O what a day! September 6th, 2017. Two celebrations: my birthday and the “official” naming ceremony of Eight! After the Hiswa we decided to leave the boat at the Amsterdam Marina for a few days to do the celebrations at Loetje. Our friend Niels from Italy came over to see the boat which he also bought. He is the 2nd Dutch owner of a FP Saona and he has hull nr. 28. We went to the boat in the afternoon and the weather was really terrible. Wind was blowing all over the place, it was cold, not nice at all! We first had to organise the boat after the Hiswa show. And we had to sail the boat to another place so we were close to the bar! That was quit and adventure to manoeuvre in that small harbour ….. but again Robbert did perfect! After having some drinks we started to do the “official” ceremony. Friends and family were standing on the dock of course with a glass in their hands!.

There are numerous variations for a naming ceremony. The basic gist of the ceremony is to inform the sea gods. This should be done in front of witnesses, preferably with a few toasts drunk to by all, including a liberal drop for Neptune. The actual wording and the name of the sea gods have to be spoken loud and dramatically, just to be sure that the Gods heard you. And it should be done by a woman. All ready: here we go!

For thousands if years we have gone to the sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she”. To them we toast, and ask to celebrate Sailing Yacht Eight”.” Everybody raise your glass and shout: “TO THE SAILORS OF SAILING YACHT EIGHT” Again everybody:“TO THE SAILORS OF SAILING YACHT EIGHT”

and ….. take a sip!

The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.” Again raise your glass and shout: “TO THE SEA …. TO THE SAILORS OF SAILING YACHT EIGHT … TO THE SEA.”

and …. take another sip!

Today we come to name this lady EIGHT, and send her to the sea to be cared for, and to take care of our friends and family. We ask the sailors of EIGHT and the mood of God, that is the sea, to accept EIGHT  as her name, to help her trough her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. Again, with the raising of the glasses,“TO THE SEA …. TO THE SAILORS OF SAILING YACHT EIGHT … TO THE SEA.”

At last …. a looooong sip by all!

Now Annieck poured champagne over the bows to appease King Neptune. And everybody started drinking again! What a great night! So much fun we had! I am happy that we did this sort of official ceremony. Never under estimate the seas!