Friday, June 27, 2008

Current Position (as of 8:18 pm PT): N23.28 W134.51

The yawing (swerving off course) conditions that I had yesterday had me up until about 1:00am. Things were settling down a bit so I crashed (went to bed down below). I was up a lot but managed to get a few good hours in after about 4:00am when things really began to settle down (about 12knots of wind). Unfortunately, they continued to settle down so that I had about 2 knots of wind this morning and rain. Not enough to have my shower (besides it is still to cold for that sort of thing). After my morning routine I went to call home to check in but the sat phone wasn't registering for some reason. I grabbed old Leviathan (my MarineNav computer) and dragged it over to the Single Side Band radio and sent out a few emails. I haven't figured out the problem with the lap top yet. By then, the sat phone was working so today has been a really strange day. In fact, this whole trip has been strange in the sense that it has not been what I expected. It keeps me thinking though and I am still totally focused on my goal.

Many people ask how I keep from going crazy. I try to keep in touch with family, eat well, sleep as much as I can but mostly I have to keep my thoughts focused on the task at hand. Can't get too caught up in what ifs. Like tonight, I really want to get more speed out of the boat but I am still pretty tired so I will focus on getting some sleep tonight while I can and figure out my sails again tomorrow.

During the lighter winds, I was able to go up on deck and check everything and tidy up some lines etc. The wind picked up a bit so I was able to make some headway. I watched the movie Ned Kelly today. I am able to put my portable DVD player out in the cockpit. That helps to pass time and hear other human voices. I had to pause the movie 5 times to check and tweak. I had a good nap. My lee cloth was not made properly and so can't be used so I am often being tossed out of bed. When I was thrown out of bed during today's nap I just grabbed my pillow and slept on the floor. If someone knows a good canvas person in Majuro, let them know I'm coming.
I made a feast for dinner. Some left over Top Ramen mixed with a can of chicken noodle soup, 2 pieces of toast with butter and a can of fruit cocktail. I was so full I had to lay down for an hour before calling home to check in. When I was little my dad would come home from work and ask me what I learned that day. Today I learned not to over pressurize your alcohol stove. I am missing the hairs on my right hand to prove it!

The winds have picked up to about 12 knots again. Wind and swells are fluky, coming from different directions at times and wind filling in and then dying down. The swells are farther apart today which makes them less intense.

We are keeping our eyes on Tropical Storm Boris today. So far he has about 30 knots of wind and is moving NW at 8 miles per hour. I am about 1500 miles from the storm so hopefully we won't get too close.

Thanks for the emails and comments. My mom forwards a bunch to me each day. It may take a while but I will try to answer as many as I can.



Blogger Peterkg1 said...

Hey Zac,

Oh man, I just can't believe your luck in the sleep department. If it is not vessels in the distance, it is your getting tossed! Another tidbit you give in your blog tonight is that it is cold in your location. And it rained! Being the beginning of Summer, and California hot and on fire, I just assumed you were having the same weather out there?

All these things you describe to us give us an idea of what you are going through. I know many including myself wish we were traveling with you, so by your descriptions, we are on deck with you in a way.

Over the past few blogs, it shows you are getting in a routine. I love how you keep your boat tidy. It shows that you are not a sloppy sailor, and with your attention to detail, will have a successful trip. Dinner sounded great, and I'm glad you caught a movie.

One thing so impressive is that again you related a memory of when you were younger, and an interaction with your mom or dad. It shows how influential they were to you then, and how much they mean to you now. With the support of such a loving family, no wonder you are such an inspiration. I almost feel in reading your blog, that your parents are with you on the boat :)

I was charting your course on Google Earth from your current position, and wanted to ask, how come Hawaii was not a first stop? It looks like an obvious place to dock unless there is not need to bring on provisions so early?

Have a great Saturday of sailing. I am going to go down to Newport Harbor, and watch the weekend sailors on their boats, and think to myself. If only they knew what real sailing was. If only they knew about Zac.

Take care!

June 27, 2008 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac.

Thrown out of bed? Sound like me during the Northridge earthquake! Well, these kinds of things had been happening for millenia when circumnavigating the globe by ship was the ONLY option. You're adapting well to your environment. Sleeping on the floor once in a while isn't so bad!


Have you picked any 'groupies' yet, Zac? I'm referring to dolphins or porpoises. That was the one thing I LOVED when I went on boat rides in the States and Mexico. There's nothing more amazing than watching dolphins doing their acrobatics in the water. Maybe you'll pick some up soon.

