Due West Adventures

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

17 March 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
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

¡La Vida es Chula!

17 March 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
Heidi & Kirk Hackler
Es la Vida...Life is what happens while you're busy making plans. So much for our plans to sail south for a few months, high tide washed them away...

Between a trip to the states for Heidi's dad's 88th birthday (where we had to wear WAY too many clothes!) and running into yet another engine glitch... Life is great!

The 88th Birthday King Verne and his wife Willa.

If we have to be stuck in paradise awaiting another engine part, at least we have visits from friends and family, and plenty of fun things to do! We had a fantastic time in February when two sets of friends visited us and we got to share whale watching in Banderas Bay with Laura & Will and Lal & Eric. Laura & Will also brought us some boat parts, and a few other items from the states that we can't find in Mexico. This week we have Heidi's brother Arne, sis-in-law Teresa, and our niece Annika, plus several of Anni's friends coming to hang out in Puerto Vallarta for spring break. Life is great!

Clockwise from left: Lal, Heidi, Judy, and Laura whale watching on a Juan Bravo Panga tour.

A lunch stop at Maraika Beach Club is always a delicious treat, and this time was no exception! Eulalie (Lal), Eric, Judy, Will, Heidi, and Kirk.

As you may recall, we had our engine water pump rebuilt here in Mexico last spring. Sadly the the rebuild was faulty... so BIG thanks Arne & Teresa for bringing us a brand new water pump this week! This is no small feat, as our 20 year old Perkins engine is no longer manufactured and spare parts are becoming harder to find. Luckily Kirk has a good stable of Perkins part dealers around the US, and when we need something he is usually able to find a part, but they are becoming fewer and further between, several times we've bought the last one available! With any luck at all, our trusty engine "Michael P" will be up and running, with leak-free oil and water pumps again by next week! Life is great!

Our most exciting news of late, is that Tosh is a medical miracle! He's recovering nicely from his nasal tumor, thanks to Homeopathic remedies from Australia! We have been extremely happy with the results from Holistic Animal Remedies, (another BIG THANKS to friends Wai-Lin & Terry for turning us on to them!) In fact, Tosh's vet here in Vallarta is blown away. He actually asked us for the information on what remedies we've been treating Tosh with, because he's never seen an animal recover from a nasal tumor like this. We've opted not to do another invasive biopsy procedure to confirm it's really all gone... but we are over the moon with Tosh's revived personality, increased energy levels, easier time eating, gaining weight again, and even the shape of his face is going back to normal. Kirk is excited to have his journeyman mechanic back helping him again! Tikka is also very excited that Tosh is back to chasing her around and pouncing on her while she's sleeping (NOT!), as siblings will do... We can hear her say "He's touching me!" Life is great!

Since we are currently short on time to write and long on photos this post is primarily a photo blog. A photo is worth 1000 words anyway, so sit back, relax, and enjoy! Be sure to check out our photo gallery for more photos of friends, family, and adventures around Banderas Bay!

A trip into PV wouldn't be complete without a stop at our favorite juice stand... on a street corner, they have a power cord running into a building, and run two blenders and a hand juicer making any combination of fresh juice to go. $30 pesos for a pint ($1.50 US) Heidi's fav is toronja, perejil, y jengibre (grapefruit, parsley and ginger, try it, it's SO refreshing!!) Kirk likes betabel, zanahoria, y jengibre (beets, carrots, and ginger, also super yummy and great for your heart!)

Another local attraction we love to share with visitors is the hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas. This 3-mile section of trail (one-way) winds up through lush jungle and open forest with ocean views, past waterfalls, and back down along the beach. Those who are more intrepid can continue another 1.5 miles to Quimixto, or 7-miles all the way to Yelapa. Water Taxis are available for the return for those who don't want to hike back. We recently hiked this trail with friends and fellow cruisers, Judy & Paul from s/v Grace, and Christina & Alex from s/v Blue Wind.

The trail is well maintained and well traveled through the jungle which would otherwise quickly take back the trail... Remember, just because you didn't see the Jaguar, doesn't mean he didn't see you!

The trail crosses playa Colomitas and winds up the hill giving an exquisite view back down onto Colomitas beach and the boardwalk trail along the shore we'd just walked on.

If you're thirsty at the end of your hike, fresh Cocos await! They'll machete off the top for you to drink the coconut water out of. Then when you're done drinking, they'll machete it in half and scoop out the coconut meat for a yummy snack!

What could be better than an old car show complete with Pink Cadillac and palm trees? Stay tuned for our next blog post to find out!

