Due West Adventures

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

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
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

Sea Changes

01 May 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Check out more images in our Photo Gallery.

OK, we're getting a little gun-shy about making plans! As you've heard us say before, our plans are written in sand at low tide. But it seems that as soon as we write down any so-called plans, things start to go sideways on us. And this spring was no different.



If you read our last post, we were planning to race Due West in Banderas Bay Regatta, and then head back up to the Sea of Cortez for a few months this spring. But the week before the regatta, just as MEXORC (another regatta) was happening here in the bay, Kirk found himself back in the hospital again due to an intestinal infection combined with electrolyte imbalance. No bueno!

While it was a significant ordeal at the time, thankfully he's made another full recovery and we've learned a LOT about our own physiology, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the meantime. We've also learned about the MTHFR gene mutation (that may have played a part in causing Kirk's stroke last year), and that as we age the body doesn't always absorb all the nutrients it used to. Add to it all, that as soils become depleted of minerals many foods are much less nutrient rich than they used to be. Heidi wrote about all this on her Happy Well Lifestyle blog, which you can read here: Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency: Are You Deficient? If a holistic health coach and Capitán Kirk can be deficient, anyone can be. So we hope our experience and this article can help some of you.



As you'll learn from Heidi's recent articles, we found that we're both deficient in several key nutrients--vitamins and minerals, plus protein. So along with taking supplements to help get our nutrient numbers back up more quickly we've had to become omnivores again. This dietary change hasn't been easy on us after being vegetarian/vegan for 30 years (Heidi) and 45 years (Kirk). Happily Kirk is thriving on eating meat and says he feels 10-years younger in just a few weeks! The jury is still out for Heidi, but she's sticking with it for now. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world", and we have a lot of change left to affect in this lifetime. So although we both became vegetarians for ethical reasons, if we need to eat some meat to help us get healthy again, then that's what we'll do...for now.



These health setbacks along with continued engine issues has meant we won't be making another trip to the Sea of Cortez this spring after all. After the new timing belt was installed, and the freshwater and saltwater pumps were rebuilt and re-installed, the engine started right up. Yay!!.... Oh, wait... there's no water coming out of the exhaust?! Uh oh... And so when Kirk and our trusty engine mechanic Omar (and his assistant Tosh!) took another look, they found that our camshaft was broken--in three places!?! Something as strong as a camshaft should not break, especially not into three pieces! There is evidence to suggest that it was a faulty casting and was likely bad from the get-go, 28 years ago! So we're now working with Perkins UK, on getting a new camshaft. Until that happens, Due West is sitting in her slip, Jonesing to get out sailing again soon!! Thankfully Puerto Vallarta isn't such a bad place to be stuck...



Meanwhile, after 45-years as a meditator, and six-months of studying ancient Indian Vedic wisdom through the Chopra Center in San Diego (online), Kirk has just graduated as a Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher. Over 40-years of scientific research has shown that meditation is an effective way to reduce stress, improve health, and enhance intuition and decision making. Kirk is excited to teach anyone who wants to learn mantra meditation or deepen their existing mantra practice, so let him know if you're interested. He will be teaching online via Zoom, and in person where ever we are.



Heidi is continuing to grow her online wellness business, HappyWellLifestyle.com, and is super-excited about adding I Thought of You, fair-trade and sustainable jewelry, gifts, and accessories to her online shopping experience. Each purchase creates the opportunity of food, water, shelter, education, quality of life, and dignity to people in developing countries around the globe. I Thought of You dovetails perfectly with Neal's Yard Remedies organic, fair-trade, sustainable health and beauty products. Please take a look at these awesome products, and consider shopping with Heidi for Mother's Day gifts...it supports a great cause. In addition to her own blog, she's also ghost-writing and freelance blogging for several other companies. Oh, and she couldn't resist picking up a Dos Piños guitar at the market from this nice old Mexican guitar-maker...now she just has to remember how to play. It's been about 35 years!