Keep up the fantastic work!



June 27, 2008 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, have been following you for a while now. LOVE hearing where you are and all your daily accomplishments and struggles. I too hope that you are eating well and with that comment can I ask if you intend on baking bread or making larger type more sustainable meals? I suppose if the oven is heeling with your swells it's pretty imposible to do much more than the top romen! Do you wonder if Robin Graham is out there and heard of your adventure? I do!!! I keep reading all the comments hoping to find his name attached to one. Wishing you safety more than anything all the way from Vancouver BC!


June 28, 2008 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sure you know the term, "jury rig." Maybe it's time to put into action with your lee cloth.

I've never seen one, but being a chronic problem solver have a couple of ideas anyway:

- tie a knot (or make a hole) in one end of it, then tie a short piece of line through or around that. Then tie it off to something so you won't get tossed. Put a cleat on the inside of your bunk rail if you have to.

Improvising and making do with what you have are part of being at sea, or camping, etc. It forces you to think of creative solutions. At minimum, it's something to do when the boat is taking care of itself! ;-)

Also, I sent an email suggesting that you check out the brightness controls on your laptop. Sometimes it's that simple, esp. if it's been moved around a lot, or had stuff put on top of it. When in doubt, restart. Also, log in from another account. If none of that works, you may well have a hardware problem.

We're beaming you gentle seas, and 15 a knot breeze!

June 28, 2008 at 1:19 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

This might seem kind of crazy, but when you sail down toward Australia, are you at all nervous about sailing over shark infested waters?

June 28, 2008 at 2:09 AM  
Blogger melody wen said...

hi zac,
lol. checkin out your blog entry had been my daily basis online. u are awesome and its cool that you are alrite!

June 28, 2008 at 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Morgan Harper said...

Wow, sounds like there are a lot of things to keep you going..but that's a good thing, though. I heard about your journey the day before you took off and this is my first time seeing your blog...keep up the good work.

June 28, 2008 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Causeway Voices said...

Hi Zac
Looks like you are about half way to Hawaii. I am cheering you on every single day. By the way my house is 34°40'23.76"N 92°19'17.09"W if you are interested. I live in a trailer in Little Rock Arkansas and it is raining today. Any chance for a bit of fishing out there? Maybe a marlin or a tuna to keep your food stores full. well We are still in the boat with you in spirit.

Best Regards
Erica Baker

June 28, 2008 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Just checking in as usual. I must say it's become a daily routine for this old sailor. So you know there are people all over the world keeping track of you and wishing you well......hope that keeps you strong!
I have asked my Scout Troop to do the same, and I am using you sort of, to show what young people your age are capable of being responsible for themselves, taking on incredible tasks and doing amazing things.
Keep up the good work, the effort, and the focus on what you're trying to accomplish.
Around the world solo....amazing!!

June 28, 2008 at 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Zenia said...

Go Zac!
Greetings & best wishes from Denmark

June 28, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Heather Wilds said...

Glad to hear that you got some sleep and learned from a minor mistake. Keep up your amazing work. Your adventure inspires all of us to create our own.

June 28, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Zac, you tired of everyone telling you be careful!! me 2, hey man, turn up the music, have a soda with extra sugar, it's Party Time on the Pacific, and you know what they say, "experience is something you don't get until just after you need it", anyway i'm sure you're being careful Zac and i hope you're having fun too
God speed

June 28, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous gensis51 said...

Zac, Don't be afraid to sleep on the cabin floor. On my voyage home from Hawii, whenever it got too rough or one of us was sea sick, the floor was the most stable and comfortable place. Just throw a seat cushion down and crash.---Rusty

June 28, 2008 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Grandma J. said...

Good Morning Zac,
Glad to her you say that you are still focused on your goal. We are all pulling for you to attain it, and crossing it off your list. I don't know a thing about sailing, but have picked up a few terms following your blog. Your parents surely did a fantastic job raising you, but of course you also have your own personality, and the two together have made you what you are.......A "Solid and Capable Person." Full speed ahead!
Good Winds,
Grandma J.

June 28, 2008 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chin up mate. Everyday will present some sort of a challenge.
we are with you.


June 28, 2008 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks again for more tidbits. I'm going to have to research alcohol stoves to see the benefits & downsides to them while in a small craft. By the way, you're doing well by paying close attention to your boat in all quarters. Being alone in the middle of the ocean on a small boat is the LAST place you want to "party."

