The next three photos are from 2017
The last photos are from 2018
A Brief History Lesson as Christmas Gift
The 16th-century Spanish conquistador and explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa (1475-1519) helped to establish the
first stable settlement on the South American continent at Darién, on the coast of the Isthmus of Panama. In
1513, while leading an expedition in search of gold, he sighted the Pacific Ocean. Balboa claimed the ocean
and all of its shores for Spain, opening the way for later Spanish exploration and conquest along the western
coast of South America.
Balboa's achievement and popularity posed a threat to Pedro Arias "The Cruel" Dávila, the Spanish governor
of Darién, who falsely accused him of treason and had him beheaded at 44 years of age in 1519. Davila was
notorious for his barbaric cruelty and lust for gold.
I decided to name my sailboat "Balboa" rather than "Arias" or Dávila
At Christmas time, I always decorate Balboa with colorful lights around the sides and up the spars to the
top of the mast. It gets quite a lot of attention in our community. In 2018, I added a large red velvet
bow to the decorations which created a minor problem.
I could simply say that I attached a red ribbon to the front of the boat, but that is not a very accurate
description. Once you tie a bow in a piece of ribbon, it ceases to be called a ribbon and is now called a bow.
Boat people don't say "front of the boat" because they have a nautical term for it. The back end of a boat is
called the "stern" or "transom," but the front of the boat is always called the "bow." Since my sailboat is
named Balboa I call it the "Balboa bow bow," but this can be confusing. It even confused my computer's
"spell-check" program which thought I was repeating myself.
I was originally going to fasten the bow to a lovely curved evergreen branch to give it a more festive
appearance, but then I would have to call it the "Balboa bowed bough bow bow."
I didn't want to bow that low or friends would never forgive me!