Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

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.
25 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico

Couch Surfin' U.S.A.

26 August 2018 | Puerto Vallarta MX, ABQ, NM, and SEA, WA
This summer has been so full of activities and visitors (like Heidi's cousins Sarah, Amy, and Sue above, who stopped by on their cruise ship!) we've hardly had time to write. So this post will end our radio silence and catch you up on our latest adventures.

Wow! Hard to believe that three years ago today we left Seattle to sail south... what an adventure it's been.

In early June we moved back into our friends Judy & Paul's beach-front condo to house-sit during hurricane season while they're back in the Pacific Northwest. This is where we stayed last summer, and after a few hours Tosh and Tikka felt right at home, as did we.



Speaking of the cats, Tosh has been diagnosed with a bad sinus infection plus nasal sarcoma, which we're treating with everything but the kitchen sink: antibiotics, herbal remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, CBD oil, Shamanic healing, and lots of Reiki and LOVE. He seems to be feeling a lot better these days, more energy, and more playful. So we're holding the thought that he'll make a full recovery. He just turned 4 years old on 4th of July, and has many more lives to be lived and much more love to give! So he's accepting all the well-wishes you send his way. BIG THANKS to all of Tosh's halers here and in Seattle: Wolf Veterinary, Dra Marisol, Polly, Dr. Darla, Dr. Heather, Alex, Claudia and Luis. Tikka also turned 4 years old last week and remains cute-as-a-bug chasing imaginary toys around the condo while Tosh naps. She has been a super-dupe little sister to Tosh during his healing journey.


Happy Hour at Barracuda with Kathy and Earl toasting our new camshaft that they delivered to us! BIG THANKS!!

Meanwhile, Due West sits snug in her slip for Hurricane Season, only a 10-minute bus-ride away. And Kirk checks in on her every day or so while he works on boat projects. In our last post you saw our broken camshaft. We are grateful to Perkins UK for agreeing it was a faulty casting and selling us a new one at cost, 28-years later! Our friends Carol & John tried to bring our new camshaft down to us in May, but UPS sent it to a wayward address... so the camshaft finally arrived with Kathy & Earl in June, and is now all installed and working beautifully! Since the engine was already apart, we had our mechanic Omar do some scheduled maintenance including cleaning the fuel injectors. Those were installed today, and our trusty engine "Michael P" now purrs like a kitten again! Due West is ready to sail as soon as hurricane season is over.


25th wedding anniversary at Quimixto waterfalls, and 20 years ago in the same spot.

Wahoo!! We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in June with friends on a Juan Bravo Panga Tour. As we've mentioned many times, and as Kathy and Earl experienced when they were here, a day on the water with Juan Bravo Panga Tours is not to be missed. Always a new adventure customized for what ever you want to do... this time with a swarm of aguamales (jellyfish!) so no snorkeling for our anniversary, but we did try a new lunch spot at Casitas Maraika Beach Club.


Celebrating our 25th anniversary with friends Boni, Rachel, Juan Bravo, John, Kirk, and Karla... but where's Heidi? Maybe taking a shower...?


Heidi fell in love with their conch shell beach shower! Can we put one of these on the boat?!

Over the summer we started taking private Spanish lessons 2x a week which has significantly increased our vocabulario y verbo conjugation skills and fun with the language. We continue going to beach yoga four times a week (check out Angel Yoga PV if you're ever in town, it's loads of fun!), and even substitute taught a couple of times in Español and Spanglish! We're still doing pilates reformer two times a week as well, are still eating some meat, and are both feeling great.


Beach Yoginis

As we left Seattle three years ago, we threw a lot of stuff into our storage unit at the last minute, no time to go through it then. So we knew a trip back to the PNW to revisit said storage and all our "shite" was in the making one day soon. Remember back when Kirk was the officiant who performed Captain of the Sea duties and married his nephew Braden to his beautiful bride Molly? Well, they now have newborn twins... funny how that happens! And we hadn't even met Kelsi & Jesse's baby yet who's almost 2. So we decided to combine multiple events into a trip back in time... to the USA. And man what a TRIP it was!


Heidi and her pops Verne in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We left the gatos in the loving hands of kitty sitters Sharna & Giovani, and headed off. First stop: Albuquerque, for a fruitful and fun visit with Heidi's Dad Verne and his wife WIlla. We helped them out with some projects around their ranchette including donating Willa's old car to NPR. They were super-grateful to have their son-in-law architect/landscape architect there for some advice and maintenance. While Heidi did her best at new phone and computer tech support (the curse of working in the high-tech industry, knowing just enough to be dangerous!) We also got in a quick visit with our friend Luba (including a shop at REI for Kirk's new shoes - THANKS for the fashion sense Luba! - and for fantastic Vietnamese food in ABQ too.) Then it was time to head north to colder climates.


