From the beginning, naming a boat has been serious business replete with superstition and powerful mojo. The status quo may suggest otherwise if you walk the gangways at Any-Marina-USA, but I assure you that our nautical predecessors never named a vessel “Sheets & Giggles” or “Knotty Time” or “Aqua-Holic.” Seriously, you can probably think of 10 stupid names in so many seconds and it’s an easy bet they’ve been painted on a transom with a stock font.
Rather, boat names should be sacred, intrinsic and meaningful to the people who pilot them. If one has enough respect for their boat to bestow an honorable name, chances are it will reverberate in their pride of ownership and seamanship. Call me purist or a kill-joy, but we wanted something original, classy and meaningful to both of us. So “Blew by You” and “Seas the Day” were out from the start.
We had other finalists in the running, some we’re already spoken for and/or some were not mutually agreeable, but “San Patricio” was an easy winner for both of us. In name alone, it is a celebration of Jackie’s Mexican heritage and my Irish heritage as “San Patricio” translates to Saint Patrick – for you readers who no habla español.
Furthermore, the name pays homage to the Batallón de San Patricio, also known as “The San Patricios.”During the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) a unit of soldiers comprised mostly of ethnic Irish were so mistreated by the American command, that they deserted and fought on the Mexican side. In many accounts, these Irish non-citizens, many of whom were Roman Catholic, took Mexican wives and assimilated into a similar, more accepting culture. They all lived happily ever after with their beautiful, dark haired wives growing fat on tortillas and beer.
NOT! Those who weren’t killed in battle were captured and hanged for desertion. A few are said to have made it, living out the remainder of their lives in Mexico and taking advantage of land grants offered for their service. For a more scholarly account, peruse the Wiki entry to your inner nerd’s content – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick’s_Battalion
It’s a timeless tale of bridging cultures in much the same way as our marriage united our families. All in all, it’s one of our favorite stories, and a damn romantic one at that. If you find yourself likeminded, you’ll be happy to know The Chieftains released a concept album titled “San Patricio” featuring Ry Cooder and several Traditional Mexican musicians. It’s a brilliant album, combining Irish and Mexican folk music to provide a fitting score to the San Patricio narrative.