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 - Dia de los Muertos
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Dia de los Muertos, Festival of the Day of the Dead, occurs Nov. 2nd en Mexico each year.
This was a contest for the best dressed Catrinas and Catrines (female and male face-painted skulls and costumes for Dia de los Muertos.)
This Catrinaita was the daughter of the lady in white...
Another Catrinaita, heavily made up for the contest.
This detail of a public altar includes many favorite items of the deceased, from toys, to musical instruments, and more...
...the families include the favorite foods of their ancestors, believing they come back each year on November 2, to celebrate, eat, and drink with those who are still alive.
This altar in a public park was a tribute to a whole old-time Puerto Vallarta family lineage.
Some are lit up with lights, others with candles.
The strong scent of the marigold flower is said to lead the spirits back to their families, so all of the altars and graves are decorated with marigolds and other flowers.
Catrines (males) and Catrinas (females) paint their face to look like skulls, or half-skulls.
This larger-than-life Catrina adorns the outside wall of Puerto Vallarta
Another Catrina y Catrine is the base of a public altar.
Catrina y Catrine photos created the backdrop for one public altar.
Another larger-than-life Catrina on the wall of the PV cemetery.
Flower stands fill the streets outside the cemetery, where families come for days before Nov. 2nd to paint, white-wash, clean-up, and decorate their family graves. In PV
This mausoleum has broken tile floors, dirt, and debris inside and looks like it hadn
New flowers from the flower stand brighten up these graves.
Auspicious Full-moon rising over the PV cemetery on Dia de los Muertos.
Modern-day Mexicans now celebrate Halloween as well... so the Dia de los Muertos festivities stretch out from October 29th through November 2nd. It
...but sometimes the whole family turned up in costume like the Adams Family, or the Munsters? Kids bring their bags and baskets downtown to "trick-or-treat" from tourists along the Malecon (beach walk-way), in restaurants and bars.
Dos Catrinas on the beach in Old Town PV.
Dos Catrines waited on us for dinner at a local restaurant.
Catrine y Catrina, larger-than-life - these Dia de los Muertos figures stood 15+ feet tall against the palm trees lining the malecon.
Love this Catrina
These skulls guarded the stairs to one of the nightclubs on the Malecon.
Giant skull at the Mandala nightclub.
This Catrina changed color with her LED lighting scheme.
Catrina in Red...
Native indigenous Catrine figure.
On the night of Nov. 2nd, the Dia de los Muertos parade started with the classic mariachi band...
Catrinas getting ready for the parade.
Dos Catrina
Angel of death? Or Catrine in white?
Mexican Catrina dancers in black dresses.
These Catrinas rode in on horse-back.
Los vaqueros (cowboys) sin face paint, but con cell phone!
Catrina y Catrine school kids.
The grand finale of the parade for Dia de los Muertos. The Mexicans are famous for finding ANY excuse to throw a party or parade... this is just one of many parades we
Farewell dinner with our dear friends Ginny & Stephen, s/v Jabaroo II as they continue south towards Panama. We vow to meet up again in the Caribbean Sea sometime soon. Fair Winds and Following Seas nos amigos, you are MISSED!! xoxo
Full-moon rising over Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Refugio (Parish Our Lady of Refuge), downtown PV.
Just before the Green Flash sighting on Halloween night!! No Trick, we really saw it! :-D