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 - San Carlos & Guaymas
Photos 1 to 45 of 45 | Main
1
Shrimping is a huge industry in Guaymas, Mexico. This was one of the largest marinas for shrimp boats and you could buy shrimp directly from the fishermen in the buildings on the shore in front of their boats. We
Fishermen
You could buy shrimp on the beach for lunch at this bright-and-colorful shrimp-shack.
Cruisers Heidi, Kimi, Scott, and Viviane descend on the Guaymas Weekly Market, carrying everything from used clothing to tools to tamales and aguas frescas, honey, meats, fried pork rinds by the ton, and eggs, but not much produce  to be found. Kirk
They were even selling shrimp at the Guaymas Market, this whole bag of large camarones only cost $100 pesos, or about $5.50 US.
The sandia display was beautiful and we wanted to buy one, but lugging a watermelon back in our backpack on the bus was a bit daunting so we passed this time.
The market is full of food vendors selling everything from aguas frescas: fresh juices from jamaica (hibiscus), tamarind, piña (pineapple), and horchata (almonds and rice) to tamales, empenadas, and more.
Mexicans are huge carnivores and you can find every type of meat (or animal part!) at the market. Here were coolers full of pork and chicken pieces. We didn
Fried pork rinds were big business at the Guaymas Market. Take a 8"x10" size piece of uncooked pork rind and drop it into the vat of boiling fat...
...and a minute or two later out comes a piece of fried pork rind the size of a whole pig!  They were selling like hot-cakes as fast as they could fry them up.
Need a tool, any tool? They have everything from brand shiny-new to left-out-in-the-yard-in-the-rain. Just name your price to determine which one you
And then there are the household goods, everything you could ever want or need, in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes...
..including a larger-than-LIFE-size bag of cheetos that could substitute as a life-raft and provisions all-in-one, or a beanbag chair and snacks for the beach... and the cost of this behemoth? $3.40 US. Sadly it
Due West at anchor in the stunningly beautiful Bahia San Carlos. Mountains surround the west side of the bay... (Photo credit: Viviane s/v "Juniper")
...and cliff-side Mediterranean-type villas adorn the "San Carlos Riviera" to the east.
San Carlos has more pelicans per capita than we
The San Carlos Catholic Church at Marina San Carlos (note sailboat masts in the far-right background) has beautiful stained glass windows in cobalt blue, yellow, and orange. But we couldn
We pass this restaurant with its white stallion (bronco?) silhouetted against the bright blue sky every time we walk from the San Carlos Marina to the grocery store and back. It always looks deserted like it
Mexican PSA: "COVER your Cistern... so that you don
San Carlos Marina has a Saturday Market with a variety of fresh produce, baked breads, and Mexican handi-crafts. Here Heidi is shopping for some little goodies to take to her Neal
The working stiffs, Heidi, Boni, and John. We might be living the dream but some of us are still working our businesses from any wifi-cafe we can find. Hammerheads at San Carlos Marina has good wifi and limonadas mineral, but their A/C makes it too cold in there! John
San Carlos is a cross-roads for lots of cruisers and it
We also stopped by the boatyard in Guaymas to commiserate with our friend Jim on s/v "Anore" about Hurricane Newton. "Anore" was one of the unlucky Guaymas boats where the jack-stands tipped canting her so that her mast hit another boat. Luckily both boats are now fixed and back in the water. Jim is a NOLS instructor leading hiking, kayaking, and sailing expeditions in Baja, whom we first met in Ensenada almost a year ago.
And after six long months, we FINALLY met up with our old friends Maryalice and Rick from s/v "Notre Isle" for dinner at Tortugas. They spent the summer motorcycling and RV-ing around the US and are now back in San Carlos getting "Notre Isle" ready to sail this winter. We first met these guys and their dog Harley in Santa Cruz, CA in September 2015, and then met-up with  them again in Monterey, San Diego, Ensenada, and Puerto Vallarta...looking forward to more fun times together this season!
John
Birthday Boy John laughing with Kimi & Trevor.
Our Green-eyed Lady Tikka steels our heart daily, just look at those eyes!
Tosh, our "cat-dog" (who fetches, and follows us everywhere!) trying to decide which book to chew on next. He says "The Zanzibar Chest" and "One Spirit Medicine" are both pretty tasty! :-D
Breakfast smoothie time, Tikka holds space for the Vitamix when it
Kirk
Shrimp boats hunkering down in Bahia Aldodones during a couple of days of 6-8
The kite-surfers were out in full-force taking advantage of the winds as we arrived in Bahia Algodones. Exciting day!
"Due West" anchored in Bahia Algodones, with palapa beach bars, an amazing long sandy beach, and big sand dunes. LOVE it here!! :-D
The lights shining across the water from the palapa beach bars made for beautiful evenings at Bahia Algodones. Luckily they had some great bands playing great music too, cuz the music floating across the water went on
We watched the truck zoom past the "No Horses or Motorized Vehicles on the Sand Dunes" sign to make these tracks, then get stuck, and have to back down... Duh!
Captain Kirk climbing the 30
Heidi was here... Leave only footprints, take only photos...
...unless of course you
Who knows what food, drinks, and music lurk in the palapa beach bars at Bahia Algodones? The Shadow knows...
Speaking of shadows, Kirk caught this photo of Heidi stealing the sunbeams on Playa Algodones.
Sunsets at Bahia Algodones were phenomenal...
In Mexico the dead visit in November: Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), on November 2nd.
Amazing! The richly colorful detail and intricate design in the Day of the Dead face paint on this student.
The University of Guaymas Hospitality & Tourism students all decked out in their Dia de Los Muertos finest face paint.
Most businesses and homes in Mexico set up shrines to honor their deceased loved ones during Dia de Los Muertos. This particular shrine was set up on the malecón at the marina in front of one of the restaurant/bars, and was to commemorate the founder of one brand of tequila!
 
1