June 28, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Hmm, kind of like getting thrown out of bed on the morning of the Northridge Earthquake. I also just grabbed my pillow and slept on the floor for awhile.
Love your outlook on learning. The evening that you go to bed and realize that you had not learned anything that day, is the evening you should decide that it is not worth getting out of bed anymore. Keep your spirits up. Looking at these posts should give you an idea of how much your efforts mean to so many and the inspiration that you are to us back on land. Godspeed Bill Mann

June 28, 2008 at 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where it all ends I cant fathom my friends
If I knew I might toss out my anchor
So I cruise along always searchin for songs
Not a lawyer a thief or a banker

Im just a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
The seas in my veins, my tradition remains
Im just glad I dont live in a trailer

Causeway Voices said...
Hi Zac
Looks like you are about half way to Hawaii. I am cheering you on every single day. By the way my house is 34°40'23.76"N 92°19'17.09"W if you are interested. I live in a trailer in Little Rock Arkansas and it is raining today.
Best Regards
Erica Baker

June 28, 2008 6:22 AM

June 28, 2008 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger May said...

Hi Zac,
Have also been following your blog and all the comments. I am a 72 year old grandmother who doesn't really like sailing (my husband has three boats - all multihulls) but for some reason I love reading all about sailing the oceans and of course I'm over the moon impressed with you. Thanks for all the energy you are expending, not only for your journey, but also for the time it takes to keep us all informed of your doings.

Praying with the rest.


June 28, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Chaplain Don said...

Hey Zac,

Great blogs. Keep writing the details of what you're doing--it will help greatly to stimulate your memory for your book.

We're joining with everyone in praying for your safety and success. You are an inspiration to me.

Remember God's words to Joshua: "Be strong and very courageous..." (Joshua 1:9).

Chaplain Don

June 28, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are to so many people. That might not be much of a consolation when you are being tossed out of bed or when you are partially setting yourself on fire with your alcohol stove (hey, alcohol and boating don't mix), but it is true. I have two kids, twelve and sixteen, and 'watching' you do this thing has made me realize that I should never underestimate people based on age. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us who are stuck on land (for now!!). Good luck and I hope you can get some sleep.

June 28, 2008 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Good on ya mate! Keep your chin up, God speed
Waterloo, NY USA

June 28, 2008 at 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keep those reports coming. I love them every day. Thanks for the education that you give along the way. How about fishing any luck yet?


June 28, 2008 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hope that tropical storm stays far, far, FAR away.

Though this time I've got a question that's a bit strange:
There are several other people who have sailed the world alone, and it's interesting to hear about how they feel so far away from humanity in general while out on the open ocean. However, your case seems a little different with all the daily communications linking you to the world outside your boat.
Taking all that into account, do you feel like you're very far from home right now?

Safe journey,

June 28, 2008 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Emily said...


i saw you on the news a little bit ago and i'm in awe of what you're doing. this is SOO cool! i've been keeping up with your blogs and i cant get enough! i'm praying for your success!

-Emily :)

June 28, 2008 at 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Balmoral sailor said...

Zac: Sounds like you are getting into the groove of long distance sailing. Hang in there. You will make it.

Balmoral Sailor

June 29, 2008 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger ev wolf said...

Hey Zac,
I heard about you and your adventure on T.V just before you left Marina del Rey. Ever since, I've been following your progress and truly fascinated to see how you handle this amazing challenge that you created for yourself.

I have a friend named Neal Petersen (a native South African) who circumnavigated solo around the world in a boat very similar to yours back in the late 90's. Neal's story captivated me as well and we've remained friends ever since. I believe that Neal was the first Black man to accomplish the incredible journey solo. He too went around the Cape of South Africa and spoke about what an awesome experience it was. As soon as I heard about you I sent a note to Neal telling him to check out your voyage. Of course, he already had heard about you and told me that he thought you would be successful.

Quick question: How do you generate the needed electricity for your computers, and other equipment? Do you have lights to see and read by on the boat at night? If you’re out to sea for four weeks at a time, seems too long for batteries alone. Solar?

I’m wishing you all the best Zac. Each evening I check to see that you've checked in with your mom. Don't really know why since I don't even know you... I guess it's because you've captured so many of our imaginations and I really want you to succeed and to be happy and well. When I read your description of seeing all the stars out in the black sky I thought – “how lucky he is.” Reality is that we’re all lucky to be able to share a little tiny bit of this with you. Thanks Zac!

Best regards,

June 29, 2008 at 2:46 PM  

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