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 - Sara Goes to Sea: La Paz to Puerto Vallarta
Photos 1 to 51 of 51 | Main
1
Sara goes to sea!
Our 380 nautical mile passage from La Paz to Banderas Bay took 60 hours from hook up to hook down.  If you
Sara arrived in La Paz the day before our departure and she and Heidi provisioned for three-weeks... er, uh, three-days! One thing
The watch schedule that works best for the two of us is 4-hours-on/4-hours-off during the night, and 6-ours-on/6-hours-off during the day. We modified that to have Sara
We cut Sara slack on keeping to the night watch schedule so she could hang out in this comfy "room with a view" bunk to get her beauty sleep and keep on cooking more phantasmagoric meals. ;-)
...Sara is a fabulous cook and she took over the galley making us FANTABULOUS meals every day. THANKS Sara!! xoxo
Frigate bird flying high over Due West
When Sara wasn
We take our off-watches seriously and get in as many winks as we can when ever we are off.   Even though we sleep in shorter chunks of time, we seem to get more sleep on passages than on the hook or at the dock. Ever the lover, Tosh is right there snuggling with who ever is off watch.
Flat-calm seas were the norm for about half of our trip across the Sea of Cortez. No wind meant motoring (which meant we could run the water maker!) and also meant we saw a LOT of sea turtles which are much easier to spot in the flat calm seas than rough seas.
We saw 10-12 endangered Olive Ridley  Sea Turtles while sailing across the Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Puerto Vallarta. And used the iNature App to track them as Citizen Scientists for "Project Sea Turtle" scientific research. (This photo copyright and courtesy of oliveridleyproject.org at http://oliveridleyproject.org/sea-turtles/.) When the seas are flat-calm you could easily spot large brown "blobs" on the surface of the water, which turned out to be sea turtles!
Navi-girl Heidi and Captain Kirk each host the SSB Amigo Net one day a week (Heidi on Monday mornings, Kirk on Tuesday mornings), 1400 Zulu on 4.149USB. This is a great opportunity to check in with other boats sailing in Mexico, "meet" new cruisers, or get a weather forecast for where ever you
We really love doing passages, and the night watches are our favorite with the beautiful stars, moon, sunsets, sunrises, and Orion always leading our way. Every sunrise and sunset is really different, just like snowflakes! Glad we don
Elliott Bay Marina friend and "Pirate Girl" Michele happened to be in La Cruz when we arrived, fun small world! Great to see you Michele! :-)
Heidi is in heaven at Organic Love restaurant in La Cruz. Check it out if you
Top of the list upon arriving in Banderas Bay was to hit the La Cruz Sunday market so Sara and Heidi could buy cute sundresses for $350 pesos!
Captain Kirk checking out the Five-Star view from friends Judy & Paul
Our celebration of the Festival of Guadalupe started with a walk down the Puerto Vallarta Malecon where someone had created this great Bienvenidos sand sculpture with the Virgin of Guadalupe herself...
Puerto Vallarta has a plethora of surrealistic sculptures all along the Malecón (walkway along the waterfront.) This fun ladder to the sky called "Searching for Reason" (En busca de la razón) by the famous Mexican artist, Sergio Bustamante had people climbing all over it. Not wanting to miss out on the adventure,  Sara and Heidi had to climb it too!
Our walk along the Malecón lead us to the Cathedral of Guadalupe where the Festival of Guadalupe was taking place. The whole town square across from the church (near Old Town) was filled with food vendors selling every imaginable Mexican treat, kids playing games, or painting pottery.
Our fantastic view of La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe) from the restaurant upstairs-left, and all the pilgrims and revelers.
The inside of La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, decorated in pink and blue. Many of the pilgrims crawled in on their knees, like these two in front of us.  The church bells ring for every pilgrim entering the church, which was pretty much non-stop.
This little boy was wearing his finest Lady of Guadalupe clothing, complete with drawn-on mustache!
