There are many nautical traditions, some would say superstitions, none more sacred than the naming tradition. The more conservative among us would shout sacrilege at the thought of changing the name of any vessel. We are of the more reformed persuasion and while we feel there are required elements to the renaming ceremony, we feel certain that there is only one correct name for a vessel and why should we have to suffer just because the previous owners screwed up and misnamed the boat.
Now I have to admit Chocobo was a great name for Roger and Danielle, considering their penchant for video games and how the mythical bird carried the player to the next world.
Just not for us.
Escape Velocity works for us and perfectly describes how difficult it’s been to achieve the speed needed to escape the sucking gravity of landlubber life.
How can the name change be accomplished, you ask? Well, first the incorrect name must be completely expunged from the vessel. Not an easy task because one writes the boat’s name on everything in the vessel, just in case. Doing this has actually saved lives by allowing SAR people to more accurately estimate drift and find survivors in case of a shipwreck. But how can one be sure you’ve found every example of that misguided name in your vessel?
Next there are incantations beseeching Neptune to forgive the errant name and asking forbearance in setting things right. Then the proper name is introduced and affixed to the vessel, once again beseeching Neptune, Thor, and Aeolus to moderate the path before this vessel. Smash the Champagne bottle and I say, close enough.
Come to think of it, a lot of the traditions are to calm the seas, which is why a comely lass bares her breasts to the sea (in the form of a figure head). A dollop of wine offered to Neptune attempts to safeguard a voyage while the crew gets the rest. It seems to help. Not enough wind? All one need do is to rub the foremast or whistle. Never start a journey on a Friday. There must be a thousand of them. It goes on and on, we’re not sure why we do it but we damn well do it. All I know is that while those Ralston sisters were scraping the name off the yacht, the largest manatee I ever saw surfaced inches from the dingy, and quietly swam around the boat.
Let the process begin!