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 - 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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