When we first saw the boat, we didn't know her name. It may have passed our way, but it kept going strait past our memory banks.
Her name is Vitte III and she was built in 1967 by the Van Dam Nordia Shipyard in Norway. The site where it is located dates back to the 17th century, and the company proper was established in 1881 by Arie van Dam.
Since we didn’t know her name, I (lovingly) nicknamed her “Time Cop,” because she’s a Van Dam and the only Jean Claude Vandamme movie title I could think of was Time Cop.
As the purchase moved forward, we started thinking more seriously about her name. I was in Topsail Beach, NC with the Stubbs family brainstorming name ideas when the thought to name her after a Norse goddess was suggested.
Chris conveniently pulled out his iPhone and went to work searching for a goddess that fit the ship’s personality, and we found her: Freyja/Valfreyja.
Freyja is the Norse goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, witchcraft, war, and death.
Her primary mode of transportation is a cat driven chariot, she has a pet boar named Hildisvíni, and she wears a cloak made of falcon feathers.
I’m sure most people have heard of Valhalla (hall of the slain), a type of heaven for warriors that die in battle and is ruled over by Odin. Well, Freyja has her own heavenly afterlife field for those slain in battle known as Fólkvangr.
So it’s safe to say that Freyja is (pardon the language) a bad ass and a worthy name for our beast of a boat.
When the day to move the boat came and we met with Will and Sandi we learned her name, Vitte III, and the story behind the name.
The original boat owners were German and once owned a home in Vitte, Germany. Vitte is a port town on Hiddensee Island in the Baltic Sea and was a popular vacation destination for East German tourists. That is, until the Berlin Wall prevented travel to this area and the home (Vitte I) was lost.
Vitte II was the couple’s first boat (specs unknown), named for the home lost when the Berlin Wall was erected and the Steel Curtain was drawn.
Vitte III (our boat) was purchased in the late 1960s. She was primarily sailed in the North Sea, but she’s circumnavigated twice.
Knowing this history and imagining the heartache that must accompany losing a home containing so many memories, we could not, in good conscience, change her name.