Tonight we explored the secrets of the sea from aboard a mysterious shipping vessel moored in the San Francisco Bay. Rum and citrus were recurring themes. No-one got seasick, but we did encounter a strange visitor from distant lands.
A man claiming to be a conceptual ocean approaches you. He is more sea flotsam than man: buoys, barnacles, shells, and seaweed drape his body. He has just returned from the Azores islands off the coast of Portugal where he worked as a dairy farmer and a fishing ship chef. He was drawn there by stories of the lost city Atlantis, long rumored to be somewhere in that area. After years of chasing whispers and sailing the seas, he at last found an unmapped island populated completely by travelers from all over the world. The travelers had come in search of Atlantis. Finding nothing, they decided to build Atlantis themselves, making an island completely out of soil brought from their home countries. They called the island New Atlantis, and they live there secretly today, awaiting discovery by intrepid explorers.
The strange man pours out a jar of dirt on his weathered map. This, he says, is dirt from the island. He then produces a large jar full of a creamy green elixir. This is a traditional soup from New Atlantis, a cool blend of seaweed and soft Portuguese cheese.
Serve each other this elixir, he says, touch the dirt, and you are as close to Atlantis as they are.
Emergency Lime Dive
The crew helps the seaman out of his ritual garment and into some more practical clothes. “You’re just in time,” the commanding officer says. “We’ve lost our last crate of limes overboard. Crossing the Atlantic is no small feat, and we’ll need those limes to stave off scurvy. We did manage to recover some of the limes, but we lack the technology to separate the limes from the seawater–limes are a delicate fruit, best handled with the teeth. Any able-bodied man who can retrieve a lime from the seawater using only his mouth will be rewarded with an extra ration of rum.”
The man from the sea, strong of tooth and sharp of eye, snatches a lime from the tub in no time.
A Snack In Every Port
A map and a compass lie in front of you. Look for the dot that represents your ship. Place the point of the compass on the dot, and mark the ship’s next location with the pencil. Where you land determines what you eat.
Open Water: Crust of Bread & Slice of Lime
Cookie Confederation: Sugar Cookie
Appetizer Archipelago: Mini ShishkabobCupcake Coast: Chocolate Cupcake
Sultanate of Salmon: Cracker with Salmon and Cream Cheese
Principality of Parch: Dangerous-looking Bottle of Unidentified Booze
A conveyor belt rotates continually. Surgical-masked workers with very clean hands assemble hors d’oeurves, assembly-line style: first a cracker, then a piece of chicken, then a piece of cheese, then a toothpick to keep it together. At the end of the assembly line, receive your fully assembled snack.
The Three Essentials
Take a peanut butter malt ball, symbolizing the Earth. Roll it in sea salt, symbolizing the ocean. Put it in your mouth and chew. Wash it down with sherry, traditional drink of the divine.
In olden days, sailors ate a lot of hard tack–dry, crummy bread that lasts forever and tastes like cardboard. After months at sea, tack would frequently get infested by weevils. Sailors, finding this gross, resorted to eating the tack at night, so they couldn’t see the weevils in the dark.
Climb into the hammock. Close your eyes. Eat the dry biscuits. Surely there isn’t anything creepy inside them.
Sea Boat Shalom
Eat a portion of gefilte. Look at your hands in the candlelit glow. Smell cloves.
Splice the Mainbrace
Of all the tasks a sailor is called to do, there are few more dangerous or challenging than splicing the mainbrace. The mainbrace is a critical piece of rigging. Without it, a ship is dead in the water. When damaged, it can only be repaired by a long splice. This job was often called for during battle, and any sailor who managed to complete the repair would be rewarded with an extra ration of rum.
These days, the rigging has disappeared but the rum has not. Your server issues you a challenge: climb into the rafters and sing a pirate song while hopping around in a festive jig. He’ll reward you with a hearty swig.
Secret Brown Indian
A man from India has brought with him a traditional family recipe for spiced chai. Guess all five spices correctly and he’ll reward you with a proper cocktail; guess wrong and you’ll have to make it yourself.
The spices are cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. The exact proportion is a family secret. The cocktail mixes milk, vodka, root beer, Kahlua, and chai over ice.
The sea cucumber is a creature more gonad than brain. It reproduces with a voluminous, indiscriminate eruption of sperm or ova. These clouds combine in the water, and within three days fertilized eggs develop into free-swimming larva.
Thrust your hand into the cardboard box. Walk your fingers through the granola. When your hand encounters another person’s hand, simulate copulation. Snack on dry seaweed throughout.
Eat a mealworm. It’s alive. Do it quickly before he gets too warm. Right now he’s sleepy, but once he warms up he’ll be nippy.
Lay down on the robotic skateboard. Let it roll you about until you arrive at the foot of a couch where a shot of vitaboosted green fruit health smoothie juice is tipped into your mouth. Swallow and dismount.
A Salt on the Senses
Dip green onion into salt water. Taste without biting. Write down the flavor. Bite off a piece of onion. Write down the difference in taste. Chew a piece of green onion. Write down a sad memory.
Ladle milk tea with boba into your cup. Drink with large straw. If you find a Swedish fish at the bottom, receive a hug.