Strike a light! The perfect boat name is closer than you think
The sweetest two words I've ever heard were 'g'day mate', uttered by a blokey flight attendant named Barry as I boarded a Qantas plane bound for Sydney from LAX.
After three weeks of saccharine-sweet politeness and hyperbole in a land where they can't pronounce the word 'aluminium' the ocker accent was an instant remedy for chronic homesickness.
Nothing makes you miss this country like leaving it for a while. Nothing makes you more patriotic.
And so it was for John and Jenny Ellison when, while cruising the canals of England, they read my recent lament about the need for Aussie-infused boat names. They write:
'Cheer up Buddy (whoops I mean Cobba) we are in the UK at the moment, ‘buzzing around' on our 57ft Narrow Boat Aussie Mossie! And a little more cheer, our last vessel was a 27mtr Paddle Wheeler on the Murray River named Jumbuck!'
Honestly, how good does that sound?
It makes me want to go out and buy a Kayakadu and whack it on the kanga-roofracks of an old Toyota Lexcen. Or tow an Ingeegoodbee 'tinnee' on a good ol' AusTrailer. Problem is I can't, because they're all named after American birds or Mediterranean beaches we've never seen.
All around us, in this wide brown land, inspiration is going to waste. So here's a few names for starters:
Who wouldn't want 15 minutes of Fame Cove in NSW? Mark Rothfield
Rivers – Going to the back of Burke (a river in Qld) could be as easy as walking to the transom. There's Hunter for a fishing rig, Darling for a classic trawler, Strike-A-Light for a skiboat, Styx for anything wooden, Myall for boats that go the extra yard, and Never Never if you can't bear to leave.
Aboriginal names – Banyandah, 'home on the water', is a houseboat name if ever there was one, or there's Guru (deep water) for all those self-proclaimed fishing experts.
Among animal names we have the Kookaburra barbecue pontoon and the Koala bare-boat.
Place names are too abundant to mention, but who wouldn't want to dwell in Fannie Bay or have 15 minutes of Fame Cove?
It's fine having family surnames like Haines and Steber but I'd truly love to see a Barry, Bruce, Sharon or Trudy in honour of those Qantas angels. As for the rest of the world, Wattle Lake Eyre if we're true to our heritage...
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