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 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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