"I love the ocean, and I love the water," says Ray Raposa, whose sailboat tour (with his band the Castanets) began on Saturday. Raposa, who was raised here and surfed competitively as a teen, still considers San Diego his home base. The singer-guitarist is hooking up with fellow "freak folk" artists Peter and the Wolf and Jana Hunter for a two-week float down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway on a 28-foot sailboat.
They'll play shows in ports from New York City to Norfolk, Virginia, almost every other day. They expect to travel 35--50 nautical miles a day. "We're still finalizing the venues," elaborates Hunter. "They have to be close enough to walk to or within reasonable cab fare from the dock."
"But we're still gonna do some shows on the boat itself," adds Raposa.
The notion for a tour by sailboat arose while Hunter and Peter and the Wolf principal Red Hunter (no relation to Jana) were shooting pool a few months ago.
"Red's into unconventional touring," says Hunter, "and we were discussing alternatives to being in a car all the time. He wanted to tour by train; I wanted to tour by bicycle. Then we both got excited about the sailing idea -- and then a friend of mine who was buying a boat...offered to be the skipper."
What ensued was a minor media feeding frenzy when the story was spun as a fuel-saving approach to touring. The story was written up in Newsweek (and other publications) and broadcast on MTV, VH1, CNN, and ABC, including segments on Good Morning America and World News Tonight.
"I thought it was funny," muses Raposa. "ABC talked to Red for a goddamned hour, and the quote they pulled from him was something like, 'Chicks dig boats' -- and he's a profound dude, he can say a lot of things!"