So great to see Jimmy & Robin, has it really been 20-years since we'd first raced together on s/v Charisma!?

We've loved all the visits from friends and family this winter and spring. So much fun to hang out with our tribe, sailing framily Frosty & Patti, and April & Zak, and we're looking forward to seeing John & Carol here soon too! Our long-time racing friends Jimmy & Robin were here for Banderas Bay Regatta. Gratitudes to Kirk's old work buddy and mentor Roger and his wife Kay who kindly brought down our mail and some Amazon.com items from Seattle when they visited last month. And we loved our quick hug and lunch at the airport with our nephew Tate and his Dad Mark when they flew through on their way to Sayulita. Kirk also had a couple of high school friends visit PV, and it was fun to meet up with them as well. Puerto Vallarta is a mecca for people from the Pacific Northwest, and as we were waiting for our nephew at the airport, we randomly saw another Seattle acquaintance who happened to be on his same flight.


Great to catch up with our nephew Tate as he backpacked through Central America on his gap year. Check out this cool experiential program Carpe Diem Education that he participated in volunteering in several countries.

Spring is the time of year that sailors typically leave Banderas Bay to continue cruising. Many of our close cruising friends have set sail across the oceans, to the South Pacific, and the Caribbean, or back north to the Sea of Cortez before hurricane season starts up. One of the difficult things about the Cruising lifestyle is always saying goodbye as friends sail off to distant lands. But thanks to the Internet, we can keep up with them via their sailing blogs and social media. And a few friends are summering in Banderas Bay as well.



To celebrate Earth Day we started the day with 22 Sun Salutations, then walked the docks at our marina scooping out lots of trash with a fish net. Although there's certainly some intentional litter, the majority of litter in the marina comes from people setting plastic cups or water bottles on the dock, likely intending to take them up to the basura (trash), but invariably the wind blows them into the water first. So we always carry a trash bag with us walking the beaches and pick up trash when ever we can. Mexico is a lovely country full of brilliant colors, delicious food and drinks, and wonderful people and festivals...but also a HUGE plastic problem. At least many local restaurants are doing their part to stop using plastic straws. Americans use 500 MILLION plastic straws a day, and many of those end up in the ocean. So if you must use a straw, check out this cool re-usable straw that fits on your keychain!


A refreshing reward (sans-straws!) at El Barracuda with Judy & Paul, after a walking the beach, picking up trash.



We'll be condo-sitting for friends on the beach again this summer and are looking forward to our daily beach-walks, watching sea turtles hatch, and picking up more trash along the way. We LOVE our yoga practice at the beach three times a week, plus Pilates reformer classes which are the best workout we've ever done. A Pilates reformer class is a must-try if you really want to get in shape!



We still hope to sail south in November, but we don't want to jinx our plans, so you didn't hear it here. Happy Spring to all of you. Tikka and Tosh would love you to come and visit any time, PV is a wonderful town!





