If I kept to the plan, I’d be packing my bags right now and getting ready to board a plane back for Toronto. However, the plans changed and I’m getting ready to head down to town (Falmouth Harbour) to sit at a coffee shop, work on my Indiegogo memoir project, finish a song I’m writing and then head to the beach this afternoon before I head to The Inn to play music tonight. That sounds like a much better idea than couch-surfing in -28 degrees I think.  My initial plan was to drive out west to Nelson with a beau, but since that plan changed and the relationship is finito, I think the best place for me now is sun: surrounded by new friends/music makers. Two brothers from Brazil have just arrived and are shaking up the music scene here…playing funky rhythms (they play bass and drums) and I JUST found a weighted keys keyboard so I can finally jam it out on the instrument I know best. I’m really hoping to get something started with them…

Speaking of a change in plans, I went to France the other day (okay, well, actually Guadaloupe, but it IS part of France) on a boat with some folk that I knew from here in Antigua. The journey started off to be a bit dodgy with not being able to use the mainsail due to a rat eating through it. So, we motored for over 8 hours with the jib, with one of our mates suffering from seasickness….terribly. I too had to take a pill for motion sickness, which then lead me to sleep most of the way there, with the exception of the first two hours when I was at the helm, bashing through 6 foot swells. Remember those little weeble-wobble toys in the 70s? Yeah. That was us. The Guadaloupe harbour where we anchored (tried to re-anchor about 3 times due to CRAZY winds!) of Dehaines was sweet; surrounded by lush mountains and sea turtles swimming in the harbour. Great snorkeling speaking Francais, and French pastry…I ignored my wheat intolerance for a day or two. I felt like I was back in France again: no buses due to a bus strike, no taxis available, and lots of misinformation. Ah, vive la France! That being said, I saw a fabulous blues band one night  by myself, over a “Presidente” lager, and am SO inspired to start playing music with other people again. After a couple of days I realized that the quarters were really too small for 6 people, and the thought of “sailing” back without a sail, and motoring again for 8 hours was just too daunting. I had to be back for a Wednesday gig and didn’t want to pay $300USD for a 20 minute flight. And so, on Sunday morning I swam with the fish and turtles early and swam over to a boat where two men were sipping their early morning coffee. I inquired if they knew of any boats that were heading back to Antigua in the next few days, and they said the boat next to them might be leaving soon. I swam to the next boat, a 44 foot Catamaran, and tread water whilst shouting my question in French. “Oui”, the handsome captain replied, “nous allons aller pour Antigua maintnant.” That meant: “Yes, we’re going. NOW.” I quickly raced back to my boat (thank goodness for all of those swim lessons and races with Esso Swim Canada in my youth). I boarded the boat, got my things together in about 3 minutes, and jumped on the cat heading south. Aboard I met Olivier, the captain, his lovely wife Patricia, and their sweet kids Zoe and Maxim; they are sailing around the world for four years, and sold their home in Belguim to travel. My plan was to serenade them with my guitar, but the winds and waves proved far too strong to even attempt it. Instead, we sipped on Coke (good for motion sickness) and were flung around the boat with the waves crashing into the cabin. It was so lovely to not hear the motor though, and we got up to over 10 knots, which meant that we made it back to English Harbour in five and a half hours. LUXURY! Olivier made a lovely lunch of stew and cous cous (once again, I ignored the wheat allergy); I was famished as I didn’t have time to eat breakfast before boarding their boat. I played the kids some tunes and Zoe even accompanied me on the “oeuf” or egg shaker. Ahhhh…the power of music.

Tonight I’ll play some guitar at the Inn, and then off to a REAL piano at Lime to jam with the boys. Next week I’ll be posting my new song, “Gratitude” that I’m just finishing up. If anyone has any thoughts on what the idea of gratitude means to them, please share, as I’m looking for some new lyrics for the bridge.

Until then, bon voyage, and here’s to a change in plans….

Sarah ox




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