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 - The Minister & The Mermaid
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Big THANKS to Puget Sound Cruising Club (PSCC) friends Rob & Teresa (who circumnavigated the Pacific a few years ago) for hosting a fun backyard BBQ Pizza party with more Bainbridge Island cruising friends. Seen here: Rob, Paul & Judy. We hung out with Paul & Judy in Mexico and picked their brains for Panama and Ecuador cruising info before they shipped their boat back to the Pacific Northwest. We
Painterly image of cruising friends Teresa and Lisa. HUGE THANKS to Teresa for your wonderful hospitality and use of your car while we were there! And to Lisa for past and future use of your buoy at Puerto Escondido! See you in La Paz this fall...
PSCC Cruising friends Mike and Wendy & Garth chatting in Teresa & Rob
Our good friends Devon & Jim always make us feel so welcome in their beautiful home near Port Townsend. We watched it grow up from a muddy field to a construction zone, to a shining gem of a home over the years. They hosted a little get-together with our Port Townsend area sailing friends, then took us crabbing for fresh Dunguness, which we are so MISSING in Mexico, a highlight of our trip. Many THANKS Devon & Jim for all you have done and continue to do for us, we miss you!
Marrowstoners Carol and Devon with Heidi...so good to see these girls again, we miss you so much and hope you come visit soon!! :-)
Boys will be boys! Kirk hanging with his pals: Jim and Sandy. Seems like just yesterday we were all together! We loved having Sandy as one of our crew down the coast from Port Townsend to Newport, Oregon, too bad Neptune foiled the trip to San Francisco.
Heidi and Johnny G, who named us "The Minister & The Mermaid", as Kirk was going to officiate a wedding, and apparently Heidi looked like a fish out of water in jeans and a sweater!? ;-)
No gathering at Devon & Jim
Frosty jammin
Jim, Heidi (a.k.a. The Mermaid), Devon, Kirk (a.ka. The Minister)...we LOVE and miss these guys!
Frosty, Patti, Jim, and Devon... What?! The Mermaid is eating a hotdog?! Yes, Heidi was in hotdog heaven! It
We got to see Carol & Johnny G
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a stop at the Ballard Fred Meyer, to see our FAV checker Emma! She hails from Columbia and has always helped us with our Spanish. She was impressed that we knew much more then when we left! :-)
We were lucky to be in Seattle on a summer Thursday night to race in the Elliott Bay Marina Downtown Sailing Series with our friends Regina & Mike on s/v Quo Vadis. Not so lucky with the weather, Seattle welcomed us home with rain and lightening requiring jeans and jackets to keep warm. What a difference a week and 24° latitude makes!? Fun to see a few of our old marina neighbors too. As some of you remember, s/v Due West was a regular in this regatta for the past 15 years and we always loved taking people out on the water who didn
The UP side to the clouds and rain...this beautiful sunset over Elliott Bay Marina.
And now, the whole reason for our trip back to the Pacific Northwest... to attend the Mazama-Rama with Wedding, where The Minister would officiate the ceremony of our "nephew" Braden marrying Molly the Fox of course!
The Minister "Captain Reverend Kirk" bestowing last pearls of wisdom on Braden before the rehearsal.
Our "niece" and "nephew" Kelsi and Braden at the Mazama-Rama with Wedding.
Mother of the Groom, Sara and The Minister "Captain Reverend Kirk" before the rehearsal. Sara, Kirk and friends had cycled Europe 30+ years ago when Sara was pregnant with Kelsi! Such an honor for Kirk to represent Bob for this wedding.
To ensure people wouldn
The beautiful wedding ceremony site with chairs for almost 200 people on a river floodplain clearing in the forest.
Kelsi and her husband Jesse graciously hosted us in Seattle for a few days before and after the wedding, fed us delicious healthy meals from their garden, and lent us a car to get around. So much fun to hang out with them, but way too brief! Here
The King and the Queen of the Ball: Molly & Braden hamming it up post rehearsal, headed to a delicious gluten-free meal cooked by Braden
The Minister... Photo credit: Sandra Burr.
Mid-ceremony in the 85° heat and stillness, a gusty-breeze blew through the ceremony, Braden and Kirk simultaneously exclaimed “Bob!”, as Kirk was miked the audience heard him, laughed, then got a bit teary.
I now pronounce you "Dr. & Dr.", er, uh "Husband & Wife, Braden & Molly!" [Molly is a naturopath and Braden is a dentist, both on Whidbey Island, and it seemed like most of the guests were natural healers of one type or another. Fun to be with such a health loving crowd.] Photo credit: Sandra Burr.
Oh what a dance party it was, complete with Hava Nagila chair dance, Molly and her girls dancing to Madona
North Cascades National Park and North Cascades Highway, a beautiful drive through gorgeous mountains, was a welcome relief to the 104° heat we left behind in La Paz!
The Minister & The Mermaid with the Early Winters Spires in the background. One of the most beautiful drives in Washington state, Molly-the-Bride requested that everyone stop to take in her favorite view from Washington Pass Overlook.
One more party in Seattle before we headed back to Mexico. Friends Karen & Jared (who visited us in La Paz last spring) hosted a fun-filled get-together on their deck with a view of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. A mini-reunion from a sailing trip several years ago to the BVIs with some of these folks: Kathy, Lu, Ian, Jared, Karen, John, Heidi, Willie, Kirk, and Mike. Thanks so much for the hospitality and party (during your retirement/birthday week no less Karen!), and for the ride to the airport at an un-godly hour Jared! :-)  [If you
Heidi
We couldn
The Seattle sunsets did not disappoint!
Ugh! And then we had to PACK up all of the boat parts, gluten-free food, vitamins and supplements, cat food, and let
Yes, it totaled exactly 400 pounds of stuff, split up among 5 duffles and a box. Note to Alaska Air flyers: Although your first two bags can
Our dear friend Miles toured us all over San Diego County (this view above Black
BEST Cat Sitters in the WORLD! Not only did John & Boni take stellar care of the Furbies, they rented a jeep and picked us up at the Cabo airport along with our 400 lbs of luggage! (See it strapped to the roof behind our heads?!) We had to leave room inside the jeep for people and a Costco run. Thanks guys, we hope to return the favor!
Tosh & Tikka beating the heat in La Paz, sleeping on the salon table under the A/C unit...they
 
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