When one buys a boat there are only two choices. You either keep the name of the boat or you change it.
In Canada if you choose not to Register your boat then the name is actually meaningless; your boat is simply known by its license number which must be displayed on the bow. But registering costs hundreds of dollars, entails many months of effort and involves things like tonnage surveys. Licensing on the other hand is free. But the name is irrelevant.
Registering means that you actually have a title (and the paperwork to prove it) to the boat in her name (which is a good thing when travelling abroad) as well as the right to fly a Canadian flag and that you have to list home port on the boat itself. As far as I can tell many licensed boats do all this as well but they are not kosher. I don’t know if they are actually illegal though.
But for now we will just be licensing our new boat. And we are pretty sure we will rename her anyway. We named the dinghy Laughing Baby before we even knew we were actually going to get the boat. This was a name we (Leslie) had been toying with for quite a while but eventually decided it wasn’t “big” enough for a full grown sailboat. So I did up a graphic for this website and, as soon as possible, we will make up some vinyl and christen the tender with her new name and artwork.
But that leaves the current Rainbow Hunter. We have been toying with a few names and have — intellectually — settled on Never for Ever. But I am ever the visual person and I can’t seem to find a good visual brand for that name so I am hesitating. But I guess we’ll see…
Never for Ever is the name of Kate Bush’s 3rd album, released in 1980. I was first exposed to it in ’81 while attending MacEwan. It was one of several albums we had on our mobile stereo that went from class to class with us (Hey, we were Theatre Production students—it was part of our training :-) ). Three of those albums subsequently became all time favourites of mine. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage and Kate Bush’s Never for Ever; talk about an eclectic mix.
Many years later when I met Leslie we had an instant connection with two pieces of music: the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar (although I preferred the London cast and she was [sigh] a movie soundtrack fan) and Kate Bush’s Never for Ever. While Leslie and I are not the most religious people in the world I think we both agree that naming a boat Jesus Christ Superstar might be a tad impious and so, whilst thinking it all over a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that Never for Ever might be a good—and common— choice for us. According to Bush, the title alluded to conflicting emotions, good and bad, which pass, as she stated: “we must tell our hearts that it is ‘never for ever,’ and be happy that it’s like that.” Given the (currently) finite duration of our planned trip and the fact that Leslie and I have just come off of many years of high-stress, losing battles, it really seemed an appropriate name. Besides you have to live life in now. So I pitched it and it was tentatively accepted.
Apparently there is a protocol and ceremony to naming (and renaming) boats. Poseidon (Neptune) and Aeolus must be appeased so as not to offend or lose their protection or, worst of all, bring bad luck to the boat. First the boat must be stripped of all traces of its old name and a Denaming ceremony performed. According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon (or Neptune), the god of the sea. It is logical therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.
Then —in many variations (Google it, it’s great stuff)— there is a coin or tag with the old name inscribed on it that must be cast into the deep and of course the libation(s) offered to the gods.
After that is all done another ceremony — the Christening — must be performed before bring anything with the new name aboard. This can be done immediately or after a few days to make sure the old spirits and ghosts have had time to move on.
I am still working on the art for the boat. I like the idea of a nautical hourglass but I am not having much luck simplifying one enough that it will work in vinyl. I am also toying with using a swan (as illustrated on the album cover)—swans are cool. Eventually I will get it though and it will show up here.
I think we will stick with the Laughing Baby concept as a framing device for this site though. Laughing babies really are the best.