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 Road to San Javier
Photos 1 to 37 of 37 | Main
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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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