and once on the way home for a little luck on
the highway. So maybe I’m not one to take
risks with that stuff. Wikipedia had some
good advice about ridding your boat of its old
name and giving it a new one. Appeasement
of the Greek, Mayan, or Viking gods of water
and wind seemed to be recommended. Aegir
and his wife Ran, Poseidon, Neptune, and
Boreas – which gods should I appease? And
how? All of them, I supposed. I noticed a pattern. There are gods of the seas and gods of
the wind in all lore. They just have different
names in different places and times in literature. There are gods of the deep. There are
gods of thunder. There are many ways to go.
So I hand-sanded off the old name, 600-
grit with my fingers, so I didn’t upset the
gelcoat (or the god of something). The lore
says that no remnants of the old name can
remain, so I sanded until every shadow was
gone. I compounded and rubbed by hand
until you could see nothing from any angle.
There was nothing left of Days Off but a
I have many talents, but hand-lettering a
boat name is not one of them. I went to the
BoatU.S. website and started experimenting.
Mrs. Gump came up with a nice font that
looked a lot like the lettering on Forrest’s
shrimp boat. Perfect. But then panic set in.
The boat was going out the next morning.
She can’t go out without a name. I didn’t
even want to Google that scenario. So over
to the craft store we went, where they had
nothing but cheap vinyl. It would have to do
until we got our real graphics later.
My son Jack had volunteered to take this
year’s shakedown cruise and aid in the name-
changing ritual. A lot of work had been done
to the boat in the last few weeks and some
adjustments were inevitable. Extra tools and
parts were put in the box. Pre-departure
checklist, float plan, document and safety
check done, we hit the road. I honked the
horn as we passed underneath the railroad
trestle. It seemed to have extra meaning
that day. Jenny was tied to the dock with
her blower on. I lowered the outdrive and
handed Jack an airport bottle of my favorite
blackberry brandy and began my recitation as
he emptied the offering on the bow.
“I appeal to you, gods of the waters and
While the au-
thor has many
admits hand-lettering is not
one of them.
FRANCE I ITALY I GERMANY I ENGLAND I IRELAND I SCOTLAND I BELGIUM I HOLLAND I POLAND
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You live to discover the secret little French restaurant you will remember forever; the perfect Italian
Prosecco in Venice and the lively Irish pub filled with song and dance.
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is part of the discovery as you travel the waterways of Europe on your personal self-drive houseboat, a floating
villa that allows you to discover your next special memory stopping where you want and when you want.
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