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Review: Noah's Ark, 18th July

Melting glitterpaint, surprise swim stops and drowning penguins.

The many legions of Zoo Ibiza fans are a loyal bunch. The process of donning your finest animal print swimsuit and slathering on the glitter war-paint on your face, upper arms, chest or back has become a ritual for many who attend these events, and most jump at the chance to extend the experience with the Zoo pre party, Noah's Ark, often selling out.

Determined to fight through the heat of the day, the queue for the boat party was buzzing on Saturday - a little melted face paint and a hot sun not enough to fry the spirit out of attendees - we were ready to let out our wild side. On we all filed to the Ark in our pairs (and that's as far as I'll take the analogy, promise), most choosing the open air top deck, where an awning had been stretched across to save us from the ferocity of the sun. Once out of the harbour the boat picked up a bit of speed and a loud and collective sigh of relief was heard across the deck, as a heavenly breeze swept its way across our sweaty foreheads. As if from a summer slumber, we began to stir.

Props to the lovely Noah's Ark promo girls, who managed to not only mobilise their own faculties, but pod, proke and stir the lethargic group of glitter-clad creatures onto the dance floor and get all our limbs a-swinging on the high seas. Things only got better from here, as a surprise swim stop (these aren't actually scheduled into the Noah's Ark boat parties) was soon announced. No bikini? No problem. I, and others like me, jumped eagerly into the brilliant blue sea clothes and all, the most entertaining of whom was a jovial lad encased between many furry layers of penguin suit, on duty as Noah's Ark mascot but slowly cooking like a pot roast. Penguin man flailed about for a while, debunking the myth of a penguin's contrasting gracefulness in water, I floated on my back with the sun on my face and some girl lost a shoe, before all too quickly the swim stop was over and it was time to cruise the Med.

Drip drying with a beer in hand, we grooved to house tunes, making new friends we would later see at Zoo proper to continue the party with an ever-growing Ibiza session crew. The view of the Mediterranean coastline was beautiful, the sun no longer an enemy now wind and water were in play, and the music a good taste of the beats coming our way later that evening. All too quickly we found ourselves gliding back into San Antonio harbour, a quick food stop on the cards before making the short trek out to Benimussa Park, long time Ibiza home of The Zoo Project.

Zoo Project itself was in fine form and must have been at least close to a sell out, however the great thing about the open air Zoo is that it can be extremely busy and yet you never feel cramped. There are so many different creative spaces to explore and the roofless, outdoor areas, adorned with quirky objects, animal statues and stages designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment create a natural - even wild - space in which to throw it down of a Saturday. We'd been on Zoo time since 3pm that day, but with so much variety and creative stimulation, the nine hours until close of doors seemed to sail by.

Noah's Ark isn't the rowdiest of all the boat parties, but with over five hours of Zoo Project waiting for you when you disembark, most use it as an opportunity to make some friends, ease their way into party mode and take in the beautiful sights of the Ibiza coast line. With war paint and glitter from the start, naturally.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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