Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

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.
25 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico

Couch Surfin' U.S.A.

26 August 2018 | Puerto Vallarta MX, ABQ, NM, and SEA, WA
This summer has been so full of activities and visitors (like Heidi's cousins Sarah, Amy, and Sue above, who stopped by on their cruise ship!) we've hardly had time to write. So this post will end our radio silence and catch you up on our latest adventures.

Wow! Hard to believe that three years ago today we left Seattle to sail south... what an adventure it's been.

In early June we moved back into our friends Judy & Paul's beach-front condo to house-sit during hurricane season while they're back in the Pacific Northwest. This is where we stayed last summer, and after a few hours Tosh and Tikka felt right at home, as did we.



Speaking of the cats, Tosh has been diagnosed with a bad sinus infection plus nasal sarcoma, which we're treating with everything but the kitchen sink: antibiotics, herbal remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, CBD oil, Shamanic healing, and lots of Reiki and LOVE. He seems to be feeling a lot better these days, more energy, and more playful. So we're holding the thought that he'll make a full recovery. He just turned 4 years old on 4th of July, and has many more lives to be lived and much more love to give! So he's accepting all the well-wishes you send his way. BIG THANKS to all of Tosh's halers here and in Seattle: Wolf Veterinary, Dra Marisol, Polly, Dr. Darla, Dr. Heather, Alex, Claudia and Luis. Tikka also turned 4 years old last week and remains cute-as-a-bug chasing imaginary toys around the condo while Tosh naps. She has been a super-dupe little sister to Tosh during his healing journey.


Happy Hour at Barracuda with Kathy and Earl toasting our new camshaft that they delivered to us! BIG THANKS!!

Meanwhile, Due West sits snug in her slip for Hurricane Season, only a 10-minute bus-ride away. And Kirk checks in on her every day or so while he works on boat projects. In our last post you saw our broken camshaft. We are grateful to Perkins UK for agreeing it was a faulty casting and selling us a new one at cost, 28-years later! Our friends Carol & John tried to bring our new camshaft down to us in May, but UPS sent it to a wayward address... so the camshaft finally arrived with Kathy & Earl in June, and is now all installed and working beautifully! Since the engine was already apart, we had our mechanic Omar do some scheduled maintenance including cleaning the fuel injectors. Those were installed today, and our trusty engine "Michael P" now purrs like a kitten again! Due West is ready to sail as soon as hurricane season is over.


25th wedding anniversary at Quimixto waterfalls, and 20 years ago in the same spot.

Wahoo!! We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in June with friends on a Juan Bravo Panga Tour. As we've mentioned many times, and as Kathy and Earl experienced when they were here, a day on the water with Juan Bravo Panga Tours is not to be missed. Always a new adventure customized for what ever you want to do... this time with a swarm of aguamales (jellyfish!) so no snorkeling for our anniversary, but we did try a new lunch spot at Casitas Maraika Beach Club.


Celebrating our 25th anniversary with friends Boni, Rachel, Juan Bravo, John, Kirk, and Karla... but where's Heidi? Maybe taking a shower...?


Heidi fell in love with their conch shell beach shower! Can we put one of these on the boat?!

Over the summer we started taking private Spanish lessons 2x a week which has significantly increased our vocabulario y verbo conjugation skills and fun with the language. We continue going to beach yoga four times a week (check out Angel Yoga PV if you're ever in town, it's loads of fun!), and even substitute taught a couple of times in Español and Spanglish! We're still doing pilates reformer two times a week as well, are still eating some meat, and are both feeling great.


Beach Yoginis

As we left Seattle three years ago, we threw a lot of stuff into our storage unit at the last minute, no time to go through it then. So we knew a trip back to the PNW to revisit said storage and all our "shite" was in the making one day soon. Remember back when Kirk was the officiant who performed Captain of the Sea duties and married his nephew Braden to his beautiful bride Molly? Well, they now have newborn twins... funny how that happens! And we hadn't even met Kelsi & Jesse's baby yet who's almost 2. So we decided to combine multiple events into a trip back in time... to the USA. And man what a TRIP it was!


Heidi and her pops Verne in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We left the gatos in the loving hands of kitty sitters Sharna & Giovani, and headed off. First stop: Albuquerque, for a fruitful and fun visit with Heidi's Dad Verne and his wife WIlla. We helped them out with some projects around their ranchette including donating Willa's old car to NPR. They were super-grateful to have their son-in-law architect/landscape architect there for some advice and maintenance. While Heidi did her best at new phone and computer tech support (the curse of working in the high-tech industry, knowing just enough to be dangerous!) We also got in a quick visit with our friend Luba (including a shop at REI for Kirk's new shoes - THANKS for the fashion sense Luba! - and for fantastic Vietnamese food in ABQ too.) Then it was time to head north to colder climates.


