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 - Boats, Planes, and Electric Cars: A Visit to the US
Photos 1 to 60 of 60 | Main
Kirk and his new toy way back in 1992!  He
Ben smoothing out the crankshaft on Michael P. Engine. BIG HUGE THANKS Ben, for getting our Perkins M50 running drip-free again!
Dramatic Southeast Idaho sky as we drive towards Jackson Hole.
Howdy Stranger, yonder lies Jackson Hole!
Big thanks to Pete and Jean-Mom for hosting us in Jackson and all the fun times together... and for letting us drive the Tesla!
Big thanks to Arne and Teresa for hosting us all in their newly remodeled kitchen and dining room too. The Boyz Table: Pete, Arne, Tate, Steve, Andy, Kirk, and Berg.
The Women
Grandpa Andy and Tate
So great to be with Ecuadorian-brother Estéban and his wife Gioconda again! Capitán Kirk, Heidi, Estéban, Paul, and Gioconda. Maybe we
One of the many lovely views of the Grand Tetons... this one from our friend
Mom-Jean leading us on one of her classic native medicinal plant walks. She
Family hike... Naturalist Grandpa Andy and Mom-Jean talking about the green gentian plant and its uses.
Heidi driving the gull-wing Tesla... so Space-X!
Janet and Heidi had been best friends for the one year (7th grade) that Janet had lived in Jackson. Somehow through letter writing, emails, texts, and phone calls, they’ve managed to stay in constant touch throughout the 40+ years!
Family Float Trip with Barker-Ewing Scenic: Eric (BE Boatman), Tate, Mom-Jean, Teresa, Arne, Gioconda, Nancy, Andy, Estéban, and Barb.
Evening Float Trip with Barker-Ewing Scenic on the Snake River, in Grand Teton National Park: Esteban, Gioconda, Arne, Mom-Jean, Teresa, and Heidi
Esteban, Arne, Eric, Teresa, and Heidi evening float down the Snake River. It gets cold on the river in the evening with the wind blowing across the water... Heidi wasn
Spectacular view of the sunset over the Grand Tetons from the middle of the Snake River. THIS is why we prefer the evening float...
Obligatory Phelps Lake Selfie!
Kirk surveying the majesty and listening to nature. Lake Creek, Grand Teton National Park.
The view looking down Lake Creek, Grand Teton National Park... What you can
The view looking across Phelps Lake toward the Tetons is usually the grand prize for making the 3-mile round-trip trek. However, this year the wildflowers were the best part of the hike.
An amazingly lucky shot: bee flinging pollen from a falx flower. Phelps Lake Hike, Grand Teton National Park.
There were SO many gorgeous wildflowers blooming in July (a month late, they normally bloom in June!) Clockwise from top left: columbine, sticky geranium, daisies, and Indian paintbrush.  Phelps Lake Hike, Grand Teton National Park.
More beautiful blooms...wild rose with lupine in the background. Phelps Lake Hike, Grand Teton National Park.
This valley along the Spring Gulch Road is one of Kirk
We checked in on Heidi
Our friend Don
The Spud Drive-In Movie Theater... a classic icon in southeast Idaho, and likely one of only a handful of drive-ins left in the world!
The "other-side" of the Tetons rising up above the farm fields in southeast Idaho.
Plowed farm fields create an interesting geometric design in southeast Idaho.
Kirk hiking along the Fall River at Cave Falls, Yellowstone. This little-known entrance to Yellowstone is in the southwest corner of the Park. Enter in from the Idaho side before the road turns back into Wyoming. If you
Panoramic view of the Cave Falls cascades on the Fall River, southwest Yellowstone. The Fall River flows into the Henry
The impressive Upper Mesa Falls on the Henry
The roar of Upper Mesa falls is almost defining... with a nice shower of water to cool us on a hot day!
Check out the surreal orange lichen and white mineral deposits, plus large white flowers across the river. The colors and scale make it look like something out of Lord of the Rings.
What a fun visit with Heidi
You can see why Montana is called Big Sky Country...
Wide-open spaces... the sunlight through the clouds highlighted the yellow mustard fields behind the horses. Lucky shot out the window as we flew by on the highway outside of Bozeman.
Brother Paul and his fiancé Darcy. Welcome to the family Darcy! So glad we finally got to meet you... and THANKS for the marshmallow roast!
Grateful to these crazy cousins, Eric & Nan, for meeting us at the SLC airport for a quick 20-minute visit. We love you guys to the moon and back and miss you so much... Come down and visit!
Lunch with Willa and Verne... always a PUN time!
Dad might be on oxygen and missing a few teeth, but his spirits are high and he
Look out NASCAR here comes Kirk Unser... he had such a fun time at the Unser Race Car Museum... the only downside was the race car simulator was broken. Next time...
Walking into Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supplies was like a throwback to walking into Heidi’s mom Jean’s Herb Store in Jackson, Wyoming 30+ years ago. It smelled exactly the same! Contrary to what you might be thinking, being in Boulder, Colorado, a 420-state… that’s not the type of herbs we were after! We needed to stock up on some of the traditional Western medicinal herbs that we can’t find in Mexico, like elderflower and yarrow. We really enjoyed our chat with Rebecca too!
So much fun to spend time with Andy and Janet. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality and for being our mail-stop. Next time we
Heidi was honored to be asked to speak about Creating Effective Newsletters at Neal
The lighter side of Neal
Back at the Ranch... the start of the hike at Boca la Tomitlan, lots of pangas tied up the river waiting to go out on rides.
Banyan trees in the jungle...
Playa Colomitas is a lush blue-green tropical paradise. You can only reach it by hiking along the Guacamaya trail or by boat. It
Looking up at the lush jungle foliage to see natural geometric shapes. The leaves growing in a circular pattern are so unique! Anyone know what this tree is?
New friend Lisa and Heidi cooling off in this refreshing waterfall at Playa Colomitas, the one-quarter-way reward on this hot jungle hike. Three quarters still to go and no more waterfalls...but lots of beaches.
La Troza Beach is a little more than half-way along this 2.5-mile hike through the jungle. Even though it
Playa Caballo, one of the long beaches you traverse on the hike to Las Animas. Shoes optional, in fact, Heidi hikes most of the trail barefoot. Sand can be very HOT, so walking at the waters edge is recommended.
Ahhhh... the reward near the end of the hike. With Tim and Lisa, fueling up with agua maracuya (Passion Fruit water) and lunch at Maraikas Beach Club before we finish the last half-mile of this hike to Las Animas. In comparison, it
If you prefer your own jungle-treehouse check out Hotelito Mio. Still only accessible by hiking or boat, this one goes for around $500US/night! The jungle huts look cool as you
We finally reached Playa Las Animas at the end of the hike... It
Tikka trying to keep cool in an ice cream box while Tosh plays with his FAV Da-Bird toy from his Aunt Leith!