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At night, Tall Ships become Party Boats
By Christopher A. Szechenyi, Boston.com Staff, 07/14/00
BOSTON –- The Indonesians went wild.
The crew of the Tall Ship Dewaruci sang, danced and kept their guests enthralled with their hospitality as a near-full moon circled over the Black Falcon Pier last night.
“Indonesia, Indonesia, Indonesia!” chanted an enthusiastic crowd of dozens of people, who enjoyed the party aboard the three-masted ship.
The scene aboard the Dewaruci was just one of countless festive backdrops offered by the Tall Ships last night.
“They’re lovely people,” said Hayley Snaddon, a neighborhood coordinator who works for Mayor Thomas Menino, the party’s sponsor. “They love to dance.”
Among those on deck, shaking his booty with the Indonesians was Del Chrisgman, who calls himself “the dog man.” The hot dog vendor with the Lowell Spinners just couldn’t get enough of the Indonesians’ friendly spirit.
“Why does it have to take an event like this to get the countries together,” he asked, noting that he had run into two Indonesian sailors, became fast friends and then exchanged gifts, including Boston Red Sox memorabilia.
That serendipitous connection between people from different nations, cultures and walks of life was the underlying theme of the night from one dock to another.
If the Tall Ships are the big draw for tourists during the day, they're the backdrop for a multitude of parties at night.
The scene is one that also draw hundreds of recreational boaters, who longingly cruised past the line of big ships, waving at partygoers and gazing at the gigantic sailing vessels.
More than partying takes place. Many times, the bashes take place with business in mind.
Aboard the three-masted Dar Mlodziezy from Poland, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau played host to dozens of people eyeing Boston as a potential site for future meetings.
There was, for example, Joe Williams -- who allowed as how he might recommend Boston as an option for a gathering of the National Black MBA Association in 2004. (That's after the city’s new convention center has been built and the Big Dig project winds down.)
“Boston will be the perfect fit,” Williams said, as he sipped on a cocktail.
And Jeffrey G. Liss was checking out the scenery for the National Space Society, a 21,000-member group based in Washington, D.C. that is devoted to colonizing outer space.
“We’re in the business of trying to hasten the day when people will live and work in space,” said Liss, a lawyer from Chicago. “We want to settle a new frontier just like the people did in Boston 200 years ago.”
(Actually, Boston is closer to 400 years old.)
In addition to those with “space fever,” there were those who waxed nostalgic about past connections to the sea.
Ann Spatharakis, who recently moved to Cambridge to work at the Marriott Hotel, recalled how she met her husband, George, a Greek sailor.
After she ran into him in Newport in 1981, where his ship stayed in the port for just two days, Spatharakis dated him by flying back and forth to Athens.
Two years later, as fireworks went off over the ocean, he asked her to marry him. (Last night, he was home taking care of their children.)
Last night's festive mood, and perfect weather, reminded Spatharakis of her good fortune.
A cool breeze gently sifted through the tall ships’ masts, the night sky was filled with dramatic clouds and the sea reflected the lights hung like Christmas tree strands along the boats’ riggings.
Spatharakis took it all in and pronounced herself pleased. “It’s a beautiful night. Boston is phenomenal.”