Check out more images in our Photo Gallery.
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 - Working on Boats in Exotic Locales: Ensenada
Photos 1 to 35 of 35 | Main
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Cruiseport Marina H-dock, or more specifically Hache-Ocho (H-8) has been our "home" for the past 2 months. It
Big THANKS to our cruising friend Don from Windcharmer who lent a hand in getting Due West moved from Cruiseport Marina over to Baja Naval Boatyard for our haulout. The tides, surge, and/or fog can sometimes make this a hairy ordeal, but luckily our haulout went off without a hitch.
Due West was backed into the slings where the guy at Baja Naval took the utmost care to check, double-check, and triple-check that the slings weren
Our inflatable kayaks and jerry jugs of spare diesel, water, and gasoline stowed on deck. Yellow jugs are diesel (four 5 gallon tanks), Blue jug is water (one 5 gallon tank, and Red jug is gasoline for the outboard and Honda generator.
It
Kirk checking out the prop, covered in barnacles and growth. But otherwise we were very pleased to see how good the bottom looked.
The quintessential working-on-boats-in-paradise shot, a warm sunny day with palm trees swaying in the background, mimicking the palm trees on our boat logo!
Yet more care taken by Baja Naval, they wrapped our SmartPlug electrical cord in plastic to keep it clean. While it may be a waste of plastic, any cruiser can attest to how dirty a boatyard can be, and this was a nice way to keep our cord clean. Overall, Baja Naval was THE cleanest boat yard we
Even in the masking and painting while raising the waterline up 4", they did a fantastic job. We were also pleasantly surprised to see that OSHA would approve of all the masks, gloves, and safety gear to protect these workers from toxic chemicals, not something you might expect in Mexico.
The prop being buffed clean of all marine debris, so hopefully we
Tosh and  Tikka wondering WHY we are swinging about up in the AIR instead of in the water?! It
Besides raising the waterline, the other main reason for our haulout was to replace our raw water (salt water) intake sea strainer that filters seaweed and other sea stuff out of our the engine cooling water. Our old sea strainer (see green bronze piece in middle) allowed in too much debris in it
The fur-kids LOVE it when ever the floor boards are opened up (or any locker doors are opened), new smells and places to explore..."how can we help?!"
The new sea strainer is a work of art, a glass lid you can see into to know when to clean it out, and an easy-open access for cleaning. It even fit within the 6" bilge space under the floors! Some boats have very deep bilges for storage and running pipes and hoses—not us, so things are frequently a tight squeeze. BIG THANKS to our friend Miles in San Diego, where we had this new sea strainer shipped to after overnighting it from Florida. Baja Naval wasn
What
Ever the helper, Tikka (and Tosh) always want to be where "Dad" is, doing what he is doing... handing him tools, or playing with his zip-ties and o-rings! "Can we be of any more assistance?"
Another project was adding netting to the lifelines to make it less likely the fur kids could accidentally fall or be launched off the boats in waves or curiosity. They
We needed to get some canvas work done, and William (Bill) came HIGHLY recommended through several cruisers at Cruiseport Marina. William made us dinghy chaps which we
Ta-da! The finished dinghy chaps, made from Sunbrella. The exterior edges are held down by shock cord under the lip of the rubber trim on the dinghy. The interior edge is weighted down by small bags filled with  sand or pea-gravel. It
When not in use, it
And speaking of theft deterrents, our outboard is ALWAYS locked to the dinghy, or locked to the stern rail on Due West. Outboards really like to go "walk-about" in the tropics. In an effort to discourage ours from going walk-about, (or to more easily spot it if it does?!) Akkkk...... Attack of the Psychedelic Jellyfish...
So we decided to turn our outboard into an ARTBoard with the help of a few cans of florescent spray paint...Heidi loves any excuse for an ART project!! :-)
Yamaha 15
Tornillos Alvarado is Captain Kirk
And boy did Tornillos Alvarado come in handy for helping to get all of the screws and bolts to finish installing our solar panels.
No two solar panels or attachment points are alike, so there is no standardized attachment device. Look at 10 different boats, and you
At long last, our two rail-mounted solar panels are finally installed, giving us 300 more watts of electricity from the sun. These new panels, in combination with our existing Bimini mounted panels, now give us a total capacity of 32 amps/hour. This keeps our batteries charged up and powers everything from our refrigerator, and 12 volt lights, to our SSB radio, VHF radio, and chart plotter/radar, keeping our carbon footprint low.
Captain Kirk is SO happy to finally have solved the solar panel mounting problems that first began in Oxnard.
Whew! It
Captain Kirk, A.K.A. Sherpa-Kirk bringing home provisions for our next leg of the journey.
Some of our provisions get stowed under floor boars, but as mentioned previously, that space is only about 6" deep, so it
This is what the main salon looks like after a trip to Costo and other provisioning before a big passage. For a few hours it looked like a tornado hit Due West, then one-by-one things find homes and get stashed away, and our main salon becomes livable again.
We
The shadows area growing L-O-N-G in Ensenada and it
Adios Cruiseport Marina and Ensenada, it
 
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