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 - Gratitude
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Heidi
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
 
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