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 - Gratitude
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Shane and Lybby brought along some boat parts and food items that are hard for us to find in Mexico, including cocoa powder. Sadly TSA and Delta tossed their luggage around enough to break open the box of cocoa powder! Yikes! Cocoa. All. Over. EVERYTHING!
Luckily we were able to wash or wipe the cocoa powder off most everything. But when we flip the pages in one book they brought us, we still shake out bits of cocoa dust! Fun to read a chocolate-scented book, LOL!
Captain Kirk had a long list of boat projects for Shane to help him with. First stop, Tienda de Tornillos (the nuts and bolts shop) in Bucarias to find stainless steel washers for spacers on the chain plates.
Project #1: repair the leaking Whalegusher foot pump for fresh water to the head sink. It had a leak that was getting steadily worse, and Shane was able to bring us a new rebuild kit and repair the pump.
Project #2: Rebed the Chainplates. Kirk had last rebedded our chainplates in 2014 and three of them were starting to leak saltwater in big seas. Since the rainy season is nigh upon us, we wanted to get these leaks fixed ASAP. 1) Remove old sealant from beauty-plates around chainplate, and mask off deck. 2) Goop up hole and beauty-plate with 4200 sealant. 3) Clean off excess 4200 and pull masking tape off. 4) Ta-da! Newly re-beded (waterproof!) chain-plates.  [For the non-sailors, a chainplate is a metal plate used to fasten a shroud or stay to the hull of a sailboat, to hold the mast up. They protrude through the deck and are covered by a metal plate to keep water out.] THANK. YOU. SHANE!!
Project #3: Replace saltwater through-hull valve for watermaker (desalinator). The handle on our old bronze valve broke-off in Kirk
1) Old bronze valve with missing handle. 2) New plastic valve getting ready to be installed. 3) Sink-drain plug in the valve hole (tupperware tub to catch leaks) under floorboards while Diver Poncho tapped in a wooden plug from the bottom of the boat. 4) New valve in place and working great!
Diver Poncho also cleaned the whole bottom of Due West while he was helping with the through-hull project, all for $800 pesos ($40 US!) About 25% the price in the US.
Poncho also had to contend with this creature from the deep, the resident crocodillo in Marina Vallarta. He wasn
The reward for all of Shane
The entrance to Marina Vallarta is two 90°-turns away from the Bay, and another two 90° turns to get to Due West, she
Our dinghy ride around the bay took us by the touristy Pirate Ship. Every night they shoot fireworks off of this ship out in the bay. Friends who
SO grateful for Tosh & Tikka - even with the front door left wide-open, they don
Bitter-sweet to say bon-voyage to our cruising buddies John &  Boni (sv Ingenium) and  Stephen & Ginny (s/v Jabaroo II) as they sail north to the Gulfo de California (Sea of Cortez) for the summer hurricane season. We wish them fair winds and following seas, and looking forward to seeing them back down this way next winter.
Kirk caught up with his Seattle colleague and mentor Roger Wagoner, who lives in PV some of the year.
Heidi decided to take advantage of being "stuck" in PV for a few months and finally get her Yoga Teacher Certification, something she
The 200 Hour Intensive Hatha/Vinyasa course was from 7am-4pm every day for 20-days straight. Plus there was homework every night, included lots of reading and essays on the history, philosophy, and spiritual aspects of yoga, and even learning some Sanskrit!  It also included workshops on Ayurveda, Restorative Yoga, Children
To graduate the students each had to teach a class. Heidi and her team mates Susan (from Colorado) and Vivian (from Michoacan, MX) taught a restorative yoga class that Kirk and friends Judy & Paul got to attend. Kirk is back to doing yoga 3-times a week and improving his strength and balance every day!
Wahoo!! We. Did. It!! Vivy (Hong Kong), Vivian (Mexico), Susan (Colorado), Heidi, Arjuna (Mexico), Vanessa (California), and Kenzie (Canada). This small class of 7 from all over the world really clicked as a group and had a great time together. Grateful to have made new friends from around the globe.
So much fun to have Vivy from Hong Kong stay with us for a few days after our training was over. She and Heidi visited classmate Arjuna at the coffee shop where he works, in-between teaching morning and evening yoga classes in Puerto Vallarta.
Tikka & Tosh contemplated stowing away in Vivy
The gratitude continues each night with all the BEAUTIFUL sunsets Puerto Vallarta has to offer. We first saw the "green-flash" here 20 years ago, and continue to look for it each night...most nights there