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 - Ensenada
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Ensenada shops and local scenery...this is the "touristy" cruise-ship street, much cleaner and more up-scale than the rustic rest of this traditional Mexican town.
Celebrating a WINDY New Years day with our friends Rick & Maryalice on s/v "Notre Isle", so glad to catch back up with these great peeps we first met in Santa Cruz, CA, many miles and many moons ago!
New Years Day festivities local-style...check out these COOL electric animals the kids were riding...where do we get one of those!?
New Years Day juggling clowns entertaining the locals and tourists alike in the local city plaza.
SO FUN to meet up with our Seattle friends Susan & John from Nord Sail One. Shared the same dock in Seattle, now on the same dock in Ensenada, what are the odds?!
John & Susan with Silver Belle aboard s/v Nord Sail One.
Kirk and Dave, another Elliott Bay Marina K-Dock connection!
Overview of Cruiseport Marina, Ensenada...showing the proximity of Due West to the baños, cruiser
The cruise ships dock adjacent to the Cruiseport Marina offices (yellow building in background).
Resident osprey nest to the left, osprey on the light pole, and two cell towers in the background, one them disguised as a fake palm tree!
Our resident Osprey keeping watch over Cruiseport Marina.
Rick, Heidi, and Jim at the Ensenada flea market where Rick & Maryalice picked up a great Wagner cast iron skillet for only $2!!
One of the many produce stands at the Ensenada "flea market." Though not a lot of organic produce here, they did have lots of things you don
More produce from the "flea-market", check out these amazing prices in pesos (currently one peso is worth 6¢!)
Some of the gorgeous produce we got at the "flea-market" produce stand, washed and ready to eat, and costing less than $6US for all of it!
Vibrantly colorful spices in the "flea-market" spice shop. NO artificial colors here, these are actually ground up peppers of a wide variety. SO beautiful!
Heidi perusing the bulk spices and herbs in the spice market.
Fenix Baja Fish Tacos were raved about by lots of cruisers and locals, but we found better ones closer to the marina!
Rick, Maryalice, Heidi & Kirk waiting for lunch at Fenix Fish Tacos.
Locals eating at one of the many Baja Fish Taco stands all over town. Lunch for two: $4 US!
Beautiful Guadalupe Cathedral, can be seen from many areas of Ensenada.
Love seeing all the hand-painted signs here, this "lost art" is not lost in Mexico!
Lovely old "Oasis" house in Ensenada.
Ensenada shops and local scenery...with the Guadalupe Cathedral towering in the background.
More Ensenada scenery, hand painted signs, and quirky shops.
LOVING all of the bright Mexican colored buildings here...look past the doorways and there are often beautiful gardens behind the walls.
More colorful buildings everywhere you look...makes town seem like a Fiesta!
Feliz Navidad from the local school kids...This one goes out to Heidi
Funky-cool house with lots of plants...
Storm clouds forming in paradise...
The calm before the storm...or between the storms!
Captain Kirk on the Can-Mex SSB Cruiser
Heidi suited up in foulies to sit in the Cruiser
Hanging out in the Cruiser
Another day in Paradise: Kirk, Maryalice & Rick hanging out in the Cruiser
Tourist Trinkets for the cruise-ship crowd...
Tires, sewage, and other debris washing down the river after the big storm, right into the cruise ship berth, and out to sea...
Heidi shopping at the organic produce market, just look at the size of the cauliflower!
Kirk and Rick, our intrepid Sherpas to the rescue!
Sherpas had to stop and refuel, while the gal out front was advertising "We
Due West with new lashing boards and spare jerry cans of diesel and outboard gas all ready to go.
Due West getting her bottom cleaned, we were lucky to find a diver here, they are few and far between.
The water-man cometh...finally!
A 27-year-old French "kid" owns this classic 100-year-old schooner "Lun II", reading to set sail for the Caribbean where he
Tikka chilaxin after a hard day of PLAY, so wiped out she crashed on the floor!
Tosh chilaxin after a hard day of PLAY... to this boy, ALL the world