A jarring crash and the boat was half submersed.. Howling wind forced another round of waves to pound even the windows, submersing the cockpit. One look outside and I knew it had been a bad idea trying to sail in this weather. Black clouds whipped through the sky contrasting the razor lightning that threatened to fry equipment or worse. Being the last day on our boat I couldn’t believe we thought this would be a fun way to say good bye. The marine forecast noisily printed out and it looked bad, cyclone bad. Relentlessly on this trip we have been warned “get out of the tropics before November, cyclones season makes for ugly wrecks” but had we listened? Nope here we were a day away from Tanna, Vanuatu still on the boat. A jarring bang sounded and the boat lurched violently, I knew there was something wrong. Then I heard it, the sound no sailor wants to hear; whipping chain. Without warning the window crackled like ice and instantly imploded, shards spraying and skidding on the wet floor, the loose chain flung back from the window and I realized just how loud the roaring wind really was. Water began to pour in the gaping hole with every stomach churning twist. That’s when the feeling came, worst than any of the destruction, worse then the flooding water, the feeling of sickening hopelessness and perhaps… doom?
Feeling the boat swing I tore my eyes away from my computer screen and look outside at the clear calm water, I paused the movie and walked up deck to check on the anchor. Looking around at the peaceful black harbor and sparking lights on shore I was so glad to be in perfect weather so sharply contrasting that from the movie I was watching. Satisfied that we were holding I took one last breath of the warm, humid air and walk back inside with the sound of lightly bustling city cars and live music floating behind me.
Dailin impatient had already pressed play so we finished the movie. We were on watch for the last time ever while the whole family was on land at the apartment we had rented just out of Port Villa, but that was okay, after all it was the last time ever.