Due West Adventures

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

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
30 September 2016 | San Javier, B.C.S.

Feliz Navidad

25 December 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Happy Christmas 2018!

After a bit of radio silence this fall, we're back to wish you a Merry Christmas, and to catch you up on what we've been up to for the past few months. No, we have not sailed off the edge of the earth... just enjoying Mexico and life as it flies by!

As they say in Mexico "It got late." One of the things we've been doing the past six months is taking Spanish classes and doing homework. Here we've learned that WE are not late, no need to apologize, "it GOT late." Se hizo tarde. The Spanish language apparently doesn't have a direct translation for the word "accountability", and without the word, there isn't really the concept of accountability either. So when someone doesn't show up to work on your boat as scheduled, "Se hizo tarde." They aren't late, it just GOT late, not their fault. Manaña doesn't mean tomorrow, it just means not today. Luckily we can do most boat projects ourselves.


No height-freight here... Heidi loves going aloft to do projects on the mast and rigging. Good thing too, because it's much easier for Kirk to grind her up with the winch than for her to grind Kirk up! The views from above are amazing.

Currently we're waiting for an engine mechanic to put in the LAST piece of our engine (remember that break-down that started with the broken camshaft last winter that then included a few other parts?... Every time we replaced one broken part, we'd find another.) We now have one last oil pump to install, and our awesome engine mechanic has just moved to Acapulco. :-O So Kirk will probably be doing the install himself. While he does 98% of all our boat repairs, major diesel engine repairs and refrigerators are the two things he doesn't love to work on. But this one last part is keeping us at the dock, so hoping this will be repaired soon. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the refrigeration guy to show up, for the past two weeks...Se hizo tarde.

There are also a laundry list of other boat projects, including replacing our running rigging (halyards, jib sheets, and tack line); life lines (the safety wires that go around the boat about 2' above the deck -- we're replacing them with dyneema lines instead of wire); and new "kitty-netting" around the boat to keep Tosh & Tikka from falling overboard. The original kitty-netting we put up before we left Seattle has deteriorated from the sun/heat. So we removed it to prevent it from falling into the ocean, (don't want to add any more plastic into the sea!)


Mae, Jonna, Heidi, and Kirk (photographer!) picked up plastic and trash off the beach after heavy rains washed it down from the rivers and towns above Puerto Vallarta into the ocean. THANKS Mae and Jonna!

Speaking of plastic in the sea... Heidi's college friend Jonna and her daughter Mae came to visit us a few months ago. While they were here they helped us pick up lost of plastic garbage off the beach--courtesy of Hurricane Willa which thankfully didn't do much damage here...just lots of rain. Another evening we got to help release baby sea turtles.


Baby sea turtles making their way to the sea, beautiful night with a sprinkling of rain.

Sadly, sea turtle eggs are still poached around Mexico as they are believed to be an aphrodisiac!?! There are several sea turtle sanctuaries that patrol the beaches and collect all the eggs as they are laid. Then they keep the eggs safe until they hatch, releasing the baby turtles into the sea the day they hatch. You can call 911 here and report a turtle laying eggs, and they will come right away and collect the eggs. The sanctuaries often incorporate educational programs that include Mexican school kids helping with the turtle releases. If they name a turtle or two, and help it into the water, they may be less likely to want to eat the eggs later, and can also help educate the elder generations. It's such a FUN experience to help release the babies. This was also at the top of Jonna's bucket list, so we were especially grateful to be able to help her realize this dream.



We also had a really fun time with our dear friends Patti & Frosty when they came to say for a couple of weeks. We took a day trip to the Mexican towns of Mascota and San Sebastian with a hired driver. He was a conservative-redneck from Texas, but other than that we had a good day. Patti & Frosty also got to release sea turtles and take another fun trip with Juan Bravo. Each Juan Bravo Panga Tour is different depending on the season, but always a fun time. This time Juan took us up to a new waterfall in the jungle we'd not been to before. Super COLD water fall, and we all took a dunk, another great day on the water! Looking forward to going out again soon for some humpback whale watching.



