The inaugural Holy Ship! cruise, which sailed this past weekend from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas with a huge cast of electronic music artists and fans in tow, hit a serious snag on Saturday morning. Like, the MSC Poesia literally snagged land, and things got shaky for a while for Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Diplo, and the rest of the crew. Note: This is the same boat that is scheduled to take a whole bunch of Deadheads back out to sea today on the 10th annual Jam Cruise, which is sold out.
New Times photographer Ian Witlen says the commotion started at about 7 a.m. on Saturday when the boat was scheduled to dock at Port Lucaya in the Bahamas. "I was fast asleep," he says. "When it happened, it was like
'boom!' A huge bang. Grinding and rattling and everything started
shaking. I had a half plate of food on my side table that flew off onto
the floor. I heard the people in the room next to me freaking out and
screaming, 'Oh my god, we're going down, where's the life vests? We're
What followed was a day-long ordeal of dislodging the massive vessel from the land, which required five tugboats and took until almost 10 p.m. Not exactly what the folks planning to attend Steve Aoki's afternoon poker tournament had in mind, but aside from a few delays, all of the Saturday events still occurred, according to Witlen.
Some footage of the MSC Poesia getting pulled by the tugboats has popped up online, and complete with some smug, procedural commentary by a diver. "The water's about 15 feet deep here -- the ship needs 26," he informs us. "Almost like a porn shot, we know exactly what this ship did to our reef, and our livelihoods."
"The entire time the tugboats were pulling
and the ship's engine was running in reverse, it was a constant rattling
and shaking of the boat," Witlen says. "Trying to eat dinner while your water glass is
swaying side-to-side and the chandelier shaking is uncomfortable."
But again, this was a party cruise, and the incident became a bit of a running joke throughout the rest of the trip. According to Witlen, "If anything, it
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improved drink sales."
More on Holy Ship! here, and we'll have more updates throughout the week.