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 - Sights & Sounds of Puerto Vallarta
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s/v <em>Due West</em> sung in her berth at Marina Vallarta.
We had a wonderful surprise visit from our nephew Tate (Heidi
Great day at the beach in Punta Mita with nephew Tate and extended family: Jack, Tate, Kirk, Heidi, Joan, and Mark.
The down-side of this nomadic sailing life we live is always saying "hasta luego." We met s/v Kenta Anae and crew: Matero, Allison, and Merle (and Shandro missing from photo) sailing last summer in the Sea of Cortez. These guys have pure hearts of gold, and the nicest, most outgoing, well-rounded teenagers we
More "hasta luegos" to our friends Lisa and Don on s/v Wind Charmer. They stayed with us for a night before flying back to the US for a month and we took in 3-D "Pirates of the Caribbean." Heidi will meet up with Lisa again in Orlando later this month when they attend their Neal
Tosh-the-Jungle-Cat loves how his stripes really camouflage him when he
Post haircut, "The Littlest Lion" lost about 2lbs in hair (or so it seemed). We know this photo is not the greatest quality, but it does show off his Kinky boots and Lion
Meanwhile Tikka the green-eyed lady lounges on her pink bed, finally warming back up to her brother whom she ignored for two-weeks straight post-hair cut. Not sure what she was so tweaked about, she
The lovely view from our amazing condo-sitting summer gig (THANKS Judy & Paul!) 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 beach-walk along.
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
Boot Camps and exercise programs happen on the beach most evenings. These head-stand dudes practiced for over an hour until they were finally all lined up together...then they had to go home and "wash that sand right outta their hair!"
Lots of LOVE and SUN on the beach in PV, lots of weddings too. This is a prime spot for wedding photography, and many destination weddings take place at the resort next door.
A bride on the beach...Beautiful.
The Captain being a "good-sam", every day we walk on the beach we pick up handfulls of trash. We
"OSHA-approved"... NOT! Another thing that has not caught on here is eye protection, ear protection, and respirators. We watched as 5+ guys used hatchets to whack-hack-thwack away the old tile and grout and make a smooth surface to re-tile the pool. They literally hacked away for 10-hours a day, 6-days a week, for 2-3 weeks... Unbe*¡*¡*lievable. Click this <a href="https://youtu.be/ieHh5C6c6qs" target="_blank"><u>link</u></a> , to check out the video including the soundtrack of our life for the past 2-3 weeks.
Our little bit of tropical paradise. With 5 swimming pools at the condo we
On the way home from yoga class one day Captain Kirk ran into a gang of banditos. Pretty nice guys...they weren
Umbrella ART at one of our favorite hangouts, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/La-Tostaderia-702794516467580" target="_blank"><u>La Tostaderia</u></a> (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
Nearby that VW bug this wall is covered in psychedelic flamingos, egrets, fish, snakes, bugs, and more. We pass this on our walk to the grocery store almost every day.
If you
A modern adaptation of Madonna & Child Mexican-style. Also note the painted tree trunk that lines up with the tree behind the wall (they do this a lot in PV), and the multi-colored ceramic bricks... not just "Another brick in the Wall."
A different sort of Madonna and Children? Or Native Mexican "St. Francis of Assisi" figure? We
This beautiful corner wall mural in Punta Mita celebrates the diversity of life in Banderas Bay, from frigate birds to blue-footed boobies, humpback whales to octopus and more...
This colorful humpback whale adorns the wall of another of our fav tostadarias, "Ocho Tostados" at Marina Vallarta. This family-owned chain of tostada stands all over PV has delicious fish, crab, and shrimp tostadas for only a few pesos.  Plus they have the BEST guacamole and pico de gallo (here they call it "Mexican salsa") we
There are amazing murals on walls ALL OVER Puerto Vallarta, like this one of "Uncle Albert."  Riding the buses around town we are often surprised to view new murals we hadn
Many of the city busses are decorated by the drivers themselves to their own personal tastes. This guy loved the Rolling Stones... Each bus has it
Often bus rides are accompanied by live musicians entertaining the riders for all or part of the ride, passing the hat for a few pesos. Talent ranges widely with some being awful to others being good. These guys on our 30-minute bus ride from Puerto Vallarta south to Boca de Tomatlán were some of the best we
The interior of this whole bus was RED including the LED lighting that turns on when the driver presses the break-peddle. His hand-carved coin-holder is decorated with the Virgin of Guadalupe. The "TUNEL" ("toon-el") sign indicates that this is an express bus taking the highway around the back-side of PV and through the mountain tunnel to Old Town, or Zona Romantica south of downtown PV, rather than stopping at every block along the malecon (ocean-front) in town. The words written on the window (far right in photo) are the major stops it makes. We
Another musician, another bus (this bus less full at this point but sure to fill up before the end of the line.) This guy (or his doppelganger) also plays every day at La Isla shopping mall just out side the back deck of the condo. We are serenaded daily by a mix of Peruvian Flute meets modern-music, whether we want to be or not. Click this <a href="https://youtu.be/gkVGbatSMOg" target="_blank"><u>link</u></a> to watch and listen:
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
Like in other parts of the world many Mexican shops sell only one type of item. Lots of cool baskets in this basket shop. We were looking for a new bed for Tikka, but unfortunately their prices were too much like Pier 1 prices in the US, so we
We
Super-Supplements meets the Vitamin-Shop Mexican Style—in the back of this truck under a blue tarp and a tree—you can find every type of vitamin, mineral, herb, and supplement imaginable, with  zero FDA oversight.
