Saturday, 8 August 2015

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Well its official, our boat has a name.  I didn't imagine it would take a month to get done but there have been several considerations that added together have made it necessary to voyage under a nom de guerre.

Now - travelling under an assumed name wouldn't be that bad,  it could even be James Bond-ish, except for the fact that the name of this boat made me think of a Romanian gentlemen's club.

For the past 4 weeks we've been sailing and checking in as Gypsy Love.  Greece, Albania and Montenegro.  Officials in all 3 countries think we named the boat after some kind of late night made for TV movie.

Thankfully, with quick action from Transport Canada, assistance from our Broker in Florida and about an hour spent trying to find somewhere to print new documents we checked into Croatia as ourselves.

I'd like to introduce Maple, our Leopard 384 catamaran.  A true Canadian lady, with an unmistakably Canadian name.  Words cannot express how much this simple little thing pleases us all.

Of course, renaming a boat is not without its peril.  There are ancient gods of the seas and winds that must be appeased and sailorly superstitions that go back thousands of years that must be adhered to.  Normally, we're not particularly superstitious but in this case we'll make an exception.  The last thing we need is some unhappy ancient god chasing us down.

Thanks to Google and the legendary (among sailors at least) John Vigor we carried out what we believe will be an effective denaming ceremony.  What follows is the text that was read out in an authoritative voice to the assemblage of crew before I poured a full beer across the bows of the boat and into the ocean.  Mr. Vigor's article on denaming and naming can be found here:

“In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.

“Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves;

“And mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds and all that blows before them:

“We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past.  We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.

“Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known, Gypsy Love, be struck and removed from your records.

“Further, we ask that when this vessel is again presented for blessing with another name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame privileges she previously enjoyed.

“In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to thy domain in full knowledge that she shall be subject to the immutable laws of the gods of the wind and the sea.

“In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”
The oh so formal denaming ceremony.

Following the denaming I took a few minutes to apply the new name to the stern of the vessel, an important step in the naming of a boat.

After that was done, we got the champagne ready (beer to bid farewell and champagne to say hello) and read the following text (in the same officious manner as before).

"I name this ship Maple. May she bring fair winds, safe passages, and good fortune to all who sail on her.”

And so it was.


  1. Loving your blog writing styley Janet you're a natural.

  2. And there was me thinking that you guys were the least superstitious people I probably know (after Paul). And even more surprising was that Daryll agreed to tip a whole bottle of beer over the deck ?! Especially given that's his days rations.... Congrats guys. May you all be safe and now still all Canadian again �� Nicky

  3. And here I always thought it was the SV Maple. I love the ceremony. Gypsy served you well this first month and now Maple declares to all you meet that you are indeed Canadian. Love it, love you, love your blog. Thanks! -Rhea

    1. Thanks Rhea. The SV is more honorific...stands for Sailing Vessel and is dropped in most references... Thanks for following - hope your recent visit to our neighbourhood was fantastic.

  4. Congrats to you all. Loving the blog!

    1. Thanks Matthew - so far it has been the right decision - though keeping up to date on the blog stuff is proving challenging...

  5. I was so looking forward to seeing "Plan B" emblazoned across the hull! Congrats Lapaires, looks like Plan A is alive and well!

    1. Plan B does have a nice ring to it, but the kids wanted something Canadiana, and I kind of like we've got that cool logo that you see way up there in the top right...

  6. Enjoying your accounts keep it up.