Barra de Navidad

Barra de Navidad Cruise-In

It’s been a minute since our last post… So what have we and Due West been up to lately? For starters, we’re getting ready to FUNd RACE in the Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Sailboat Regatta on February 26, and we’d like your help!

While Heidi’s spent the past two months studying night and day for her First Year Functional Medicine exam (which thankfully she just passed!), Kirk’s been getting Due West all spit-and-polish for the upcoming regatta.

Heidi taking her first year functional medicine exam (open book). Thankful for the use of Judy & Paul’s WiFi, and that she passed! Onward to year two…

Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Week

So what is Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Week? In several cruising communities around Mexico, the sailboat/powerboat cruisers who frequent certain towns have adopted the local schools. As in the US, local schools aren’t always funded very well. And generally, there aren’t PTAs in Mexico to hold bake sales. That’s where the cruisers step in, offering time, sweat equity, and holding fundraisers to enable the local Mexican school kids to get a good education.

Sunrise over Barra de Navidad
Sunrise over Barra de Navidad and lagoon.

During non-Covid-19 years, Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Week would typically include a variety of fund-raising events as well as lots of opportunities for cruisers to help paint classrooms, organize libraries, fix computer labs, and other sundry odds and ends of projects that the schools need help with.

Due West flying Big Blue spinnaker
Due West leading the fleet flying “Big Blue” in a Leukemia Cup Regatta, Seattle, WA.

However, due to Covid-19, this year’s Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Week has been mostly curtailed. But we will be participating in the Fundraising and Sailboat Regatta. If you remember our past years of fundraising and racing for the Leukemia Cup Regatta, thanks to MANY of you, we were the top fundraisers in Seattle for over 10 years! So we’re going for that goal again this year, and once again asking you to help Due West be the top fundraising boat for a great cause.

Due to Covid-safe regulations, race rules are for “immediate family only” on each boat (no crew). So we’re excited to do a “Jack-and-Jill” (double-handed) race this year.

Cruise-In week is all about having fun and fundraising for the local schools while staying Covid-19 SAFE. We are grateful to be able to help even during pandemic times by doing what we love – sailing and fundraising for a great cause.

What Your Donations Will Provide

All funds raised will benefit local Barra de Navidad schools with projects including: 

• improving lighting in classrooms

• beefing up WiFi connectivity to the computer lab

• upgrading computer systems

• purchasing items needed for safe re-opening (we hope in August)

• re-painting library and classrooms 

• other maintenance and improvement projects on the director’s wish list

The more money we all help raise, the more the town of Barra can do for their school kids! We’ll also be donating our time to paint and do some maintenance work in the school (socially distanced of course).

The boat that fundraises the most $ also wins a prize. So let’s do this!! If we win, we hope to donate the prize back to the community. We LOVE to FUNdraise for education! And we’d greatly appreciate any donations to our FUNd RACING efforts.

How Can You Help?

To donate electronically:

• Via PayPal, Venmo or Zelle send your donation to Linda Bello Ruiz at (Note: first character is a lower case “L”, not a 1.) **If using PayPal, please choose the “friends and family“ option so that PayPal does not keep some of the money.

• If Canadian, please send your Canadian E-transfer donation to

PLEASE NOTE: When making your electronic donation, please include:

• a note with your name

• the boat name you are sponsoring (DUE WEST!)

• and if you would like to be entered in the drawing for local prizes (restaurant and hotel stays in Barra), or are just donating to support your selected boat (DUE WEST)

Many THANK YOUS for any amount you care to donate. You’d be surprised how far your dollars go in Mexico. And the Barra de Navidad school kids will be grateful! 

A Quick Visit to Puerto Vallarta

We recently took a quick trip to Puerto Vallarta (rented a car, 5-hour road trip) for better WiFi bandwidth for Heidi to take her online exam and for a few appointments and errands. The WiFi in Barra is a bit unstable, and for Heidi’s functional medicine exam, if the Internet blipped out for even an instant, the exam would auto-submit, and be done…even if she wasn’t!) BIG THANKS to Judy & Paul for letting us (and the Gatos!) stay at your condo.

Also, really fun to see a few fav PV friends (socially distanced with masks) like Liz (BFF), Sam and Willis (Yoga teachers), Eddie (finally got much-needed haircuts!), Javier (La Tostadaria restaurant), and Rachel (our FAV chiropractor whom our bodies have REALLY been missing!) We even hiked up the Mirador (stair climb) above Puerto Vallarta with Judy and Liz. Also saw a few whale spouts and fin smacks. Sadly, many of our fav restaurants have closed for good no thanks to COIVD.

The Furbies

Tosh and Tikka are doing great too! Tosh loves visiting “his dog” Coco, who is half-way between the size of Tosh and Tikka. However, Tikka is not big a fan of Coco, and spends most of her days hanging out on the top shelf of the guest room closet, safe from the barking chihuahua, LOL!

Wahoo!! Tosh got another clean bill of health from his vet in PV, Dr. Lalo at Wolfe Veterinary Clinic. Tosh is now 2.5 years cancer-free! He and Tikka were GREAT road-trippin’ cats on our trip to Puerto Vallarta this week, where we did a few much-needed errands too. Puerto Vallarta now has a population of 500,000, whereas Barra de Navidad is quite a bit smaller, with a population of 3,000. So while we can’t always get what we want in Barra, as we try each time we usually find we get what we need! 🎵🎶


  1. Jackie Lindseen on February 20, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Great hearing from you as always

  2. Mary & Giff on February 22, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Hi Heidi & Captn Kirk, You two always amaze us with your creativity, and adventuresome spirits. You seem to be living your dream so, Congrats to both of you. You are two great souls. It snowed 12″ in Seattle last weekend but today it is blowing up a storm on Lake Union; we’re rocking around a bit. We love, love your Blogs! Hugs, Mary & Giff

  3. Marti J Louther on February 24, 2021 at 2:13 am

    You two are awesome! We are happy to donate, and hope the schools get the help they need. Your travels continue to inspire, and look forward to visiting you all someday.

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