Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Naming the Baby

One of the great things about our new boat was that she was as yet unnamed, which meant we got to name her.  We’d looked at several other boats with stupid names and I wouldn’t tempt fate by re-naming a boat, terrible bad luck.  Our Hunter 23.5 has a wave on the side in purple and green (I know) and the word “Hunter” for the manufacturer.

Lucy wanted a name to go with Hunter, being a huge fan of a series of books authored by Erin Hunter.  She suggested Dolphin Hunter, Dolphin Dancer and we went on with that thinking of things like Wind Dancer or something like that.  From there I thought about Skybird and how I’d always thought it was a silly name (sorry Darrel) because she’s not a Sky Bird, but a Sea Bird.  So I suggested Seabird, but it didn’t quite seem right to name her something so close to Skybird.  Our new boat is very special in ways that don’t compare to Skybird.  Skybird was a blue water liveaboard 37-foot beauty with teak details outside and teak/walnut interior.  Our new baby is pure fiberglass, pure functionality and we love her just as much.  But she needed her own special name.

I thought about the different names we’d seen on boats at the marinas while we’d been boat-shopping.  I asked my mom, who said she’d suggested the name for my uncle’s boat, Willie’s Girl, after my grandfather (my aunt being Willie’s baby girl).  One boat we’d seen was named Annie Morgan, a classic-sounding boat name, but on the bow of that one was a memorial to a child of that name who had died in her twenties.  Can’t have that.

We toyed with the names of our girls, but combining three girls names seemed problematic and what about the two boys?  I thought about our mothers.  But there seemed no real good way to combine Betsy and Judy.  Bedy?  Jutsy?  Ugh.  Budy?  No!  Then Eric came home from work and said he’d thought of a name.  It was his beloved grandmother’s middle name:  Willadine.  It was perfect.  I love the name; willows love water and blow in the wind.  Eric adored his grandmother Monzell (yes, that really was her first name) but I would never have considered naming the boat Monzell (god rest her soul).  But Willadine just sings to me of the perfect boat name.  Eric says we have to paint it in fire engine red on the hull, the same color Monzell used to paint her toenails.  I think that will be great, but the purple and green wave will have to go.  No great loss.

I asked Eric if Monzell would have liked the boat and he surprised me by saying no.  He doesn’t think she would have liked the heeling under sail.  Eric doesn’t much like it either, although he’s starting to get used to it.  But I think Monzell would have been very pleased to be honored in this way, whether she would have enjoyed sailing or not.  At any rate, she loved her grandson and she would have loved to see him so happy.  And boy, are we happy.


  1. That is the perfect boat name! It sounds aerodynamic and oh, so graceful!

  2. I can think of no better way to honor Eric's grandmother's memory. Mazel Tov!

  3. Monzelle Willadine Chumas Navikas would have been honored. Make sure to Christen her with a whoopee cushion.