Date: Wed Sep 26, 2001 10:47 pm
For reasons more to do with insuring that my boat is not "locked" into an irretrievable position in the boatyard for an intended early launch that will allow my attendance at the Seawind II GAM in May, I announce her launching next Monday.
Inasmuch as she will spend the winter, without her masts stepped, under a replacement shrink-wrap cover and will remain an on-going refit project I have a request for information and opinion from the group.
First, only sailors and classic yacht enthusiasts of the ilk of our group can understand the depth attachment we have to our boats. In my case the good ship "GiGi" came into my life at a time that could only be called fortunate for the two of us. At the time I was recovering from a sequence of crushing events in my life and I was only to discover "purpose" when we met and she provided much of that and a home as well. She, in turn, as a hurricane wreck, needed that which only I could recognize and provide for her. A silent pact was made on that day that mutually we began to breathe new life into each other.
This most recent effort was an indulgence to not only upgrade her to a more modern standard of both cosmetic and utility but my sincere pleasure to honor her in my most humble way of offering thanks to her for holding up her end of the deal.
Since the day that I made the last payment to my benefactor and partner, Gerry Smith, and burned the mortgage we have had a spiritual agreement that she wished as much a new identity as I had wished her new life.
In 1999 she was to leave her long-term home in the British Virgin Islands and trek back to her birthplace of New York. Soon after her arrival, only about 80 miles short of Catskill, NY, where she was hauled. Almost subsequently and reverently stripped of most of her original but Spartan identity by myself and a man who has come to love her almost as much as I, my very close friend and master marine carpenter Wayne Mantynan.
She has stood in her shoring and endured the most intense destruction and profoundly loving reconstruction. Her rebirth in the most literary sense is consequentially a sequel.
Officially, today, the graphics announcing her new name were swept across her sides and upon her entry to the water after these two years she shall be known as Sea Quill. As a writer and she, oft his inspiration, the name seems totally quantified.
Of those of you who have been so supportive I ask:
I am aware that certain traditional and ceremonial offerings and utterances are customary when re-naming a ship.
In a brief moment she goes from a stationary monument to a lively entity once again. My five-year old granddaughter shall re-christen her. As one of the more powerful reasons I returned to the US was to enjoy her youth and I am certainly doing that. So said I believe that I have included the most time honored element of the ceremony.
The rest I am afraid I have long forgotten.
I would appreciate the comments, remembrances, humor and creative, collective utterances of all of you who find this as important as I.
Date: Thu Sep 27, 2001 11:25 am
You have now given us a second, less egotistical reason to rejoice in your decision to keep your Seawind: She seems needed for your own wholeness, that of a man we have come to respect, even admire, and simply love.
As Commander, French Naval Reserves, with my father working with large shipyards after his Navy retirement from the same Corps of Naval Architects created by a distant ancestor (whose portrait hangs in my living room) under Sun King Louis XIV of Versailles fame, and with a number of years as an executive in gas or oil shipping companies, I have attended many a ship christening.
You already have the woman, the younger the better. I would suggest uncovering the name with flourish (eg, lifting a canvass over the pushpit), a bottle of bubbly to break on her bows with its fall triggered by the young lady (an interesting contraption to concoct, light trigger but powerful enough hit needs gravity or other energy accumulator inserted), a chaplain to bless Sea Quill with a prayer (any layman can do), and a writer to read a poem, eg, you as the reader and possibly writer, but I have plenty of Masefield offerings if you need, from the collection of poems I keep on board for quiet sunsets in the cockpit.
Date, time and location, in case you accept wandering witnesses, and I can do?
Date: Thu Sep 27, 2001 7:59 pm
I don't know what to say. You have inspired me from the beginning,. when I first read the recounts of your start with Gigi on the internet. Even before we met I knew I would like you. One I saw and felt how your relationship with Gigi was growing I wanted to be part of it. As you know I was willing to wait till she was ready, and have you be part of her even after I would take her stewardship.Somehow my heart always knew you would not let her go and I don't blame you one bit.
You touched my heart on several occasions, most notably when you said of Gigi "She still asks about you (Ted) occasionally. I admire so much about you I can't begin to say and am honoured to be able to wish you many years of newfound enjoyment with her. As before if you or she needs any looking after, I stand at the ready to offer what I can.
I can not offer much in the line of ceremony but my heart is with you. I have chosen to not rename Flicka as her name suits her and what right do I have at this early stage of our relationship to change her identity? I do think however that in the not to distant future, one of my newly-born grand-daughters will help me do just that. By then she will hopefully be as much a part of me as they are.
For now Flicka and I wish you all the best the sea and God have to offer. A long and happy continuing friendship!
Date: Thu Sep 27, 2001 5:36 pm
I do remember that a ceremony (complete with feast for visitors, when is this going to be?) should include a request to the sea gods to accept the new name.
Date: Thu Sep 27, 2001 10:37 pm
Now that sounds quite familiar, Howard. It will, indeed, be a part of out little ceremony along with some of the less technical aspects suggested by Bert. Many thanks
Date:Fri Sep 28, 2001 8:58 am
So you've purchased a used boat and it's ready to splash. But you're not keen about the existing name on the transom. After all, "Dixie Chicken" just doesn't suit your personality. For those readers who are superstitious, it's truly not unlucky to change the name of a boat, provided you follow certain rules.
First you must remove all traces of the original name (if a vinyl graphic, using a Ferro Stripe Eliminator makes this a quick and clean job). Next, you must prepare a speech that first denames the boat and then renames it, but be sure not to mention the old name. Conclude both ceremonies with a libation over the bow and drink a toast (or two). You'll need a couple of witnesses for the swear-in and toasting.
DIY reader Bert Small, sent us a copy of the denaming and naming ceremonies for his boat. Follow his example below and you're sure to appease the Gods of the Sea.
Wishing you water-tight fittings and well-cured epoxy,
Denaming: "As the new owner of this vessel, I call upon the Sea God Neptune, God of the Wind Aeolus, Gods of the Tides, the Storms and Precipitation [select any gods you want], to listen, while I thank them for their protection of this vessel over the last 50 years and to hereby strike from their records the name "Dixie Chicken." I now ask for their indulgence in extending their goodwill and protection to the boat in her new name that will be revealed in a separate naming ceremony to come. I offer this libation to make the ceremony official and complete."
Naming: "I now put forth a new name for this vessel, which we trust will serve us well, and ask Neptune and all the Gods of the Sea to grant their protection under the name "Sea Eagle." I now offer a libation in thanks and recognition of this protection."
Reprinted with permission from DIY boat owner, the Marine Maintenance magazine website at www.diy-boat.com