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 - Isla Coronado, San Juanico Y Bahia Concepcion
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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
 
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