the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Monday, July 1, 2013

the food of the gods

Early in the day yesterday some thunderstorms came through, soaking me as I cleaned up the decks with thunder clapping and lightning flashing. The boat rocked in the wind and I told Poseidon and Aeolus that I get it, they are flexing their muscles, showing my boat who's in charge, but I asked that they cut me a little slack and not rain out my re-naming ceremony.

Just in time for another 28th birthday, (funny how those keep happening), some friends gathered and we re-named my boat. Yesterday evening, in a light rain that appeared just in time for the ceremony and then slipped away, I asked for the blessings and protection of Poseidon and the gods of the four winds and re-named my home sailing vessel Ambrosia. Some friends even brought fireworks to my re-naming / birthday party, so it was a nice fĂȘte for me and my boat.

I draped a tarp across the transom to hide the name until the ceremony was complete. At the bow, I asked Poseidon to add Ambrosia to his ledger of ships and grant her protection and safe passage. Half a bottle of Veuve-Clicquot champagne was poured across the bow and into the water from West to East. I then similarly honored each of the four winds, asking that we be spared their wrath and tossing champagne to each. I figured flashing ample cleavage couldn't really hurt my cause with the gods, either.

At the bow preparing to begin the ceremony.
Offering champagne to the South wind.
Welcoming friends to s/v Ambrosia.
Once the ceremony was complete I directed everyone to head ashore so I could unveil the new name. Brendon, owner of Designs and Signs, designed and installed the vinyl lettering. I am very happy with their work and highly recommend them. They also do hand-painted boat names, hand-carved and hand-painted quarterboards, and all kinds of other signs. I can't thank Brendon enough for his help and patience with me during the process. For the Facebookers out there, you may find Designs and Signs on Facebook here.

I'm sure some are wondering the significance of the name. I had been struggling with what to name the boat. Neither orbis non sufficit nor maneki neko (I have several of the Japanese lucky cats) are very radio-friendly if one needs to make a mayday call. Names that are easily pronounced and spelled are preferred for ease of hailing in an emergency situation.

It is also bad luck to name a boat something that challenges the power of the winds or sea. Ambrosia is the food of the gods. (I certainly did not name my beloved vessel after a weird Jello and marshmallow salad.) If the gods take Ambrosia, that is their right. But if mortals take the food of the gods, they face the wrath of the gods.

Somewhere I must have read that boats really want to name themselves, that the boat knows its name. On her maiden voyage from Kent Island to Annapolis the song Sweet Ambrosia by John Brown's Body came on and I immediately knew that the boat knew its name. She told me her name is Ambrosia.

The chorus of Sweet Ambrosia, by JBB:

sweet ambrosia / feed a heart of sorrow / good grace will live in me
sweet ambrosia / here right to the morrow / you know I'll take care
sweet ambrosia / feed a heart of sorrow / good grace will live in me
sweet ambrosia / here right to the morrow / the load I will carry

p.s. Check out the new blog address up there...

1 comment:

  1. It looks good! The font suits the name nicely. Congrats and smooth sailing on s/v Ambrosia.


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