We bought our boat from a couple that bought it new and named it Vamos a ver, which means “let’s go see” or “let’s go to sea”. The name is not a bad one and we didn’t dislike it. However, whenever we said its name over the radio or in conversation, we would be asked to repeat it or spell it or say what it means, or any combination of those requests. So it was a cumbersome name that we decided to change and we chose Fiddler as its new name.
Renaming a boat can bring bad luck. According to legend, every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and known personally to Neptune, the god of the sea. Changing the name without first appeasing Neptune and Aeolus, guardian of the winds, invites despair and misery to fall upon the owners and crew. In order to prevent that, we sought to appease the gods.
The ceremony consisted of two parts, denaming and then renaming. We first removed all evidence of the prior name, including from the transom and from all records. Then we invited a group of family and friends to the boat to witness the invocation of the ancient gods to favor us with their blessings and to voice our gratitude for the protection afforded Vamos a ver heretofore. We asked that the former name be struck from the Ledger of the Deep and forever be purged from the sea. As a symbol of the purging, I tossed an ingot bearing its name into the sea to be corrupted by its powers. All present sealed the pact with a libation offered according to the ritual of the sea as I poured Champagne into the sea from East to West.
We seamlessly moved on to the renaming portion by pouring more Champagne into the sea, this time from West to East, and toasting the sailors of old and the vessels that nurtured and cared for them through perilous seas. We asked that our vessel be given the strength to carry on with its strong keel to keep out the pressures of the sea. We toasted the sailors of old and the sea. While pouring Champagne at the bow, we named the boat Fiddler and asked the gods of the wind and the sea and the sailors of old to accept its name, to help it through its passages, and to allow it to return with its crew safely. The final toast was to the sailors of old, the sea, and to Fiddler!
And with that, the new name was official!
The name Fiddler was the childhood nickname of Dale’s mother. And since Dale is always messing around on the boat, the name seemed appropriate. I doubt we will have to repeat it or spell it nearly as often as the prior name, which I don’t even remember.
A beautiful ceremony performed thoughtfully and delicately. Well done!