Another cruise! Somebody thought this was the twelfth ship on which Yacht Rock has sailed. I really can't remember. We've done two Rock Boats, Weezer, Live Loud, VH1, Zac Brown, Train, Jillian Michaels, KISS, Kid Rock, the Grammy Cruise, and this one.
Friday: For this cruise (Sail Across the Sun with Train), we flew into Ft. Lauderdale and took a van and trailer down to the Port of Miami. Lots of people crammed into the van.
Port o' Miami.
My room, just down the hall from the last cruise's room (5584 vs. 5514).
I got a little practicing in every day--about an hour and a half. Fortunately, there was no cabin on the other side of this wall so I only had one neighbor, and that person never said anything.
Our first show was in the theatre on the first evening.
Nice picture from show, courtesy of a girl named Shelley.
After that, most of the guys moved to another room to serve as the backing band for John Driskell Hopkins (just as they had at the Greg Lee Show at Eddie's Attic).
Tragedy at the frozen yogurt station.
Some love from my valentine.
The first day of this cruise was marked by a silverware crisis. Perhaps the guy who usually put the forks and knives in the napkin and rolled it up had jumped ship. Whatever the reason...major crisis!
Saturday: sea day, so nothing much happened. I slept a lot. After the Hopkins show, I went to bed at 11:30 PM and (except for a pee break in the morning) slept til 1:30 PM. Other than exercise and practicing, not much was accomplished during this day.
I drank a lot of coffee at the outdoor eating area at the back of the ship, sipping and reading my book (currently plowing through Geoff Emerick's Here, There, and Everywhere).
Saturday night was our second set. It was supposed to be our U2 set, but the guys from Train asked us to play yacht rock instead. What could we say?
Another good set. I remember that it was really windy and really loud (and we started at midnight), and I couldn't help but think about how much sound was coming off of the boat in the middle of the ocean. I guess we were far enough away land (and other boats) that it didn't matter.
Sunday: Woke up and looked out my window. Key West! I would've thought Key West had a cruise ship port, but they said were at a navy base. No pictures!
Some views off the back of the boat.
I went ashore with Greg Lee and his wife, Hop and his wife, and their friend Jolie. Once ashore, we met up with Jolie's husband Rizzi, who happened to be playing a gig in Key West this weekend with Mike Veal.
Hop, Jenn, Mike Veal, Nicole, Greg, Rizzi, and Jolie. Nick joined up with us a bit later.
Four mojitos and half a cookie in, we went to visit Jimmy Buffett's studio in Key West. Here we are on the drunken parade.
Fins to the left, fins to the right.
Inside Jimmy Buffett's studio.
Maybe not that exciting. Really just a main room, a booth, and a control room.
Nice organ. Dig the light switch for changing the speed of the Leslie.
I was playing piano, and all of the sudden, everybody was GONE! I'd been locked in the studio by myself. About 10 minutes later, Greg Lee called, found me, and got me out of there.
I made the news on social media:
At around the same time, a burst of messages from me to Bencuya. The voice to text thing made it seem worse than it was.
Onward! I followed Greg and Nicole on a wandering shopping excursion. Nobody bought these.
Sloppy Joe's! As close as we got to any Hemingway stuff.
We got back to the boat and I took a two hour nap. I woke, showered, and made it to the evening's first event: name that tune with the Yacht Rock Revue. It was all 90s stuff, as I recall, which meant that I was totally worthless. Surprisingly, we didn't win.
After that, most of us headed to our dinner reservation at the teppanyaki place. Always good.
Monkeyboy's snack fingers were in overdrive.
Our chef happened to be very good at origami.
I figured it was probably safest for me to go back to my room.
Monday, I woke up in the Bahamas. The view from my cabin.
The view from the top of the ship.
I wasn't going to go ashore; nothing on Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line's private island) that I haven't seen before, plus I was pretty sunburned from Key West. However, Atlanta was having horrible weather, so I felt obligated to at least stand on the beach.
My ride on the tender was empty.
I ran into Bencuya and we hung out for a minute (I also drank half of somebody's mudslide).
Monday night at midnight, we played our third show, back in the theatre. Nothing new to report. We ended up not doing U2 at all, so the set list for this one was cobbled together from odds and ends.
It started with our version of We Are the World; Nick tried to play the backing track off the internet. At the end of the first verse, the track died. He tried to restart it, but the internet on the ship was too slow to accommodate audio. Failure! Oops! Except for a few memory lapses on less often played songs, we did pretty well on the rest of the gig. I didn't have my flute with me (saving myself one more thing to drag around), so I played piccolo on Lowdown, but other than a look from Nick, nobody flinched.
In the rush to clear the stage (we were the last show on that stage for the cruise), my phone fell out of my jacket pocket. When I got back to my cabin, I knew I must've left it there. Fortunately, the crew guys had already picked it up and turned it into the production office. A band-wide text with this picture went out. Around the same time, I ran into a crew guy (after I'd crawled around on the empty stage for ten minutes), who told me where my phone had ended up. I rescued it around five minutes later.
Tuesday. Back to Ft. Lauderdale. This airport was rough. Very few food choices, and (unsurprisingly) about a million old people. The line of people in wheelchairs waiting to board our plane was longer than I have ever seen (seven chairs), which made boarding the plane a real treat.
Hope to see you around Atlanta this week!
Dave and Dave Duo (with David Ellington) this Thursday at JCT Kitchen, 6-9 PM.
Please Pleaserock Me (Yacht Rock plays the Beatles) at Smith's Olde Bar, 8:30-11 PM.