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 - Isla Espirto Santo, Isla San Francisco & San Evaristo
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Map of our travels from La Paz to San Evaristo and back again. We did variations of this trip twice, once with the WWS (Women Who Sail) Rendezvous, and again with our Seattle friends Jared & Karen.
Bonanza Beach view from our kayaks, east side of Isla Espirto Santo, where we anchored for 3 days before arriving at La Paz (see previous post.) The first day we had the entire bay to ourselves, then each day more and more boats showed up, including 12 kayakers camping on the beach on our last day.
Due West anchored in Caleta Partida, though the water looks inviting, it was still a bit on the cool side (74°) and we saw quite a few jellies, so we weren
One of two fishing villages on the cut between Isla Partida (this village) and Isla Espirto Santo.
The second fishing village on the opposite bank from the first, is on Isla Espirto Santo. The cut between the islands is very shallow and can only be passed by dinghy at hight tide.
Kirk and Jared dinghying to the Sea Caves. The geology around here makes us feel like we
View of the ever-changing shoreline along Isla Espirto Santo on the way to the Sea Caves.
Another view looking south from the Sea Caves along the eastern shore of Isla Espirto Santo.
Entering into the Sea Caves on Isla Espirto Santo. The water is a magical neon-turquoise color.
Inside the Sea Caves on Isla Espirto Santo, looking out a "window" in the cave. We dinghied into the cave which was about 80
Looking up inside the Sea Caves, made of conglomerate rock...hoping for NO earthquakes while we were inside the caves.
Cormorant silhoutte looking out from inside the Sea Caves.
Seattle friends Karen & Roger on s/v Meridien dinghied over from the next cove to meet us in Caleta Partida in the shallow dinghy channel. So good to see them even for a few brief minutes.
Isla Espirto Santo National Park: The shoals of Caleta Partida Bay (in some places only 1-2
Heidi  and Jared, sailing to San Evaristo.
We saw several individual dolphins and one pod of about 10-12 Bottlenose dolphins which surfed our bow wake for several minutes of play. None of our photos were quite as good as this photo, courtesy of Heidi
Panoramic view of Isla San Francisco from the top of the ridge. This birds-eye view really shows the crater well. Photo courtesy of Jared Smith.
Heidi, Karen, and Captain Kirk getting ready to hike up the ridge on Isla San Francisco.
Due West anchored in picturesque Isla San Franciso, a former volcanic crater with white sand beaches and turquoise waters.  We are the white sailboat in the middle of the photo, next to a white powerboat.
Top of Isla San Francisco looking north-east down the coast. The rocks on this island are high in both iron (red) and copper (green) content.
Sunset over Isla San Francisco filled with WWS boats.
The first night of the WWS Rendezvous, prizes and fun times for all, including the few DH
Heidi and Seattle friend Teresa, on the WWS Rendezvous. We were happy to kid-nap Teresa off of her charter boat to come sail with us for a couple of days.
Cardón cactus in bloom on Isla San Jose. These larger cousins of the Suguaro cactus can grow to 70
Sea birds swarming the fishing boats in San Evaristo.
Lupe Sierra & Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae (right) and her daughter-in-law cooked amazing food for 65 people at the Women Who Sail Rendezvous. We took Jared & Karen back there the following week for another delicious meal. Fresh fish from the day
The BYOB (bring your own BOAT) crews at the WWS Rendezvous. So much fun to meet up with so many people that Heidi had previously known only on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Frankie Grant (far left).
Cows and goats hanging out in front of the San Evaristo "Mini-Super" Tienda. For a small town of 40 families, 5 hours drive from anywhere... this tienda actually had quite an amazing selection of food including fresh produce. Heidi asked the owner if she could take a photo inside the store, but she declined.
The "Mini-Super" tienda in the little fishing village of San Evaristo.
The dogs of San Evaristo with the Agua Purificada and Heilo Purificada plant in the background.
The Heilo Purificada (ice from purified water) was "bag-your-own" at 20 pesos (about $1.20 US) per kilo. Since we didn
Karen, Steve & Sherri from s/v Pablo, Heidi, and  Jared on the beach in San Evaristo. Here you can see "Aventuras
"Aventuras" our dinghy sporting her new dinghy chaps (gray sumbrella cover); art-board motor; and new dinghy-wheels in the UP position. These dinghy wheels help us to "drive" the dinghy up the beach, away from the surf and rising tide.
Signs on the beach "Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle your feet" as you get in and out of the dinghy at the water
The crazy antics of these Mabula Rays (a type of smaller manta ray) kept us entertained on several occasions. Again, Heidi
Jared, who used to be allergic to cats, declared Tosh & Tikka to be "hypoallergenic" and got some cute shots of them as they played with him each morning... nothing like having your cats wake up your guests at 0500 to PLAY!
Tosh & Tikka chilaxin on the main traveler, at anchor.
Karen, Jared, and Kirk hanging in the cockpit.
Mix-master Jared Smith making our nightly margaritas with fresh limes, tequila, and "Controy"! They were delish!
As we returned to La Paz, we passed our new South Korean friend, Moon on s/v Adele. We first met Moon in Ensenada several months ago. Now he was leaving on his single-handed voyage back to South Korea, via Hawaii! We wished him fair winds and following seas, and will be eager to hear from him when he next gets internet access.
 
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