la violette pensée

blessings for an elay woman: imagination, intelligence, endurance

S/V Dianthe

23 February 2011

Allie’s post about thalassophobia reminded me that one of the things I’ve always wanted is a wooden sailing yacht. My dream boat is a 34’ Channel Cutter, of the type designed so well by the late Lyle C. Hess. Here is a picture of what is probably the most famous example of his designs, Lin and Larry Pardey's Taliesin:

Taliesin is the Pardeys’ second yacht designed by Hess, the first was Seraffyn. Both were built entirely by hand by the Pardeys. Cheeky, Taliesin's tender, was also designed by Hess, and is a Fatty Knees class dinghy. If you haven’t read any of the Pardeys’ books, I highly recommend them, even if you don’t think about boats and sailing at all, they are worth a read, even the techy ones.

My sailboat will be named Dianthe, which is the name of my most current World of Warcraft character. I know it’s kind of geeky, but when I was creating that character, I was running through the random name suggester, and when “Dianthe” popped up, I thought it perfect for a Night Elf Holy Priestess, as it is reminiscent of the name of the Roman Moon goddess, Diana, with a bit of the Greek goddess Athene mixed in.

I know that WoW doesn’t allow for surnames, but I always give my roleplaying PC’s full names, and I chose “Dianthe Mer De Lune”. “Mer De Lune”, you see, is a roughly French-ified term which would translate to “Sea of Luna” in English, which reversed is, of course, “The Luna Sea”. (And now I’ve just destroyed the mystique of the little bit of prose I posted earlier.)

I shall name Dianthe's tender Avaïa, after my mainstay PC name which I have been using for two decades, at least, “Avaïa Carasel”. “Avaïa” was the name of The Black Swan in Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry, one of my favorite series of novels of all time, and “Carasel” was entirely made up by me. The current WoW version of Avaïa Carasel is a Human Combat Rogue, which is pretty well in keeping with the original character concept. Anyway…

Avaïa will be a sailing dinghy of my own design that will have the ability to be rigged as a cat, a sloop, or a cutter, about 10-11 feet long, if I ever finish her design. The idea is to have a hard dinghy that is also perfect as a sailing trainer. She will have removable sprits to accommodate the cutter rig, which will really only be used for demonstration purposes. She’ll usually be sailed as a sloop rig, like a (much) slower version of a Windmill, but designed more along the lines of a Fatty Knees. Why? Just because. Oh, and did I mention the tanbark sails?

I’d like to say that one day I will circumnavigate the planet in Dianthe, with Avaïa in tow, just like Tania Aebi did in Varuna, but it’s unlikely that will ever happen. If it ever does, I plan to leave from here on or about April 1 of whatever year it happens to be, and plan to make the Panama Canal before tropical storm season sets in over the Atlantic Basin on June 1. After that, it’s a long way to the Galapagos!

About Allie’s fear of jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean? I told her that jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean was generally considered a Bad Idea, that one is supposed to stay on the boat, and only get off if one is stepping up into a life raft. It’s good advice for any sailor. After all, there’s dragons out there, right?

Off to sail the Sea of Dreams,

XOXO, Gemma