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 - Sara Goes to Sea: La Paz to Puerto Vallarta
Photos 1 to 51 of 51 | Main
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Sara goes to sea!
Our 380 nautical mile passage from La Paz to Banderas Bay took 60 hours from hook up to hook down.  If you
Sara arrived in La Paz the day before our departure and she and Heidi provisioned for three-weeks... er, uh, three-days! One thing
The watch schedule that works best for the two of us is 4-hours-on/4-hours-off during the night, and 6-ours-on/6-hours-off during the day. We modified that to have Sara
We cut Sara slack on keeping to the night watch schedule so she could hang out in this comfy "room with a view" bunk to get her beauty sleep and keep on cooking more phantasmagoric meals. ;-)
...Sara is a fabulous cook and she took over the galley making us FANTABULOUS meals every day. THANKS Sara!! xoxo
Frigate bird flying high over Due West
When Sara wasn
We take our off-watches seriously and get in as many winks as we can when ever we are off.   Even though we sleep in shorter chunks of time, we seem to get more sleep on passages than on the hook or at the dock. Ever the lover, Tosh is right there snuggling with who ever is off watch.
Flat-calm seas were the norm for about half of our trip across the Sea of Cortez. No wind meant motoring (which meant we could run the water maker!) and also meant we saw a LOT of sea turtles which are much easier to spot in the flat calm seas than rough seas.
We saw 10-12 endangered Olive Ridley  Sea Turtles while sailing across the Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Puerto Vallarta. And used the iNature App to track them as Citizen Scientists for "Project Sea Turtle" scientific research. (This photo copyright and courtesy of oliveridleyproject.org at http://oliveridleyproject.org/sea-turtles/.) When the seas are flat-calm you could easily spot large brown "blobs" on the surface of the water, which turned out to be sea turtles!
Navi-girl Heidi and Captain Kirk each host the SSB Amigo Net one day a week (Heidi on Monday mornings, Kirk on Tuesday mornings), 1400 Zulu on 4.149USB. This is a great opportunity to check in with other boats sailing in Mexico, "meet" new cruisers, or get a weather forecast for where ever you
We really love doing passages, and the night watches are our favorite with the beautiful stars, moon, sunsets, sunrises, and Orion always leading our way. Every sunrise and sunset is really different, just like snowflakes! Glad we don
Elliott Bay Marina friend and "Pirate Girl" Michele happened to be in La Cruz when we arrived, fun small world! Great to see you Michele! :-)
Heidi is in heaven at Organic Love restaurant in La Cruz. Check it out if you
Top of the list upon arriving in Banderas Bay was to hit the La Cruz Sunday market so Sara and Heidi could buy cute sundresses for $350 pesos!
Captain Kirk checking out the Five-Star view from friends Judy & Paul
Our celebration of the Festival of Guadalupe started with a walk down the Puerto Vallarta Malecon where someone had created this great Bienvenidos sand sculpture with the Virgin of Guadalupe herself...
Puerto Vallarta has a plethora of surrealistic sculptures all along the Malecón (walkway along the waterfront.) This fun ladder to the sky called "Searching for Reason" (En busca de la razón) by the famous Mexican artist, Sergio Bustamante had people climbing all over it. Not wanting to miss out on the adventure,  Sara and Heidi had to climb it too!
Our walk along the Malecón lead us to the Cathedral of Guadalupe where the Festival of Guadalupe was taking place. The whole town square across from the church (near Old Town) was filled with food vendors selling every imaginable Mexican treat, kids playing games, or painting pottery.
Our fantastic view of La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe) from the restaurant upstairs-left, and all the pilgrims and revelers.
The inside of La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, decorated in pink and blue. Many of the pilgrims crawled in on their knees, like these two in front of us.  The church bells ring for every pilgrim entering the church, which was pretty much non-stop.
This little boy was wearing his finest Lady of Guadalupe clothing, complete with drawn-on mustache!
