Monday, 10 August 2009

My boat has a name

Well, to be honest it has always had a name, but as I mentioned the name that it had up until this morning wasn’t one that I liked.

I’m not particularly superstitious but having looked around a bit I felt that I should do the renaming whilst out of the water, and perform a bit of a ceremony. There are a huge number of different ceremonies discussed on the net, but the one I liked the idea of, when I first thought about renaming soon after I had got the boat, involved surrendering a boat with the old name to Neptune.

So yesterday I became a boat builder and created a fine craft that was duly named and launched onto the Ashby.

09082009482 The boat carried a cargo in the form of one of Lyra’s dog tags – she had two, the one required by law and the one with useful information as to which is her boat. A few words were said and the boat was consigned to the deep.

09082009483

This morning, having settled my bill with the Ashby Canal Centre, the boat was relaunched, slipping gently into the marina.

The name of the boat now is “Khe Ry”, which despite appearances isn’t just a random collection of letters. In 1997 I had the opportunity to join a caving expedition to Vietnam, exploring in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. One of the many caves that we explored was Hang Khe Ry, although I wasn’t in the team which found it the whole expedition concentrated on this cave due to it’s potential. I am partly responsible for the name of one of the entrances to the cave, and for a tenuous waterways connection, it is from this entrance to the exit that forms the longest known underground river in the world that can be followed without diving. I don’t know what TÍNH ĐỘC ĐÁO CỦA HANG ĐỘNG, or indeed any of the text on that page, means but i have had a print of picture 5.9 on the wall since I got the boat, it’s one of a very small number of pictures of me that exist.

I’m privileged to have been able to have seen that part of the world, though I’m not sure if I would want to do expedition caving in the jungle again as it’s not the most pleasant environment, and being there is certainly one of the high points of my life.

Today’s boating was limited again as there seemed little point in being out in the rain. I stopped at the offside moorings at Stoke Golding as I needed to post some letters and get some milk, and of course touched the still fairly soft paint against the edge, which is old rails there, and so put the first scratches on the new paint. Moved a bit further up during a break in the weather and decided to stop on the plastic at Sutton Cheyney for lunch as it would be more gentle on the paint, and have ended up staying here for the night.

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