"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Any boat owner can tell you that their boat is more than just a vessel. It becomes a living entity, a part of the family, a gendered being possessing a heart and a soul. While Juliet is correct, a rose - by any other name - would still smell sweet, and a boat - no matter what the name - would still be a boat. Scott and I, however, have decided that there actually is quite a bit in a name and, as such, have decided to re-name our new boat regardless of what William Shakespeare has to say about the matter.
Our boat's previous name "Fair Winds" while nice is - for lack of a better word - unoriginal. When we bought Rasmus, we didn't change her name because a) we didn't really care and b) we didn't mind the one she had (it means "God of Wind"). "Fair Winds", however, doesn't give our beautiful new boat the je ne sais quoi that we are looking for. First of all, it is two words and we prefer a one word boat name. Second of all, it contains the word "wind" which is too obvious for our liking. We didn't even need to discuss it. She needed a name that did her more justice. A name that we would be proud of.
To be completely honest - there are some downright appalling names on boats these days. Just plain bad. Whether they be horrible puns (Bow Down), tongue in cheek (Nauti Buoy), or play-on words (Miss Adventure) - boat names have taken a turn for the worse. I don't want to offend, so I'll let the irreverent Pat Schulte do it. Check out his thoughts on the sorry state of boat names these days (and how not to name your boat). For more examples of questionable boat names, check out this hilarious post.
So...back to our new boat, and our new name. We wanted something special, something unique, and something that said a little about us. Longtime followers of this blog know that I am a huge believer in karma and putting good stuff out into the Universe. I believe in being grateful, in the power of positive thinking and the importance of saying "thank you". I believe that when you send gratitude out there into the Universe, good things come back to you. It's simple and, so far, it has worked for me. "Thank you Universe" is a phrase I say almost daily.
With that said, our new boat will be christened "Asante" (Ah-sahn-tay) which is Swahili* for "Thank You". It rolls trippingly off the tongue, it's easy to read and pronounce, and (most importantly) means something to us: that we are thankful. And now, we will continue to be grateful wherever we go...
There is a lot in a name if you choose to make it so. It has the potential to tell a story, to conjure up an image, to spark up an interesting conversation... While, "Ex-Ta-Sea", could strike up a potentially interesting discussion and "Harvey Dockbanger" does tell a bit of a story, something tells me Mr. Shakespeare would not approve.
Stay classy boaters!
* I lived in East Africa for three years, and they were some of the best years of my life - this name is also an homage to that beautiful place and the powerful and ever-present impact it had on me.