Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's in a name?

In Trinidad we are an anomaly having sailed from the south. It is difficult sailing from here along the Brazilian coast going south, therefore Trinidad usually ends up being the last stop for people coming from the north. Although we can see Venezuela from our deck, we are a little nervous about sailing there given the stories of instability. Fellow cruisers are curious about our boat and why it was built in Argentina, as well as our experiences sailing from there. We field questions about safety in Brazil (not at all a problem for us), weather and currents (as always something to keep on top of), and general cruising conditions (phenomenal). 
The daily parade of sailboats from other Caribbean islands to the storage yards here continues. Some cruisers pull into the docks for a day or two and are gone immediately after their boats are on the hard, frantically catching flights back to North America. Alberta Crewed rocks gently at the dock amidst this frenzy. We have at least been able to help fellow cruisers with repairs and equipment preparations, as well as driving them around in Hero Car for last minute parts and papers. We are getting to know different boats, their inner workings, and the do’s and don’ts of leaving one’s boat in a yard. More importantly, we laugh with, learn from, and enjoy exploring the island with our new neighbours. Craig is reveling in his newly acquired Mr. Social status, quite an amusing title I imagine for those of you who are used to the more reserved Craig. We count on at least two hours at the pool because Chatty Cathy will inevitably meet someone new and talk for hours. 
It is interesting to see the names of boats and what they may tell about their owners or journeys. Animals, constellations, and plays-on-words are common; sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I’ve just come across our early lists of potential boat names (Sea Miner for Craig the miner or play on C Minor for me the musician; Snow Leopard because we are snow birds living on a cat and we like the animal; Uncia which is latin for Snow Leopard because it was taken). It took us several months to find a name because we have registered Alberta Crewed in Canada, specifically the port of Edmonton, Alberta. In Canada, there cannot be more than one boat with the same name in the entire country so finding an original name is a challenge. Canadians often comment on our port of choice with Edmonton as land locked as Phoenix, Arizona or Mendoza, Argentina. Edmonton’s port status may have come about with its geographical location as a gateway to the north. We were surprised a few weeks ago when another Edmonton-registered boat, afLOAT, tied up in front of us. Terry’s last name is Loat so his boat’s name is perfect. and his dinghy is The Loat Boat. Our New Brunswick acquaintances wanted to name their boat Fog Ducker for their maritime roots but were vetoed by family. We quite liked it. Other interesting boat names we’ve seen include this one which we can only assume means something significant in Portuguese but have yet to find anyone who knows:

Not sure what this one is about:

This monster cruise ship anchored so close to us in Brazil that we could hear the hourly activity announcements from the cruise deck:

She is part of the Costa Cruise Lines organization and her name seems appropriate:

Alberta Crewed’s double meaning is lost on our non-Canadian friends but has met our criteria well because it tells of where we are from, is easy to say on the radio, and does not seem to mean anything offensive in another language. Cruisers will often call one another by their boat names (went to the movies with Cinnamon Teal; had dinner with Cat Tails; Zeebeest is coming on the hike) so I guess Fog Ducker might be problematic after a few drinks at Happy Hour. We are really glad that we are Alberta Crewed.

Love this entry ... your stories are interesting as well as entertaining..I see a book ...always wanted to be an agent :) See you soon
Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 08:44 AM
Mary Margaret
Hi Laurie and Craig,

We have been having such rotten weather here in NL so your blog entries- exuding sunshine and warmth- are a nice escape for me, if I can't be there with you in person! I actually wore my winter coat this morning with Seamus and Katy outside. Yes, it is mid June. Sheesh. We are expecting some heavy rain today, but it's been foggy, damp, cool, and dreary for days and days and days.

Really miss you. Looking forward to more postings from Trinidad! Will you be able to watch the women's world cup? Will it garner much attention there? It starts on the 26th. We head to PEI in early July.

Let's skype soon. Seamus is really growing!

MS from St. J's

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