Our Ever-Changing Backyard

21 August 2022 | Monopoli, Italy
03 August 2022 | Croatia
20 July 2022 | Marina d'Arechi, Salerno, Italy
03 July 2022 | Marina d'Arechi, Salerno, Italy
11 June 2022 | New Zealand to Italy
19 May 2022 | Kensington, Whangarei, NZ
07 June 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
26 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
24 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
27 April 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
22 March 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
16 December 2019 | Opua, New Zealand
25 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
21 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand

What's in a Name?

20 July 2022 | Marina d'Arechi, Salerno, Italy
Vandy Shrader
From the time that we decided to buy a catamaran, we knew that we'd want to rename it. Partly this was due to charter boats suffering under awful names, such as "Blow and Go" and "Rum and Coke," two of the actual names of Leopard 48s that were for sale while we were looking. The other reason is that we wanted our boat to have a name that would reflect something about us, and would also give a nod to New Zealand, which felt like home to us. Though we'd done a lot of "what do you think about this for a name?" during the previous months, we hadn't come up with a name that we both liked. But we knew we would, eventually.

In August of 2021, a few days before the Delta variant of Covid-19 was discovered in New Zealand, and the country's lockdown began, a few months before we'd seen Musa in Italy, Eric and I were taking a little trip to explore the Coromandel Peninsula, south of Auckland. One of the places we visited was the little town of Thames, home to a rip-roaring 19th-century gold mining industry. After touring the historical School of Mines, we stopped into a small cafe to have some lunch. The cafe was part of a small mall, that had a few other shops in it. One of these was the Coromandel Distilling Company. In front of their door they had a small sandwich board, on which was written, "Gin tasting."

If you know the two of us, you can probably guess what we did after lunch.

Though we weren't there during the usual gin tasting hours, the door was open and we peeked in, to see if anyone was around. Two people were working in the distillery, and they cheerfully invited us in. While we tried some of their (excellent and interesting) gins, we chatted with Paul and Daniela, the two people who created and run the distillery. We told them how we two Yanks happened to be in New Zealand, and what our plans were. They told us that a decade or so ago, they'd sailed extensively on a big catamaran, and loved the sailing life. All four of us appreciate good gin. So you could say we had some things in common.

When we left, we bought a bottle of their gin to take home with us. it was the best gin we'd ever had. Still is.

Fast forward to the beginning of December 2021. We'd found Musa, and were packing up our room at Jeannie and Merv's, getting ready to leave New Zealand. While packing up, I found the card that had come with our bottle of gin. It explained the meaning behind the name "Awildian" that all of Paul and Daniela's gins carry, and their reasons for adopting it. I hadn't taken the time to read it before. Now I did, and the more I read, the more I was blown away.

Here are some quotes from the card:
..."Awildian is an archaic word (still used in Scotland) which means 'the refusal to be tamed'".
...Awildian is "a combination of imagination and reason, of science and magic. It is wondering, and the feeling of wonder, all at once."

Wow. These sentiments sounded a lot like Eric and me...how we try to live our lives, how we see the world.

After I'd read the card, I read it aloud to Eric. "Awildian," I said when I'd finished, "there's our boat name. What do you think?" He agreed, and so it was.


The Card

The name Awildian represents more about us, than just our quest to live an untamed life, and our embodiment of "imagination and reason, science and magic." It also incorporates our appreciation of good gin - in the case of Awildian, a world-class gin - and is our nod to New Zealand. Its Scottish etymology harkens back to Eric's own Scottish roots. For so many reasons, the name Awildian is a good fit for us.

While we were in Seattle at the beginning of this year, Eric and I spent some time (our daughter, Kelly, with whom we were staying at the time,will tell you it was "days," and she's probably right) looking through all the fonts and colors (and sizes and spacing and slanting and shading and outlining and caps vs. mixed letters) at the DIY Lettering website, to find just the right look for the vinyl letters we'd be putting on the boat. Okay, I'll admit that we may have obsessed, just a bit. But we wanted it to be right. To us, "right" meant: big enough to be read at a distance, with a basic-enough font that would allow the letters to be easily discerned. We'd seen too many boats with names that were too tiny to read, or with fonts that were so scrolly or funky that we couldn't tell what the letters were. We didn't want that.

We eventually decided on the details of the decals for the name and hailing port, and ordered them. They arrived before we left the States, and we brought them to Italy in our luggage.

One of the tools that Eric had purchased, to allow us to work on boat projects before all his tools arrived, was a heat gun. Already, it had proven its usefulness, when Eric needed to remove the frame around the cabin door to fit the washing machine through. Now, when we got word that Musa's registration had been deleted from the Italian registry, it was just the tool we needed, to remove the old name and registration numbers from the boat.

Putting the new names on both hulls and the hailing port along the back really showcased our perfectionist tendencies. We started with the name of the hailing port - San Francisco - which was about three feet long and six inches high. Our secret weapon was a dilute solution of dish soap, which we sprayed onto the area before applying the decal, allowing us to slide the decal around until it was precisely where we wanted it.



Eric got into our dinghy and motored around to the place on the starboard hull where we'd decided to put Awildian's name. While he stood in the dinghy, holding up the six-foot-long decal, with its foot-high letters, against the hull, I stood on the dock and told him "move it forward," "move it aft,""move it up a bit,""move it down a bit," until it was exactly where I thought it looked the best. Then he did the soap trick and applied the decal.



A little while later, we followed suit with the port side.

The ceremony accompanying the renaming of a boat can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, depending on one's energy level, imagination, or adherence to superstition. We opted for a simple ceremony: sharing a bottle of locally-produced prosecco with each other, with Awildian, and with Neptune. We promised Awildian that along with his new name, he was soon going to begin a new life, sailing far beyond his previous charter destinations, with equipment befitting a cruising yacht, and a crew who would love and look after him.


Look closely and you'll see how we included a nod to SCOOTS in the colors we chose.

If you want to learn more about Awildian gin and the Coromandel Distilling Company, or if you're lucky enough to live someplace where they'll ship it and you want to order some, check out their website: www.awildian.com. Drop in and try some of their outstanding gins, if you're in the area, and tell them that we say hello. Daniela and Paul know that we've named our boat Awildian, and why, and they think it's pretty cool.


Comments
Vessel Name: Awildian, previously on board SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Leopard 48
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed our Able Apogee 50, SCOOTS, from 2012-2021, and are now aboard Leopard 48, Awildian, since March 2022.
Social:
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