Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | July 7, 2014

“To the Sea….to the Stella Marie!”

Sometimes when you buy a used boat, she comes to you with a name that doesn’t seem to fit.

Such was the case with our new boat.


We decided to change her name.

Now, there are those who would just scrape off the old name and apply the new, but any seafaring body with even a small respect for marine lore would balk at that type of brazen action.

For, legend has it that a boat, once christened with its name, becomes an entity of sorts, and trouble looms on the horizon for those who change the name without the proper ceremony to pay respect to the old entity before retiring it, and to request the protection of Neptune and Co. for the new entity.

On land this might not be much of a big deal, but when you are out on the water all alone, it’s calming to think that you have done your best to appease the lord of the sea.

In fact, there are numerous online tales of folks who had boating disasters after neglecting to perform the appropriate ceremonies.

And so, Keith carefully scoured all records for any mention of our old boat’s name and erased it, then scraped her old name off, and sanded and polished the area so no shadow of the old name remained.

That done, we were ready for the denaming and renaming ceremonies.

On a recent bright and sunny Tuesday, Keith and I, and the “Evanhaug” family gathered on board ~ champagne in hand ~ to give thanks to the “old” boat for its service, and to request safe passage and protection for the newly named “Stella Marie”…our version of the Latin, “Stella Maris”, or Star of the Sea.

We toasted Neptune and the sea, placed a green leafy branch across her bow for safe return to land, and dowsed her down with a nice bottle of champagne.

Toasting the Stella Marie

Toasting the Stella Marie

After the festivities, we took Stella Marie out for her maiden voyage on the Chickahominy River, after which, Keith piloted her downstream to her new marina near Jamestown Island on the James River ~ a four hour adventure!

Bennett relaxing in the berth on Stella Marie's maiden voyage.

Grandson, B relaxing in the berth.


Boat wenches Grammy and Cora.

Boat wenches Grammy and grandaughter C.

Stella Marie now sits happily at James City County Marina and we spend several days aboard each week, exploring the Virginia waterways, which should keep us busy for quite some time!


"To the the Stella Marie!"

“To the sea…to the Stella Marie!”






  1. Congratulations on your new boat! Bennett still likes to proclaim, “To the sea! To the Stella Marie!”

  2. Wonderful to see your smiling faces again and hear about you. Love you, Ten

  3. […] the campground, precious moments with grandchildren, leisurely days off cruising The James on the Stella Marie, casual guitar sessions performed simply for the joy of making music. Our weekly ritual. Simple and […]

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