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.

Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
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. [...]
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 - Merry-Merry, Feliz-Feliz, Paz-Paz
Photos 1 to 60 of 60 | Main
Road Map - check • 
Guide book - check • 
Pesos for toll roads - check • 
Ready to  Road Trip Mexican style!
Road Trip Mexican Style! We took 3-days to drive from Puerto Vallarta to Tucson area. Stayed on the toll-roads, roads were generally good, better in some states than in others. Tolls are paid in varying increments ranging from $1US to about $12US, total one-way tolls = about $75.
Capitán, Alberto and Heidi at Breakfast... Our road trip was off to a GREAT start. Our Taxi-driver and friend Alberto picked us up at the marina at 7:30am with all our gear and took us to Fox Rental Car where our car was supposed to be available at 8am. We wanted to get an early start on the 6-hr. drive to Mazatlan so we
Mazatlan Malecon Sunset
Mazatlan has had its issues with crime, so they
So fun to meet up with our long-lost sailing buddies Viviane & Scott s/v Juniper in Mazatlan for dinner as we passed through town.
Jajajajaja! (Hahahaha!) This is what it
One of the funnier things we encountered on our Mexican Road Trip: We drove behind this "pick-up-truck-full-of corn" (see inset) for miles before it pulled over to the side of the road, and we realized it wasn
Throughout Sonora we passed one VW bug after another, every color and vintage from old to new, but mostly old. Hundreds of them! Not sure what this parade of Beatles was about, but it sure was fun to see!
There are stretches where the roads are all new and beautiful, but generally lots of road construction going on everywhere.
THIS was one of the more interesting (Crazy?!) parts of our road trip adventure in Mexico. You always here "Don
Detoured through the town of San Blas which we never visited by boat (reports are that it
As we drove back through Mexico on Revolution Day Weekend, town after town had big celebrations going on. Grandpa and mom were helping this little girl get ready for a parade.
Much of our Mexican road trip was filled with lush vegetation and agriculture.
YUMMM!! Mango trees as far as the eye can see!
We also passed mile after mile of vinyards in Sonora. Not sure if they are for wine or eating?
Besides mangos and vineyards, we also passed mile after mile of sugar cane fields.
One of many road-side produce stands in the state of Nayarit.
Welcome to USA: The longest part of the road trip, sitting in traffic at the border for over an hour waiting to cross. Driving a rental car with Mexican plates, we didn
This beautiful sunset greeted us at the end of our 3-day drive as we arrived north of the border.
On our way from Tucson to Flagstaff, we stopped to visit Kirk
We took advantage of visiting these natural treasures: Wupatki National Monument outside of Flagstaff and Red Rocks National Monument in Sedona before the current administration decides to do away with them! :-O
Remarkable Anasazi ruins at Wupatki National Monument.
Capitán Kirk and Heidi
Sedona scenery, although the sky was cloudy and the red rocks weren
More red-rocks of Sedona...
After Heidi
The moving crew: Kari, Pete, Capitán, Heidi, and Jean-mom. U-Haul all unloaded at Heidi
View from Jean & Pete
Saguaro-lined Arizona highways.
Eating the rainbow of food at Heidi
Great visit with Heidi
Tosh B
Tikka Rodriguez Pepita Margarita is SOOO HAPPY to be back home aboard Due West!
Besides loading up on hard-to-find boat parts, a trip back to the states always includes stocking up on our favorite gluten-free and organic foods from places like Trader Joe
HUGE shout-out of THANKS to our good friend Don from s/v Windcharmer who re-painted our whole head for us while we were gone! Kirk had been in the middle of this project when we found he had a wire lose in his pacemaker and had to go under the knife, plus recovery time so our head sat half-done. Kirk was super-bummed as painting is one of his FAV tasks. Grateful to Don for stepping up to the plate, and to Lisa for being gracious about Don spending so much time on our behalf! Once we retuned, Kirk painted the two little accent walls RED. Why Red? Because we had our boat Fengshui-ed (is that a word?) and it turns out that our "Money Center" is in our Head!? Which is a NO beuno place to be... so they suggested adding RED to the head, along with a rock to "ground" our money center. We
Mexicans LOVE to celebrate EVERYTHING! And Piñatas are a big part of their celebrations, these were being made for the Festival of Guadalupe.
These cute little boys were rough-housing as they walked along the Malecon to the Festival of Guadalupe festivities.
Piñatas and Papel Picado banners stream the streets for Festival of Guadalupe.
Guadalupe Cathedral with Papel Picado Banderitas lining the streets.
The view of the Festival Guadalupe Processional from the Omelet Restaurant was fantastic, the service? Not so much! Plus they were out of just about everything on their menu...so we left and got street food at the parque below. DELISH blue-corn sopes!
Sunset along the Puerto Vallarta Malecón during Festival of Guadalupe.
Festival of Guadalupe crowds watching the processionals to the church.
Festival of Guadalupe is full of food vendors, dulces (sweets), and toys everywhere, more like a US carnival than a religious pilgrimage! This year we learned some interesting info on the whole Festival of Guadalupe processional/pilgrimage to the cathedral: to be IN the processional and make the pilgrimage to the church to get blessed, you have to pay, BIG BUCKS, it
Grand Venetian Beach sea turtle release. They collect the eggs when they are laid, and incubate them in protected sanctuaries (out of the reach of birds, raccoons, and some poaching Mexicans who still consider them a delicacy.) Once they hatch, they are kept for a few days to give them a better chance of survival, then released after sunset to keep the birds away. The sea turtles imprint on the sand that they crawl through on the way to the water, and will return to the same beach where they were released, regardless of where they were laid. The only have a 1% survival rate to full sexual maturity so any helping hand they can get is great.
The kids line up with little plastic trays like frisbees, and each one gets a sea turtle to release. Then it
Winter Solstice Sunrise over Puerto Vallarta.
Solstice morning sunrise from the top of Mirador de La Cruz hike. Beautiful 360° view of the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta and the town, bay and beaches down below.
Stairs on the way UP the Mirador de La Cruz hike above PV.
Our friend Anthony took us on the Solstice Sunrise hike up to Mirador de La Cruz, well worth getting up EARLY and climbing hundreds of steps before 7am.  We explored a bit on the return to town and found this lovely narrow street that reminded us of Italy!
The hike up/down from Mirador de La Cruz, in downtown Puerto Vallarta is lined with lovely murals.
More of the beautiful murals along the hike up/down from Mirador de La Cruz.
Due West all decked out in her holiday interior finest (still no tree/ornaments up, as Tosh & Tikka will just take them down and turn them into toys!) Maybe next year we
Great Holiday TREAT! Our Seattle dock neighbors Brent & Jill on s/v Cayuse finally sailed down to meet us this year! We
SO. MUCH. FUN! Seattle sailing friends Chris & Eric (along with daughters Brenna, Gretchen, and Hanah) are here in PV for the holidays. When we all get together we talk for hours on end. So nice to have a little bit of "home" here for Christmas.
Il Truinfo Galarias in Puerto Vallarta is one of the coolest stores around. Think far-out, whacky-crazy home decor, parties, and more, if you can think it, this store probably has it, and if they don
Holiday Fun at Galarias Il Truinfo!
Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our family and friends near and far. We think of you more than you know. One of the only things we don