Why Estrellita 5.10b?

In 2006 we spent Thanksgiving rock climbing in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. We had spent weeks going over descriptions of the area and dreaming about which routes we wanted to climb.

In particular, we wanted to climb to the famous palm tree at the summit of the rock climb Estrellita which is on a fin of rock called Las Estrellas.

Here is Las Estrellas with the palm tree circled:

This is the backside of the same fin of rock with the route Estrellita as closely as I can remember it:

And the famous palm tree:

At the summit, near the palm tree is a log book for people to record their ascent and a collection of "treasures" left by previous climbers:

At approximately 1200 feet, Carol picked up the log book, wrote and handed it to Livia to write. She opened it to see "Today is the day that I ask Livia, will you marry me?".

Obviously, she said yes or they would not have survived the 1200 foot rappel to tell this tale.

When we named the boat, Estrellita was the name that rose to the top of the list.

However, when Estrellita was registered in Victoria, the Coast Guard allows only one vessel to have a name in all of Canada and Estrellita was already registered. After much discussion between ourselves and with friends we decided that if we were going to have to add numbers to the name, we might as well make them meaningful and so we added the grade (difficulty) of the climb - 5.10b.

And this is how we came to have a boat named SV Estrellita 5.10b.


  1. Great story. I assumed 5.10b was a climbing route grade but didn't understand the significance. Thanks for posting that!

  2. Now that is a splendid reason for naming a boat that exact name :-) Thx for sharing!

  3. I had been meaning to ask.

    I suppose I could have named my boat for my favorite Joshua Tree climb, Illusion Dweller (about the same grade - I forget), but that would have generated too much confusion regarding my mental state.

    My partner had attempted this climb on a prior trip with another climber. Just below the crux, he bailed. He built a lowering anchor, untied from the rope, put the rope in his teeth for just a moment... and then answer a question from his belayer. Ture story. He had to wait ~ 30 minutes while others hiked up the backside and lowered a rope.

  4. @Mike/@Lotten - Thanks.
    @Drew - Ouch! Good (bad) story. I'm not either of us would call Estrellita our favorite climb (chossy hiking sections in the middle) but it has some great pitches, a great summit and of course, a great memory for us.

  5. Just stumbled upon your blog while on the Living Aboard forums.

    Can't wait to read more about your adventures (what's already been written and what is to come as well!)

    We're preparing to cruise, but don't have any specific dates yet. We're definitely getting closer to making it all happen, but I imagine it will be at least a year (if not more) before we'll be able to set sail.

    In the meantime, we blog and read blogs like yours to keep us motivated!

  6. That is such a great story! Love it and your pictures look amazing.

  7. Great story, I've often wondered how names come about on boats.. many have storied that touch the sole.. Sometime when were sharing an evening drink amoung friends we'll have to tell you ours.. Randy & Ramona Garrett S/V "R3"

  8. @R3 - We would love to take you up on that!

  9. Nice writing. I've seen your name around on sailing forums and always thought it had to be about that climb. If you're ever back at Potrero check out the route called "will the wolf survive" it's right at the base of the rappel route for estrellita.

  10. @Chris - Will do. We hope to do a climbing road trip when we are in CA at least but I would love to be back to Potrero.

  11. Wow! I love your boat naming story. Wonderful. And Congrats Carol on Livia saying" Yes," and of course getting out on the water.



Click on the dollar and buy Livia and Carol a cold frosty one:


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