Upon reading Kathleen Jamieâ€™s poem, The Blue Boat, one is immediately transported to a world of forlorn ships and wayward sailors. Her poem could also just as easily serve as a metaphor for San Franciscoâ€™s mythical relationship with the sea. The â€˜City By the Bayâ€™ is as rich in nautical history and lore as any other coastal region from the far corners of the globe, and houses a plethora of itâ€™s own ghost ships, oceanside ruins and magical looking glasses.
From the storied sailboats and steamers at the historic Hyde St. Pier, whose creaks and moans echo the voices of long forgotten passengers, to the now sunken remains of the fabled Sutro Bath Houses, San Francisco holds a unique position in the world of nautical mythology. Just take a tour of the Balclutha, a three-masted full-rigged ship which is moored at the Maritime National Parkâ€™s Hyde St. Pier, or a hike from the famous Cliff House down to the rocky, steep shores of the now ruinous Sutro Baths, and youâ€™ll be enveloped by the murky, mysterious air that hangs thickly over these environs. More importantly, however, is the fact that the cityâ€™s magical relationship with these seaside locales hasnâ€™t been presented prominently in film.
â€˜The Blue Boatâ€™ hopes to change this trend by exploring these mythical worlds through the eyes of Levi, a hardscrabble adolescent whose dreams of sailing the seven seas have been stifled by his father Nathan, the drunken sailor. By presenting these unseen worlds to an expectant audience, the film will expose a wide array of potential tourists to the beauty of the cityâ€™s often unseen maritime landmarks. And with the Americaâ€™s Cup World Series just around the corner, the filmâ€™s themes of nautical history and sailing are perfectly timed to garner attention for the sport as well.