Pot-luck get together with sailing friends on Bainbridge Island, Rob & Teresa (big thanks for the car loan and hospitality!) and Wendy. And thanks Pam @ pamsisland.com for the fun photo!

Brrrrr.... We didn't remember the Pacific NorthWET being so COLD in August!? Most of the time we wore long pants, long-sleeved shirts, with Heidi in fleece and down vests at night, and one morning a hat on our way to yoga with Max. We didn't even wear 90% of the clothes we brought along. But then again, we were almost entirely on Whidbey Island and Port Townsend area - and we forget that they are cooler than Seattle's hot city summer temps.


Happy Hour on the beach with our BESTIES and fellow sailors, Carol, Devon, Jim, and John near Port Townsend...as evidenced by our clothing, beach happy hour in PT is quite a bit cooler than in PV but maybe more FUN because we're with our Framily!

It was a whirlwind tour of friends, family, babies, vet consultations, pot-luck dinners, downsizing storage unit, new houses and remodels, eating great food, and LOTS of Laughs. The Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island is amazing. And lets not forget the Schwenker!


Kirk and Sandy tending the Schwenker!


So much fun to see Carol and John's beautiful new home come to fruition. And all because we were waylaid by a boat issue on our way up to the Gulf Islands a few years ago, they stopped in PT to wait for us, and decided to look at property while they waited...and what a gem they found!


So great to be back at our home-away-from-home, Devon and Jim's gorgeous jewel in the woods.


These "Newsboys" John, Kirk, and Jim just look like they're up to mischief!?


New parents Braden and Molly with "Uncle Kirk."


Don't miss a visit to the Earth Sanctuary on south Whidbey Island if you're ever in the area, it's stunning.

Our mission this trip was downsizing our storage unit near Port Townsend, and we can proudly say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to everyone who helped us, and to the Habitat for Humanity store in Port Townsend for taking so much of our stuff. "LESS is MORE."


Storage unit, before and after - feels great to downsize 50% of our stuff, donated or recycled!



With sailing BFFs Patti & Frosty and Chris & Eric in Port Ludlow for the Bob Perry Rendezvous (a sailboat rendezvous for all Robert Perry designed boats.) We left from here three years ago, so it was a fun surprise to see so many friends here again. BIG THANKS to Jim, and Chris & Eric for making the gig just to see us!

Much GRATITUDE to our friends and family who let us couch-surf and lent us vehicles: Mike, Karen & Roger, Teresa & Rob, Carol & John, Sara, Devon & Jim, Judy & Paul, and Laren & Ted. And to all our other friends and family who fed us, helped us recycle our downsized items, and reorganized their schedules just to see us. Our deepest apologies to those of you we missed seeing. We were only in Seattle proper for a couple of days. Now that our work is done, next visit we can PLAY!


Kirk got in a Thursday night race on our old favorite Downtown Sailing Series with Mike, one of our friends who sailed south with us three years ago. This was a HUGE milestone for Kirk, as it was his FIRST time sailing since his stroke, and WAHOO, he had zero balance issues!! Sadly Heidi had to miss out due to a Neal's Yard Remedies team event, which was fun too, but not like sailing!

It was shocking to see the growth in Seattle, and how much has changed in three short years we've been gone--bad and good (Kirk hopes they SAVE the classic Showbox Theater, and it was cool to see Lime green electric rental bikes parked ALL over town.) And as you can see from many of these photos, the forest fire smoke was thick... in fact we flew over wild-land fire smoke the whole way from ABQ to SEA. Our last night's dinner in Seattle included ash falling on the picnic tables like snowflakes. Cray-cray!


Last night in Seattle, dinner (with a dusting of snow-like ash from the fires!) in Columbia City with old friends and cousins. Clockwise from bottom left: Mike, Kat, Kirk, Laren, Laura, Laura's SIL and Bro, cousin Steve, Michele from Kansas, cousin Kelly, Willie, and Ted. THANKS so much to all of you for making this get-together work, and for punting on location at the last second! We love you all xoxo

Time flew (so we must have been having fun!?) And before we were ready, we were headed to SeaTac for a 4am check-in. Thankfully the Travel Gods were shining on us and it was smooth sailing from SeaTac Skycaps to Mexican customs, green lights all the way. Tosh & Tikka, and Sharna & Giovanni were all glad to have us home!

Our daily gratitude checks remind us all we have to be GRATEFUL for. Reflecting back on the three years since we set sail, we've had amazing adventures, met life-long friends, accepted the bad with the good, made delicious lemonade, and really wouldn't change a thing. We still love Puerto Vallarta, and still plan to continue our sailing adventures heading south sometime soon. In the mean time we're waiting out Hurricane Season, enjoying the nightly tropical thunderstorms, and looking forward to more visitors. Come on down to the FUN side of the wall and take a Juan Bravo Panga Tour with us!

P.S. Be sure to check out lots more photos in our Photo Gallery.

xoxo
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
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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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