What’s in a Name?

So why is she named “Echoes?”   A lot goes in to naming a boat.  It all begins with a tradition of Friday night stay home dates we’ve had for years.  We make a nice dinner, open a bottle of wine or two, sit at the dinner table with our favorite music playing and talk of dreams for hours.  Dream talk means sailing talk which often lead to possible boat names for our future boat.  We kept a book strictly for this purpose.  After years of this, we compiled a list of over 100 boat names.   This tradition included guests at the table and their input.  Mind you, the names got more ridiculous as the nights grew longer.  For example, on the list was “Blow Me,” “White Wino,” “Gin and Eggs,” “Runaway Bunny,” and “Ankles Away.”  Also on the list were our personal favorites.   Candis liked “Good JuJu,” “Bo Jangles,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Lollygagging.”  John liked “Zoot” (a Monty Python reference), “Mostly Noodles” (what you commonly end up with at the end of your provisions on a sailing trip), “Days and Confused” (to say John likes Led Zeplin is an understatement) and we were very much leaning towards “Easy Rider.” (We are motorcycling when not sailing or freezing in the tundra.) Even considering the votes from some of our favorite people we could not settle on a name.  When it got down to crunch time we set some criteria.

  • It had to be short to make it easy to fill out customs forms and make shore side dock or dinner reservations via VHF (radio).
  • It needed to be dignified.  It could not be silly or demeaning to ship or crew.
  • We wanted it to be unique.
  • It needed to be understandable so we didn’t have to explain it to everyone or add confusion to SAR (search and rescue) if we ever needed their assistance.  (Turns out Echoes is the same word in a number of languages.)

We went round and round with the final contenders and had hit an impasse.  Then Cannon, while making a sandwich in the kitchen one late afternoon said, “Echoes…call the boat Echoes.”  Echoes is a song by Pink Floyd off the album Meddle that has ties to the sea and to things greater.  We would regularly play this song as a family on past sailing vacations late in the evenings in tropical anchorages laying on deck looking up to the stars – perfect!  If you ever get a chance to do this, do it – it may help you get ready for what’s next in life.  The song also has whale calls in it which strike a cord with Candis.  And echoes has a great nod to the generations of sailing enthusiasts in our family, Candis’ dad, ourselves and now our sons.  It seems appropriate that after years of debate we found her name days before we had to send it in for registration as we had different names picked out for both sons until the last minute.  It must be the way names find us.


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