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 - Back in the USA y Bienvenidos a México!
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Every 180-days we need to renew our Mexican Tourist Cards ("Visas".) The only requirement to renew is to leave Mexico for a few minutes, then return again, and pay about $20/ea for a new 180-day card. Alternatively you could apply for a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente, to become a temporary or permanent resident of Mexico. These both cost a lot more money and require many more hoops to jump through. So we
The highlight of Heidi
We voted a month early online (Washington State lets residents living over seas vote online!) but ended up being in the States on that fateful Election Day. We had planned to stay at Heidi
Kirk birdwatching with Heidi
Heidi with some of her Holistic Practitioner colleagues at Neal
Kirk and Jean graciously helped Heidi with some Neal
We took Verne to visit two of his cousins who lived in a retirement center near by and had a FUN lunch with cousin Ed (95!) A hoot-of-a guy, and former WWII PBM flying-boat pilot, Ed is also a very good and prolific oil painter (see behind guys and next photo.) Ed said he
Cousin Ed
It was so great to see Heidi
Somehow after the fun week visiting Heidi
Our stash of Costco and  Trader Joe
Everything from soup-to-nuts stowed in crates, our "secondary pantry". We shop where the locals shop, buying fresh produce every few days. But our favorite dry good staples and gluten-free items for Heidi are harder to come by or more expensive here. Since we
Farewell dinner with Cruising Buddies at the Sunset Grill, Playa Algodones.  Back row: Heidi & Kirk, Maryalice & Rick (s/v Notre Isle), Chris & Liz (s/v Espirtu), Don (s/v Windcharmer). Front Row: Kimi & Trevor (s/v Slow Flight). Missing from this photo were Lisa from s/v Windcharmer (who was back in the states visiting her mom), and Boni & John (s/v Ingenium) who were burning the midnight oil working on their engine. We MISS all of you guys, but look forward to catching up again soon in other ports of call.
His and Hers clever signs leading the way to the restrooms at the Sunset Grill.
Fun adult swings at the bar at Sunset Grill, Playa Algodones. If you
Beautiful metal Mexican wall-art tree at the Sunset Grill, decorated with lights and glass ornaments. This looks like permanent decor, not a holiday decoration, really lovely, Heidi wants one on the boat! :-)
Our passage south from San Carlos to Bahia Bonanza on Isla Espirtu Santo, about 215 nautical miles, took us 34 hours of sailing and motor-sailing. After two nights at Bonanza, we were off to Marina de La Paz (another 20 nautical miles), and then a 2-hour bus ride to Los Barriles for Thanksgiving. Note that we plan to spend summer 2017 in Bahia de Los Angeles, located at the top of the Baja Peninsula on this map, come and visit!
South of San Carlos, while the seas were rough and winds were howling, at least the sunset was beautiful! This was one of the best ones yet, 360° of pink and orange sky!
Though we didn
"Tikka-la-Sneaka" our green-eyed-girl, hanging out under the bunk on top of a sleeping bag covering the "Soup-to-Nuts" crate. Heidi made her a cozy nest to hide out during our passage from San Carlos to Bahia Bonanza. This bed worked much better than her preferred hiding spot in the bow, squeezed under the head toilet, that is the bounciest place in the boat!
Passages do not phase this Kool-Kat Tosh who sacks out in our salon sea berth with who ever is off-watch, chases his toys around the salon in pitching seas, or chilaxes in the cockpit with who ever is on-watch. This boy was MADE for sailing, as long as he doesn
Captain Kirk with the filthy-black Racor fuel filter. Note to self: Even filtered fuel in Mexico can be dirty, we
As part of our gig being SSB Net Hosts on the Amigo Net each Tuesday morning (1400 Zulu time, frequency 4.149), we read the NOAA Experimental WX for Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. You can check out the daily forecasts here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/epoffshores/data/WRKOFFPZ7. Previously  only computer generated data, this forecast is now vetted by humans at NOAA each day, for which we are grateful!
A wonderful surprise on our return to La Paz, a new art-sign like the one in Loreto! We love the fun, bright, and colorful addition to the Malecon.
Delicious dinner at Dulce Romero in La Paz with good friends (and Tosh & Tikka sitters!) Viviane and Scott. This all-natural/healthy/organic restaurant was SO delicious. Not super gluten-free friendly (lots of multi-grain breads!), but they had great salads for Heidi. And Kirk
Wonderful to make it to Los Barriles in time for Sara
A close-up of the little Mexican Cakes that were SO beautifully decorated, but sadly not gluten-free for Heidi...Captain Kirk enjoyed his piece though!
Thanksgiving Day bike ride with Braden and Molly to the store for dinner ingredients. Nice to be in Mexico for Thanksgiving where the stores are open and there is no mad-rush to buy food! This was Heidi
Hans, Lyna, and Braden on the beach...we are now taking wellness advice from the "kids" we watched grow up as maniacs on the ski slope, Hans is a Naturopath and Braden is our Dentist. So much fun to be with our "framily" again!
Captain Kirk, a.k.a. "Salad Man" making the Thanksgiving salad complete with his top-secret delicious dressing!
Sara and her brother Fred with the Thanksgiving spread including: smoked turkey, vegan mashed potatoes, stove-top-stuffing, grilled veggies (green beens, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and asparagus), a green salad, and tequila-lime-shrimp skewers!
Cheers...So much to GIVE THANKS for!
Nothing Black about this "Black Friday" morning breakfast with good friends and family: Heidi, Sara, Kirk (and kitty Kaya), Fred (back), Molly & Braden (front), Lyna, and Hans.
Captain Kirk and Heidi checking out these fun, unique, colorful Mexican Christmas ornaments in Los Barriles. We bought one for $75 pesos ($4 US), it
 
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