By Sam Harriss/Correspondent
I have this candlelit image of a man sitting in his boat shack, juniper walls aged with salt spray, buoys and netting hang from the rafters, and with pen in hand he sits stoic, dreaming of the perfect woman … the woman for which he will name his boat. It’s a hell of a decision, way more weighty than the naming of a first child. It is Hamlet holding Yorick’s skull and contemplating death; it is Alice sitting on a toadstool deciding the right potion; it is your life and the lives of others to come after. A right of passage for every captain and a task to not be taken lightly, for to wish a name change is to wish the unfathomable … to sleep with the fishes. It has to withstand time and live up to the gilded letters painted with careful precision on teak, like the tile mosaics of the Vatican. The Bow Movement, The Happy Hooker, Retirement Funs … all names you must be willing to sink or swim with in your eulogy.
I have had a boat named after me and in turn have named a boat. I have even requested removals from Poseidon’s scroll that holds the name of every boat that ever sailed the seven salty seas. And let me whoop wise words of wrathful waves to the wharf men of our world … You hope never to have to go to Poseidon’s lair and kindly ask for an edit on the Ledger of the Deep. That cavernous trench is nothing like Sebastian singing Under the Sea. So burn the Fishin’ Fools keychains, koozies and tchotchkes, and erase the name on land. Light candles and hold a no-wake-zone vigil to appease Triton. And for the fishes’ sake, just try and pick a decent name. …a name we can all toast to because you don’t want your headstone reading Capt. Dan passed during a fatal Bow Movement adventure at sea.
A Sailor’s Sage Advice
4 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice
2 oz. Vodka or Gin
1/2 oz. Sage syrup*
2 oz. Soda water
Fresh sage leaf for garnish
Add grapefruit, syrup and liquor to a shaker tin with ice. Shake, strain over fresh ice and top with soda water and sage leaf.
*Add 1:1 sugar water and a bunch of torn sage leaves to a saucepan, dissolve sugar over medium heat and let steep for an hour. Strain.