Cheers to Seattle cruising friends Judy and Paul who now live in PV full-time after years of cruising their sailboat to Ecuador and back. They were gracious hosts showing us around their new home city, and they knew just where to watch the Festival of Guadalupe festivities from! Thanks for a fantastic week guys! :-) xoxo
The parade of pilgrims on the evening of December 12, Dia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, went on all night long. Think "Torchlight Parade" in Seattle but for 24+ hours and with firecrackers and church bells ringing throughout the whole thing.  (Kirk says: but with no Hydroplanes or Seafair Pirates! :-)
Many of the local neighborhoods, civic clubs, branches of the armed services, and schools had their own groups in the parade, and some of them carried large images of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
There were a multitude of Aztec Dancers in various head-dresses, including these dancers dressed as hummingbirds.
Sara, Heidi and Kirk at the Festival of Guadalupe... La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is lit up in the background.
Sara, Heidi, Viviane, and Scott joining the revelers at Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, FUN time had by all!
Heidi working her Neal
Judy and Paul picked up Kirk and Sara at the marina and we all headed off for a beautiful day-hike along the south coast of Banderas Bay. The hike started south of Puerto Vallarta at Boca del Tomitlan...
The hiking trail leaves from the head of the bay at Boca del Tomitlan, passing all these fishing pangas in the river...
...the trail winds through jungle forest up and down steps and slopes, and Kirk was in his element in the great outdoors. ©SaraGiswold.
... five miles later the trail winds down to the beach with last mile plus hiking on the beach. After lunch on the beach in Las Ánimas we took a panga back to Boca and drove home from there. A great, fun hike! Thanks Judy & Paul!! :-D
Map of Banderas Bay, showing Due West
The small fishing village of Yelapa is only accessible by boat and the whole town is owned by the indigenous tribe that lives there, no one owns individual buildings or plots of land. A trip to Yelapa has been on our bucket list for years, so we were glad for this chance to finally visit. ©SaraGiswold.
View of Yelapa Bay from the trail that connects the village to the beach.
Tropical shadows cast on the cobblestone paths through the village, between houses, stores, and restaurants.
We LOVED this multi-cultural snapshot of life in Yelapa... a little blonde-haired white-girl pushing the little Mexican boy UP a steep cobblestone path on his BROKEN plastic trike (note front tire.) They were both jabbering away in Spanish...so cute! And race was SO not an issue... we could all take a lesson from this.
No cars, but plenty of burros, mules, and horses here in Yelapa!
We were so surprised by the variety and freshness of the produce available in the little tienda in the middle of Yelapa. We could hardly find this beautiful of produce in Puerto Vallarta!
Sara took this lovely shot of the Yelapa waterfall. This one was close to town, only a 5-minute walk.  There was apparently another, larger one about a 2-hour walk away which we didn
Interesting to see plastic milk crate strapped onto the backs of burros and mules in Yelapa. Maybe they carry more stuff than the traditional saddle-bags? ©SaraGiswold.
We happened upon Cafe Bahia in Yelapa and were SO glad we did! Fabulous vegen-gluten-free friendly food (they also have non veg and other stuff, but Heidi was thrilled with this find!) Check them out here http://bit.ly/2hVLXKd and stop in if you are ever in Yelapa, you won
Kirk and Sara with our beautiful, delicious food at Bahia Cafe.
We ordered a Passionfruit Margarita at Cafe Bahia, and it was so delicious Sara just had to take a selfi as she tried it (she can normally only drink a thimble-full of alcohol!) ©SaraGiswold.
If you
Marina Vallarta has a great Artisan Market on Thursday nights. Little did we know they also have crocodiles!?! This was taken right from the marina malecón. We made sure Tosh and Tikka did NOT go swimming here!
One of the local Huichol artisans at the Marina Vallarta Thursday Evening Market ~ this was the BEST artisan market we
We were in need of a new galley rug as our old one had worn out and been donated to the dog shelter in La Paz. This one from the Marina Vallarta Artisan Market caught our eye and we debated the size/color/pattern and care of wool rug on boat, but Sara threw in the deciding vote when she said "Bob would LOVE this one!" And so do we...Tikka and Tosh included. Merry Christmas to Due West (and Tikka and Tosh who love the Escher-like fish!)
Sara got this farewell shot of us and Due West at Marina Vallarta as she headed back home to Baja and Whidbey Island. We all had a WONDERFUL time and were so glad she could stay with us for 10-days, and that she got to experience an off-shore passage! We
 
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