Thank you, Barry! Wish you could be there. Good to see you posting again on MC. The sings do have a history that goes back further than it's infancy. It was "in utero" around 1979, as I've heard it from Dave Nettell and others, when, after the 1st Festival of the Sea, a group hung back for an evening song session. At the end, someone said "Do we have to wait until the next festival to do this again?" So, there were intermittent smallish gatherings for chanteys after that. In 1981 the park officially adopted the idea and scheduled it to be a regular monthly program.
I attended my first one in November, 1989. I have Simon Spalding and Beth Zekley (then Beth Clark) to thank, as they invited me to go with them and we piled into their VW Beetle. I had no idea the sing was run by the Natl Park Service. I saw a ranger leading it (Celeste Bernardo), and about 100 people having a great time aboard a beautiful historic ship, and my ambitions of being a librarian suddenly changed to that of being an NPS ranger!