The name

Oia is named after a town on the Greek island of Santorini in the Cyclades, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been.  The name is pronounced: “ee-uh”.  In Greek: Οία.

Choosing a name for a boat is a hard problem.  When I bought her, Oia was called Kestrel II, which is a nice name and all but held no meaning for me.  (According to the previous owner, he chose the name because he liked the sound of “Kestrel” and in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where she was registered, there was already a Kestrel and Kestrel I.)  Obviously I did a lot of pondering before settling on Oia.

Growing up, I learned about sailing mostly by spending time on my grandfather’s boat in Lake Champlain, a 30′ Pearson named Skye.  Skye is still sailing around on Lake Champlain, now owned by my uncle Bob in Vermont.  My grandfather and I connected on many levels; sailing was just one of them.  I remember once asking him how he chose the name Skye.  The boat was named after the isle of Skye in Scotland, which he said was one of the most beautiful places he’d ever been.

Naturally, then, when I started thinking about names for my boat, a similar approach came to mind.  In the Spring of 2008, I went with my parents to Greece.  My sister was in the Peace Corps in Albania, and she traveled down to meet us.  We visited all sorts of amazing places, but one that stood out for its beauty and serenity was the little town of Oia on the island of Santorini in the Cyclades.  Here’s a photo I took one morning; it’s my sister relaxing in the morning sun at our cliffside room in Oia:

My sister relaxing in the morning sun in Oia, Santorini, Greece.

When it came time to choose a name for my boat, and with my grandfather’s strategy in mind, the little town of Oia seemed like a perfect inspiration.  Scenic, beautiful, quiet (at least in April), and with its own kind of personality, it seemed to represent in many ways the kind of experience I want to have with my boat.  And, of course, the name has a nice ring to it.

So, Oia it is.

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