In November we left Tosh & Tikka in the good hands of Judy & Paul at their condo and headed for the states to visit Heidi's two sets of parents, where we helped out with some handyman chores at both houses. We were also able to pick up some more boat parts and our mail. In addition, we took a fun hike with Heidi's mom Jean up Madera Canyon. She's an amazingly YOUNG 82 year old, and a great role model for all of us on how to live life to the fullest. We flew in and out of PHX airport, and when we learned that some Seattle sailing friends (also named Judy & Paul!) were wintering south of PHX, we decided to stop by for a visit on the way to the airport. Much to our surprise, Patti & Frosty were there visiting them as well so we had a double-dose of fun.


Paul & Judy, Kirk & Heidi, and Frosty + dog (Patti was the photographer!) Fun visit with long-time sailing friends in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Once back in Mexico, we collected Tosh & Tikka from the condo and moved back aboard Due West from our five-month Condo sitting gig. We love condo sitting for Judy & Paul during Hurricane Season, being right on the beach, and having access to A/C and swimming pools. But we were also super glad to be back "home" aboard Due West again. Kirk had been visiting her daily (2-mile bus ride away) to work on boat projects while Heidi stayed at the condo, playing with the gatos, and working on her holistic wellness business. She also spent this fall working on campaign graphics for her brother Arne, who won his bid for Town Council of Jackson, Wyoming. Congrats Bro!


Tikka doing her best to prevent Heidi from getting her work done. :-D


Tosh loves when we do yoga, especially the part when he chews up the yoga matts and yoga blocks :-O!

We're continuing to treat Tosh holistically for his nasal issues, and will be getting more tests done later this week to see how he's doing. He's still playing like crazy (he's addicted to "Da Bird"), and eating up a storm. Meanwhile Tikka is his ever loving little-sister grooming him and sleeping next to him each night. We're hopeful that all of the holistic remedies are doing the trick. But we also appreciate all the love, healing energy, and prayers sent his way. If you've never met Tosh, he's a one-in-a-MILLION cat, or pet for that matter. Smart, clever, funny, and with a heart full of gold, he thinks he's a person. We know everyone thinks that about their pets... but we've really never had a cat like him before. BIG THANKS to his foster-mom Jean Favini at Oasis for Animals on Whidbey for giving him a fantastic start to life. He's half Bengal (loves to fetch and very clever) and half Siamese (very protective of us, and won't let a dog onto our boat, right Silver Belle and Harley?!) If you're looking to get a cat, we think Bengal/Siamese is about the best mix you could ask for. Not to slight Tikka, who's a cute as a bug and also unique in her own ways!



Beach Yoga is still a big part of our lives, with a great community of yogis. Kirk attributes beach yoga and the sunshine of PV as a huge part of his stroke recovery. We've also been getting in a couple of Pilates reformer classes each week which has helped make both of us stronger...and it, like everything else in Mexico, is much more affordable than in the states. And we continue to take in as much of the local culture, arts, and music as possible. The Mexicans love their parades, from Independence Day to Dia del Muertos and everything in between. We recently saw Bob Marley's original Wailers play Reggae here, and also the Jalisco State Ballet from Guadalajara perform an amazing rendition of the Nutcracker. LOVELY dancing.



As always our plans are written in sand at low tide, but here are our latest ideas: Late January we will sail south to Tenacatita, Manzanilla, Bara de Navidad and Melaque for a couple of months. We plan to return to Banderas Bay in late March and leave Due West and kitties here for a couple of weeks while we do a sailboat charter with Seattle friends Teresa & Rob in Cuba. When we return from that trip we'll continue sailing north to La Paz and into the Sea of Cortez for a couple of months...looking forward to meeting up with our friends Sherri & Steve on s/v Pablo. We plan to summer in Puerto Vallarta again, having spent two summers here and watched hurricanes threaten the Sea of Cortez, we feel Banderas Bay is the best hurricane hole in Mexico.



Wishing all of our friends and family, far-flung around the globe (s/v Ingenium, s/v Slow Flight, s/v Lumenesce, s/v Shawnigan and s/v Kentanae we're talking about you!) a joyous and peaceful holiday season and prosperous New Year.

Paz en la Tierra y Feliz Año Nuevo!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night...



Xoxo Love and Hugs

Captain Kirk & Heidi
Tosh & Tikka

Check out lots more Mexico photos 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
1
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
 
1