Cruising World - - Underway - — Kate Glover

It’d been a long pas­sage from New Zealand aboard Toy­atte, our West­sail 32. We’d left for Vanuatu on the back of a gale, com­plete with hail and gusty winds. An al­ba­tross es­corted us north, and sloppy seas rocked us queasy as we vig­i­lantly trimmed sails. For the next cou­ple of days, we lis­tened over the ra­dio to re­ports of boats slow­ing down in head­winds and build­ing seas.

Con­di­tions calmed for two days, and we fi­nally crossed the in­vis­i­ble line back into the trop­ics, greeted by a cir­cling tropic bird — but by night­fall, light­ning danced on the hori­zon.

The next morn­ing, we were tired and frus­trated. We were 60 miles from Ane­ityum is­land with nine more hours of day­light. To avoid a night of heav­ing-to off­shore in big seas, we hand-steered to max­i­mize speed, rais­ing more sail in di­min­ish­ing winds, surg­ing ahead at a steady 7 knots all day. Fi­nally, we were in sight of the is­land — we’d ar­rive be­fore dark! As din­ner­time ap­proached, I hus­tled be­low to pre­pare this quick one-pot curry: It re­quires lim­ited fresh in­gre­di­ents and cooks quickly, mak­ing it an easy and pleas­ing pas­sage meal. Be­fore long, we turned into the pass, low­ered sail, and coasted into a calm anchorage. A cool breeze blew through the hatch as I put the fin­ish­ing touches on din­ner. Sur­rounded by green hills and a pink sun­set sky, we re­laxed and sa­vored our tasty re­ward.

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