Sunday, July 23, 2017

Rituals, Ceremonies, Superstitions






 Finally, after a month of boat ownership and one failed attempt at organizing a naming ceremony, yesterday the Captain and First Mate successfully hosted our first "De-Naming / Re-Naming Ceremony".

Captain's Note: Sailors are a superstitious lot and it is considered bad luck to change the name of a ship without first performing the proper rituals.

Bringing bananas on board is also considered bad luck... Who knew?
 
She had a name when I acquired her - a mash-up of the names of the children of the previous owner. 

How quaint!

But now, after completing the de-naming ritual, that name has been stricken from the records of Poseidon and will be remembered no more.


Yesterday was a hot day on the waters - "feels like 110!" - but upon comparing our calendars, we realized that it was now or never.

Well, at least now or not until the end of August.

I had removed the original lettering a couple weeks ago in anticipation of a ceremony that did not happen, and neither the Captain nor the boat has felt quite right since then. 

In fact, the Captain had begun referring to her as "that damn boat"!
 
So we needed to do this ASAP.

We gathered four of our closest boating friends, food enough to feed a small Navy, and a cooler full of booze - enough to satiate the gods AND a small Navy - and headed out to a relatively secluded cove to complete the necessary rituals. 

Here is a copy of the ritual, for your edification. (It was adapted from a website called bluewatersailing.com

Come on... Say it with me... Reading Is Sexy!
 De-Naming / Re-Naming Ceremony
July 22, 2017

(Everyone should have a glass or drink of choice for toasting.)

Opening Invocation and Blessing
          “In the name of all who have sailed aboard this vessel in the past
and in the name of all will who sail aboard her in the future,
we invoke the ancient gods of the wind, Aeolus,
and of the sea, Poseidon,
to favor us with their blessing today.”

Expression of Gratitude
          (Prayer) “Mighty Poseidon,
King of all that moves in or on the waves,
and mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds
and all that blows before them,
we offer thanks for the protection you have afford this vessel
in the past.
We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter
from tempest and storm
and enjoyed safe passage to port.”

          “A toast to ‘[boat's previous name]’ and her previous owner, [name].”

(Everyone toasts the boat.)

Supplication and De-Naming
          (Prayer) “O mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans,
to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain
are required to pay homage,
we implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time
from your records and recollection
the name ‘[boat's previous name]’
and any other name she might have sailed under –
which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom.
As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name
to be corrupted through your powers
and forever be purged from the sea.
Now therefore, we submit this supplication,
that the name of this vessel hitherto known as ‘[boat's previous name]’
be struck and removed from your records and archives.”

(Drop the prepared metal tag from the bow of the boat into the water.)

          “Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing
with her new name,
she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again
the same privileges she previously enjoyed.”
In grateful acknowledgement of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.”
         
(Pour the bottle of rum into the water from East to West.)

Rededication and Re-Naming
          “In return for this, we rededicate this vessel to thy domain
 in full knowledge that she shall be subject as always
to the immutable laws of the Gods of wind and sea.”

          (Prayer) “O mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans,
to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain
are required to pay homage,
we implore you in your graciousness
to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel
hereafter and for all time to be known as ‘The Tiki Hut’,
guarding her with your mighty arm and trident
and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys
within your realm.”

Libation and Ceremonial Rituals
          “In consequence whereof, and in good faith,
we seal this pact with a libation
offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”
         
(Pour red wine on the bow of the boat, offer some to Neptune, then share with guests.)

          “In appreciation of your munificence and dispensation,
and in honor of your greatness,
we offer these libations to your majesty and court.”
         
(Pour champagne #2 into the water – less one glass for the Captain and one for the First Mate – from East to West.)

          (Prayer) “O mighty rulers of the winds,
through whose power our frail vessels traverse
the wild and faceless deep,
we implore you to grant this worthy vessel, ‘The Tiki Hut’,
the benefits and pleasures of your bounty,
ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.”

(Facing North, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the North.)

          (Prayer) “Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors,
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.”

(Facing West, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the West.)

          (Prayer) “Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.”

(Facing East, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the East.)

(Prayer) “Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.”

(Facing south, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the South.)

(Prayer) “Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.”

          “Hail, Aeolus and Poseidon!
We seek your benevolence upon this vessel,
now to be known as ‘The Tiki Hut’!”
         
(Prayer) “Aeolus, whose mighty hand doth charge the winds,
to this vessel gentle zephyrs send,
and we who sail within will bend our heads in awe and tribute,
without end.
With breath from on high that maketh heaven’s breeze,
to cause we sailors joy or fear upon the seas,
we call upon you to grant this ship and all its mortals ease.”
         
“To Aeolus!”
(Everyone drinks a toast to Aeolus. Pour champagne #3 into the air.)

