Great Western Loop - Renaming Nine of Cups

Day 12 – San Pedro, CA – 1,435 miles traveled

 Nine of Cups was dressed elegantly for the occasion.

Nine of Cups was dressed elegantly for the occasion.

We fought Cali traffic all the way to the marina, it seemed, even though it was a Saturday morning. The day dawned gray and overcast and it was cold, raw and windy when we arrived at the Cabrillo Way Marina around 1:30 pm in time for the 3 pm ceremony.

Nine of Cups was dressed for the occasion. Murray had found the entire set of signal flags I’d left aboard and used them most elegantly. Cups looked awesome. She has new Harken jib and staysail furlers , a new beefy stainless stern arch/dinghy davits, new solar panels and a new wind generator. She was polished up and gleaming. She’s living the high life and loving it!

 Murray, Carol and daughter, Savannah 

Murray, Carol and daughter, Savannah 

Lots of people had gathered on the dock … fellow sailors, good friends, relatives … to share in the celebration. The gray overcast skies cleared away magically, the wind died down and the sun shone brightly. The ceremony began around 4PM. First, the denaming …

 A metal disk with Nine of Cups' name was thrown into the sea as part of the denaming ceremony.

A metal disk with Nine of Cups' name was thrown into the sea as part of the denaming ceremony.

When we sold Nine of Cups to Murray & Carol, we were not sad. It was time for a change. When we left Cups in Chesapeake, we were pleased to be starting our new adventure with Blue. Even when left Cups with Murray at her new slip at the marina last February, we felt a chapter had ended and new one had begun. The denaming ceremony, however, got to both of us. It was harsh and painful with phrases like ‘expunge the name of Nine of Cups from all memory’. Perhaps former owners should not be present at denaming/renaming ceremonies. It was the first time I felt sad and tears welled in my eyes. I looked at David. He was feeling the same emotions.

 Murray toasts Neptune and the Four Winds.

Murray toasts Neptune and the Four Winds.

We remembered our own denaming of Epia VII (yes, that was Cups’ previous name … never before spoken by the Nine of Cups crew). It was a bit more gentle verbiage while clearly advising Neptune and the Four Winds of the name change. We thanked them for having protected this fine ship in the past and begged their indulgences for ship and crew going forward.

 Murray blew the conch and denaming and renaming ceremony were complete.

Murray blew the conch and denaming and renaming ceremony were complete.

But this was not our ceremony, nor our day, nor our boat. It was Murray & Carol’s ceremony and their boat. Obviously, Nine of Cups and her adventures will live in our hearts and memories forever.

 Carol uncovers the newly carved nameboards for Restless Soul.

Carol uncovers the newly carved nameboards for Restless Soul.

The rest of the ceremony, the renaming portion, went by in a blur. Much champagne was involved and ample amounts of good spirit and conviviality reigned.

We begged off early … cruiser’s midnight! We spent the night in Blue in the Cabrillo Way Marina parking lot. Enough now … it’s time to move on and we are.