Cowabunga! She changed our life dramatically over 10 years. Such a loaded word, such a loaded name. Originally attributed to use by a character in a 1950s TV children's show, "cowabunga" is now commonly accepted as an exclamation of pure joy, a yell of exhilaration. Surfers are said to have adopted it in the 1960s to punctuate their delight and enthusiasm when catching the perfect wave.
When I first met my husband, we were college students in France, and surfing was his pastime. I'm not sure if he even knew that word yet at the time with his then-limited English, but in that I was from California, and he knew the state from prior trips well before he met me, he was familiar with the surfing culture, so he adopted the word. Later, after we were married and had embarked upon this project of a sailing adventure, and eventually a new way of life, we couldn't think of a more perfect name than Cowabunga to christen our future home. The name embodied our cry of joy and would come to signify our passion for travel, discovery, and adventure. We were ecstatic, exhilarated, elated, thrilled, and intoxicated with excitement when we bought her. Simply Cowabunga! Not only our home, but she would also be the vehicle for our new life, our passport to adventure. And before we knew it, she became our identity. On the seas, among other cruisers and families like us, we were known as the Famille Cowabunga.