Well, we finally named our boat, designed the decal, and had our re-naming ceremony – only took us a year! We spent our first year thinking of names and keeping a running list of favorites, and we kept coming back to the same one that felt right.
So, without further adieu, we’d like to introduce you to High Life!
We landed on this name for a few reasons – as anyone with a boat will tell you, you certainly feel like you’re living the high life when you’re on the water – whether you’re out adventuring or just docked and hanging out. We also do love us some Miller High Life – and as the champagne of beers (haha), it really embraces the combination of two of our favorite things. It’s approachable and unpretentious and doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s also a pretty fun Steve Winwood song called Back in the High Life Again that’s now our unofficial boat jam. Fourth reason: we needed a symmetrical name to fit in the space on the back of the boat. So there ya go – every little reason! :)
I wasn’t sure if having a naming ceremony was really necessary, but a quick Google search confirmed enough superstitions that I didn’t want to take any chances! Our boat was named Layla before, which we knew we wanted to change. Everyone seems to have a story about a friend who didn’t perform the ceremony and suffered bad luck and the wrath of the sea gods (yikes)! As the lore goes, the purpose is to ask Poseidon (the god of the sea) to strike the old boat name from his seafaring ledger, and to add the new name in its place. You must also provide an offering to him and the gods of the wind in the form of copious amounts of champagne (smart gods)!
Before you have the ceremony, you must remove everything from the boat that bears the previous name – including life jackets, log books, keychains, etc – and of course have it removed from the body of the boat. The rules state that you should complete the ceremony before unveiling/using the boat with its new name, so we sort of bent the rules there – we’d been driving it for a couple months…but so far we’ve been okay ;)
Other traditional elements for the ceremony include a branch of greenery for safe returns from your voyages) and a silver dollar or special token to place under the mast or helm. We used a small beach rock that a friend gave me and placed it in our glove compartment for good luck. As with most traditions, you can adjust certain elements and do what feels right for you! The most important part is the message to the gods and making sure you feed them (decent!) champagne. We had a sacrificial bottle, as well as an oversized bottle of High Life which was perfect for the ceremony to tie in with the name.
We found a few different scripts to perform the ceremony online, but liked this one the best! I think overall, the script only took us about 10 minutes to complete.
First: pop the champs! Save a glass for the captain and the first mate, as you’ll use pretty much the rest of the bottle for the “offerings.” The fish in Lake Erie got reeeeeal drunk that night, haha.
You’ll begin the ceremony at the bow of the boat – this is where you’ll place your greenery. I clipped ours from the magnolia tree in our front yard and tied it with a bit of silk ribbon left over from our wedding – only because it felt special, but doesn’t have to be anything fancy! To start, recite the passage in the script, then you’ll pour champagne into the water, across the bow, from west to east.
Next, you’ll begin your offerings to the gods of the winds – there is a different one for North, South, East, and West (Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus). You’ll stand in each direction and address them individually, then fling a bit of champage into the air, catching the wind. This was a bit of a challenge in some directions because obviously we had a little bit of wind going – so streer clear in case it comes flying back at you!
Once you’ve completed the ceremony, you’re free to party and drink your champagne (just make sure you didn’t pour it all out)!
Whether you believe in this stuff or not, having a naming ceremony is a great excuse to spend a fun night on your boat or with friends. We kept it just to the two of us and our lovely photographer friend Tiffany – and we had so much fun! It was a gorgeous summer night and we were treated with a beautiful purple sunset after we finished. We’ll never forget it! And now we feel like we can hit the seas and the gods have our back. Huge thank you to Tiffany Joy Photography for hanging out with us and capturing this night – while balancing on the dock, dodging airborne champagne, and making sure our hair looked good!
So what do you think – do you put weight in this tradition, or would you rather roll the dice?