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 - Feliz Navidad
Photos 1 to 40 of 40 | Main
Captain Crow at beach yoga... during high tides and big seas the yoga platform can get WET, so we sometimes have to move back towards the street. An NO, Heidi who has yoga teacher training can NOT do Crow pose, LOL!
Liquid Men: Kirk and Frosty at Baracuda.
Kirk, Juan Bravo, and Frosty at the waterfalls above Colomitos Beach... freezing cold water was refreshing on a hot day.
Birthday FUN with friends: Heidi, Anthony, John (background) and Birthday-boy Kirk at Yelapa waterfalls.
Frosty & Patti eating iguana for lunch?! Just kidding... great shot for their grandson!
Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Temple ~ This unfinished construction is perhaps the most memorable attraction in town. Designed to become Mascota’s primary sanctuary when construction began in the 19th century, it was never finished and now is a beautiful garden with imposing stone walls, a perfect backdrop for cultural events. This photo is INSIDE the church, not outside...
Old cowboys hanging out in the Mascota town square. Mascota is an agricultural and ranching town with cowboys riding horses down the street along with the cars.
A frutas y verduras mercado en Mascota. Although we do buy some organic produce at Costco, we primarily shop in stores like these for most of our produce and dry goods.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the most common religious icon in Mexico. This shrine adorned with glitter and lights was inside a horse tack shop in the rural town of Mascota.
The old mining town of San Sebastian is a couple hours drive up into the mountains from Puerto Vallarta, a wonderful day trip.
The dominos table in San Sebastian...these guys are here all day long.
Although most people outside of Mexico think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence day, that
Fun time hanging out with our old Elliott Bay Marina neighbors and friends Jill & Brent now that they
As Hurricane Willa (Pronounced "We-Ah" here in Mexico where double ll
Mae, Jonna, Heidi, and Kirk (photographer!) picked up plastic and trash off the beach after heavy rains washed it down from the rivers and towns above Puerto Vallarta into the ocean.
Buh-bye Hurricane Willa... though she left a lot of rain and big waves, it was basically a "non-event" in Puerto Vallarta. We only hope that with a few "non-event" Hurricane
Mae hanging out with an igante iguana in Yelapa.
Jonna fulfilling a Bucket List item: releasing baby sea turtles into the sea.
Baby sea turtles making their way to the sea, beautiful night with a sprinkling of rain.
A snorkel trip with Juan Bravo is always a great adventure. This trip Juan found a sea star for Mae and a sea urchin for Jonna. We also saw a striped moray eel. All animals were returned to their habitat after photos were taken.
Tosh loves when we do yoga, especially the part when he chews up the yoga matts and yoga blocks :-O...
Tikka doing her best to prevent Heidi from getting her work done. :-D
Even though Heidi
Kirk and Heidi took a beautiful autumn hike with Heidi
Always great fun to visit Jean (Heidi
Paul & Judy, Kirk & Heidi, and Frosty + dog (Patti was the photographer!) Fun visit with long-time sailing friends in the middle of the Arizona desert.
Boat maintenance... removing the disintegrating kitty-netting before it falls into the sea.
No height-freight here... Heidi loves going aloft to do projects on the mast and rigging. Good thing too, because it
Dia de los Muertos: Many giant "Catrinas" line the Malecon walkway during this festival to celebrate those who have passed on.
Dia de los Muertos is a bigger deal here than Halloween, although the commercialization of Halloween is taking over some of the stores. Many families dress up with their Catrina face paint for the night (Nov 1st celebrates children who
Dia de Los Muertos: one of the many family shrines displayed around town celebrating the lives of loved ones. Shrines typically include photos, favorite foods, drinks, and objects from the deceased. Marigolds are also used as their fragrance is said to lead the spirits back from beyond. It
Festival of Guadalupe is December 1-12... the main street in PV is closed each day for the throngs of people making the pilgrimage to the Guadalupe Cathedral. At night there are fireworks, food stands, and bands playing in the streets. Amazing people watching.
Puerto Vallarta is known for their beautiful sunsets... no filters! This lovely one was taken on the night of Dia de Los Muertos.
Guadalupe Cathedral in Puerto Vallarta is stunningly beautiful at night with her crown lit up.
When he
The Princess and the Pea... er, uh, Tikka-Rodriguez-Pepita-Margarita, a.k.a. "queen of comfort" napping the day away.
Christmas aboard Due West. We took a gamble and put out our Christmas Tree for the first time since Tosh & Tikka have lived aboard (4-years!) So far they
Feliz Navidad, Christmas Cheer, Love and Hugs from both of us to all of you. xoxo Paz Paz Paz