After much hard-fought deliberation, NBBC is proud to announce the names of our big canoes. We received over 50 wonderful submissions but in the end did not pick a single suggestion. Rather we took some of the most common themes that we feel properly serve these vessels main purpose which is on-water environmental education. While we appreciated many suggestions alluding to mythology, nautical history and noted waterway and local environmental activists, we ultimately sought more than just a namesake and rather a display to aid people in learning more about their local waterways. Furthermore we sought to use the boats themselves as teaching props that contain geographic and natural information on their sides. Also we really just needed something to tell the two identical boats apart!
So, (drumroll please) our two chosen themes, and nicknames for each boat, are: Kills and Currents.
The most common suggestion was in fact ‘Max Flood’ and ‘Max Ebb’ referring to the fastest moments that tidal currents move in either direction. Using this theme (which plays a crucial trip planning role in almost all NBBC trips) we will use the words Ebb and Flood on either side of the boat with corresponding arrows that show which way the East River Ebbs and Floods (if seen from Brooklyn or Queens).
Kills is the Dutch word for creek, and we wanted to highlight the tributaries that are apart of Newtown Creek. A number of people suggested Newtown Creek geographic-based names and we wanted a way to do more than just reference or list these. So, imagining the canoe as Newtown Creek itself with each side as the two boroughs that border the creek (port side = Queens; starboard = Brooklyn) one can approximately place each tributary’s name where it intersects with the main channel of Newtown Creek. East Branch lies at the end of the main channel in both Brooklyn and Queens, so it is split at bow of the boat on to either side.
Of course the easiest way to understand this creative take on naming a boat is to see an illustration (click to enlarge):
We will be placing the ‘names’ on the boats in the coming month and look forward to continuing to take more community groups, educational institutions and regular folk from NYC out onto the waterways in them. If interested in on-water environmental education please contact us: northbrooklynboatclub (at) gmail (dot) com