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 - La Cruz & Sayulita
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San Jose del Cabo to La Cruz, 280 nautical miles, about 48 hour passage.
Kirk still wearing long-sleeves on our first sunset out of San Jose del Cabo.
Night-watch selfie. Tosh makes night watches infinitely more exciting, he always wants to play fetch at 0300!
The Southern Cross constellation can be seen from about 20° Latitude N.
We finally found the WIND... albeit light wind, at least the jib got a nice workout.
Kitty yoga? Tikka
Half-way to La Cruz, it finally got hot enough to sail naked, or at least with minimal clothing. The only problem was, all of the warm-weather clothes were stashed away! So Heidi went spelunking under the salon-bunk to dig out some cooler clothing.
Half-way across our passage, we tossed our first "Message in a Neal
The off-watch crew, sleeping in the new-found heat of the day.
Sunset half-way across the Sea of Cortez.
Sunrise over La Cruz as we enter Banderas Bay.
Arriving in La Cruz early morning, Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Sayulita Beach Umbrellas.
Coney Island...er, uh, Sayulita?! :-)
Downtown Sayulita with banners flying.
SO many bright and colorful buildings in Sayulita, like this orange hotel...
... and this Hot Pink Blue Corn Cafe...
...and this Green building which also happened to have incredible GF Pizza!...
...and this blue building, every color of the rainbow really!
Lovely hotel courtyard in Sayulita, rooms were about $50/night, if we go again we
Arty spa entrance in Sayulita was so ZEN...
River through Sayulita is habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna.
Indigenous Huichol (
More Huichol art: Jaguar head.
Brightly painted clay frogs, more Huichol art, they worship many animals.
Corner produce market in Sayulilta.
Panga fishing fleet at La Cruz.
This red beach bar complete with beach umbrellas and chairs is jut across the parking lot from the marina in La Cruz.
"Downtown" La Cruz, only a few blocks wide and mostly dirt or cobblestone streets.
A typical house in La Cruz.
Typical La Cruz streets and buildings.
Besides the Marina, La Cruz is mostly houses, a few small shops and stores, and a few gringo  bars and restaurants like this Green Tomatoes (note the bull out front)...
...and this Rojo Gecko bar with live music.
Some Mariachi dudes in La Cruz...
Our new Mantus swivel connects our anchor chain to our amazing Rocna anchor, keeping the chain twist-free.
Heidi sundress shopping at the La Cruz Market.
Our new Huichol hand woven pillow from the La Cruz Sunday market
Huichol painted wood bowls at the La Cruz Sunday Market.
Vibrantly colored Huichol jewelry and clothing at the La Cruz Sunday Market.
More bright Huichul clothing and textiles, many items have animal themes to them.
Tikka has become little-miss-ADVENTURE in the warm weather. She loves checking out the boat from every angle, here she
Tosh and his favorite O-ring toy, which he fetches endlessly, or carries around in his mouth, looking like a fierce lion!
The Gatos del Mar, sleeping atop the refrigerator, covered in a wet rag to help keep them cool. Tikka often sleeps with her head/front legs hanging off of something. Wonder how she doesn
The house-band at Philo
Due West wearing her finest African Queen awning (over the aft end of the boat) and $30 Costco sun-shade (over the bow.) The African Queen awning that used to protect her from rain and snow, is now keeping her cool in the TROPICS at last!! :-)
Sunset over La Cruz.