On the first Saturday night of every month, you can sing sailor songs and drink hot cider aboard a three-mast tall ship from the 1880s. Awesome, right? The evening is called "Chantey Sing" and is hosted on the Balclutha at the Hyde Street Pier. For several great reasons (a) cider, b) a rad ship, c) singing history-rich awesome songs, d) it's free), we were excited to check it out. So the first Saturday of this month, we went and convinced our SF friends to join. We all met for dinner first at Bodega Bistro and to get us in the spirit, I brought pirate and shark tattoos for everyone to wear. We applied them at the dinner table, dunking napkins in our glasses of water. Everyone was tatted up and looking great by the time we left the restaurant.
|Carly is a classy pirate.|
|Jess, Finn, Bashir, Al, Me, and Carly is behind the camera. These are our best friends here!|
We arrived to Hyde St. Pier not knowing what to expect as the vague online description only read, "8 pm to midnight, wear warm clothing and bring a mug for hot cider".
|Photo compliments of Mrs. Carly Mask.|
|Carly also took this great picture of Ghiradelli Square from the boat. Everything looked so pretty all lit up.|
|Behold the Balclutha!|
What We Envisioned:
I think we all imagined some version of a rowdy pirate celebration where everyone, huddled together on the upper deck, would be clinging mugs and swaying together, singing jolly tunes that would be projected for everyone to see. I feel that Pirates of the Caribbean and Muppet Treasure Island can be held responsible for my inaccurate expectations.
What Actually Happened:
In reality, the event was held below deck in a seated semi-circle formation that had the somber feel of a clandestine church service. There was no projection of lyrics and no handouts, which made singing along difficult for us. By the time we caught on to the chorus, the song had ended. Most people knew the words and some participants even led songs! We were very out of place. Laughter resulted in glares from the regulars and I didn't get to cling glasses with a single stranger. Also, the cider was not free flowing out of busted barrels (again with the slightly unrealistic expectations) but served only once by a grouchy lady.
|We tried to hide in the back.|
Of course, we still had a really fun night together. After 6 or 7 songs were sung to which none of us knew the lyrics, we quietly exited and went to a different part of the boat where we could talk and laugh sans glares. We must have sat there for 2 hours sharing funny stories from childhood. I'm thankful for the friends we've made here, they have the x-factor we love in people which is the ability to make weird things fun.
. . .