By: Jennifer Pinckney
Photos: courtesy of ShipRocked

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It is time for another adventure of Shiprocked! This year, Shiprocked celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary. I was stoked to be a part of it, even though it was only my third time being a part of this incredible vacation.

Most of us arrived on January 25th to Houston, Texas and were ready to check into our hotels and head out to the pre-party to kick off our week. This year’s pre-party was a scavenger hunt which required us to visit five different bars and return to the starting point to claim our t-shirt, free shot, and bragging rights. It was nice to experience a scavenger hunt in a city where none of us lived, and where a lot of us weren’t sober. I’m sure you can imagine some of the activities that went down that night.

The next day, January 26th, was the day we boarded the ship. This year’s port was in Galveston, Texas and getting on the boat was very quick and painless. I was rooming with three other photographers, and they were the best roommates I could have ever asked for. We got along great, besides one guy snoring, but he did crack a lot of jokes, so we had the time of our lives.

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Once we checked into our cabin, stood in line for the mustard station, and watched as we pulled away from land… we knew it was time for the party to begin.

Wilson took the stage at 5pm and immediately had us all jumping and rocking out with our horns up! Other bands that played later that night were Them Evils, Nonpoint, Motionless in White, Badflower, Sevendust, Blacktop Mojo, Rivals, 10 Years, and Bullet for My Valentine. Quite a line-up, and this was only the first day. The party doesn’t stop when the music is over, we all just move to the casino where we can drink, do karaoke, and mingle with other rockers.

Sunday, January 27th was a day at sea, but the day was filled with tons of music, meet & greets, games, and all kinds of food. A good amount of people even hit the gym bright and early today too! A couple of friends and I did Yoga at 9:30am and that was not easy holding poses since the boat was a bit wavy. First band to take the main stage was Them Evils, and during their set, it was getting a big cloudy, windy and cold, so a few bands were moved inside and moved to later start times. Better safe than sorry. I was able to see Badflower, Raveneye, Tremonti, The Stowaways (an acoustic set), Suicidal Tendencies, Nothing More and IPrevail. At midnight, we also had the privilege of seeing Comedian Brian Posehn and of course going to the casino for the after-after party.

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Monday, January 28th we had arrived in Cozumel, Mexico and off to exploring the island we go! Many people went to the beach party, and others went on excursions. At the beach party, Nonpoint was doing Beach wars with fans! Plus, you know music was being blasted at that party. I went on an excursion with three of my other photographer friends, which was perfect for us. We got to explore and take pictures along the way, our own little safari.

By 5:30pm everyone was expected to be back on the boat, so we didn’t leave anyone behind, and the famous Stowaways took the stage right at 6pm. Tonight was their tribute show to Oli Herbert, former guitarist of All That Remains. Oli was on many Shiprocks in the past, usually a member of the Stowaways and he never denied a fan for a picture or a drink. Very social and humble guy, and we all miss him terribly.

The Stowaways have different members in the group every year. This year, it was put together with the Aranda Brothers, Ryan Patrick of Otherwise, Doc Coyle of Bad Wolves, Mixi of Stiched up Heart, Mike Keller, Bumblefoot, Chad Grey of Hellyeah, Brian Welch of Korn, Leo Moracchioli, John Deservio, Joey Belladonna from Anthrax, Wuv Bernado plus many more. They played for a couple hours, rotating people after every other song and played their sets with mastery. I’m glad we made a tribute night to Oli.

After the Stowaways, the music continued with Rivals (who happened to be our neighbors... very nice and cool people to talk to), Islander, 10 years, Altitudes and Attitude, Royal Thunder, Papa Roach, and Atreyu.

During Papa Roach, a couple of my photographer friends decided to get engaged, well the guy (Trevor Williams) asked Jacoby (lead singer of Papa roach) if he would allow him on stage to purpose to his girlfriend Lizzy Davis. Jacoby eagerly replied with “Hell yes!” So, we were overjoyed that we got to witness and photograph that incredibly special moment. Not to mention how much I love Papa Roach, and their set was filled with so much energy, that it literally brought down part of the roof… oops!

Tuesday, January 29th was our second day on an island, but a different place to explore called Yucatan. My friends and I decided to go explore the town and see what was around. Sadly, the town looked pretty poor, but it did have a beautiful beach where we distracted ourselves looking for seashells and snapping a few pictures here and there.

By 5:00pm we had to be back on the ship, unless we wanted to stay behind... luckily, I don’t think we left anyone behind. And the Stowaways were first up to start our night festivities. On that night, the guys dedicated their set to Vinny and Dime, a couple of other legends that we lost recently. Talk about an emotional vacation! But I’m sure these rock legends were rocking on the boat with us as we were singing for them.

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Other bands that played on this night were Monster truck, Iprevail, Nonpoint, Davey Suicide, Raveneye, Bullet for my Valentine and Nothing More. All of the bands play twice, so we are able to see all the bands. Shiprocked is like a Rock Festival on water… there is so much going on at the same time, it is hard to see everything, but if each band plays twice, we are more likely to see all that we want to see. And then once midnight comes around, it’s another comedy show, or of course the party in the casino, and that party continues till at least 4am.

Wednesday, January 30th, our last day on the boat. This day always comes way too fast. I made sure to get up early, do yoga once more, get a good breakfast with my friends and see as much as I could. Every year, we get to know more people who continue to take this trip, and it’s so cool to hear where they are from and we learn that we all share so much love for music. Specifically, rock music and supporting bands who join us on this adventure and take the time to take pictures with us and prove that they are normal people, just like us.

The first band on deck was Hyro the Hero, followed by Atreyu, royal thunder, Motionless in White, Joey Belladonna, ’68, Suicidal tendencies, Tremonti, Brave the royals, Papa Roach, Sevendust and last but not least was Wilson. They were the first set to play, it made sense for them to play last before the stages had to be broken down.

Most people were in the casino until 5am, trying to say their goodbye’s or trying to stay up because we knew we had to be getting off the boat around 9am the following day. Most people only got a few hours of sleep, that’s just how we roll, and we got a little breakfast at the buffet, hugged our friends, took selfies and went on our separate ways. ‘Till the next festival…


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