Cheers to Seattle cruising friends Judy and Paul who now live in PV full-time after years of cruising their sailboat to Ecuador and back. They were gracious hosts showing us around their new home city, and they knew just where to watch the Festival of Guadalupe festivities from! Thanks for a fantastic week guys! :-) xoxo
The parade of pilgrims on the evening of December 12, Dia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, went on all night long. Think "Torchlight Parade" in Seattle but for 24+ hours and with firecrackers and church bells ringing throughout the whole thing.  (Kirk says: but with no Hydroplanes or Seafair Pirates! :-)
Many of the local neighborhoods, civic clubs, branches of the armed services, and schools had their own groups in the parade, and some of them carried large images of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
There were a multitude of Aztec Dancers in various head-dresses, including these dancers dressed as hummingbirds.
Sara, Heidi and Kirk at the Festival of Guadalupe... La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is lit up in the background.
Sara, Heidi, Viviane, and Scott joining the revelers at Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, FUN time had by all!
Heidi working her Neal
Judy and Paul picked up Kirk and Sara at the marina and we all headed off for a beautiful day-hike along the south coast of Banderas Bay. The hike started south of Puerto Vallarta at Boca del Tomitlan...
The hiking trail leaves from the head of the bay at Boca del Tomitlan, passing all these fishing pangas in the river...
...the trail winds through jungle forest up and down steps and slopes, and Kirk was in his element in the great outdoors. ©SaraGiswold.
... five miles later the trail winds down to the beach with last mile plus hiking on the beach. After lunch on the beach in Las Ánimas we took a panga back to Boca and drove home from there. A great, fun hike! Thanks Judy & Paul!! :-D
Map of Banderas Bay, showing Due West
The small fishing village of Yelapa is only accessible by boat and the whole town is owned by the indigenous tribe that lives there, no one owns individual buildings or plots of land. A trip to Yelapa has been on our bucket list for years, so we were glad for this chance to finally visit. ©SaraGiswold.
View of Yelapa Bay from the trail that connects the village to the beach.
Tropical shadows cast on the cobblestone paths through the village, between houses, stores, and restaurants.
We LOVED this multi-cultural snapshot of life in Yelapa... a little blonde-haired white-girl pushing the little Mexican boy UP a steep cobblestone path on his BROKEN plastic trike (note front tire.) They were both jabbering away in Spanish...so cute! And race was SO not an issue... we could all take a lesson from this.
No cars, but plenty of burros, mules, and horses here in Yelapa!
We were so surprised by the variety and freshness of the produce available in the little tienda in the middle of Yelapa. We could hardly find this beautiful of produce in Puerto Vallarta!
Sara took this lovely shot of the Yelapa waterfall. This one was close to town, only a 5-minute walk.  There was apparently another, larger one about a 2-hour walk away which we didn
Interesting to see plastic milk crate strapped onto the backs of burros and mules in Yelapa. Maybe they carry more stuff than the traditional saddle-bags? ©SaraGiswold.
We happened upon Cafe Bahia in Yelapa and were SO glad we did! Fabulous vegen-gluten-free friendly food (they also have non veg and other stuff, but Heidi was thrilled with this find!) Check them out here http://bit.ly/2hVLXKd and stop in if you are ever in Yelapa, you won
Kirk and Sara with our beautiful, delicious food at Bahia Cafe.
We ordered a Passionfruit Margarita at Cafe Bahia, and it was so delicious Sara just had to take a selfi as she tried it (she can normally only drink a thimble-full of alcohol!) ©SaraGiswold.
If you
Marina Vallarta has a great Artisan Market on Thursday nights. Little did we know they also have crocodiles!?! This was taken right from the marina malecón. We made sure Tosh and Tikka did NOT go swimming here!
One of the local Huichol artisans at the Marina Vallarta Thursday Evening Market ~ this was the BEST artisan market we
We were in need of a new galley rug as our old one had worn out and been donated to the dog shelter in La Paz. This one from the Marina Vallarta Artisan Market caught our eye and we debated the size/color/pattern and care of wool rug on boat, but Sara threw in the deciding vote when she said "Bob would LOVE this one!" And so do we...Tikka and Tosh included. Merry Christmas to Due West (and Tikka and Tosh who love the Escher-like fish!)
Sara got this farewell shot of us and Due West at Marina Vallarta as she headed back home to Baja and Whidbey Island. We all had a WONDERFUL time and were so glad she could stay with us for 10-days, and that she got to experience an off-shore passage! We
 
1