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 - Back in the USA y Bienvenidos a México!
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Every 180-days we need to renew our Mexican Tourist Cards ("Visas".) The only requirement to renew is to leave Mexico for a few minutes, then return again, and pay about $20/ea for a new 180-day card. Alternatively you could apply for a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente, to become a temporary or permanent resident of Mexico. These both cost a lot more money and require many more hoops to jump through. So we
The highlight of Heidi
We voted a month early online (Washington State lets residents living over seas vote online!) but ended up being in the States on that fateful Election Day. We had planned to stay at Heidi
Kirk birdwatching with Heidi
Heidi with some of her Holistic Practitioner colleagues at Neal
Kirk and Jean graciously helped Heidi with some Neal
We took Verne to visit two of his cousins who lived in a retirement center near by and had a FUN lunch with cousin Ed (95!) A hoot-of-a guy, and former WWII PBM flying-boat pilot, Ed is also a very good and prolific oil painter (see behind guys and next photo.) Ed said he
Cousin Ed
It was so great to see Heidi
Somehow after the fun week visiting Heidi
Our stash of Costco and  Trader Joe
Everything from soup-to-nuts stowed in crates, our "secondary pantry". We shop where the locals shop, buying fresh produce every few days. But our favorite dry good staples and gluten-free items for Heidi are harder to come by or more expensive here. Since we
Farewell dinner with Cruising Buddies at the Sunset Grill, Playa Algodones.  Back row: Heidi & Kirk, Maryalice & Rick (s/v Notre Isle), Chris & Liz (s/v Espirtu), Don (s/v Windcharmer). Front Row: Kimi & Trevor (s/v Slow Flight). Missing from this photo were Lisa from s/v Windcharmer (who was back in the states visiting her mom), and Boni & John (s/v Ingenium) who were burning the midnight oil working on their engine. We MISS all of you guys, but look forward to catching up again soon in other ports of call.
His and Hers clever signs leading the way to the restrooms at the Sunset Grill.
Fun adult swings at the bar at Sunset Grill, Playa Algodones. If you
Beautiful metal Mexican wall-art tree at the Sunset Grill, decorated with lights and glass ornaments. This looks like permanent decor, not a holiday decoration, really lovely, Heidi wants one on the boat! :-)
Our passage south from San Carlos to Bahia Bonanza on Isla Espirtu Santo, about 215 nautical miles, took us 34 hours of sailing and motor-sailing. After two nights at Bonanza, we were off to Marina de La Paz (another 20 nautical miles), and then a 2-hour bus ride to Los Barriles for Thanksgiving. Note that we plan to spend summer 2017 in Bahia de Los Angeles, located at the top of the Baja Peninsula on this map, come and visit!
South of San Carlos, while the seas were rough and winds were howling, at least the sunset was beautiful! This was one of the best ones yet, 360° of pink and orange sky!
Though we didn
"Tikka-la-Sneaka" our green-eyed-girl, hanging out under the bunk on top of a sleeping bag covering the "Soup-to-Nuts" crate. Heidi made her a cozy nest to hide out during our passage from San Carlos to Bahia Bonanza. This bed worked much better than her preferred hiding spot in the bow, squeezed under the head toilet, that is the bounciest place in the boat!
Passages do not phase this Kool-Kat Tosh who sacks out in our salon sea berth with who ever is off-watch, chases his toys around the salon in pitching seas, or chilaxes in the cockpit with who ever is on-watch. This boy was MADE for sailing, as long as he doesn
Captain Kirk with the filthy-black Racor fuel filter. Note to self: Even filtered fuel in Mexico can be dirty, we
As part of our gig being SSB Net Hosts on the Amigo Net each Tuesday morning (1400 Zulu time, frequency 4.149), we read the NOAA Experimental WX for Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. You can check out the daily forecasts here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ7. Previously  only computer generated data, this forecast is now vetted by humans at NOAA each day, for which we are grateful!
A wonderful surprise on our return to La Paz, a new art-sign like the one in Loreto! We love the fun, bright, and colorful addition to the Malecon.
Delicious dinner at Dulce Romero in La Paz with good friends (and Tosh & Tikka sitters!) Viviane and Scott. This all-natural/healthy/organic restaurant was SO delicious. Not super gluten-free friendly (lots of multi-grain breads!), but they had great salads for Heidi. And Kirk
Wonderful to make it to Los Barriles in time for Sara
A close-up of the little Mexican Cakes that were SO beautifully decorated, but sadly not gluten-free for Heidi...Captain Kirk enjoyed his piece though!
Thanksgiving Day bike ride with Braden and Molly to the store for dinner ingredients. Nice to be in Mexico for Thanksgiving where the stores are open and there is no mad-rush to buy food! This was Heidi
Hans, Lyna, and Braden on the beach...we are now taking wellness advice from the "kids" we watched grow up as maniacs on the ski slope, Hans is a Naturopath and Braden is our Dentist. So much fun to be with our "framily" again!
Captain Kirk, a.k.a. "Salad Man" making the Thanksgiving salad complete with his top-secret delicious dressing!
Sara and her brother Fred with the Thanksgiving spread including: smoked turkey, vegan mashed potatoes, stove-top-stuffing, grilled veggies (green beens, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and asparagus), a green salad, and tequila-lime-shrimp skewers!
Cheers...So much to GIVE THANKS for!
Nothing Black about this "Black Friday" morning breakfast with good friends and family: Heidi, Sara, Kirk (and kitty Kaya), Fred (back), Molly & Braden (front), Lyna, and Hans.
Captain Kirk and Heidi checking out these fun, unique, colorful Mexican Christmas ornaments in Los Barriles. We bought one for $75 pesos ($4 US), it
 
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