We started on the journey of deciding to put a sailing catamaran into charter last summer. I say we, but it's true to say that owning a boat of my own has been a dream for years. I think my better half has been aware of this desire of mine for some time, and when I presented the solution offered by the chance of putting the boat into a charter fleet she was cautiously enthusiastic! As time has passed, and as we get closer to our first visit to the boat when she arrives in the BVI, all of us have begun to get excited about meeting her!
From an emotional point of view coming up with a name was an interesting family process. We tried several ideas on for size. We thought that staying away from names referencing a ‘cat’ was appropriate. There are more than enough of those in the catamaran community! We tried out several compounds of family names, but we couldn't get our collection of names to combine into anything particularly catchy! We even thought about referencing the crazy financial impact of the purchase into the name, but it turns out that’s a well trodden path as well.
The answer lay in my seagoing background. I have been scratching this nautical itch for decades now. My early enthusiasm for things ‘boaty’ was probably triggered by seaside holidays as a kid on the North Kent coast at Whitstable; a childhood voyage from Nigeria to the UK on an aging liner of the Elder Dempster line also had a part to play I am sure. When career choice time came I lined up to sign on as an officer in the Royal Navy, and had a decade playing with seagoing toys at the expense of the UK taxpayer… and had a whale of a time doing it!
So - ARIADNE? Well, it was my first ship. HMS ARIADNE was a Gun Leander class frigate engaged in UK coastal duties when I joined her as an officer under training in the late eighties. I had a great time exploring the lochs and harbors of the Western Isles of Scotland whilst onboard, as well as getting exposed to the delights of single malt whiskey… I didn't spend a huge amount of time with her. I think it was less than a year, but it was where I learned my trade as a navigation officer, and the time stuck with me.
ARIADNE herself was a key character in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Minos of Crete, of the Minotaur in the Labyrinth fame. She had some ownership responsibility for the labyrinth itself, and indeed took pity on one of the captives in the Labyrinth, helping him to escape with a ball of string to show the path. She later married Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and partying! So - the combination of navigation, drinking and having fun also seemed like a very apt combination for the name of our vessel!
So - God Bless ARIADNE, and all who sail in her!