“We invoke the ancient Gods of the wind and sea to favor us with their blessing…”
The incantation was read from notes with all the gravity that one might expect on the occasion of a boat re-plating. This was serious business for Prag Katta, a new I20 skipper who beat out a horde of buyers vying for the rights to a 1987 Johnson I20 that has been chewing up the competition under the steady hand of outgoing skipper Jack Sheehan.
“We seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea…”
It was a gathering of Inland 20 skippers, honoring a passing of the tiller from one skipper to the next. Prag has been eyeing the I20 for years as occasional crew for Tim Dickson. Jack has been a dedicated student of the I20, traveling during the summer to learn speed tricks from scow masters in the Midwest. They settled on a price just a week ago, and Prag is ready for racing. But first, this formality:
Prag poured a single malt Scotch over the bow of the boat and then he passed the flask to those gathered including, Stas Burgiel, Tim Dickson and Moby Dickson, Mark Burrows, Casey Firth (and her friend Colleen) to name a few.
Then, Prag affixed his temporary plate the stern: “Artemis,” graceful goddess of the hunt.
“Now wherefore, we submit this supplication that the name where by this vessel has hitherto been known as Scooty Puff be struck and removed from your records…”