Day 4 Guest blogger jj Keller

Mistresses of the Sea


The Christmas holiday always brings excess stress for me.  I want everyone to be happy. Commercial Christmas equates to happiness, which is nearly impossible to achieve. With weeks of planning, shopping, and cooking the day finally arrives. In the past I had been disappointed as a child when my request to Santa hadn’t been met. Not wanting my children to experience this feeling, I try to exceed their expectations. A vicious cycle—attempting to please everyone.

This year, my husband suggested traveling to Florida for a restful vacation before the entire hubbub of the holidays. I jumped on board the plane faster than you can say BEACH.

Our trip to Treasure Island was fantastic. The beaches weren’t crowded, the food was excellent (check out Bamboo Bar and Grill, tell Loretta we sent you) and we enjoyed a sand art festival.

Shopping at John’s Pass, a quaint turn-of-the-century boardwalk, proved to be entertaining and for once I didn’t mind shopping.

Typically we rent beachside, but this time we stayed marine-side. I’m glad we did. The view was breathtaking, sunrise to sunset. The ships motoring out of the bay hummed, making me sing a joyful song of peace.

Boats in harbor web page

I exercise each day and this wondrous warm environment provided me with the urge to walk, swim, and stair climb (several restaurants required climbing up flights of stairs (Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. at John’s Pass).

In the morning I’d walk around the marina as far as possible and during the out-and-back trips I noticed most of the ships were named after women.

Miss Rebecca Boat

Miss Rebecca was bumped against Miss Caroline…how sweet.

Traditionally ships and boats were given feminine names. From what I could find on the web there isn’t an exact reason why ships were given female names except this website had two theories.

While it is not known exactly why ships are named after female figures, there are two prominent theories. One hypothesizes that boats were named after goddesses and other mythical figures, and later shifted to popular feminine names as recognition of gods and goddesses faded. The second major theory focuses on the basis of European languages. A number of languages, such as German and French, have a complex system of gender involving grammatical terms in which objects are assigned specific masculine or feminine tones. Olde English also used this system of naming, with many inanimate objects such as boats referred to in the feminine form. As the English language changed and evolved, the tradition of using this feminine form for ship names continued and is still present today. Read more:

Many ships are named by the captain, in honor of important women in his life; although, a majority of vessels are named after historical icons. An extensive, precise ceremony is performed before the ship can sail. The name is painted on the ship, a bottle of wine is smacked on the ship’s bow to ward off any bad luck, and provide safety to the crew. The vessel proceeds on its maiden voyage following the blessing.

Champagne (wine) is a much better choice than what the Vikings used, spilling of blood. More often than not religious men or officials mainly performed the launching ceremony, now women cut the ribbon and sometimes smash the bottle against the hull. We’ve come a long way, baby.

I find it ironic that captains give female names to their vessels. When superstition through the centuries indicate women bring bad luck on board a ship because they distract sailors from their duties. Amusing, because most of the ships of yore approved a naked woman being on board and often ships’ typically had a figure of a topless women perched on the bow of the ship. Her bare breasts “shamed the stormy seas into calm” and her open eyes guided the seamen to safety.

no-women-on-board                                              Pirate Ship Madiera Beach web page      


The pirate ship at John’s Pass didn’t have a naked female form…what’s up with that?

Once a ship is named it is bad luck to change the name; after all, the Christened vessel had traveled the seas and developed their life and mind.

I’ll talk about John LeVeque, the pirate who lost his gold coins on Treasure Island, in the next blog.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog about ships, please comment. You could win a free ebook, Shadow of the Hawk.  shadowofthehawk_150x225


“Simple educator” doesn’t begin to describe Kristina, not when she has the ability to read minds and shove someone’s molecules into another dimension. The kidnapping of her little brother by the Dark Angel adds another complication to her life, which is already messed by desiring Grant Carmichael.

Grant uses shifting and clairsentience searching for a means to an end, until he touches Kristina Palmer. A jolt of normal excited him and for the first time, in a century, he’d have to navigate a relationship the old-fashioned way. But will the sweet paranormalist allow him, a shifter, to seduce her?

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.

Coming soon: Shadow of the Hawk, The Twilight Zone meets The Da Vinci Code

Pippa’s Rescue, Horse Rescue Ranch Owners battles a Marine.

The Valkyrie and the Marine, The Wild Rose Press, July 18, 2012
Jewel Heist Diamonds used to be this girl’s best friend.

Dark Sun He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation. Cobblestone-Press

Trade Agreement LASR Best Book.
All rights reserved.

Cobblestone Press:


20 thoughts on “Day 4 Guest blogger jj Keller

    • Thanks for commenting Sofia, and yes, sailors can be very supertitious. The further back in time you go
      the more they clung to lucky charms, chants and beliefs. I guess in the middle of a fierce storm it was all they

  1. I love the idea of heading south and STAYING. If I could figure out how to get my whole support network and other stuff in one suitcase I would be off to the desert so fast I’d leave a sandstorm behind me!

    I did know it was bad luck to change a boat’s name but was unaware of the way to “fix it”. I, as well, wonder if there is any empirical data to support the peeing theory or it if just a silly joke that was thought to be real? I say grab a baby and whip off the diaper – within 15 minutes you should be done. hehe

  2. How nice to get away from the stress with a vacation is a warm location. I loved the information about naming of ships. Someday, I hope someone will name a boat Signora Gemma after me. And if it’s a sea-going yacht, well, so much the better.
    Nice to get to know you, jj.

    • Ditto, Daisy’s response, Gemma. BTW, I had a character named Gemma in Trade Agreement. She was a lovely woman who could take over a scene. I’m sure her personality is much like yours. Wonderful, exciting and a person who is a joy to be around. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Lovely post JJ! Like you, I was a bit disappointed as a child after Santa came, which I found out later was because my folks couldn’t afford those gifts! But also like you, I try too hard to please my kids – and they are 2 and 5 now, so I can imagine what they will be asking for as teenagers! iPad, laptop, phone ugh!
    I am a big boatie person, sailed for years, and it is indeed unlucky to change the name of the ship. I crewed for one skipper who wanted to change the name after he purchased a new sailboat but the only way to get around the badluck (and this was in Ireland, perhaps different in other places?) was for a virgin to pee on the bow while sailing backward. Yup. Suffice to say, he kept the name.
    Happy Holidays!

    • We have much in common CD. Interesting about the renaming of a ship… I’d like to see the data on that process to see if it really works. Off the topic a little, I attended Ball State University and a group of us, first year, went to visit the Beneficence ( statue. Fable has it if a virgin is kissed under her wings, they will flap. Not true…or maybe the guy and girl had to be virgins?
      Thanks for commenting!

Comments are closed.