La Ventana Coffee, Puerto Vallarta

The Daily Grind… Barra

We often get asked, “What exactly do you DO all day in paradise?” Well, if you’re thinking hammocks and rum drinks by the pool all day long, it’s NOT that. Our days probably look a lot like yours… maybe minus the palm trees?

Sunrise over Marina Isla de Navidad starts the day. After the VHF radio Net, Kirk works on boat projects, while Heidi Zooms with Clients or attends classes (and the two-headed furry-computer a.k.a. Tosh & Tikka try to prevent her from working!)

Later in the day we might water taxi into town to pick up a package (using our origami hand-truck), or run errands like laundry and groceries. Back at the taxi dock loaded with groceries… greeted by the furbies when we return home, “Meowww! Did somebody say dinner?” Yep, fresh tequila lime shrimp on the barbie (or sprouted lentil black bean burgers!), followed by an evening full-moon kayak past the Santa Maria (replica of Columbus’s ship), or an evening hike, ending the day with a gorgeous sunset over the hotel. Rinse and repeat.

[Throughout our posts, click all smaller images to view larger.]

Cool Animal & Nature Sightings

Well, one wasn’t so cool… last week our friend John stopped by the boat and happened to notice a bunch of wasps swarming around our radar reflector. WTF? As Kirk got the binoculars and looked up, sure enough, they were building a nest IN our radar reflector! (For your land-lubbers, a radar reflector is a multi-sided metal contraption that hangs in the rigging for other boat’s radar to bounce off of and be able to detect you.) NO BUENO.

While we contemplated what to do since the radar reflector is about 18-feet up in the air and can’t be lowered down… our Mexican friend and boat worker Arturo was walking down the dock. “Hey Arturo… do you know how to get a wasp nest down?” Absolutemente! He and Kirk proceeded to extend our telescoping boat hook to its full extension. Then Arturo took a well-aimed WHACK to the radar reflector which sent the nest flying into the water, along with many wasps.

These guys are pesky! Not wanting to use poisons (though we did buy a can of wasp spray just in case), Kirk had to shake the back-stay and blasted the radar reflector with hose water several times a day for a week. Thankfully, they finally seem to be gone now.

We regularly see cool animal sitings on hikes or kayaks around the large (one mile sqare+) lagoon, like this pescadoro (fisherman) above throwing his net for fingerlings (baitfish) as the pelicans eagerly await scraps. If we time our evening kayak right, the bat house comes alive as you can see in this video we took: Bats on the Hunt in Barra. (JGC, this is NOT for you!) Bats by the tens of thousands fly out of the old abandoned casino building, like watching a swarm of swallows. SO cool, and we are especially grateful for all the mosquitos and jejenes (“hey-hey-nays”, or no-see-ums) they eat!

Often we hike out to the Cross on the other side of the resort to watch the sunset and see fireflies. Something Heidi hadn’t seen since a kid in Maryland. Kirk has a great firefly story from Corfu, Greece on his bicycle tour in the 1970s. He was riding through a valley at night and the entire valley was lit up by fireflies except on the road which was dark, so he could easily see where to ride!

The sunsets here are spectacular, and come in a wide range of colors from muted pastels, to purples and blues, to oranges and yellows. Always different colors, always beautiful.

Kirk’s Birthday Zoom

Thanks to COVID, we might not be able to party in the usual way, but Heidi threw Kirk a lil’ surprise party anyway… via Zoom! He thought we were just zooming with his brother Galen and S-I-L Ann. Then one by one, others joined in the party fun! Heidi baked him an uber-delish (and pretty healthy!) chocolate cake with chocolate coconut frosting. Too bad we had to eat it all ourselves, couldn’t quite figure out how to serve slices to the party attendees… Captain Kirk is still working on cake teleportation! Sorry you all had to miss out, but you can make one yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

So, What’s On Tap Next?

The other question we frequently get asked is “What are your plans?” LOL… With as crazy as 2020 has been world-wide, who could even make a plan, let alone stick to it? As usual, ours are written in sand at low tide. But once Hurricane Season officially ends, Nov. 30, we “think” we’ll be cruising the local area between Manzanillo and Chemala for the next couple of months getting in as much kayaking and snorkel time as we can—between Heidi’s health coaching clients and functional medicine school work! She plans to take her first-year exam in February, and then start her second year in April.

Likely, we’ll be heading north to the Sea of Cortez from late March (after it warms up a bit) through late May, and possibly return to Barra next summer. We really enjoy the close proximity to nature here, but are leaving all doors open… and COVID could still change everything.

The photo at the top of this post is Kirk’s favorite coffee from Cafe La Ventana in Puerto Vallarta. Since he’s about out of coffee—tragedy!—we’re planning a road trip up to PV soon to get more. Ok, that’s not really why we’re heading to PV, but a stop at La Ventana is on the planned itinerary.

Check out our next blog post to see Tosh & Tikka take to the road!


  1. Jim Olney on October 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Always nice to hear from you two! I’ve had many adventures in Baja in years past and love it down there. I haven’t been doing much the past month or so as I fell off my roof and broke 4 ribs and my pelvis. After a week in Harborview Trauma and 3 weeks in a rehab center am now home. It’s a slow heal but doing better each day. I’ve always been active but as my wife says time to slow down a bit and maybe hire some of these chores out. Take care and keep the pics and blog coming, Jim Olney

  2. Roderick Nash on October 28, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Good to have the catch up. With Canada closed I got to know the San Juan Islands VERY well. Maybe 40 days on the hook. Had a great slip on Lopez too. Be well. Hugs. Rod

  3. Max Painter on November 11, 2020 at 12:53 am

    Love the bats and nature as you know. You guys are living the dream. DADADADA!
    We are busy doing projects in between the myriad of recipes that keep me busy in the kitchen.
    Love to you four,
    Steve, Max and Hazel (our green-eyed huntress)

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