That’s right. Blood. These boat christenings are serious business. It’s like Fight Club.
Rule No. 1: There must be blood. Alright, that’s not rule number one (it’s number 12!). Rule number one is The bottle must break. And, that is true. It has to be. I read it on the internet (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2506&dat=19650701&id=3lVJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=EwoNAAAAIBAJ&pg=4384,289846). And, you gotta love that captain for being quick on his feet. The boat slips out into the water on its own before the ceremony, and he shrugs and says “Everyone knows the christening comes after birth.” Perfect. “Now, strike up the band! I want to hear God Save the Queen.”
We didn’t have quite that degree of pomp and circumstance. (I don’t think it made the paper.) But, in the early morning hours of June 7, 2013, we certainly did christen her. The Travelift was scheduled to come at 7:00 a.m. to pick her up for the haul-in, I guess you would call it. So, we got there a little early to close and check all the seacocks and through-holes and ready her for the water. We checked all the fluids. Yes, the transmission fluid, too. I checked that first actually, while the boys were commiserating in the cockpit.
This is the Grand Trio: that’s Kevin the Broker on the left (the buddy who helped us find our gem, the most amazing sailboat ever), Bottom Job Brandon in the middle (the buddy who helped us polish her up and ready her for any voyage) and, on the right, our faithful Captain and Leader, the reason for all of this, the infamous Phillip.
The Travelift came right on time, and the guys and gals at the shipyard started strapping her up.
And we have lift off!
Thankfully, Houston, there were no problems.
Phillip looked about as proud as I’ve ever seen him, watching his boat, his dream, his vision, hovering right in front of him. Finally, a reality. We both walked alongside her, broad smiles and big chests, pointing, nudging and whispering to each other: That’s our boat!
It was a big day for us.
Kevin and Brandon, both avid sailors themselves, and having owned and lived on and around sailboats all their lives, knew what it felt like to put your boat in the water for the first time. They brought us champagne to break (and drink!), slapped us on the back and shared our excitement.
Kevin: “You’re going to spend your best days on her.”
Phillip: “I hope to spend every day on her.”
They brought her over the water and dipped her down just low enough for me to smash the bottle on the bow.
This was the big moment. You know, plagued for all eternity and what not. But, I was ready. I’d been practicing. I wasn’t going to let that bottle bounce back unscathed. Uh-huh, not on this boat. I reared back and smacked her good.
Ahhh! What a glorious moment. The bottle smashed into 932 pieces and champagne went everywhere! I made a big scene and acted like a superhero (I tend to do that in moments like this).
And, then … there was BLOOD.
I didn’t notice it at first, in all my flailing and flaunting, but Brandon did. I’m surprised I didn’t get it on my white shirt (I can’t keep a white shirt clean to save my life). But, she was gushing. That bottle obviously found a way to get back at me. A nice shard of it jammed right into my knuckle upon impact. We didn’t have a band there playing God Save the Queen, but I have a feeling the queen herself would have been proud of my bloody good smash! Perhaps I swung a little harder than necessary. I tend to do that at times, too. But, it was totally worth it. The bottle shattered, and Plaintiff’s Rest was assured a long, lucky life at sea. We wrapped my bloody appendage and hopped on board while the boys eased her out of the dock.
Plaintiff’s Rest was back in the water! To ensure a future of fair winds and following seas, we performed the obligatory splash ceremony ritual (http://www.boatnames.com.au/boat-naming-renaming-ceremony.htm) in which we called on Poseidon and the four Wind Gods (north, east, south and west), reading the script out loud, pouring generous amounts of champagne in each direction, and drinking a generous portion ourselves. Plenty of champagne was consumed during the ceremony, I can assure you. We had a lot to celebrate!
Phillip was beaming.
The wind was blowing, and we were sailing!
And, you know what happens when we go sailing …
Clothes come off! I’m kidding. They do, but only the outer layers. We love the sun. Phillip went top-side to enjoy the view from the bow, and I (of course) followed.
“You looking for a mate?”
It was a big day for us and a beautiful day on the water. We knew, then and there, we would spend our best days on her.