Because we try to eat as healthy as possible, because it
Many of the produce markets have these cool wooden bins and stock everything from Apples (manzanas) to Zanahorias (carrots).
Ever the good Sam (and engine mechanic too), Captain Kirk stopped to help an older Mexican gentleman on the street who was having engine trouble. Kirk was able to determine it was a fuel problem, but exactly what? Bad fuel? Clogged injectors? With out tools he couldn
Seen one hack-saw, seen
Another creative Mexican solution: the bell-ringing garbage man. Houses don
No, a bag of aluminum cans didn
YES we
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
Dame Edna, er-uh, Pearl! Resident PV Drag Queen from Tuna, Texas, all decked out for the Pride Parade. You can see Pearl perform weekly at Incanto Piano Bar [http://www.incantovallarta.com/] where she calls out Bingo numbers for charity fundraisers, interspersed with tales of life in Tuna, Texas... Most FUN you can have on a Saturday night in PV while fundraising for local charities!
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".
One of the artfully decorated stairs on the PV hillsides. As you follow these stairs up there are hearts along the way, ending in a glass mosaic of hearts outside someone
View of Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Lady of Guadalupe cathedral) as we walk from yoga to catch the bus. The red tile roof is actually at eye-level and we have to duck below it walking down the sidewalk, or be clocked in the head! Clear passages on sidewalks are definitely not up to code in this town.
We could hear the church bells from this little church in the Versailles neighborhood from the guest house where we were staying. When they have big events like funerals or weddings, they block off the street with cars and set up chairs in the street to accommodate more people! No permits from the city, they just do it.
Architecture in PV includes everything but the kitchen-sink: architectural elements, arches, columns, window shapes, door shapes, wrought iron railings, ornate tiles,  paint colors and more...This house included nearly one of everything
We often walk past this super-cool door on our way to Costco. One day as we were looking at it about to take a photo, it opened! So we asked the owner permission to take a photo of their door. This extra-wide door swings open on a pivot point with 2/3 of the door on one side of the pivot. Amazing dove-tail precision.
Most homes in PV have some type of decorative gate at the entrance...we though this one combined with the ceiling, doorway, tiles on stairs, and paint colors was particularly interesting. If you
Mexicans are big on decorations, including door knockers, door knobs, handles, key holes, etc.
Classic doors abound. This massive door is right on the Malecon, surrounded by night clubs and restaurants and constantly beat upon by ocean breezes, sun and rain.  If this ornate old door could talk it would likely tell some good stories.
We loved the marine animal carvings on this beautiful door. Everywhere you look, a unique door or window appears...
The reflection of Heidi
We
Speaking of arches in walls, so cool that they made a little archway for the tree roots to protrude through this wall, saving the tree (which would likely not be done in the US.) Too bad the wall has been graffitied, we don
Monstrous Banyan trees are found all over PV with their roots and trunks merging into one.  Roots actually grow down from the branches until they reach the earth and take root. New roots fill in becoming trunk-like, supporting the large branches.
Coco... young coconuts ready to be harvested for their coconut water: just lop off the top with a machete, insert a straw, and drink. Don
Vibrant colors everywhere here... the colors of this beautiful Tiger Lily match Heidi
Heidi is off to teach her first class in Restorative Yoga at Davanna Yoga.
Captain Kirk and other students comfortably relaxing in Heidi
Preparing to perform 108 Sun Salutations (in 4 sets of 27) with Anna at Davanna Yoga, to greet the Summer Solstice—which also happens to be the International Day of Yoga. Why 108? It
View of Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe all lit up in the early morning light (0730) from yoga at Los Arcos (the arches) on the Malecon...
Our friend and fellow yogini Sam (far left) teaching yoga at Ángel Yoga on the beach downtown. This is the class that Heidi will be substitute teaching for the next couple of weeks (en Español!) while Sam goes back to Canada to visit her family.
Puerto Vallarta never fails to provide amazing sunsets... and we never tire of watching them. Adios el sol, hasta mañana!
 
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