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 - Isla Coronado, San Juanico Y Bahia Concepcion
Photos 1 to 45 of 45 | Main
1
The Sergeant Major is the most ubiquitous tropical fish in Mexico and we
This sunset at Isla Corado looking back towards Loreto was one of the most spectacular we
San Juanico is a treasure-trove of rocky islets, pinnacles, and shoals that make for great snorkeling and kayaking.
Due West is just to the right of the large rock in the center of the photo. Cruising friends s/v Ingenium are to the right of us. So much to see and do here, we plan to come back.
The 7-mile dirt road to Mexico Highway 1 from San Juanico... we only hiked about a mile of it but the scenery was beautiful. Just around the corner we ran into horses, burros and mules.
Heidi practicing her animal communication skills with the burros at San Juanico. No comprende.
The San Juanico Cruiser
Due West
Lucky shot! A pelican glides by the fishing camp on the point at Bahia Santo Domingo.
Shells, shells, shells...She sells sea shells by the seashore...this is one of the first beaches we
Our "other boat" (our car!), our awesome RIB dinghy, "Aventuras" bobbing in the water in Bahia Santo Domingo with the full-moon over-head. We LOVE our dinghy, the best one we
This photo doesn
Due West anchored in of Bahía Concepción with full sun-shade canvas up and Cool-a-roo wind-scoop funneling fresh air into the forward hatch.
Playa Santispac view from the water: Palapa huts where we camped with some of Heidi
If you
Ana
"Ancient" petroglyphs on the rocks above Playa Santispac point the way to... GROCERIES!
View from shore: the other side of the palapa huts on Playa Santispac. They have been much improved from when we stayed here three years ago. Andy, when we saw the Westfalia we almost thought it was YOU!
The new palapas are much improved and private. The old version had three open sides and actually worked great for our large group of 7 with hammocks hanging on the open sides. But this new design provides much more wind and sun protection.
Lovely design of the overlapping palm fronds creating the palapa roof.
Due West anchored at Playa Santisipac, in phenomenal  shades of Caribbean-blue and green water.
Aventuras on Playa Sanispac with Due West riding comfortably on the hook in the background. The dinghy wheels worked great on this steep beach!
We spent an afternoon at Armando
The band had been in Mulegé to play at a wedding and stopped to play at Armando
Heidi bought two hand woven/embroidered tops from truck-vendor Paleo who imports textiles from his home town of Mitla near Oaxaca in south-central Mexico.
Heidi wearing one of her new tops from Paleo. We commissioned Paleo to make us a fruit hammock when we visited Playa Santispac three years ago. This time we commissioned him to make a new, larger produce hammock. Being off-season he was low on string colors so we got "Rasta" (green/red/gold).
The new produce hammock fits perfectly hanging under the original blue one. The blue hammock has become our "chips & crackers" hammock—we have to keep those things far away from Tikka who will tear open any chip/cracker bag she can get her paws on and chow down!?
Note the bow of Aventuras in the bottom right corner of the photo...this 15
Paradise: Due West anchored alone in Playa Santispac.
Our crazy furbies! Besides eating moths Tosh is partial to getting as many EMFs as he can by sleeping on top of our computers and other electronics WHILE they are charging?! And in addition to eating flies (and chips!) Tikka loves bleach?! Bleah! It
Palm trees along the Rio Santa Rosalia at Mulegé.
Gringo shops in "downtown" Mulegé. Town is about 10-blocks long.
Seafood and drinks bar along the river in Mulegé.
More colorful buildings in downtown Mulegé.
Authentic Mexican-style palapa courtyard in Mulegé.
Inside the Mulegé prison which had no doors or bars inside, just small rooms where the work-release prisoners slept each night. This was a working prison from 1907 to 1974.
In theory, this is a satellite that landed in a nearby farmer
We stocked up on fresh produce in Mulegé, the first good produce we
This cute little float with hammock was hanging out in Playa Concepcion just south of Playa Santispac. Now that the produce has its own hammock, Heidi is Jonesing to get our hammock set up too!
Due West anchored in Playa El Burro, home Geary Ritchie who gives the daily weather forecast for cruisers on the Sonrisa Net (note the HF radio antennas on his house!)
Houses on the beach at Playa El Burro sit right on the beach with high-tide a few feet from their front doors. During Hurricane Newton many of them had flooded "living rooms", though many of their living rooms have sand floors and outdoor furniture. These people own their own structures but not the sand beneath (which they rent for a few hundred dollars a month), and can
On the beach at Geary
Due West motor-sailing across the Sea of Cortez, Las Tetas de Cabra in our sights, San Carlos here we come…
Long passages at sea are the perfect time to indulge in on-deck spa showers with our Neal
Las Tetas de Cabra (teats of the goat) mark the entrance to San Carlos where we
 
1