"Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (here insert the old name of your vessel) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea. (At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.) In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West.)" [...taken from a boat renaming ceremony...]
Yeah, last night around 6:30 we re-named the Pearson 36. Originally the boat's name was FANTASY out of Norfolk, Virginia. (Hey...don't get me started on that one, it wasn't our choice...remind me if we meet in person to share with you a little game that's played on the water regarding boat names--kind of a risque/sick "Mad Lib" if you catch my drift.) But after batting around boat names with our co-owners for almost five friggin' years (I wanted LAS NIÑAS or SELF RELIANCE) we agreed and kind of updated the name to FANTASEA ("s" in the shape of a seahorse and the anchorage location - Round Bay, Maryland). A bit more playful and a minor change, right? WRONG! Sailors are a superstitious lot and boy...you do NOT screw around with the maritime tradition of changing names. How serious am I? Well, I know of two people who blew off the renaming ceremony on small vessels...one nearly drowned in a squall and the other got the kind of disease you wince at. Really? Really. 'Nough said. Let's close out the post with a little sea shanty from the iPod sailing mix, shall we? 80 feet of waterline? Holy smokes, Stephen. We have enough trouble fixing and cleaning 36 feet, but then again you probably have a fulltime crew taking care of all those headaches. Onward.
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.