Sunday, November 19, 2017

Say hello to LEILANI

Say hello to Leilani!

Brunswick Landing Marina, Brunswick, Georgia (November 14, 2017)

The boating community is legendary for its collection of characters, particularly, some of the most friendly and welcoming people you will meet anywhere on the planet. We present here a summary of the fun we shared with the Brunswick Landing Marina community in the traditional ceremony of re-naming a vessel.

We are known to have scoffed about superstitions and related rituals employed to ward off evil spirits and/or to invite the good will of good spirits. We contemplated ignoring the superstition after deciding to re-name the boat but we thought better of it. We reasoned that beginning with the first intrepid sailor who launched frail craft on uncharted waters there was at least one fearful loved one waiting onshore who attempted to bargain with the higher (and lower) powers to bring the sailor safely home.  As sailing is perhaps older than 5,000 years, we figured there has been lot of bargaining going on. There has been a lot of “juju” and a lot of tradition.

Sailors remain among the most superstitious of people and among the more important superstitions are those related to re-naming a boat. We decided we should not take boat renaming lightly, and that at the very least, a proper ceremony was necessary. We were not going to temp the fates by ignoring tradition and appealing to reason and rationale thinking. Besides, we knew this was going to be fun.   

As is often the case for anybody in need, the boating community came to our aid to guide us through the process. We learned another sailor, Peter, was schooled in, and most importantly, willing to perform the renaming ceremony. He informed us that we simply had to do a few chores first, then decide when to have the ceremony, and assemble any witnesses/participants.

We removed remnants of the previous name from the two hulls and the stern, and from various onboard items such as portable gas and water cans, etc. As we had just applied the new lettering, we were directed to tape paper over the new name and hailing port. The new name would be revealed post-ceremony. We also needed an “ingot of corrosive metal with the previous vessel name inscribed”, three bottles of champagne for offering to Neptune and the sea, and “sufficient” rum for the witnesses/participants. We finalized our shopping with a bouquet of flowers.

By 2:00 a small group of witnesses had boarded the boat, and a larger group began to fill the floating docks.  King Neptune arrived looking officious with his long hair and cape (although he had a remarkable similarity to our friend Peter who was oddly not present).  We joined Neptune first on the stern to open the bottles of champagne and then moved to the bow for the ceremony. A quick count of participants and witnesses totaled over 40! Fortunately, the majority of the crowd opted to stay on the dock rather than overload the boat and risk capsize.

Popping the champagne for offering to Neptune.

The ceremony began with Neptune appealing to the forces of nature and then champagne was offered and poured into the water to the north, south, east and west. It was a lovely ceremony! 

Drinking a sip of the champagne after appeasing the four winds.

Amused and delighted by the generosity of our boat friends.

Sailing Vessel Leilani is welcomed into the community.

Everyone in the marina had so much fun that new requests for more ceremonies have been made to Neptune. A new ceremony is in the works to assist those vessels that had been remiss in having a proper re-naming ceremony. Apparently, that works too. Neptune will be busy over the next several weeks.

WHAT’S NEXT: We will be spending the week post-Thanksgiving with Bud’s folks onboard LEILANI! We are looking forward to hosting our first guests.

We have plans for a new blog site to continue our adventures on Leilani.  We will have more information and links in our next post.  More to come!

Best wishes and thanks to all for staying in touch. It is great to hear from you. Let us know what you think.

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