Why the Name: "Heaven By Sea"?

1981 C&C Landfall 35'

Many people ask us about the name of our boat.

The most direct answer is that these words are a shortened version of some of the last words of Sir Humphrey Gilbert as he returned to England from Newfoundland (a British colony, now a Canadian province) in 1583. The direct quote is this:

As James H. Marsh wrote in The Canadian Encyclopedia, "Nearing the coast of England the two ships (Squirrel and Golden Hind) encountered heavy seas. On September 9 the Squirrel was nearly overwhelmed but recovered, and in a calmer spell Gilbert hailed the Golden Hind. He was sitting towards the stern and called out, "We are as neare to Heaven by sea as by land.""

Some might find this name sacriligious, but I don't think so. The words are simply a statement that Heaven is near whether we are on land or on the oceans. I grew up on Prince Edward Island, and have a great affinity for the oceans and the land. Great (and great) grandfathers on my mothers side were captains sailing out of the quaint Rustico harbour on the north shore of PEI, in the late 1800's.

My legacy on my father's side is one of a yeoman. For hundreds and hundreads of years the Jeffery side worked the lands - mainly on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. These farmers left that land to come to PEI in 1806.

There are a couple of other reasons for the name - "Heaven By Sea"

My wife and I lived for eight years on the "Rock" - the island of Newfoundland. We love the people of Newfoundland and their proud and indeopendent spirit. Kevin Major (2002) wrote the epic book about Newfoundland: "As Near to Heaven by Sea: A History of Newfoundland and Labrador". My wife's grandfather emigrated from Scotland to Newfoundland in the ealry 1900;s and lived in Bay Roberts. Her mother was born there.

Finally, no boat's name would be complete without a song. Simani (a musical group whom I greatly admire) wrote this great song about their homeland, Heaven By Sea