Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

17 March 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
25 December 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
26 August 2018 | Puerto Vallarta MX, ABQ, NM, and SEA, WA
01 May 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
24 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico
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

¡La Vida es Chula!

17 March 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
Heidi & Kirk Hackler
Es la Vida...Life is what happens while you're busy making plans. So much for our plans to sail south for a few months, high tide washed them away...

Between a trip to the states for Heidi's dad's 88th birthday (where we had to wear WAY too many clothes!) and running into yet another engine glitch... Life is great!

The 88th Birthday King Verne and his wife Willa.

If we have to be stuck in paradise awaiting another engine part, at least we have visits from friends and family, and plenty of fun things to do! We had a fantastic time in February when two sets of friends visited us and we got to share whale watching in Banderas Bay with Laura & Will and Lal & Eric. Laura & Will also brought us some boat parts, and a few other items from the states that we can't find in Mexico. This week we have Heidi's brother Arne, sis-in-law Teresa, and our niece Annika, plus several of Anni's friends coming to hang out in Puerto Vallarta for spring break. Life is great!

Clockwise from left: Lal, Heidi, Judy, and Laura whale watching on a Juan Bravo Panga tour.

A lunch stop at Maraika Beach Club is always a delicious treat, and this time was no exception! Eulalie (Lal), Eric, Judy, Will, Heidi, and Kirk.

As you may recall, we had our engine water pump rebuilt here in Mexico last spring. Sadly the the rebuild was faulty... so BIG thanks Arne & Teresa for bringing us a brand new water pump this week! This is no small feat, as our 20 year old Perkins engine is no longer manufactured and spare parts are becoming harder to find. Luckily Kirk has a good stable of Perkins part dealers around the US, and when we need something he is usually able to find a part, but they are becoming fewer and further between, several times we've bought the last one available! With any luck at all, our trusty engine "Michael P" will be up and running, with leak-free oil and water pumps again by next week! Life is great!

Our most exciting news of late, is that Tosh is a medical miracle! He's recovering nicely from his nasal tumor, thanks to Homeopathic remedies from Australia! We have been extremely happy with the results from Holistic Animal Remedies, (another BIG THANKS to friends Wai-Lin & Terry for turning us on to them!) In fact, Tosh's vet here in Vallarta is blown away. He actually asked us for the information on what remedies we've been treating Tosh with, because he's never seen an animal recover from a nasal tumor like this. We've opted not to do another invasive biopsy procedure to confirm it's really all gone... but we are over the moon with Tosh's revived personality, increased energy levels, easier time eating, gaining weight again, and even the shape of his face is going back to normal. Kirk is excited to have his journeyman mechanic back helping him again! Tikka is also very excited that Tosh is back to chasing her around and pouncing on her while she's sleeping (NOT!), as siblings will do... We can hear her say "He's touching me!" Life is great!

Since we are currently short on time to write and long on photos this post is primarily a photo blog. A photo is worth 1000 words anyway, so sit back, relax, and enjoy! Be sure to check out our photo gallery for more photos of friends, family, and adventures around Banderas Bay!

A trip into PV wouldn't be complete without a stop at our favorite juice stand... on a street corner, they have a power cord running into a building, and run two blenders and a hand juicer making any combination of fresh juice to go. $30 pesos for a pint ($1.50 US) Heidi's fav is toronja, perejil, y jengibre (grapefruit, parsley and ginger, try it, it's SO refreshing!!) Kirk likes betabel, zanahoria, y jengibre (beets, carrots, and ginger, also super yummy and great for your heart!)

Another local attraction we love to share with visitors is the hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas. This 3-mile section of trail (one-way) winds up through lush jungle and open forest with ocean views, past waterfalls, and back down along the beach. Those who are more intrepid can continue another 1.5 miles to Quimixto, or 7-miles all the way to Yelapa. Water Taxis are available for the return for those who don't want to hike back. We recently hiked this trail with friends and fellow cruisers, Judy & Paul from s/v Grace, and Christina & Alex from s/v Blue Wind.

The trail is well maintained and well traveled through the jungle which would otherwise quickly take back the trail... Remember, just because you didn't see the Jaguar, doesn't mean he didn't see you!

The trail crosses playa Colomitas and winds up the hill giving an exquisite view back down onto Colomitas beach and the boardwalk trail along the shore we'd just walked on.

If you're thirsty at the end of your hike, fresh Cocos await! They'll machete off the top for you to drink the coconut water out of. Then when you're done drinking, they'll machete it in half and scoop out the coconut meat for a yummy snack!

