We’ve been called a lot of things over the radio on Safari (and loudly I might add!) but what has amused us the most is the other boat names that our fellow mariners chose for us from time to time. The most frequently noted is African Queen, and while I do like this one (who wouldn’t) my all time favorite has to be The Gin Palace. This one came from a woman who was standing on the beach at Ft. McRee and as we passed by she pointed our way and said “now that’s a real gin palace”. After doing a little research I have to say I agree.
A gin palace isn’t JUST a lavish bar in London that sells gin because that’s certainly not fitting for our beer drinking crowd and not so lavish boat. Rather in it’s application in the nautical world, which took hold sometime in the 20th century, it was used to refer to a large “ostentatious” pleasure craft. Pleasure crafts that typically had large sun decks and leisure areas that “normally involved alcoholic beverages” (I like how they worded that…”normally”…that’s downright polite). So I’m ok with this latest round of nicknames, at least the ones that I can put in print. I assuredly wouldn’t like any others that some of you are thinking of right now. Shame on you.
I never met the woman on the beach but I’m fine with her summation of our vessel. I’m certain ostentatious is a compliment.
Even better though is Charles Dickens description of a “gin palace” which only he could put so well. He rightly described it as a place that’s “perfectly dazzling when contrasted with the darkness and dirt we have just left.” Ahhhh, thank you Mr. Dickens for that is so true and eloquent.
So there you go, Safari, aka African Queen, aka The Gin Palace, and lest we forget…headquarters for The Boatswain’s Call!
See you in the blue ocean friends!