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 - Hurricane Newton Part II: Auditioning for The Blue Man Group
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Clip from diver Carlo’s video showing the hole in the bottom of the foam-filled rudder. Luckily (amazingly) the rudder did not fill with water in the 24 hours before we hauled her out.
A few dings and holes in the fiberglass, no gelcoat or bottom paint left on the trailing edge of the keel.
George and Kirk tending lines while Due West was being hauled out of the water. We needed four line handlers, port and starboard, bow and stern (kinda like going through the Panama Canal...but not!) Ruth was a huge help onboard Due West tending lines, then jumped ship to grab a line on shore when the boatyard
First glimpses (face-to-face) of the damage as Due West is hauled out of the water. She actually looked ‘less bad’ out of the water than the diver’s video had indicated (remember, water magnifies things by 25%!)
Due West on the jack-stands just after haul-out. Even with all the damage and dried on sea slime...she
Mid-day lenticular cloud over the Sierra Gigantes. The boat yard is off to the far right, the new marina owners are pouring lots of dollars into the guard-shack (far left) making it uber-fancy. We
Dried on sea-slime and baby barnacles  are difficult to remove once they
An early start to the day is rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over Hotel Tripui pool.
Kirk all suited up for a LONG, HOT day at the boatyard...sadly it was futile to try to keep the blue dust out...but we suited up faithfully and did the best we could.
Heidi donned mask, gloves, and eye protection for hand-sanding the waterline and was mostly OSHA approved too, but couldn
Kirk decided to audition for the Blue Man Group. Although all geared up to OSHA standards, somehow that blue paint dust permeated everything! Did we mention it was 98° in the SHADE, and Tyvek doesn
The Blue Man all suited up and sanding the bottom. The two peaks in the background are "The Mamoth" (on the left) and "The Gorilla" (on the right). They are facing each other as if having a conversation.
Our Mondrian Blue bottom, prepped and ready for paint... Heidi
Just can
Tripui Hotel and pool, a brightly colored oasis in the Baja desert.
Happy 69th Birthday to Captain Kirk! We had a FUN pool party to celebrate with fellow cruisers (left to right): George, Larry, Judy (front), Ruth (back), Boni, John, Heidi. The Birthday boy took the photo!
After a long day of boat work it was nice to be rewarded by beautiful sunsets.
Tikka-Pepita-Salulita-Margarita enjoying a nap on the giant king-size bed at Hotel Tripui.
In addition to the obvious food and litter-box, we also brought the furbie
Giant Silk Moths were everywhere just after the hurricane. The cats loved chasing them (thanks Boni for the hand model!)
Ouch! That hurt! Leading edge of the keel is down to bare fiberglass, missing gel coat, barrier coat, and bottom paint in places.
George and Kirk lay down the first layers of fiberglass matting on the leading edge of the keel. Many more layers to go…
George graffitied the keel with his sander before grinding down the damage to begin repairs. More laters of fiberglass matting being laid-up.
George expertly adding layer upon layer of fiberglass resin and matting, this time to the damaged rudder and skeg. He moved back-and-forth between the keel and rudder over many days, taking advantage of curing times between the many layers.
Fiberglass matting done, time for gelcoat (resin with white pigment) creating a smooth surface covering the resin soaked matting.
Fiberglass matting going on the rudder, note the errant fibers on George’s hand. He was rarely OSHA approved!
Next up, barrier coat (gray) over the keel repaired area, which seals the porous gelcoat making it ready for bottom paint.
Fiberglass and gelcoat layers done, and on with the barrier coat (gray). Next up, bottom paint…
Another gorgeous sunrise over the Sierra Gigante mountains. The beautiful scenery around here made the whole repair/boatyard experience much more tenable.
BIG THANKS to Kimi & Trevor for picking up spare parts in San Diego for us, and selling us a gallon of their blue bottom paint. And thanks to Tim for the hand-held GPS too! :-)
FINALLY ready for bottom paint...John (s/v Ingenium) and Heidi tackle the keel with BLUE.
It was just tooooo damn hot for Heidi to keep her Tyvek suit on, so she got blue speckled too!
Look at that BLUE, better than new! THANKS SO MUCH George (and Ruth for your patience!), we are forever grateful!
After a late night painting in the dark (because it was finally cool enough that the bottom paint wouldn
Finally! All repaired, zinced, and painted, Due West is ready for splashing!
And she
We SO MUCH appreciate and are truly humbled by all of the well wishes, love, and incredible support from our friends and family as we made our limes into Limonada, blue limonada that is! We even named a drink after this whole experience, Due West On The Rocks! Cheers to ALL of you!!