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  • Writer's pictureBruce Tate

Naming the Boat

Every ship has a soul, and every boat owner has an innate, perhaps futile, desire to capture the essence of it with a name. The whole process takes me back to the birth of our first daughter.

Around three in the morning Maggie's water broke. Maybe it was the obscene amount of chocolate icing that Maggie took in, or maybe our wildly enthusiastic first child couldn't wait to make her dramatic entrance into this world, so she summoned her inner strength and placed a perfect kick in exactly right spot to break that dam of amniotic fluid and prematurely start Maggie's delivery countdown.

Sure, we had our meticulous birth plan and we'd chosen the names Megan Alaina for a girl or Michael Allen for a boy. Throughout the day, every single carefully orchestrated moment took us further from our expectations. Nearly 23 hours later, the baby was born but Maggie and I looked at each other, full of love and wonder. We both knew that this baby girl was more beautiful than we could have possibly imagined, but she wasn't a Megan. She was Kayla Ellen, full of light and life and possibility.

Meeting our boat was like that. We had plenty of possible names set aside for this occasion, but one clear front runner that we just knew we would choose in the end: Rio Camino. This little bit of broken Spanish means River Walk, and so much more.

As we talked about the idea of taking on the Great Loop, the journey sounded less like an aimless jaunt around half of our country. It was more like a pilgrimage to us. Our daughters had taken their own pilgrimage three years prior. The Camino de Santiago is a famous walk for pilgrims in Spain with multiple routes allowing a slow, rambling route that leaves time for introspection and self-discovery.

Maggie and I wanted our voyage to take on many of the same characteristics. After establishing a company in the deeply disturbing time of Covid, we wanted a time to slow down and enjoy our lives. Rio Camino also captured the idea of a river walk. The river walk in San Antonio has special significance to our whole family because we'd explore it with international exchange students who lived with us yearly the short Christmas season. Our house that would form the funding for the trip was also on a river walk, this one in Chattanooga.

But we stood in the cockpit of a stranger's boat dreaming together. We talked with strangers, family, and friends. We couldn't shake the notion that the boat wasn't a Rio Camino. We also tried on other names like "Going Remote" and "Miss Adventure", but none of them fit.

Then we considered the name "Current Plans", and it felt closer. That name gave way to the short and sweet "Currently". The idea of living in the moment, with intention powerfully tugged on our imagination to the point that we just couldn't see anything else sketched across the transom.

Then, the yacht broker played a dirty trick. Right before he closed the deal, he said they'd scheduled "Currently's" service. If you're reading this Steve, we forgive you. We're in, and you're right.


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