La vida es chula! (Life is Great!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Heidi & Kirk, Tosh & Tikka

PS. Check out our photo gallery for more photos of friends, family, and adventures around Banderas Bay!
Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
Captain Kirk and First-Mate/Navi-Girl Heidi untied the dock-lines in Seattle in August 2015 and set sail for Mexico with our two-kitty crew Tosh & Tikka. We've been in Mexico since then.  
Kirk grew up sailing in Seattle and has been boating his whole life. [...]
Extra: See pix of our boat here: Due West Interior Photos and in the Photo Gallery.
Home Page: http://svduewest.com
Due West's Photos - Gratitude
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Shane and Lybby brought along some boat parts and food items that are hard for us to find in Mexico, including cocoa powder. Sadly TSA and Delta tossed their luggage around enough to break open the box of cocoa powder! Yikes! Cocoa. All. Over. EVERYTHING!
Luckily we were able to wash or wipe the cocoa powder off most everything. But when we flip the pages in one book they brought us, we still shake out bits of cocoa dust! Fun to read a chocolate-scented book, LOL!
Captain Kirk had a long list of boat projects for Shane to help him with. First stop, Tienda de Tornillos (the nuts and bolts shop) in Bucarias to find stainless steel washers for spacers on the chain plates.
Project #1: repair the leaking Whalegusher foot pump for fresh water to the head sink. It had a leak that was getting steadily worse, and Shane was able to bring us a new rebuild kit and repair the pump.
Project #2: Rebed the Chainplates. Kirk had last rebedded our chainplates in 2014 and three of them were starting to leak saltwater in big seas. Since the rainy season is nigh upon us, we wanted to get these leaks fixed ASAP. 1) Remove old sealant from beauty-plates around chainplate, and mask off deck. 2) Goop up hole and beauty-plate with 4200 sealant. 3) Clean off excess 4200 and pull masking tape off. 4) Ta-da! Newly re-beded (waterproof!) chain-plates.  [For the non-sailors, a chainplate is a metal plate used to fasten a shroud or stay to the hull of a sailboat, to hold the mast up. They protrude through the deck and are covered by a metal plate to keep water out.] THANK. YOU. SHANE!!
Project #3: Replace saltwater through-hull valve for watermaker (desalinator). The handle on our old bronze valve broke-off in Kirk
1) Old bronze valve with missing handle. 2) New plastic valve getting ready to be installed. 3) Sink-drain plug in the valve hole (tupperware tub to catch leaks) under floorboards while Diver Poncho tapped in a wooden plug from the bottom of the boat. 4) New valve in place and working great!
Diver Poncho also cleaned the whole bottom of Due West while he was helping with the through-hull project, all for $800 pesos ($40 US!) About 25% the price in the US.
Poncho also had to contend with this creature from the deep, the resident crocodillo in Marina Vallarta. He wasn
The reward for all of Shane
The entrance to Marina Vallarta is two 90°-turns away from the Bay, and another two 90° turns to get to Due West, she
Our dinghy ride around the bay took us by the touristy Pirate Ship. Every night they shoot fireworks off of this ship out in the bay. Friends who
SO grateful for Tosh & Tikka - even with the front door left wide-open, they don
Bitter-sweet to say bon-voyage to our cruising buddies John &  Boni (sv Ingenium) and  Stephen & Ginny (s/v Jabaroo II) as they sail north to the Gulfo de California (Sea of Cortez) for the summer hurricane season. We wish them fair winds and following seas, and looking forward to seeing them back down this way next winter.
Kirk caught up with his Seattle colleague and mentor Roger Wagoner, who lives in PV some of the year.
Heidi decided to take advantage of being "stuck" in PV for a few months and finally get her Yoga Teacher Certification, something she
The 200 Hour Intensive Hatha/Vinyasa course was from 7am-4pm every day for 20-days straight. Plus there was homework every night, included lots of reading and essays on the history, philosophy, and spiritual aspects of yoga, and even learning some Sanskrit!  It also included workshops on Ayurveda, Restorative Yoga, Children
To graduate the students each had to teach a class. Heidi and her team mates Susan (from Colorado) and Vivian (from Michoacan, MX) taught a restorative yoga class that Kirk and friends Judy & Paul got to attend. Kirk is back to doing yoga 3-times a week and improving his strength and balance every day!
Wahoo!! We. Did. It!! Vivy (Hong Kong), Vivian (Mexico), Susan (Colorado), Heidi, Arjuna (Mexico), Vanessa (California), and Kenzie (Canada). This small class of 7 from all over the world really clicked as a group and had a great time together. Grateful to have made new friends from around the globe.
So much fun to have Vivy from Hong Kong stay with us for a few days after our training was over. She and Heidi visited classmate Arjuna at the coffee shop where he works, in-between teaching morning and evening yoga classes in Puerto Vallarta.
Tikka & Tosh contemplated stowing away in Vivy