Due West Adventures

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

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.
25 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico

Couch Surfin' U.S.A.

26 August 2018 | Puerto Vallarta MX, ABQ, NM, and SEA, WA
This summer has been so full of activities and visitors (like Heidi's cousins Sarah, Amy, and Sue above, who stopped by on their cruise ship!) we've hardly had time to write. So this post will end our radio silence and catch you up on our latest adventures.

Wow! Hard to believe that three years ago today we left Seattle to sail south... what an adventure it's been.

In early June we moved back into our friends Judy & Paul's beach-front condo to house-sit during hurricane season while they're back in the Pacific Northwest. This is where we stayed last summer, and after a few hours Tosh and Tikka felt right at home, as did we.



Speaking of the cats, Tosh has been diagnosed with a bad sinus infection plus nasal sarcoma, which we're treating with everything but the kitchen sink: antibiotics, herbal remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, CBD oil, Shamanic healing, and lots of Reiki and LOVE. He seems to be feeling a lot better these days, more energy, and more playful. So we're holding the thought that he'll make a full recovery. He just turned 4 years old on 4th of July, and has many more lives to be lived and much more love to give! So he's accepting all the well-wishes you send his way. BIG THANKS to all of Tosh's halers here and in Seattle: Wolf Veterinary, Dra Marisol, Polly, Dr. Darla, Dr. Heather, Alex, Claudia and Luis. Tikka also turned 4 years old last week and remains cute-as-a-bug chasing imaginary toys around the condo while Tosh naps. She has been a super-dupe little sister to Tosh during his healing journey.


Happy Hour at Barracuda with Kathy and Earl toasting our new camshaft that they delivered to us! BIG THANKS!!

Meanwhile, Due West sits snug in her slip for Hurricane Season, only a 10-minute bus-ride away. And Kirk checks in on her every day or so while he works on boat projects. In our last post you saw our broken camshaft. We are grateful to Perkins UK for agreeing it was a faulty casting and selling us a new one at cost, 28-years later! Our friends Carol & John tried to bring our new camshaft down to us in May, but UPS sent it to a wayward address... so the camshaft finally arrived with Kathy & Earl in June, and is now all installed and working beautifully! Since the engine was already apart, we had our mechanic Omar do some scheduled maintenance including cleaning the fuel injectors. Those were installed today, and our trusty engine "Michael P" now purrs like a kitten again! Due West is ready to sail as soon as hurricane season is over.


25th wedding anniversary at Quimixto waterfalls, and 20 years ago in the same spot.

Wahoo!! We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in June with friends on a Juan Bravo Panga Tour. As we've mentioned many times, and as Kathy and Earl experienced when they were here, a day on the water with Juan Bravo Panga Tours is not to be missed. Always a new adventure customized for what ever you want to do... this time with a swarm of aguamales (jellyfish!) so no snorkeling for our anniversary, but we did try a new lunch spot at Casitas Maraika Beach Club.


Celebrating our 25th anniversary with friends Boni, Rachel, Juan Bravo, John, Kirk, and Karla... but where's Heidi? Maybe taking a shower...?


Heidi fell in love with their conch shell beach shower! Can we put one of these on the boat?!

Over the summer we started taking private Spanish lessons 2x a week which has significantly increased our vocabulario y verbo conjugation skills and fun with the language. We continue going to beach yoga four times a week (check out Angel Yoga PV if you're ever in town, it's loads of fun!), and even substitute taught a couple of times in Español and Spanglish! We're still doing pilates reformer two times a week as well, are still eating some meat, and are both feeling great.


Beach Yoginis

As we left Seattle three years ago, we threw a lot of stuff into our storage unit at the last minute, no time to go through it then. So we knew a trip back to the PNW to revisit said storage and all our "shite" was in the making one day soon. Remember back when Kirk was the officiant who performed Captain of the Sea duties and married his nephew Braden to his beautiful bride Molly? Well, they now have newborn twins... funny how that happens! And we hadn't even met Kelsi & Jesse's baby yet who's almost 2. So we decided to combine multiple events into a trip back in time... to the USA. And man what a TRIP it was!


Heidi and her pops Verne in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We left the gatos in the loving hands of kitty sitters Sharna & Giovani, and headed off. First stop: Albuquerque, for a fruitful and fun visit with Heidi's Dad Verne and his wife WIlla. We helped them out with some projects around their ranchette including donating Willa's old car to NPR. They were super-grateful to have their son-in-law architect/landscape architect there for some advice and maintenance. While Heidi did her best at new phone and computer tech support (the curse of working in the high-tech industry, knowing just enough to be dangerous!) We also got in a quick visit with our friend Luba (including a shop at REI for Kirk's new shoes - THANKS for the fashion sense Luba! - and for fantastic Vietnamese food in ABQ too.) Then it was time to head north to colder climates.