Pot-luck get together with sailing friends on Bainbridge Island, Rob & Teresa (big thanks for the car loan and hospitality!) and Wendy. And thanks Pam @ pamsisland.com for the fun photo!

Brrrrr.... We didn't remember the Pacific NorthWET being so COLD in August!? Most of the time we wore long pants, long-sleeved shirts, with Heidi in fleece and down vests at night, and one morning a hat on our way to yoga with Max. We didn't even wear 90% of the clothes we brought along. But then again, we were almost entirely on Whidbey Island and Port Townsend area - and we forget that they are cooler than Seattle's hot city summer temps.


Happy Hour on the beach with our BESTIES and fellow sailors, Carol, Devon, Jim, and John near Port Townsend...as evidenced by our clothing, beach happy hour in PT is quite a bit cooler than in PV but maybe more FUN because we're with our Framily!

It was a whirlwind tour of friends, family, babies, vet consultations, pot-luck dinners, downsizing storage unit, new houses and remodels, eating great food, and LOTS of Laughs. The Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island is amazing. And lets not forget the Schwenker!


Kirk and Sandy tending the Schwenker!


So much fun to see Carol and John's beautiful new home come to fruition. And all because we were waylaid by a boat issue on our way up to the Gulf Islands a few years ago, they stopped in PT to wait for us, and decided to look at property while they waited...and what a gem they found!


So great to be back at our home-away-from-home, Devon and Jim's gorgeous jewel in the woods.


These "Newsboys" John, Kirk, and Jim just look like they're up to mischief!?


New parents Braden and Molly with "Uncle Kirk."


Don't miss a visit to the Earth Sanctuary on south Whidbey Island if you're ever in the area, it's stunning.

Our mission this trip was downsizing our storage unit near Port Townsend, and we can proudly say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to everyone who helped us, and to the Habitat for Humanity store in Port Townsend for taking so much of our stuff. "LESS is MORE."


Storage unit, before and after - feels great to downsize 50% of our stuff, donated or recycled!



With sailing BFFs Patti & Frosty and Chris & Eric in Port Ludlow for the Bob Perry Rendezvous (a sailboat rendezvous for all Robert Perry designed boats.) We left from here three years ago, so it was a fun surprise to see so many friends here again. BIG THANKS to Jim, and Chris & Eric for making the gig just to see us!

Much GRATITUDE to our friends and family who let us couch-surf and lent us vehicles: Mike, Karen & Roger, Teresa & Rob, Carol & John, Sara, Devon & Jim, Judy & Paul, and Laren & Ted. And to all our other friends and family who fed us, helped us recycle our downsized items, and reorganized their schedules just to see us. Our deepest apologies to those of you we missed seeing. We were only in Seattle proper for a couple of days. Now that our work is done, next visit we can PLAY!


Kirk got in a Thursday night race on our old favorite Downtown Sailing Series with Mike, one of our friends who sailed south with us three years ago. This was a HUGE milestone for Kirk, as it was his FIRST time sailing since his stroke, and WAHOO, he had zero balance issues!! Sadly Heidi had to miss out due to a Neal's Yard Remedies team event, which was fun too, but not like sailing!

It was shocking to see the growth in Seattle, and how much has changed in three short years we've been gone--bad and good (Kirk hopes they SAVE the classic Showbox Theater, and it was cool to see Lime green electric rental bikes parked ALL over town.) And as you can see from many of these photos, the forest fire smoke was thick... in fact we flew over wild-land fire smoke the whole way from ABQ to SEA. Our last night's dinner in Seattle included ash falling on the picnic tables like snowflakes. Cray-cray!


Last night in Seattle, dinner (with a dusting of snow-like ash from the fires!) in Columbia City with old friends and cousins. Clockwise from bottom left: Mike, Kat, Kirk, Laren, Laura, Laura's SIL and Bro, cousin Steve, Michele from Kansas, cousin Kelly, Willie, and Ted. THANKS so much to all of you for making this get-together work, and for punting on location at the last second! We love you all xoxo

Time flew (so we must have been having fun!?) And before we were ready, we were headed to SeaTac for a 4am check-in. Thankfully the Travel Gods were shining on us and it was smooth sailing from SeaTac Skycaps to Mexican customs, green lights all the way. Tosh & Tikka, and Sharna & Giovanni were all glad to have us home!

