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 - San Carlos & Guaymas
Photos 1 to 45 of 45 | Main
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Shrimping is a huge industry in Guaymas, Mexico. This was one of the largest marinas for shrimp boats and you could buy shrimp directly from the fishermen in the buildings on the shore in front of their boats. We
Fishermen
You could buy shrimp on the beach for lunch at this bright-and-colorful shrimp-shack.
Cruisers Heidi, Kimi, Scott, and Viviane descend on the Guaymas Weekly Market, carrying everything from used clothing to tools to tamales and aguas frescas, honey, meats, fried pork rinds by the ton, and eggs, but not much produce  to be found. Kirk
They were even selling shrimp at the Guaymas Market, this whole bag of large camarones only cost $100 pesos, or about $5.50 US.
The sandia display was beautiful and we wanted to buy one, but lugging a watermelon back in our backpack on the bus was a bit daunting so we passed this time.
The market is full of food vendors selling everything from aguas frescas: fresh juices from jamaica (hibiscus), tamarind, piña (pineapple), and horchata (almonds and rice) to tamales, empenadas, and more.
Mexicans are huge carnivores and you can find every type of meat (or animal part!) at the market. Here were coolers full of pork and chicken pieces. We didn
Fried pork rinds were big business at the Guaymas Market. Take a 8"x10" size piece of uncooked pork rind and drop it into the vat of boiling fat...
...and a minute or two later out comes a piece of fried pork rind the size of a whole pig!  They were selling like hot-cakes as fast as they could fry them up.
Need a tool, any tool? They have everything from brand shiny-new to left-out-in-the-yard-in-the-rain. Just name your price to determine which one you
And then there are the household goods, everything you could ever want or need, in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes...
..including a larger-than-LIFE-size bag of cheetos that could substitute as a life-raft and provisions all-in-one, or a beanbag chair and snacks for the beach... and the cost of this behemoth? $3.40 US. Sadly it
Due West at anchor in the stunningly beautiful Bahia San Carlos. Mountains surround the west side of the bay... (Photo credit: Viviane s/v "Juniper")
...and cliff-side Mediterranean-type villas adorn the "San Carlos Riviera" to the east.
San Carlos has more pelicans per capita than we
The San Carlos Catholic Church at Marina San Carlos (note sailboat masts in the far-right background) has beautiful stained glass windows in cobalt blue, yellow, and orange. But we couldn
We pass this restaurant with its white stallion (bronco?) silhouetted against the bright blue sky every time we walk from the San Carlos Marina to the grocery store and back. It always looks deserted like it
Mexican PSA: "COVER your Cistern... so that you don
San Carlos Marina has a Saturday Market with a variety of fresh produce, baked breads, and Mexican handi-crafts. Here Heidi is shopping for some little goodies to take to her Neal
The working stiffs, Heidi, Boni, and John. We might be living the dream but some of us are still working our businesses from any wifi-cafe we can find. Hammerheads at San Carlos Marina has good wifi and limonadas mineral, but their A/C makes it too cold in there! John
San Carlos is a cross-roads for lots of cruisers and it
We also stopped by the boatyard in Guaymas to commiserate with our friend Jim on s/v "Anore" about Hurricane Newton. "Anore" was one of the unlucky Guaymas boats where the jack-stands tipped canting her so that her mast hit another boat. Luckily both boats are now fixed and back in the water. Jim is a NOLS instructor leading hiking, kayaking, and sailing expeditions in Baja, whom we first met in Ensenada almost a year ago.
And after six long months, we FINALLY met up with our old friends Maryalice and Rick from s/v "Notre Isle" for dinner at Tortugas. They spent the summer motorcycling and RV-ing around the US and are now back in San Carlos getting "Notre Isle" ready to sail this winter. We first met these guys and their dog Harley in Santa Cruz, CA in September 2015, and then met-up with  them again in Monterey, San Diego, Ensenada, and Puerto Vallarta...looking forward to more fun times together this season!
John
Birthday Boy John laughing with Kimi & Trevor.
Our Green-eyed Lady Tikka steels our heart daily, just look at those eyes!
Tosh, our "cat-dog" (who fetches, and follows us everywhere!) trying to decide which book to chew on next. He says "The Zanzibar Chest" and "One Spirit Medicine" are both pretty tasty! :-D
Breakfast smoothie time, Tikka holds space for the Vitamix when it
Kirk
Shrimp boats hunkering down in Bahia Aldodones during a couple of days of 6-8
The kite-surfers were out in full-force taking advantage of the winds as we arrived in Bahia Algodones. Exciting day!
"Due West" anchored in Bahia Algodones, with palapa beach bars, an amazing long sandy beach, and big sand dunes. LOVE it here!! :-D
The lights shining across the water from the palapa beach bars made for beautiful evenings at Bahia Algodones. Luckily they had some great bands playing great music too, cuz the music floating across the water went on
We watched the truck zoom past the "No Horses or Motorized Vehicles on the Sand Dunes" sign to make these tracks, then get stuck, and have to back down... Duh!
Captain Kirk climbing the 30
Heidi was here... Leave only footprints, take only photos...
...unless of course you
Who knows what food, drinks, and music lurk in the palapa beach bars at Bahia Algodones? The Shadow knows...
Speaking of shadows, Kirk caught this photo of Heidi stealing the sunbeams on Playa Algodones.
Sunsets at Bahia Algodones were phenomenal...
In Mexico the dead visit in November: Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), on November 2nd.
Amazing! The richly colorful detail and intricate design in the Day of the Dead face paint on this student.
The University of Guaymas Hospitality & Tourism students all decked out in their Dia de Los Muertos finest face paint.
Most businesses and homes in Mexico set up shrines to honor their deceased loved ones during Dia de Los Muertos. This particular shrine was set up on the malecón at the marina in front of one of the restaurant/bars, and was to commemorate the founder of one brand of tequila!
 
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