Last weekend we farewelled a friend who has set off on an amazing adventure. Ian lives in the Adelaide Hills in Australia, and is an avid sailor. He has bought a 11.78 metre sailboat here and plans to sail it home to Australia over the next 4-6 months! We were invited to the official “naming ceremony” for the boat, including champagne. Of course, we went.
There is much to prepare, for such a voyage. For the last 2-1/2 months Ian and his crew of two (Mike and Steve) have been adding all sorts of electronics to the boat, upgrading all the systems, the sheets (ropes) and sails, getting all the paperwork done, and packing it full of supplies. They’ll be living on canned goods for the duration, especially once they leave land at San Francisco. It’s a huge undertaking, and a lifelong dream of Ian.
The boat is called “Miss Moneypenny”.
We had a bit of a tour, and a catch-up with Ian. He said he’s quite exhausted by the preparations for this trip. It’s been full-on for about 2 1/2 months. He’s been frequenting the Value Village (Op-shop) for supplies and clothing, and one of his finds was this quilt. I’m happy to know he’s got a quilt aboard to keep him warm.
Naming a boat – in fact, everything involved with sailing – is fraught with superstition. It’s almost as bad as wedding quilts! There are lots of things sailors are superstitious about: albatross, women, etc. The naming ceremony is important. Finding a name for the boat to begin with, is a major task. Ever wondered why you see boat names like “Happy Camper 8”? That’s because there are 7 other “Happy Camper” boats in the water, owned by other people! Ian found that Miss Moneypenny hadn’t been used by anyone before. It suited the boat: sensible, helpful, protective, in love with James Bond — oh, well, maybe not that last one.
For a naming ceremony, there must be a) a green branch to be attached to the bow.
We toasted to the boat. We toasted to the Captain. We toasted to the crew. We toasted to Neptune. Then we toasted (just for good measure) to Neptune’s daughters. We toasted to the Sirens (and made Mike and Steve promise to lash Ian to the mast, should they see any). Heck, by the end of it, we were toasting to anything that occurred to us!
About this point, Ian asked me to sing a song. He has bought a new guitar for the voyage. I sang a rough version of Duncans Cove (I’d had quite a bit of champagne by this point!), which morphed into “Cedar Cove”, which is where the boat is berthed. Ian videoed this for posterity. I might have to pay big bucks at some point to prevent that video from being released….
By the end of the afternoon, we felt we’d thoroughly named the boat, and sent them off. I hope we hear of their travels as they go. Ian has a satellite phone, so perhaps we’ll get updates.
Fair winds and following seas, you guys! See you in Adelaide next year!