The ocean is tough on everything. When we bought Ondine, my good friend David Puchkoff had me buy a New American Flag to go with Ondine as the existing one was a little worn – nothing terrible, just needed an upgrade. And although (despite valiant efforts) I’m not yet American one must fly the flag of the country the vessel is registered in off the stern (back) of the boat. Hell, I love living in the US of A so that’s another reason to fly the flag. But take a look at it now. It is now COMPLETELY worn out after 7 months at sea. Here’s Ronan doing his best Vanna White impression to compare the old with the new.
As we were buying a flag anyway, we decided to go whole hog and buy one for every nationality on the boat. That’s American (Paloma & Ronan), Canadian (Paloma, Ronan and me), Australian (Paloma, Ronan & Emma-Kate) and English (all four of us). According to maritime etiquette you can fly the flag of any guests on board off your port spreader (basically on the left side of the boat). Here they are. Personally, I think they look GREAT.
The red one with the Union Jack in the corner is the British Ensign or British Maritime Flag. Trust the Brits to change the flag based on whether it’s on a boat or a palace. In fact, the red is for us commoners. I believe The British Admiralty can fly a blue one with the Union Jack in the corner and the Navy has a white one or some such nonsense. More here if you care.
Anyway, the starboard spreader (right side of the boat) is reserved for the flag of whatever country you are currently in. So we are currently flying the French Flag as we are in Martinique. Here’s a picture of all the flags together on the spreaders.
With the US Flag off the stern we’re a veritable UN and I love it!
Here are a few photos that Emma-Kate took of Ronan as we were changing the flags. Maybe he’ll become a ROCK STAR! Certainly no matter what our nationality is, we are raising American Children.
Emma-Kate is using the best image (not included here) for her pic of the week.
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