Thoughts of awe and wonder I did not have. Instead, I found myself praying for a ruby-slipper miracle as I lost the contents of my stomach, profoundly understanding that there really is no place like home.
But the lesson of the sailing life is one of continuous mutability: Be they hellish or heavenly, the only thing the winds and seas guarantee is change. By Saturday afternoon, we were running downwind with 18 knots on our stern quarter and an easy 1-meter rock-and-roll, the agonies of the previous night already a foggy memory. Forecasts, thankfully, were for a further softening of conditions. We fired up the iron jib at 0300 on Sunday morning as the winds died, expecting to motor for the next 30 hours into Vanuatu.