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!

Merry Christmas!