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 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!!