we're sorry it's been so long since our last post. our excuse is that we were on an enormous ship in the middle of the ocean, internet was crazy expensive and we were distracted by things like shuffle board and buffets. that's right folks: we've just returned from the one and only ROCK BOAT.
in some ways, it feels like we spent a year on the rock boat. in other ways, it already feels like a dream, the finer details blurring and twisting into something unrecognizable. one thing is certain though: it was an experience for the history books.
i don't know quite where to begin - we spent most of our first day on the brink of passing out from our precautionary dramamine intake. that stuff's no joke. the second day had a stop on nassau, where we got the chance to scope out some of the finest legs the bahamas have to offer! check it out:
we also got the opportunity to interact with some genuine carribbean wildlife. and while it didn't quite compare to the 'shallow seas' episode of bbc's planet earth (which we watched the night before departure to prepare us for the possibility of a great white shark attack), it was still a special glimpse into another world. here's james cleare watching a needlefish spear a minnow:
he said it was pretty much as awesome as watching a seal eat a penguin.
that night we saw hanson play mmmbop. it was pretty much as awesome as watching a stingray devour a sand dollar.
we played the first of our two shows on the third day of the trip. we were on the 'lido deck' stage, which is where all the wind goes to hang out (see video above). but it was a blast, and the audience was great and the technical genius dudes who helped us sound like ourselves in the middle of the ocean were absolutely amazing.
one of the coolest things about the rock boat is that you get a chance to see a ton of different performers do their thing in front of audiences from all over the country (and the world). we got to see artists we grew up hearing on the radio (sister hazel, tonic, cowboy mouth), artists we'd heard OF but never gotten a chance to listen to (gaelic storm, aslyn, david ryan harris), friends we've made on the road over the past year (stephen kellogg and the sixers, the alternate routes) and bands we knew nothing about but came to love (the kin, garrison starr, the benjy davis project). also, there was a tangible feeling of community among all the performers, which was neat because the music business can feel quite competitive sometimes. i was so inspired by the feeling of comraderie that i created this scene out of oragami:
in case you can't tell, it's a green penguin playing the piano with an orange penguin singing its little penguin heart out. the green penguin isn't using the piano bench, but it's there for when he/she gets tired or decides to play a heartfelt ballad.
other highlights from the boat include a game of minigolf that got winded out (like rained out, but with wind) and some incredible slot machine victories...
...an adventure down the super-duper twisty slide, trips to the ice cream machine and, my absolute favorite, an amazing sing-along at the end of our second set with members of SK6ers, the alternate routes and our new friend brian. super good times. super.
since returning to miami yesterday i've been seeing stars, rocking back and forth inside my skin and occassionally lurching in nonsensical directions for no reason. but it's good to be back on the ground - and even better to be back in the lead sled.
next stop: gainesville!
with tropical love,
the lead sled