Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sleepless In Camarillo
By Michael

$10,000 buys 338 feet of wire rope, 300 feet of tinned wire, 220 feet of line, 16 compression fittings, 14 LED bulbs,
5 batteries, 4 fans, 4 turnbuckles, 3 gallons of bottom paint, 2 life vests, 2 quarts of deck paint, 2 bilge pumps,
1 solar panel, 1 quart of bilge paint, a floating island, and lots and lots of miscellaneous stuff.
To date, the car trip has felt like an extended vacation with little to do but ensure we get from point A to point B to point C and catch up with friends and family along the way.
But things have changed.
Eleanor and her Uncle Shaun

We’re staying with my sister here in Camarillo, California (our final host before we get to the boat—nothing but hotels here on out). It’s a great location for buying boat stuff, and we had lots of boat stuff to buy. We’ve spent the past two days running all over town spending money like there is no tomorrow. It’s making me sick to my stomach (seriously, I know this is true because Windy handed me a cookie yesterday and I didn’t want it, that’s huge).
I’m anxious not only about the amount of money we spent the past few days (exactly $10,006), but that we’re not buying some things we should (we won’t know what these are until we get to Mexico) and we’re surely buying some things we will not need (such as the unknown extra feet of Sta-Set I purchased after polling the entire West Marine staff to estimate the length of a furling head sail sheet for a 40-foot aft-cockpit boat…I went with 110’). How I envy the folks who wisely refit their boats over a period of time, in close proximity to a decent chandlery, buying what they need as they go.
I’m also anxious about all of the weight we are adding to our trailer ($10,000 buys roughly 800 pounds of boat stuff). We planned for this, but the car has a long, hot 1,500 miles left to go and we will be taxing it like it has not been taxed to date.
Cousin Ryan and Aunt Jana

Accordingly, we made up our minds to go the mainland route, not the Baja route. We got good advice and information from several cruisers and others who have travelled both routes (thank you everyone!). I reluctantly agree with the consensus that we are better off with the mainland. Baja would be much more beautiful, the ferry ride across the sea would be an adventure, and I am eager to see our friends Tim and Nancy at their home in La Paz. But the La Paz route features steep grades that I think we may not be able to climb (and the word from both Marina La Paz and one cruiser is that the La Paz-Mazatlan ferry is often delayed).
We flew over my folks' house the next day. The
driveway is wicked steep, but doesn't look like
it from 1,000 feet up.
Last week, visiting my folks in Templeton (before adding all of the extra weight), the car ran out of steam halfway up their long, steep driveway. In first gear, with the pedal to the metal, the car slowed to zero. I spent 10 minutes carefully backing the trailer down the steep, winding drive, off-loaded Windy and the girls, and got a running start on the flat section. I got it up to about 20 miles per hour in first gear and kept it floored the whole way. Granted, this is an unusually steep road, but it made me realize we do indeed face limits. With just the weight we’ve been towing, I've kept it floored just to maintain highway speed on the slightest incline.
We plan to pull out of here tomorrow morning with the newly-loaded trailer and see how it goes. If successful, we should go to sleep tomorrow night close to Pheonix, Arizona.


  1. Michael,

    We recently replaced all of our halyards on our Tartan 42 and in the process we found Dave Groshong at to be the most helpful and knowledgeable of anyone we spoke with. Their prices were lower than West Marine and their customer service was excellent. If you go to this page they list the running rigging for your boat:

    Just input the color choice and click on quote and it will list the lengths for you. We had them make the lines all up for us because the pricing was so reasonable and we just didn't have the time to do all the splicing right now. These people are definitely people that you want to develop a relationship with.

    Thanks for your blog. You're just a few months ahead of us as so we appreciate your experiences.

    S/V Kintala

  2. Best of luck as you hit the road! While you are worrying about that stuff, here's a quick reminder of what you are NOT worrying about:
    - teams that missed development freeze yesterday
    - teams not starting testing today and the continued unknown of how that new test tool will perform under full load
    - internal program review! monthly report!
    - cut the budget by $54k but keep all the staff
    - will I get invited to Bryce's promotion-to-principal party?

  3. Wow! You are in our old stomping ground now! My husband and I grew up in Atascadero!

    Good luck with your load/driving. Try not to stress out. Remember it's the journey that counts, not the destination. :)


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