          (Prayer) “O Poseidon, you spirit god of waters great and small,
on this vessel, by your grace, allow these sons and daughters all,
to pass from port of hailing to their port of call,
and on these sailing subjects make your gentle blessings fall.
You who cause the seas to rage or lie in sweet repose,
please list to we mariners here, your servants of the flows.
This ship, the Captain, crew, and all of those
who love the wind and seas, will follow where thee goes.”
         
“To Poseidon!”
(Everyone drinks a toast to Poseidon. Pour champagne #3 into the water.)

The Naming
          “Let it be recorded that on this day, July 22, 2017,
and forevermore,
this fine vessel is named ‘The Tiki Hut’.
And may God – who ruleth over both wind and sea –
bless her and all who sail on her!”

(Pour some champagne #4 on the bow of the boat.)

Toasting
          (First Mate): “First, a toast to the Captain!”
          (Captain): “Next, a toast to my lovely First Mate!”
          (First Mate): “Next, a toast to ‘The Tiki Hut’!”

          “We will place this silver dollar in the boat as a good luck charm
and as a symbol of generosity toward this vessel
and to all who come aboard.”

          (Captain): “Finally, a toast to good friends
with whom we gladly share this moment and this boat!”

*In all, we poured into the lake and/or consumed four bottles of champagne, a bottle of red wine, and a bottle of Rum. 

Tears were shed.

The silver dollar, stowed in a safe location on the boat, is a 1922 Silver "Peace" Dollar.

And tomorrow morning, with fair weather at my back, I will return to her to wash away all the booze poured onto her bow and to finish the new lettering on the transom, making official her new name and position of honor in the marina.


More pictures will follow at a later date. 

The Captain promises to take you on a virtual tour soon.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!



Most asinine quote of the week:
“I don’t care what y’all think about the President. But you people need to leave President Trump’s children alone. They weren’t elected. He was. And he’s doing a good job.”

...all officially declared "advisors" to the President.
Okay, so…

After months of lying – by virtually everyone in the Trump camp – Donald Trump Jr. now admits that he did have a meeting with a Russian operative during the presidential campaign of 2016.

Tipped off that he was about to outed by a reporter, Junior rushed to share a string of emails – emails again!!! – which verified that the president’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, and former campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer who promised to have “dirt on Hillary”.

Captain’s Note: Manafort is described as a “former” campaign manager because he left the campaign mid-stream due to his well-known ties to Russia.

So apparently, based on the promise of “dirt on Hillary”, the three met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.

Supposedly without the candidate’s knowledge.

Although around that same time, Candidate Trump announced that he would soon be revealing a bombshell about Hillary.

But in his own defense, Junior insists that he got nothing. They ended up talking about Russian adoptions, he claims. 

He stayed just to be polite.

So it’s okay, he insists. No harm, no foul.

And yet…

The intent was there. Had the meeting actually provided information the Trump campaign could have used against Hillary, you can be sure it would have been shared.

And President Trump would be beholden to the Russians.

Even more so than he already is.


To say that this is “no big deal” is absolutely mind-boggling.


Even to claim that the Democrats set up Junior – sure, that’s possible – does not excuse what he did.

The Captain asks you to consider this:

A married man stops by a bar for a drink after work. A beautiful woman wearing a tight, short skirt approaches him. To be polite, he buys her a drink. After more drinks and some delightful conversation, the woman looks the married man in the eyes and says, “Let’s go to my place and have some fun!” Intrigued, the married man agrees and off they go.


When they get to her place, she announces, “I’m going to go change into something more comfortable.” And then she stops at her bedroom door, looks back and adds, “And you might want to take off that suit; this could get messy.” Now excited, the man begins to strip out of his suit.

Moments later, the woman reappears wearing coveralls and carrying a bucket of paint and brushes.


She has invited him up to help paint her apartment.

So, the Captain asks you: was the man unfaithful to his wife? Technically, all he “did” was help a “friend” paint her apartment.

But what was his intent in going to that apartment in the first place?

“Next, on ‘Divorce Court’…”


While Junior may have come away from that meeting empty-handed, his intent was neither honorable nor ethical.

And turning to a Russian operative as he did borders on treason – which once upon a time America took seriously.


Sadly, if anyone with the authority to do so should decide to bring Junior to justice (and by that I mean throw him in prison), his father has the power to pardon him. In that sense, pursuing this is just a waste of time.

But although, on the one hand, the Captain believes Junior really is stupid, I can’t believe he is really that stupid to so quickly turn over such damning emails.

Unless…

Yes, the Captain suspects that this is yet another smoke screen by the White House to distract the general public from something far more sinister that is going on behind the scenes.

In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate’s "wealthcare" bill will be voted on next week…

Don’t blink.