Maiden Voyage of the S.S. Name-Me

Ahoy, landlubbers!

OK, in all fairness, 96 percent of my weekend did not involve water, so I’ll knock off the nautical talk. But for one exhilarating hour, it was all water, baby. I watched the shoreline race by in a blur of green and brown, the wind in my hair, a shout of adrenaline-fueled elation snatched from my mouth by the breeze as we skipped across the surface of Pactola Reservoir. Countless times I have driven by or walked around this massive lake. Once, in my youth, I went ice fishing here (a miserable experience I don’t recommend, but that’s another story). But I had never been out in the middle of Pactola before, and the fresh perspective did wonders for my soul.

Tara and I were up bright and early despite a late night on the patio hanging out with a couple from across the street, eager to give our new boat a spin. So eager, in fact, we were on the water by 7:30, an ungodly hour for many on a Saturday morning. We wanted to get there early in order to beat the crowds, which —given the forecast of sunshine, mid-80s, and a light breeze—were sure to be plentiful. Also, this being our first time out, Tara wanted to be sure she did everything right (i.e., not sink or drown). All along I’ve put my faith in her abilities, since she’s the one with boating experience, while I’m the guy who hears the words “bow” and “stern” and immediately thinks of customary Japanese greetings and angry facial expressions. At one point during the drive to the lake, I heard my wife muttering to herself.

“Beg your pardon?” I said.

“Sorry, I’m just going through the mental checklist of everything that needs to be done. I probably should have taken notes.”

“I probably should have taken notes” is not a phrase you want to hear when you’re putting your life in the hands of your significant other, and I will admit, that gave me a moment of unease. It didn’t help that she and her dad were unable to actually take the boat out on the water in Nevada due to high winds, a fact I did not learn until after she’d come home. But she certainly looked like she knew what she was doing when she hitched the trailer to her pickup, plugged in the lights and had me do a safety check, and then lowered the boat into the water like a pro once we arrived. Any initial trepidation I felt disappeared as soon as she throttled that bad boy up. What a rush! It took me all of five seconds to remember why I always wanted a boat.

In short order, I found three ways to embarrass myself:

  1. I rapped The Lonely Island’s SNL skit, “I’m On a Boat.” The explicit version (sorry, mom, and maybe don’t click on the link).
  2. I recreated Jack Dawson’s iconic “I’m the king of the world!” scene from Titanic.
  3. I sang “Show Me the Way to Go Home” just like Brody, Quint, and Hooper did in Jaws.

OK, fine. I’ve never been one for subtlety (and apparently find it impossible to resist milking every pop culture reference for all it’s worth). But eventually I settled down as the novelty began to wear off, and even took a turn piloting her myself for a bit. She’s very easy to control and steer. It’s safe to say I’m hooked. In fact, once we were back on land and leaving the boat launch area, I started eyeing this beautiful cabin cruiser and asked Tara when we could upgrade.

“It’s got portholes, babe!” I pointed out. Portholes mean a cozy below-deck room. Portholes undoubtedly also mean tens of thousands of dollars, so I think we’re going to be Crestliner fishing boaters for a good, long time.

Let’s just say I get the appeal of boating and can understand where my FIL was coming from.

Speaking of all the “she”s and “her”s, we need a name for our boat. And this is where you guys come in: I’m asking for your help! Please feel free to weigh in with as many suggestions as you want, and don’t worry if the names are off-color, racy, or punny—the sky’s the limit here, folks! (Knowing us, off-color, racy, or punny names will probably give you an edge.) As an added incentive, if we end up choosing your name for our boat, I’ll send you a nice little South Dakota care package.

What are you waiting for? Anchors aweigh!

45 thoughts on “Maiden Voyage of the S.S. Name-Me

  1. Mark, I was so anticipating your maiden voyage of your boat and wondering how you enjoyed it. And judging from both your Instagram post and blog post, I can see you had a great time. I’m looking forward to the day when you try water skiing!

    “Any initial trepidation I felt disappeared as soon as she throttled that bad boy up. What a rush!”

    Oh, isn’t that the most fabulous feeling? That wonderful rush of flying through the water. It’s kind of like how I feel when a plane gains speed down the runway before taking off. What a rush!

    Beautiful photos! What a gorgeous area you live!

    Okay, my boat name contribution is: Taradactyl

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know about the water skiing, Ron. There was another guy out on the water doing that yesterday, and he was GOOD. Leaping, spinning, one-handed…and he never fell. I doubt I could last longer than a few seconds before face-planting in the water.

      Taradactyl is a GREAT name! Thank you for participating. Enjoy your Sunday!


  2. Boat naming! I am IN!

    Shore Thing

    Home to Tara (for your wife AND Gone with the Wind)

    One Liner

    Wakey-Wakey (since you are on the lake so early)

    Dad Joke


    Achievement Unloched

    Docked Pay

    What’s the Catch

    Pole Position


    I’m sure I will be back with more ridiculousness later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The entire post could have been shortened to that one single word. “Jaws”. See we are in Florida, the Gulf side, Clearwater area. Anything wet and Salty belongs to Jasper, as in “Jasper Jaws”, and anything not salty belongs to Andy, as in “Andy Alligator”. Sure, the odds of being in the water and getting nibbled on by Jasper are very small, but they are far greater odds than 0.00%, the odds if I am on land. So… boats put me too close.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excuse me, who are you calling lubber? 😃

    I saw a gorgeous yacht in a marina a few years back. Parked, not on the water. Her name was Alimony. 😂

    I was trying to think of a National Lampoon reference but came up short for a name. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say “Holiday Road” but that won’t work on the water. Hmm…”Family Truckster” won’t cut it either. I think we’re out of luck given the Griswolds were on a road trip…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Boats are fun, aren’t they? Of course I’ve got this habit of strapping on 90 pounds of gear and jumping overboard when I’m on one, but to each his own.

    I don’t have any clever names off the top of my head that beat your previous submissions. Find something fun.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I doubt the mob would be nice enough to give you an air cylinder and regulator to breathe from and a means to resurface. But on the face of it, it does sound rather dire, doesn’t it?


  6. A great feeling to be out on the water, Mark, even for an hour. “…wonders for my soul.” I now hear there is a naming contest. Hmmmm…. It looks like there are quite a few great names in the running.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s