Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Raft-Up: What's in a Name?

That Can't Be Right
That Can't Be Right
Originally uploaded by toastfloats
It's a lovely Saturday afternoon, and I am standing on the dock at Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle Washington staring at the back of my boat. Hands on hips, head cocked at angle, I study the old style script lovelingly plasticized to the transom of our 380 Lagoon catamaran. There's no hope for it.

"Dean. It says Vancouver, BC."

He glances away from his self-satisfied perusal of the brand new, 4-foot tall reproduction of Picasso's Don Quixote sketch afixed to the bow only yesterday. He agrees, "It does."

I point out, "Dean. We're from Washington."

He returns his attention back to the loving perusal of our port bow and notes, "There is a Vancouver in Washington."

It's hard not to agree. I can read a map. I even got a ticket once in Vancouver crossing over the bridge from Portland. A real speed trap there as you cross over the Oregon border... you've been warned.

So I agree,"True." I stare at the graphic giving the problem further consideration and chew my bottom lip. "Dean, we're not even Canadian."

He finally recognizes that I face a deep moral quandry. I'm unhappy, and, good husband that he is, he walks down the finger slip, around the corner and drapes his arm around my shoulder as he pronounces cheerfully, "But we could be!" At my skeptical look, he waves an arm at the city and adds,"We might as well be!!"

I look at the sky line full of puffy clouds, sparkling waters, gorgeous mountain backdrops with tall pine trees framing a beautiful, bustling waterfront city. It does look like Vancouver. I concede, "That's also true..." But my reservations persist, and I must make the case for sanity. "I bet the U.S. Coast Guard doesn't have much of a horseshoes and hand grenades approach to port call signs."

This momentarily dims my husband's enthusiasm. The U.S. Coast Guard. Hadn't of that, had he. I start to feel a bit smug, "This has got to go Dean. We're not Canadian." It bears repeating. I like Canada. I like salmon and rockies as much as the next person, but my eh is more of a California girl uh, and I can not fathom why people watch curling. "We just can't pass."

We are different, Dean. My husband, my love, my insane captain. They are of Canada with a capital C, and we are a US flagged vessel with a capital U.S. So, "Call the graphics company and get them to fix it."

"Yes dear."

I then promptly forget about the graphic faux pas. In our flurry to cut the lines by May, I have many 100s of tasks to accomplish. Even in the simple realm of boat branding, there are boat cards to design and print, an embossing stamp to order for official paperwork (which we never in five years of cruising actually used, by the way), t-shirts to buy, and a flag to sew. We take pictures for the web site, which is a design effort in and of itself. I iron our logos on to hoodies for cold weather, and then I register the svdonquixote.org domain in addition to toastfloats, toastworks and pretty much every variation of wemustbecompleteidiots.com.

Which is why in May 2008, we cut the lines and sail away from Seattle on a boat proudly flying the U.S. flag and the home port esignia of our neighbors to the north.

No one noticed.

The U.S. Coast Guard didn't notice.

The Canadian Coast Guard didn't notice.

The Mexican Armada was most interested in our completion of the "Did You Have a Satisfactory Boarding at Sea Experience" card. I'm not sure they even checked if we had visas and the legal right to be in the country, let alone whether the home port emblazoned on the boat was the same as the home port specified in our boat documents.

French Polynesia never looked at our boat, let alone the back, and while the Cook Island folks were thorough, we were checked into the country at a port where every resident of the island had a vested interested in assuring our safe and happy passage through their island nation. I don't think Tonga realized we had a boat, though they did go to great lengths to discuss the proper disposal of our trash.

You know who notices our fraudulent logos?

You got it. Canadian yachties. Every single one dingies up and finds out to their great dismay that we are Seattlites. We've faked them out. We are not carrying a cache of CBC shows. We don't watch hocky. We're clueless about the latest doings of the Prime Minister. Fortunately, Canadians a generous people. And frankly, we are from Washington. Which has a Vancouver. It might as well be Canada.

And we're all a very long way from home. Pass the Molson.

More Raft-up

Dana svnorthfork.blogspot.com
Jane morejoyeverywhere.com
Behan sv-totem.blogspot.com
Lynn www.sailcelebration.blogspot.com
Verena pacificsailors.com
Diana maiaaboard.blogspot.co.nz


Verena said...

Toast, that has to be one of the funniest stories I have ever heard! And here I am worrying that we have Marina Del Rey, CA on the back when in fact we are from Vancouver Washington!!

Laureen said...

We had less than a month to prep for our journey, and we have no name on the boat nor do we have hailing port listed. No one noticed. No one cared. I resolved to fix this now that we're in a whole new state, and discovered that our bank has to approve said change, and the coast guard has to process a whole new document. Fun fun fun!

Unknown said...

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let it be said...

And we're all a very long way from home. Pass the Molson.
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let it be said...

And frankly, we are from Washington. Which has a Vancouver. It might as well be Canada. cheap garbage cans for sale

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