I thought up our boat name while driving an empty school bus down a Boulder Canyon. The name doesn’t have anything to do with where I was, I just had time to think.
For the twelve seasons I’d crewed on it, the boat’s name had been the Erin K, after the skipper’s daughter. Some say it’s bad luck to change a boat’s name, some say it can be worse to keep the old captain’s reputation. So I decided to compromise and only change two letters. And a space. It would go from Erin K to Epick, swapping the r for a p, and the n for a c, and fudging out the space. It’s a gillnetter, and the act of disentangling fish from a gill net is called picking. And I knew running a boat would be an epic adventure. So, we would be picking in an epic way. Epick. I planned to just paint over the letters so the fonts would be different like in a ransom letter, but I had a deckhand who had the initiative to grind off the old name and make a stencil to paint the new one on. It still wasn’t very easy to read, but I figured that was ok. Some guys swear by using the smallest legal font to keep a low profile. Then the after two seasons the spray paint wore off so much that I sprang for decals that matched the color of our Fish and Game number.
I’ve since rebranded for selling our salmon in eco-conscious Boulder County, Colorado, calling our wild salmon “The Environmental Pick.” Epick. Some people pronounce it ee-pick. That’s ok.
People in the Bay get it. My first season, every time I announced myself on the VHF at the unloading line, someone would whisper back, “Epiiiiick.” That got some laughs. But there are boats with funnier names out there. And Mariah and I have thought of a few that we haven’t had the guts to use. See if you can tell which are real boats and which aren’t (as far as I know). And I know I’m forgetting some, so if you have more send them back my way and I’ll post another round.
And the choices are:
Think or Thwim
Knot a Lot
Knot to Scale
Poetry in Ocean