Hello! We’re Eli & Fur (Eliza Noble and Jennifer Skillman). Welcome to our weekly download of stories from the road—a snapshot of what our lives look like while embarking on our first ever North American Tour. For the next four weeks we’ll be stitching together our thoughts, photos, film and music to give you a little bit of insight into who we are and what inspires us, excites us and drives us.
Day 13—Wednesday, Nov. 11
Today was the first day of The Mad Decent Boat Party cruise: four days traveling, three days at sea and a stop off in Mexico for a beach party. We performed two DJ sets and had a two-hour autograph session, which was a first for us. We were both pretty apprehensive about the cruise, only as it’s never really been first on our list of things to do. However, the first day was interesting and as with all these situations, was worth the experience.
The thing that surprised us most was the size of the ship. Getting on was pretty extreme—we were met, escorted through security and had our bags searched with sniffer dogs patrolling all the lines. The security was crazy and the amount of people getting on the ship was mind blowing. Once on board, however it didn’t feel full. It’s spread out so much that the only time it felt busy was during main stage performances.
The music we heard on board was a mix of EDM, trap and hip-hop—not a lot of house, which was daunting, but we have noticed in the US how open-minded everyone is to different genres. Everyone just seems like they want to have a good time, which is what it’s all about.
It was great to meet and hang out with the Snakehips boys and drink Piña Coladas in the Casino. Fur won $250 in the casino on a slot machine, which was all very exciting.
Day 14—Thursday, Nov. 12
It was a shocking eight hours. The cruise started off great. It surprised both of us how under control everyone was—less rowdy than we thought it’d be. We spent the first day getting to know the ship, exploring, listening to music, some great, some not so great. Our autograph session was a lot of fun; we had Lunice on our left and Chris Lorenzo on our right, who we’d partied with the night before and had a very competitive shot-filled bowling game). We were consequently all feeling extremely hungover, though lots of coffee helped us through the signing.
As the day went on, everything seemed fine—the vibes were good. We were getting ready for the evening in our cabin when we first heard of the disaster. An announcement came on the ship’s speakers saying they had a “Code Oscar Situation,” meaning someone had fallen overboard. This was the worst possible time for this to happen; the ship was at full speed and it had just got dark. The announcements repeated, explaining the situation. All the music stopped and there was a huge sense of panic and shock. It’s amazing how quickly rumors spread in these situations and everyone was talking about what may or may not have happened. The captain immediately turned the ship around and headed back to the spot where it happened. We walked up to the top deck; the waves were large and the wind was up, so the rocking of the ship was too intense to stay in the cabin.
We watched as they deployed three life boats. The things that go through your mind, how horrific that must be, darkness spreading out for miles—the helplessness of these tiny life boats against the vastness of the ocean. It gives you the shivers. We all just prayed they find her and fast.
The search continued into the night. Other boats nearby joined in helping, as well as a plane that flew in circles about the ship. The tannoy announcements continued to come: “We now have six boats in the water and a plane assisting in the search. We thank you again for your cooperation, we will continue to update you.”
Day 15—Friday, Nov. 13
Still nothing by 8 am that morning and the boat had been floating with the current since the engines were turned off the night before. The music came back on after an announcement that the US and Cuban Coast Guard would be taking over the search and we would return to Miami, as we were too far to make it to Mexico and back in time. It felt so weird with everything that happened for people to continue partying. I suppose it served as a distraction and we can’t imagine what things would’ve been like with silence on the ship. There was a somber mood and everyone was in complete shock.
It wasn’t until we turned on the news that evening that the second stroke of bad luck hit us. Could it get any worse? The attacks in Paris had just happened and we sat in the cabin together watching it all unfold as the ship rocked from side to side and the windy weather continued.
Day 16—Saturday, Nov. 14
Another day at sea and it didn’t feel, after everything that happened, more claustrophobic than perhaps it should have. No Wi-Fi on the ship meant a feeling of real disconnect, knowing about the incident in Paris and not being able to call home or speak to anyone about it. I think it was the most home sick we felt on the entire tour. Having each other is always a help, but the cabin fever was definitely setting in.
Our set was 10:30 pm that night. We played after M.O.N.R.E., but before Chris Lorenzo. It was nice to hear some good house music and get to know the other DJs; it was cool to see Martin Solveig, Oliver Heldens and Sam Feldt dancing at the front, despite everything that had happened in the past 24 hours. Martin’s set was on the main stage after, so we all headed over there. He stood on the decks and made a speech about Paris, which was very moving. We all cheered and as his set finished, Jack Ü was supposed to play, but the heavens opened and it began pouring. Not just a bit of rain, it crashed down onto the decks and the music cut. The weather went well with all the drama that happened, but the party definitely went out with a bang.
Day 17—Sunday, Nov. 15
We arrived back in Miami Harbour at 6 am and were still awake on one of the ship’s balconies after dancing all night. It was amazing to see the lights suddenly appear after not seeing land for what felt like forever.
We had two hours of sleep in our cabin and then finally it was time to disembark. We got off that ship as quick as we could and although not all the memories were bad and we’d met so many great people, it felt like a relief to be back on dry land.
Our next flight was back to NYC and when we touched down at La Guardia, we were excited to get to the apartment and rest. We arrived around 7 pm and slept until Monday morning.
Day 18—Monday, Nov. 16
Fully rested, we walked around Manhattan, Times Square and Central Park. We packed in as many tourist spots as we could and watched the sun go down at the side of the Hudson.
Dinner was at The Smile, a cute little restaurant down some steps. It was low lit with delicious food and great cocktails. Eli’s sister joined and it was great having drinks and chatting for hours—a good time to reflect on the tour and tell stories of the boat. It was the first time we have had a full day off and we definitely made the most of it. We both love New York and it was great to be back.