And so we sailed the intervening 15 miles to French Harbor without stopping at all the other bays and bights that pock Roatán’s southern shore, the very ones that time had forced us to skip on the last cruise and that we’d been determined to explore on this go-round. But perhaps it was just as well. Our welcome, once we were recognized, paralleled the returning Prodigal’s, and that same day repairs were begun so the dinghy wouldn’t leak. Several days and lots of Petrona’s good food later, the tender was as good as new, and we were back in the full swing of island life. Always someone was willing to run you to the store, the new shopping mall, or just for a drive on the island’s only highway; there was plenty for the girls to do, between snorkeling on the reef, meeting other children, or playing with the iguanas, turtles, monkeys, and other wildlife that Sherman cares for in his yard. Some things have changed: The island’s cruise-ship traffic has more than quadrupled; condos and resorts have sprung up everywhere; newer and better-stocked grocery stores tempt the supply-starved cruiser. But the hearts of Roatán’s Arches and Jacksons remain the same as ever. So what if once again we arrived in need of help? There may not be a finer people anywhere from whom to seek it, or more ready to give it. As we unhurriedly waited for a weather window to get once more somewhere safe for hurricane season, I couldn’t help but feel that if history had to repeat itself, it couldn’t have picked a better way.