LONG, HOT day at the boatyard...sadly it was futile to try to keep the blue dust out...but we suited up faithfully and did the best we could.
Heidi donned mask, gloves, and eye protection for hand-sanding the waterline and was mostly OSHA approved too, but couldn
Kirk decided to audition for the Blue Man Group. Although all geared up to OSHA standards, somehow that blue paint dust permeated everything! Did we mention it was 98° in the SHADE, and Tyvek doesn
The Blue Man all suited up and sanding the bottom. The two peaks in the background are "The Mamoth" (on the left) and "The Gorilla" (on the right). They are facing each other as if having a conversation.
Our Mondrian Blue bottom, prepped and ready for paint... Heidi
Just can
Tripui Hotel and pool, a brightly colored oasis in the Baja desert.
Happy 69th Birthday to Captain Kirk! We had a FUN pool party to celebrate with fellow cruisers (left to right): George, Larry, Judy (front), Ruth (back), Boni, John, Heidi. The Birthday boy took the photo!
After a long day of boat work it was nice to be rewarded by beautiful sunsets.
Tikka-Pepita-Salulita-Margarita enjoying a nap on the giant king-size bed at Hotel Tripui.
In addition to the obvious food and litter-box, we also brought the furbie
Giant Silk Moths were everywhere just after the hurricane. The cats loved chasing them (thanks Boni for the hand model!)
Ouch! That hurt! Leading edge of the keel is down to bare fiberglass, missing gel coat, barrier coat, and bottom paint in places.
George and Kirk lay down the first layers of fiberglass matting on the leading edge of the keel. Many more layers to go…
George graffitied the keel with his sander before grinding down the damage to begin repairs. More laters of fiberglass matting being laid-up.
George expertly adding layer upon layer of fiberglass resin and matting, this time to the damaged rudder and skeg. He moved back-and-forth between the keel and rudder over many days, taking advantage of curing times between the many layers.
Fiberglass matting done, time for gelcoat (resin with white pigment) creating a smooth surface covering the resin soaked matting.
Fiberglass matting going on the rudder, note the errant fibers on George’s hand. He was rarely OSHA approved!
Next up, barrier coat (gray) over the keel repaired area, which seals the porous gelcoat making it ready for bottom paint.
Fiberglass and gelcoat layers done, and on with the barrier coat (gray). Next up, bottom paint…
Another gorgeous sunrise over the Sierra Gigante mountains. The beautiful scenery around here made the whole repair/boatyard experience much more tenable.
BIG THANKS to Kimi & Trevor for picking up spare parts in San Diego for us, and selling us a gallon of their blue bottom paint. And thanks to Tim for the hand-held GPS too! :-)
FINALLY ready for bottom paint...John (s/v Ingenium) and Heidi tackle the keel with BLUE.
It was just tooooo damn hot for Heidi to keep her Tyvek suit on, so she got blue speckled too!
Look at that BLUE, better than new! THANKS SO MUCH George (and Ruth for your patience!), we are forever grateful!
After a late night painting in the dark (because it was finally cool enough that the bottom paint wouldn
Finally! All repaired, zinced, and painted, Due West is ready for splashing!
And she
We SO MUCH appreciate and are truly humbled by all of the well wishes, love, and incredible support from our friends and family as we made our limes into Limonada, blue limonada that is! We even named a drink after this whole experience, Due West On The Rocks! Cheers to ALL of you!!