What could be better than an old car show complete with Pink Cadillac and palm trees? Stay tuned for our next blog post to find out!

La vida es chula! (Life is Great!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Heidi & Kirk, Tosh & Tikka

PS. Check out our photo gallery for more photos of friends, family, and adventures around Banderas Bay!
Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
Captain Kirk and First-Mate/Navi-Girl Heidi untied the dock-lines in Seattle in August 2015 and set sail for Mexico with our two-kitty crew Tosh & Tikka. We've been in Mexico since then.  
Kirk grew up sailing in Seattle and has been boating his whole life. [...]
Extra: See pix of our boat here: Due West Interior Photos and in the Photo Gallery.
Home Page: http://svduewest.com
Due West's Photos - Santa Barbara + Southwest Road Trip
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Santa Barbara Palm Trees and  Dolphins, what more could you want? Anyone surprised that Heidi was born here?! ;-)
Santa Barbara Beach, calm this day, but HUGE waves pounded it often during the past few weeks.
Santa Barbara Yacht Club Opti kids racing program, so fun to see them out in the BIG ocean!
A very artistic homeless man was asking for donations to take a photo of his creations on the beach. We gladly obliged.
Classic old Santa Barbara Train Station.
Santa Barbara Mission, Heidi actually remembered going here with her mom when she was about 3!
Santa Barbara Mission with Friar Junipero Serra.
Interesting Gaudí-like house in downtown Santa Barbara. Heidi
A great visit with old river-running friend of Heidi
Oh no! Not Captain Hook again?! This time he was after Captain Kirk
While Kirk was tangling with Captain Hook, Heidi ran into one of her Native American ancestors. :-)
Santa Barbara Pier and Marsh.
"Went to the Fortune Teller...Had our Fortunes Told..." We both have nice long lifelines and auspicious things to come...what a fun, random thing to do in Santa Barbara!
We left the Fortune Teller and walked and right into this phenomenal Santa Barbara Sunset, WOW! That
Jolie took these sweet pix of Tosh and Tikka while she and Scott cat-sat for them. BIG THAKS Jolie & Scott!! :-) xoxo
Downtown Santa Barbara decorated for the holidays.
Holiday lights and spirit in Santa Barbara.
Seattle was SO thrilled to have Kirk back for a visit, they threw him a parade! And if you know Kirk, you know how much he LOVES parades! :-)
BIG HUGE THANKS to our Seattle Peeps who helped move our stuff from the storage unit into the truck. Kat & Willie, Heavy, Jesse & Kelsi, we couldn
Seattle put on a show for Kirk, everything from SUNSHINE and Holiday Lights to Rain and COLD...
Another BIG HUGE THANKS to our Port Townsend/Port Hadlock friends who helped unload the truck at the other end. Sharpee, Sandy, Carol & John, Everett, and Frosty you guys ROCK! We SO MUCH appreciate all of your help on that COLD day!! xoxo
Seattle sunset with the Olympic Range and The Brothers peaks may not be as colorful as Santa Barbara or Tucson, but it
Southwest scenery passing through Arizona.
Gorgeous southwest scenery on the way through New Mexico.
A trip through the Southwest wouldn
More roadside kitsch in Hatch, there
Famous Hatch Chilies drying in the sun.
Local Hatch farmers grow, dry, and pack their chilies for sale around the country.
Kirk photo bombing the family photo with Heidi, Willa, and Dad Verne.
Tom & Norma
Fun holiday decorations around Albuquerque. Made us think of YOU Noelle! :-)
This New Mexico solar farm stretched for a mile in every direction, very cool!
The photo bomber is at it again, Heidi
Family selfie!
Amazing Tucson sunset rivals Santa Barbara!
BEST. FOOD. Since leaving Seattle! River City Grill, Yuma Arizona. Leave it to us to find the only sailors and sailboat marooned in the desert!? Proprietors Tony & Nan have an old Columbia 29 in the back of the restaurant, plus their current boat is in San Diego. I googled "Gluten-free Yuma" and stumbled upon this place, perfect in every way: atmosphere, decor, friendly staff; lots of GF/vegan options, and the most delicious blends of spices and flavors, like this West Indian Coconut Curry Shrimp served in a coconut shell! GO EAT HERE. NOW.  :-)
Heading back to Santa Barbara, it was SNOWING in the San Jacinto mountains near Palm Springs!?
More dolphins and palm trees, we must be back in Santa Barbara Toto!