Written in September, 2002
I have always had a list of names for my next boat. Like: Reflections, Here Today, Heron Gone, Pilgrim, etc. I've had trailerable boats without names before that were great fun, a Sidewinder (two at different times) and a 505. In 1985 I completed a 28 foot bluewater cruising sloop from a hull and deck kit. She was beautiful. I spent six months full-time finishing the interior. She was even featured in an article about the builder in Carolina Cruising.
It took a while to come up with her name. But finally I named her "Rosebud" partly to commemorate my dog Rosie who had recently been killed in traffic. It was a great name that reflected her beauty and reminded me of a longing for lost innocence from the movie "Citizen Kane." I lived and cruised on Rosebud in the Keys and Bahamas for three years until cruising funds ran low. I sold her a couple of years after returning to full-time work and feeling sad that she was mostly sitting at the dock and not being used.
So I thought the next boat was going to be a larger liveaboard cruising yacht. After looking at a number of used 35 to 40 footers that I could afford, and realizing that it would be years before I could actually take off again, the dreaded "reality" set in. It was senseless to buy a 20 to 30 year old boat that needed a lot of work, keep it at a slip or dry-docked while I tried to restore her on occasional weekends, and put myself in the same position I was in when I sold Rosebud. Not to mention that I am in a career as a contract engineer that will require me to find a new job every year or two.
So I started to consider other possibilities. Ginny, the woman I met recently in Charlotte, and I spent a weekend in Charleston and rented a Catalina 22. She (the boat) was in very sad shape and we almost didn't go out once I saw her condition. And the attendant actually expected me to leave the boom attached to the backstay with a short tether "for insurance reasons". (Of course, I detached it as soon as we were out of site.) Despite this beginning, we had a great time that day.
This experience had me thinking about trailerable boats and led me to find the Trailer Sailor website. The information and enthusiasm there convinced me that I could be satisfied with a trailer sailor until my cruising dreams were more attainable. I found a Starwind 19 in reasonably good condition that I could tow with my Dodge Caravan. But, she is large enough for limited coastal cruising and overnight or primitive extended trips. I've been cleaning and fixing things to get her ready.
I started a new list of potential names since the names for the larger cruising sloop didn't fit. I came up with lots of humorous, double entendres like: Liquid Therapy, Auntie D'Pressant, Cosmic Current, Currently Occupied, Current Revision, Gone Coastal, Current Surge, Moment's Notice. But I wanted something simpler yet beautiful like "Rosebud".
Then one day, I was sharing my favorite fruit with Ginny. I like to slice it close to the seed so I have almost a complete half of a mango in my palm. Then I score the flesh in a square pattern leaving the skin intact. With both hands, I then turn the skin inside out making the square cubes protrude. Then I nibble the cubes off letting the juice drip down my chin into the sink. This sensual, elemental experience always takes me back to Key West where I first tasted a mango and learned to eat them this way.
So I added Mango to my list of names. I played around with variations such as Mango Tango, ManGo Crazy, etc. but kept coming back to simply Mango. So that's how she got her name. We christened her last Monday (9/2/02) on our first sail with the juice from a delicious mango. She doesn't have an orange hull or anything. Maybe, if I get a downwind sail, I can find an orange one. Look for us on Lake Norman (Charlotte), at the PIRATES Festival the end of September, or maybe in the Keys over Christmas. Sea ya.