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 - We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends...And Family
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Niece Noelle ran into John, Paul, George and Ringo visiting us on her college spring break! She and Heidi checked out the Galerias El Triunfo in PV, a local display and crafts store like Seattle
Dr. Valadez, Kirk
Captain Kirk practicing Tai Chi to help regain his balance and coordination.
Kirk
Niece Annika, visiting on her college spring break, got to transit Banderas Bay on Due West (motoring, as you can see there was no wind!) as we moved her from Marina La Cruz, to Marina Vallarta to be closer to where we are staying.
Sister-in-Law Teresa (Heidi
Teresa & Annika at Margarita Grill where Anni gave the Margarita a Thumbs UP! In Mexico the drinking age is 16, which all the visiting teenagers happily took advantage of! :-)
Fun to have niece Noelle with us for a few days of her college spring break (thanks Dad!), before she flew off to perform two dance pieces with her University of Montana dance company at a Dance conference at U of Oregon. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/2oRv5ri and here: http://bit.ly/2nN3Z2O
Heidi & Noelle visiting Due West in her new summer home, Marina Vallarta. We miss our boat a lot, but now that she
Heidi
Lunch with the Watson family (clockwise): Heidi, Chloe, Laren, Spencer, Ted, and Captain Kirk.
Puerto Vallarta is full of hills (kinda like Seattle and San Francisco) and the views from the hilltops are breathtaking! This is the view from the top of a Lighthouse tower over looking downtown and the Cathedral of Guadeloupe wearing her crown. You can also see a parasailor in the sky along with some frigate birds!
The Merman and Mermaid sculpture along the Puerto Vallarta Malecón, just one of the many beautiful, whimsical, sculptures that decorate the waterfront. Teresa, Annika, Noelle, and Heidi all took the free Tuesday morning Sculpture Walk Tour where a local gallery owner talks about each sculpture and gives the history or background on each piece. We learned so much! Although the tour is  free, they ask for a donation at the end to help support the local non-profit Bibleoteca Los Mangos ("Mango Library" because it
Danza de los Voladores, or Dance of the Flyers...according to Wikipedia: "is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual still performed today, albeit in modified form, and mostly for tourists. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 50-foot pole from which four of the five dancers then launch themselves tied with ropes around their ankles to descend to the ground. The fifth dancer remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought. Although the ritual did not originate with the Totonac people, today it is strongly associated with those in and around Papantla in the Mexican state of Veracruz..." These dancers travel to Puerto Vallarta as ambassadors of their craft, hoping to inspire people to visit Veracruz too.
Mexican streets are often decorated with "Papel picado", cut paper banners including themes of birds, floral designs, and skeletons. They are used to decorate for any Mexican holiday or celebration from Easter to Dia de los Muertos (and Mexico has a LOT of holidays...It seems like they have something to celebrate every couple of weeks!) This particular street in downtown PV also has nautical forms hanging from the papel picado, making it even more festive.
This exquisite iguana is an excellent example of the Huchol ("We-chol") native art that is very abundant around Banderas Bay. Huchol (known as the "Peyote People" because peyote is sacred to their tribe) include many animals and symbology in their designs. Brilliantly colored tiny glass beads are hand pressed one-by-one into a thin layer of bees wax covering art forms made of wood, clay, or polymer. The green "flowers" along the hind leg of this iguana and the blue one of the front shoulder symbolize peyote buttons.
The Fur-kids, Tosh & Tikka love licking almond-butter off the spoon when Heidi
Trevor cooking up a storm in our rented kitchen, 14 meals for their passage to the Marquesas, pre-cooked and frozen.
...While Trevor was cooking, Viviane and Kimi were the seal-a-meal gals, Scott was making cocktails, Kirk was napping, Stephen and John were chatting, and the rest of the gals were working on NYR Organic catalogs!
Glue-dot party sticking Neal
Lest you think Neal
Kimi & Trevor
Due West Vic-Maui Yacht Race Crew 1996: (back row left to right) Dick, Jim, Captain Kirk, Heidi, Marty,  Pat, (front row left to right) Karyn and Mark. Hard to believe it
Puerto Vallarta is known for its fantabulous sunsets. We actually saw our first Green Flash here 20 years ago... maybe we
 
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