Saturday, May 12, 2012


When working for the State meant moving from Waimea on the Big Island back to Oʻahu, we ended up on the windward side (where I grew up as a kid.)

We re-joined Kāneʻohe Yacht Club (when I was a kid, the Club was our backyard and 'go to' place.)

Wanting to get a boat, we put our name on the waiting lists for 'wet' or 'dry' slips.  After a few years, the call came - our name came up for a slip.

They asked me what kind of boat I had; I asked, ‘What kind can I have?’

It turns out, the slip I was assigned could accommodate a boat up to 28-feet (from tip-to-tip.)  I went shopping and found a 27-foot Ericson; more of a cruiser, rather than a racer.

I call it a bathtub in the water; it is definitely not a speed-racer.

Anyway, the boat was called "Ballou Hawaii;" I had to change the name.

However, since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky boats and the unluckiest boats of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names.

Fortunately, there are ceremonies that one can use to appease all.

According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea.

Some people might not know that there is a formal ritual in name-changing a boat; actually, there are several rituals.

If you wish to change the name of your boat, the first thing you must do is to purge its old name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.

It is usual for the renaming ceremony to be conducted immediately following the purging ceremony, although it may be done at any time after the purging ceremony.

I don't find it coincidental that all naming, purging and renaming ceremonies include ample use of alcohol (fortunately fermented grape juice is an acceptable beverage for these tasks.)

Anyway, rather than smash a perfectly good bottle of wine on the bow, I did incorporate most of rituals' key parts and splashed a bit of the chardonnay from my glass on the boat and renamed her "Mokuone."

Mokuone was the name of the family's first boat when I was a kid.  Its literal translation is "Sand Island" and refers to what people now call the Sand Bar.  (As a kid, we called it Sand Island; the traditional name is Ahu O Laka.)

I even had a special flag made for the boat - kind of cartoonish, but it works for me (an image of it is attached; it’s the top flag.)

I try to get to the boat every weekend.  Sometimes, I would just go down and "fix" stuff; most often, though, I try to go out for a sail.

It's rigged for easy single-handed sailing (Nelia goes out only occasionally,) so I can raise/lower and control most of the lines and stuff from the cockpit.

I hope the weather and wind are favorable this weekend; I'd like to go for another sail on the Bay.

The image shows Mokuone at her mooring.  I raised the boat’s flag, as well as my own nautical flags.  Today is the 4th anniversary of getting the boat.

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