Monday, October 12, 2009

Tools of the Trade: What's In A Name?

Ahoy Brethren and happy Columbus Day! When I was a wee cabin girl this was a day of celebration. Banks were closed, the mail didn't come, but you still had to go to school. And there, in the halls of Newport Hills Elementary School, we learned a thing or two about Cristobel Colum. And not just the 1492 rhyme either. We had to know the names of his ships. Do you remember them?

That memory got me thinking about ship names and naming ships and the pirates and privateers who sailed aboard them. Most sailors have a superstition against renaming a ship but our Brethren were a different breed. A new name for a prize covered your tracks and made it harder for the rightful owner to reclaim the booty. A new name and a refit could virtually make a ship disappear. But what names did the freebooters favor over the years? Here's a handy list by way of an answer:

Sir Francis Drake, The Golden Hinde
Francois L'Olonnais, Olonne
Christopher Myngs, Marston Moor and Centurion
William Kidd, Adventure Galley
Edward England, Fancy and Pearl
Thomas Tew, Liberty
Henry Avery, Fancy
Bartholomew Roberts, Fortune renamed Good Fortune renamed Royal Fortune
Edward Teach, Revenge and Queen Anne's Revenge
Charles Vane, Ranger
Sam Bellamey, Mary Anne, Sultana and Whydah
John Paul Jones, Bonhomme Richard
Jean and Pierre Laffite, La Seour Cheri, Dorada, Dos Hermanos, and General Santander (only the first and last of these ships were actually Captained by Jean Laffite)
Dominique Youx, Tigre and Mexicaine
Renato Beluche, L'Intrepide, La Popa, General Bolivar, General Arismendi, Mizelle (the last ship was named for his wife)

Of course I could go on but you get the idea. Maybe when you decide to invest in that dream ship you'll consider one of these historical monikers. Or you could go with one of Columbus' ships - Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria.


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Nice post, especially considering how sick you are... still! It's fun to speculate on the significance of some of these names. Did Sir Francis Drake have a fondness for the booty? Blackbeard (my personal favorite) was certainly consistently pissed, if nothing else... By the way, not only is it Columbus Day, but it is also Thanksgiving for our Canadian friends (our puss-ball neighbors to the North... or Southeast as the case may be). So happy Columbus Day and give thanks that you are not Canadian, otherwise you would probably be waiting even longer to see the doctor... I'm just saying.

Pauline said...

Ahoy Timmy! Just as an aside, the last flagship Columbus sailed on was Capitana. I just found that out.