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 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 - Sights & Colors of Ensenada
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Entrance to Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/), formerly a hotel and municipal offices, now an amazing transformation into a local artisan and furniture shop.
Dias de los Muertes figures, just one of the beautiful displays of local arts & crafts at Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/). Heidi saw the "no photos please" sign after she had taken a few, oops! They are too pretty not to share!
Beautiful paintings of traditional Mexican Lotería Cards at Fausto Polanco (http://www.faustopolanco.com.mx/Maya/). If your
Maryalice and Heidi at the TelCel store getting their Banda Ancha wifi USB sticks.
Before our "Haircuts by Ali", on our way to the Apple Store for the first time...
BIG surf along the road to Ensenada, via bus from San Diego.
Tijuana Boarder crossing with cars going into the US. 18,000 people a day (mostly day laborers) cross this border, making it the busiest border crossing in the world.
People are selling EVERYTHING at the border. Little kids juggling and doing tricks, all sorts of food, and any Mexican trinket you can think of.
Hour 2 of our 3-hour wait to cross from Mexico back into US. They have no separate lane for US Passports, so we American
Anytime, night or day, this border is hopping! Fellow cruisers who live in Ensenada just had an hour wait to cross at 0400!
Edificio Mexico, "Mexico Building", nice old Mexican architecture.
Not-OSHA-approved construction of a new malecón bridge at Cruiseport Marina. Work is going on in four or five sections of the malecón all along the water-front. The yellow track-hoe was so precariously perched atop a pile of mud, we thought it would slip into the water for sure!
Kirk posing in "Gringo Gultch", Ensenada.
Hat-shopping in Gringo Gultch.
A local pescadería, there are tons of them here...
Mariscos truck.
Piñatas are everywhere, with a modern/Disney twist?! Not your mother
Funky Ensenada Architecture pits random buildings next to each other.
Modern lime-green building and palm trees...who
"The Purple" apartments, because the other two buildings that you can
Surrealistic Mexican headless female form.
More Mexican architecture, we love all of the BRIGHT colors, especially against the blue sky!
So many Mexican buildings have public courtyards, a nice use of space.
Local taqueria in living-color.
A local hat-stand we pass daily walking to and from the marina and town.
Cruise ship trinket stand with everything from Mexican Sweatshirts to Frida Kahlo.
Colorful, fun, neighborhood shops are everywhere here. Where did America go wrong?!
Great to see Ganesh in the middle of Gringo Gulch, Ensenada.  Shopkeeper Armando is a big fisherman who frequently closes this shop to drive to Muleje or Loretto to go fishing. We hope to meet up with him when we get over to the Sea of Cortez side of Baja.
Hotel with hammock reminding us that we need to put our hammocks up. Why haven
Bahia Hotel, Ensenada at sunset.
Another beautiful Cruiseport Marina Sunset.
Mariachi street band taking a break against a perfect store-wall backdrop!
Ensenada night-life with bright lights everywhere. Sirens are everywhere too, we
Stonehenge Ensenada-style? Nope, just nice architecture at Cruiseport Marina.
Lest you think these little darling kitties  are always on their best behavior... they aren
After the fight: "Kids! Stop fighting and go to your rooms!"
When I
Sometimes I like hiding out in my fort in the cockpit under the wheel, next to the life-raft.
I like hanging out in any cupboard, as soon as they take something out, I jump in!
Who us? We never get up on the galley counter when you
OMG...we finally caved...and made our first-ever trip to the dark-side. When in Mexico...
And what did we cave for? Some neon spray-paint to trash our our outboard with (and hopefully make it less desirable to steal?); a silicon oven-mitt (that
Modern coconut-ladder beats climbing the trees!?
Ceasar the Coco-man sells about 100 drinking-coconuts each week.
When you
Heidi met up with a couple of the gals from Women Who Sail FB group. Vickie and Cindy both live in Ensenada and have been very helpful to us. Women Who Sail is a fantastic group of  7,000+ women sailors all over the globe.