Pot-luck get together with sailing friends on Bainbridge Island, Rob & Teresa (big thanks for the car loan and hospitality!) and Wendy. And thanks Pam @ pamsisland.com for the fun photo!

Brrrrr.... We didn't remember the Pacific NorthWET being so COLD in August!? Most of the time we wore long pants, long-sleeved shirts, with Heidi in fleece and down vests at night, and one morning a hat on our way to yoga with Max. We didn't even wear 90% of the clothes we brought along. But then again, we were almost entirely on Whidbey Island and Port Townsend area - and we forget that they are cooler than Seattle's hot city summer temps.


Happy Hour on the beach with our BESTIES and fellow sailors, Carol, Devon, Jim, and John near Port Townsend...as evidenced by our clothing, beach happy hour in PT is quite a bit cooler than in PV but maybe more FUN because we're with our Framily!

It was a whirlwind tour of friends, family, babies, vet consultations, pot-luck dinners, downsizing storage unit, new houses and remodels, eating great food, and LOTS of Laughs. The Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island is amazing. And lets not forget the Schwenker!


Kirk and Sandy tending the Schwenker!


So much fun to see Carol and John's beautiful new home come to fruition. And all because we were waylaid by a boat issue on our way up to the Gulf Islands a few years ago, they stopped in PT to wait for us, and decided to look at property while they waited...and what a gem they found!


So great to be back at our home-away-from-home, Devon and Jim's gorgeous jewel in the woods.


These "Newsboys" John, Kirk, and Jim just look like they're up to mischief!?


New parents Braden and Molly with "Uncle Kirk."


Don't miss a visit to the Earth Sanctuary on south Whidbey Island if you're ever in the area, it's stunning.

Our mission this trip was downsizing our storage unit near Port Townsend, and we can proudly say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to everyone who helped us, and to the Habitat for Humanity store in Port Townsend for taking so much of our stuff. "LESS is MORE."


Storage unit, before and after - feels great to downsize 50% of our stuff, donated or recycled!



With sailing BFFs Patti & Frosty and Chris & Eric in Port Ludlow for the Bob Perry Rendezvous (a sailboat rendezvous for all Robert Perry designed boats.) We left from here three years ago, so it was a fun surprise to see so many friends here again. BIG THANKS to Jim, and Chris & Eric for making the gig just to see us!

Much GRATITUDE to our friends and family who let us couch-surf and lent us vehicles: Mike, Karen & Roger, Teresa & Rob, Carol & John, Sara, Devon & Jim, Judy & Paul, and Laren & Ted. And to all our other friends and family who fed us, helped us recycle our downsized items, and reorganized their schedules just to see us. Our deepest apologies to those of you we missed seeing. We were only in Seattle proper for a couple of days. Now that our work is done, next visit we can PLAY!


Kirk got in a Thursday night race on our old favorite Downtown Sailing Series with Mike, one of our friends who sailed south with us three years ago. This was a HUGE milestone for Kirk, as it was his FIRST time sailing since his stroke, and WAHOO, he had zero balance issues!! Sadly Heidi had to miss out due to a Neal's Yard Remedies team event, which was fun too, but not like sailing!

It was shocking to see the growth in Seattle, and how much has changed in three short years we've been gone--bad and good (Kirk hopes they SAVE the classic Showbox Theater, and it was cool to see Lime green electric rental bikes parked ALL over town.) And as you can see from many of these photos, the forest fire smoke was thick... in fact we flew over wild-land fire smoke the whole way from ABQ to SEA. Our last night's dinner in Seattle included ash falling on the picnic tables like snowflakes. Cray-cray!


Last night in Seattle, dinner (with a dusting of snow-like ash from the fires!) in Columbia City with old friends and cousins. Clockwise from bottom left: Mike, Kat, Kirk, Laren, Laura, Laura's SIL and Bro, cousin Steve, Michele from Kansas, cousin Kelly, Willie, and Ted. THANKS so much to all of you for making this get-together work, and for punting on location at the last second! We love you all xoxo

Time flew (so we must have been having fun!?) And before we were ready, we were headed to SeaTac for a 4am check-in. Thankfully the Travel Gods were shining on us and it was smooth sailing from SeaTac Skycaps to Mexican customs, green lights all the way. Tosh & Tikka, and Sharna & Giovanni were all glad to have us home!

Our daily gratitude checks remind us all we have to be GRATEFUL for. Reflecting back on the three years since we set sail, we've had amazing adventures, met life-long friends, accepted the bad with the good, made delicious lemonade, and really wouldn't change a thing. We still love Puerto Vallarta, and still plan to continue our sailing adventures heading south sometime soon. In the mean time we're waiting out Hurricane Season, enjoying the nightly tropical thunderstorms, and looking forward to more visitors. Come on down to the FUN side of the wall and take a Juan Bravo Panga Tour with us!

P.S. Be sure to check out lots more photos in our Photo Gallery.

xoxo
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
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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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