Our daily gratitude checks remind us all we have to be GRATEFUL for. Reflecting back on the three years since we set sail, we've had amazing adventures, met life-long friends, accepted the bad with the good, made delicious lemonade, and really wouldn't change a thing. We still love Puerto Vallarta, and still plan to continue our sailing adventures heading south sometime soon. In the mean time we're waiting out Hurricane Season, enjoying the nightly tropical thunderstorms, and looking forward to more visitors. Come on down to the FUN side of the wall and take a Juan Bravo Panga Tour with us!

P.S. Be sure to check out lots more photos in our Photo Gallery.

xoxo
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 Road to San Javier
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Looking up Steinbeck Canyon, we did a double-take, were we in the rain-forests of the Amazon or Baja Mexico?! The trail leads up to waterfalls and swimming pools, beautiful hike we’re sure, but right now with all the water here there are likely a lot of mosquitoes up there and Heidi is done being bitten for a while! John Steinbeck spent a lot of time in the Sea of Cortez, as detailed in his book “The Log of the Sea of Cortez”, which is how this canyon came to be named Steinbeck Canyon.
The turnoff from Loreto to San Javier is well marked and the highway is newly paved, our trip was off to a good start...
Shortly down the road and around a few bends however, the pavement suddenly became gravel, then dirt, and narrowed from two-lanes to one... just one of many washouts!
Major road construction! Note the hairpin turn in the center of the photo where we came head-to-head with one of the Baja 400 race cars. Fun and games on dirt roads!
This cute little road-side chappel along the road to San Javier (in a one-house town!) was decorated all pink inside, see next photo.
Inside of the two-pew chapel in the one-house town on the Road to San Javier.
Wild flowers were out in full bloom, including these hot pink coral bush and lavender-colored morning glories...
...and this bottle-brush type plant with white and pink “brushes”.
Streams flowed over the road in many places and we drove through at least ten fords along the way to San Javier.
Seconds after taking this photo a Baja 400 buggy zoomed around the blind corner towards us passing mid-ford, water flying!
Sprinkled here and there were cute little houses or ranchitos (little ranches) tucked into valleys along the way. This one was so beautifully painted we had to stop for a photo.
This mule was just one of the many animales we passed along the way including: cows, horses, goats and burros.
Interesting geology and beautiful scenery along the entire road to San Javier.
This was the biggest and deepest ford we crossed. Part way through we noticed fish swimming! After we crossed we looked back and noticed...
...these three Mexicans guys fishing along the banks of the stream, next to the road, crazy!
Many deep canyons lead straight down to palm lined oases in the valleys below.
One of the many, many shrines lining this road. We could easily see how and where cars have careened off the road. Many of their corners are banked the wrong way, potentially sending cars over the edge! Loreto is visible in the distance.
Another road-side shrine housing the Virgin of Guadeloupe, the patron saint of Mexico.
Post-hurricane, pavement washouts weren
The tiny town of San Javier (pop. 130) itself is literally made of two streets each about three blocks long with the Mission sitting at the end of town.
This cute flower cart in front of the mission boasts one of every type of native Baja flower blooming.
The second oldest mission in the Californias, Mission of San Javier (note the Asian influence above the door.)
Intricate wood carvings on the 300+ year old original massive wood doors.
When we first arrived we had the mission to ourselves...five minutes later it was full of tourists and Baja 400 racers stopping to pray. San Javier is considered the pride of Baja for this altar piece, and welcomes over 12,000 pilgrims from throughout Mexico each December 2nd, many of them on horseback.
Baja 400 race car drivers praying the day before the race.
Ornate ceiling inside of the Mission of San Javier.
Colorful votive candles light up the Mission of San Javier.
The Virgin of Guadeloupe, the patron saint of Mexico, adorning the wall of one of the ante-rooms in the Mission of San Javier.
Looking out a side door to the gardens beyond.
The 300+ year-old cemetery at San Javier Mission.
View of the mission from the gardens beyond the mission walls. The lemon trees were full of lemons!
This 300+ year old olive tree from the original gardens was huge and had sprouted many clones around it.
Couldn
The first wine (for "religious purposes" only. ;-) in the Californias was made right here by the San Javier monks, from grapes on these 300+ year-old grape vines, now intertwined around lime trees for support.
Heidi among the date palms in the San Javier gardens.
Kirk among the banana trees in the San Javier gardens. Besides bananas, the gardens grew lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, dates, olives, and grapes... and who knows what else for their daily sustenance.
One of the billions and billions of yellow mariposas migrating south through the Loreto area this past week.
 
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