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 - 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