Halloween party on board HS Bach

Halloween party

Many people consider Halloween a children’s holiday or just a foolish way in which adults behave like children, but it is nothing wrong in this. Adults should never forget how to have fun and how to enjoy perfectly harmless children games in order to keep their spirit young as long as possible. Moreover, leisure and fun activities are always welcome on a vessel where people work many hours continuously without the prospect of enjoying peaceful and rewarding evenings in the warm and cozy environment of their beloved homes.

After last year Halloween – spent on board HS Debussy – 31st of October 2015 found me on the West Coast of USA on board HS Bach, in the middle of a friendly and preponderantly young crew eager to take part in a funny costume competition. As the vessel had called some USA ports prior to our planned celebration, most of the crew members – regardless of their age and rank – took this assignment very seriously and made the necessary preparation. And where else do you have the best opportunity to buy Halloween costumes if not in the USA – the place where this pagan religious celebration was transformed in a commercial and funny one?

As we were underway to Manzanillo and the weather was perfect for an outside barbeque, we arranged the ‘stage’ on the portside B deck and scheduled the costume competition after the traditional barbeque dinner.

Halloween party

When the sun started its descend towards the horizon and almost at the same time when all the American kids began their ‘trick or treat’ house-to-house walking, we shut down the lights, increased the volume for our favourite Halloween song (Thriller by Michael Jackson) and marked the beginning of the competition with our disguised appearances. After that – in groups or pairs – all the participants introduced themselves to the audience and received their applauses and the well deserved candies. In a few minutes, all the competitors took the central stage and a wonderful display of scary masks engaged in a funny and competitive ‘dance’ in order to convince the jury about their abilities.

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

The votes were cast taking into account many aspects – originality, stage performance, level of thrill induced – and, in the end, four of the participants were offered prizes and everyone’s recognition as ‘the best Halloween masks’.

Halloween party

Halloween party

A lot of photos were taken, many glasses were shared and a delicious tiramisu cake, together with other sweets and candies, were offered to the competitors, but to the public, as well.

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

The outside party continued with karaoke music and loud laughter as photos were shared, admired and discussed and a lot of questions about the provenience/price/ significance/manufacturing of costumes were asked. In the mean time, while some of the participants – with or without masks – were proving the best of their music abilities, others took the Halloween competition to another level and started to exchange masks and combine costumes in the funniest arrangements possible.

Halloween party

Some of the guys were a little too shy  to show their faces to the crowds and put on their disguise only for a smaller audience – in Officers’ Recreation Room.

Halloween party

We would have liked to carry on with the party for an hour or two more, but we had to call it a night due to an early maneuver which was waiting for us the next morning.

I am sure everybody had a lot of fun – competing or not – and the hundreds of photos and movies which were taken will remind each and everyone that laughing is the perfect therapy for relaxing, ‘recharging the batteries’ and easing the pain of homesickness. Laugh is what makes us feel young, free and alive, even during a difficult and stressful voyage. It is up to us to make use of it as often as we can and to embrace it everyday – no matter how hard it may seem.

So, if Halloween finds you on board the vessel, try and make the best of it. Laugh and bring a smile on other people’s faces and never forget the childhood games. It will do you a lot of good and it may also bright up the day for those people who are usually less optimistic and feel more homesick than you. You can put on a disguise or help others in their pursuit for original costumes, play a funny trick to one of your colleagues, carve your own special pumpkin and put your imagination to work while decorating the surrounding in accordance with the event.

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

Halloween party

If you do not like to take part in such a celebration, do not discourage those who want to get involved and do not spoil the fun. You may find yourself a place in the jury and criticize constructively as much as you want. In the end, two or three hours of fun will harm nobody and you may even like it.

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