Sometimes weeks go by and there doesn’t seem to be much to say of any note and then there is a whole book to be written about just one evening! I want to tell you about one such evening. But before I do a short diversion. I have said before that it is the people you meet when cruising that makes it so special – here in Antigua is no exception – there are so many people with amazing stories. Their stories reveal so many ways people have enabled themselves to live this life. Mostly what is behind the stories is a combination of talent, years of hard graft and a generous dollop of risk taking. People like Vlad and Olga – who had run away from the USSR – then with literally not a dime have made millions in the USA and then there is Simon and Holly – Simon was a Marine and served in Afganistan before being medically discharged after he was blown up ….not everyday people and NOT everyday stories. There is a book to be written about the life stories of these extraordinary people. Nick and Teresa are amongst the extraordinary crowd. Nick was a world class dentist and built his skill and business to the highest level and then sold his practice so came sailing. Like all sailors we have met he is multi-talented and in addition to being a skilled sailor he is also an awesome musician. Nick has patiently coached me and supported me with my singing. I love singing but when I sing in public I feel very exposed and vulnerable – I don’t feel the same when doing public speaking or presenting ideas but I do feel it when singing. So, during this process I have moved through the creative process:
- This is Amazing
- This is Tricky
- This is Shit
- I am Shit
- This might be alright
- This is Amazing
I am familiar with this process but actually living it in a short period of time has been an interesting adventure. When I have hit the ‘This is shit – I am shit’ correlation – Nick and Mark and friends have been there to help push me and support me towards to the final two pieces of the process ‘This might be alright – This is amazing”
Initially singing with Nick on his boat, then on ours, then at the Beach BBQ. Then that led to going to an open mic night and finally creating a set and performing on Stage at the Antiqua Classics week. It has been fun to set increasingly stretching goals. Working with Nick has made this easy as he just says “right – we are doing a gig next week so we have to create a set and do it” There is no discussion or debate! The goal is set and we do it. We have even got a band name. Nic-O-Tine – a nasty habit!
So there we were – Saturday night in Falmouth Harbour. A professional stage was set with every manner of microphone, instruments and speakers. The organizer had told us the standard was high. It turned out to be a wonderful blend of singers and musicians from all over the world – folk singers from Flamouth in the UK and a local musician who was performing his own songs. It all seemed to be flowing well except there were two things wrong. Firstly the organizer had booked a professional band to play in case there were gaps – but what actually happened was that the professional band hogged the stage and those who wanted an Open Mic were faced with a closed one. Secondly the sound engineer made the local band sound amazing and was variable on the support he was giving the other musicians. He got increasingly stroppy through the evening and ended up actually switching mics off. One of these occasions was when Nick and I were performing. I was trying not to take it personally. We had to stop performing. I turned my back on the audience and spoke to the guy. I put out my hand to shake his and said that we understood that it must be a frustrating evening but that we were not professionals. He looked at me with fury burning in his eyes and he refused to shake my hand. I felt this was getting out of hand. Then Terysa told Nick to just leave the stage and she flew on the stage to give the sound guy a good talking to!
Mark was delighted he said “This evening just has everything!”
It was good fun and it was also a great experience.
There are only 11 more days to go before we fly home and I hope that we can get more singing done – several more gigs and an Album!
The transition is perfectly painted in the following three images
Open Mic Night at Lime
Main Stage at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta