The ocean is an inhospitable place for those with neither gills nor fins; thus sailors are by nature a suspicious and cautious lot. Traditions abound to cover the bases and appease the wind and sea gods from all undue wrath. Legend has it that Neptune (or Poseidon) keeps a list of names of all vessels that sail the seas and if you wish to change the name of your boat, Neptune must be notified and agree with that change.
It takes a bit of thought, preparation, hard work, libation, and ceremony to accomplish the name change in the proper manner.
In late September we powered to a fairy-tale anchorage in Joe Wheeler State Park with Ann and Carl and proceeded with the task at hand.
Ann and I were in charge of applying the new lettering while Carl and Bob cleaned all traces of the old name from the hull. Once the new letters adhered, Ann and I were free to fish.
The ceremony itself took place in the evening after plenty of food and laughter. “Arkansas Traveler” is a 2002 vintage, and we thought it appropriate to load the wine cellar with an array of 2002 French wines to keep Neptune and crew happy. After toasting Neptune and the four winds, the official proclamations were made, wine was shared, and the her name was changed.
Soon the news of the ceremony will make its way downstream to the deep seas and Neptune’s ledger will be accurate and in balance again – assuring smooth seas and fair winds to the “Arkansas Traveler” and her grateful crew.