I have now reached the web site of the Natural Environment Research Council from which I learn (and I quote):
"The Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) new polar research vessel will be the UK's largest and most advanced research ship yet. She will allow scientists to carry out research safely and efficiently, even through the harshest of winters, in both Antarctica and the Arctic. To celebrate the launch of our new research ship, we have launched the #NameOurShip campaign. Currently we’re calling her ‘NPRV’, which isn’t very catchy! So we’re inviting you to suggest a name for her."Although numerous names have been suggested, the top three are - in the usual reverse order:
3. RRS Poppy-Mai, this being the name of a girl only a few days old and destined not to live much longer. 18,340 votes.
2. RRS Rocinante. And this is where I have to confess that I failed to understand the second reason for suggesting this name. The first was, of course, a reference to Don Quixote, which seems to me to be rather an unfortunate link! 19,858 votes.
1. RRS Boaty McBoatface. The reason? "It's an absolutely brilliant name." 108,473 votes.
I am well aware that the Man (or somebody) once commented that a rose by any other name, and so one, but I just can't get my head around the idea that serious scientific research could be undertaken on a vessel name Boaty McBoatface.
Boaty McBoatface: sounds to me like a nautical equivalent of Thomas the Tank Engine, suitable reading for nobodu over the age of 7.