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 - Banderas Bay Adventures: Botanical Gardens & More...
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September 16, Mexican Independence Day Parade, caballería (cavalry.)
September 16, Mexican Independence Day Parade, lots of women (and men) in camo, like these Chewbaca outfits.
Drowned-rats, Christine and Heidi eating Scandinavian Swimmers (Trader Joe
Tropical Storm Pilar brough 24 hours of pouring rain, but thankfully no wind at all.
Tosh loved the aftermath of Tropical Storm Pilar... playing among the umbrellas set out to dry!
Meanwhile Tikka prepared for the tropical storm by playing with her favorite Neal
So-long Pilar, watching the front move out after 24 hours in Banderas Bay.
The 7-15" of rain that Pilar brought with her washed out this hanging bridge in Old Town PV that we used to walk across daily. Hoping it
Go Ask Alice... ??
Gotta love the Mexican electrical wiring - the day before this had all been soaking wet with pouring rain... sparks anyone?
Only in Mexico: this shop sells Ice Cream, Cuban Cigars, and Seafood?! Oy!
Freda art is BIG everywhere down here...
Delicious lunch at our favorite La Tostadaria. One block from the Cathedral, a MUST if you
More Mexican busses, more entertainment... this one was a Mexican-Reggae band that actually sounded pretty good!
Gotta love the decorations on the Mexican busses too... the Virgin of Guadalupe (Patron Saint of Puerto Vallarta) flanked by two Playboy Bunnies! RIP Hugh Hefner...
The spectacular open-air restaurant-view at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens is worth the price of admission...
And the food and drinks are excellent too.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens has a nice little natural history museum next to the restaurant... One of these things is NOT like the others?! Maybe the title of this collection was "Seed Pods"?
Vallarta Botanical Garden
Those green-been looking things are Vanilla Beans! Who knew they are actually a pod on an orchid? And who was the first human to figure out that they tasted delicious when dried and ground? Inquiring minds want to know things like this...
Cocoa pods grow directly from the trunk. Although we have Mexico to thank for bringing chocolate to the world - they actually don
Christine and one of the amazing-looking tropical flowers at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Can anyone ID this?
Tropical Plants in Mexican pots, just one of the lovely displays at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
Neon purple and orange daisy-like flowers (a type of Gerberas?) were SO vibrant.
Antheriums and other "indoor plants" at home grow everywhere here in the tropics.
More colorful leaves abound at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
All sorts of textures, sizes, shapes, and shades of green leaves...
These giant leaves made us feel like we were in Jurassic Park!
We "think" this is some sort of Swallow-tail butterfly... so many butterflies all around the botanical gardens.
The Río Horcones "swimming hole" overflowing it
The Capitán crossing a swinging bridge in the Botanical Gardens.
The Yelapa Waterfall grows bigger each time we see it...
Mexican street-dog drinking rain-water before it flows into the ocean.
Little Feat? Feats Don
Quimixto Trail Hikers (left to right): Lisa, Juan, Rachel, Kirk, Christine, and Nacho.
Heidi hiking up "Horse Gully", luckily this time with-out any horses! (See previous blog post.)
M-U-D-D-Y Trail... this is why we hike barefoot. Plus it
Christine and Heidi fording the river on the way to Quimixto Waterfalls (the falls in the background are the small falls, not the end of the trail yet.) Juan, Rachel, and Lisa on the sandbar.
Three young trail-crew heading down the trail back home as we were hiking up.
Capitán, Nacho, and Juan Bravo - after swimming at the falls.
View from inside one of the "Los Arcos" arches. This is a great morning snorkeling spot, by late in the afternoon when we were there the sun is too low, making the water too dark to see.
Another view of Los Arcos (thanks for the great shot Christine!)
Capitán Kirk, well into our 8-mile hike!
THIS is why the Capitán is going in for a "tune-up" on his pacemaker.
The sunsets are finally shifting south enough that we can once again see them from the condo instead of having to go down to the pool around the corner... but that won