Thursday, June 26, 2008

Current Position (as of ): Sorry no position came through tonight. - Mom

Rough night last night. The motion of the boat and slapping of the genoa made it hard to sleep. There are the most incredible stars out here. I have never seen anything like it. There are thousands of stars in a black, black sky. There is a hazy, cloud-like thing up there too. Not sure if it is the Milky Way? Awesome!
The wind increased early today to 20-25 knots. BTW a knot is a measure of speed. One knot equals one nautical mile per hour. One nautical mile is equal to 1.15 miles. Nautical miles are measured in relation to lines of latitude somehow. One knot is about equal to 1.15 miles per hour. The term came from the old sailors who measured how many knots on the line (rope) paid out in a certain time period. One of my favorite books to read was an old, mildewy book called the Origin of Sea Terms. Very interesting stuff.
With the wind increase came an increase in wave/swell size. When I was between 2 swells, the water was as high as my first spreaders (metal bars that hold the halyards from the mast). My first spreaders are 15' high. It was pretty scarey when they started to crumble at the top. Because of their angle, they are pushing my boat off course. Then the boat turns slightly and heals over so that the toe rails (rail around the top edge of the boat deck) are in the water. I have been fiddling with this a lot today. It has helped to head more south which was recommended by David, the forecaster who is helping me. Apparently, there is a high (calm) heading in my path so a little southing should keep me in the wind anyway.
Please pray tonight. I am getting pretty tired and still have to deal with this awkward motion.


What do you do with your trash?

I really don't have that much trash. I am keeping it in a plastic garbage bag in the bilge until I get to the Marshall Islands.

How do you take a shower?

Actually, I have not had a shower but I have to just wash with a wash cloth etc. When I hit the lower trades and there is a rain shower, I will go up on deck with my shampoo and soap for a quick shower. The reason for this is water conservation. We are hoping to pick up a water maker at some point in the journey. This will allow for safer water in foreign ports and fewer limitations on how much water I use each day. I have 3 water tanks with 90 gallons and about 10 gallons of bottled water on board.

What kind of photos and video are you taking and when can we see it?

I have a still camera (Nikon D200) and 7 video cameras on board. I have one HD camcorder, 2 surveillance-type cameras that are mounted outside. One of these is mounted on the mast and one above the solar panels on my transom. They are low resolution but should hopefully capture what it looks like outside. I already have taken some amazing footage of life on deck with these swells (should be called awfuls), hopefully capturing the motion of the boat for you all. The other 4 cameras are a sponsorship from Panavision. They are mounted inside the boat so that I can turn them on at any time to record what I am doing. I am currently working with a production company on an idea for a Discovery or Travel Channel show. Hopefully, with the amount of footage being captured, we can make something amazing! Unfortunately, I am unable to transmit photos or film with technology available. The technology is there but the energy costs are too high. I may be able to get some equipment once I am out of the Pacific that uses less power and is able to transmit better.



Blogger cruz antony said...

Ahoy Zac!
I envy you. How amazing it must be to take a shower in the rain in midst of ocean. We'll pray for you definitely. ( been doing it for the past week). Have you overcome your problems with your laptop?

Warm Regards,


June 26, 2008 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Welcker Family said...


When I read of your swells, it brought back memories of a time where my dad, sister and I were sailing and got caught in a terrible gale. I was very young (about 10 yrs. old). I vividly remember seeing a wall of water all around us - probably much like you are seeing. It was scary, yet an incredible experience, to say the least.

We will keep you in our prayers for safety.


Sandy, Don, Roxanne, Cassie

June 26, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac: I follow your blog every night and look forward to it. I can't help but have a heavy heart at your blog tonight - I can't imagine the type of swells you are talking about, but after all, I only started sailing 3 years ago and two wimpy to go out if the winds were too much. With all of your background and experience, not to mention preparation and all of the support you have, the first land stop is just a glimmer away. Keep the faith, keep strong and keep writing your daily blog. The world is watching you and keeping an eye out! Happy winds.

June 26, 2008 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Peterkg1 said...

Hey Zac,

No need to ask that you are in my prayers. Praying for your safety, and for help in your journey became a natural thing as soon as you set sail.

How you are handling the adversity coming your way is more than impressive. Its absolutely amazing. There is hope for this world. Rarely do people get to witness first hand a bright and unique man such as yourself going through such trials in your daily journey. Your parents, friends and family must be as proud as can be.

Thanks for answering my question about showering, and stowing trash. I absolutely enjoyed your teaching us about knots and nautical miles. I never had a clue. I look forward to your book. If it is written like your blog, it will be a best seller.

You are yet another SoCal resident who is almost shocked when you see just how beautiful a star filled sky is once away from the lights of the city. I experienced the same thing hiking in the Grand Canyon!

What happened with your computer? Were you able to get the display to work? I hope so.



June 26, 2008 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that hazy, cloudy pattern you see in the sky is the Milky Way.



June 26, 2008 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Good going there Zac. I remember taking my Rinell out of MDR and hitting some large swells, turning around and heading back into the breakwater. That was enough for me. I had my foster son on board with me. He is blind. He is now grown with a wife and 4 kids, mostly grown kids. He did the Baja HaHa last year and has a blog. I am sending him a link to your site and will get the link for his. You are young and Jim is blind. What bravery.

June 26, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Gary Weitzeil said...


Great to read your blog each night. I hope you are enjoying yourself and you take on all the lessons to be learned. I am sure it will be quite an adventure with many experiences to fall back on through life.

Keep following your dream and the wind.


June 26, 2008 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac

I'm down in Portsmouth UK to welcome home my son in his Beneteau Oceanis 393 back from the Mediterranean. Sadly school commitments meant my Grandson, Al, had to leave the boat in Breast and fly home. A lot of Al's blog reminds me of yours - big swells, toe rails in the water, force eights on the N coast of Spain, stars in a black sky and a thoughtful interpretation for us landlubbers.

You're doing great! Thanks for keeping the world posted. I get by without praying but you are in my thoughts.

Fair winds and good sailing, Tim

June 27, 2008 at 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Dan, SA said...

Hi Zac,

You are an inspiraton to all! Sitting at my desk in Johannesburg South Africa, I envy you. Look forward to your arival in SA in Durban or Cape Town.

Stay safe.

Sailors do not have exclusivity on nautical miles :-), us aviators use them as well.

A nautical mile is a distance on the earth's surface of 6,080 feet, which is equal to one minute of latitude at the earth's equator. Since there are 360 degrees around the earth, and each degree equals 60 minutes, the distance around the earth, at the equator or any other great circle, is 21,600 nautical miles.

June 27, 2008 at 2:29 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Looks like that you left the coverage area of Spot now. Checked your last postion and compared it with the coverage area on the Spot page. Hope we still get the lat/long from you :-) Have a save trip

June 27, 2008 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger melody wen said...

Hi Zac.
your blog is awesome and how i wish i could be at the midddle ot the ocean too. but i was wondering at the same time, how do you charge your laptop on board? and so far had you seen any sharks around in the ocean?

June 27, 2008 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

Prayers from Oklahoma going up for you! Many years ago a group of experienced sailors were crossing a sea when the wind and waves came up, they were fearful. It must have been rougher than they thought they could handle. However one on their small boat was asleep, until they woke him. And by His command the wind ceased and the seas calmed. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and has the power to calm the sea. May the Lord Jesus bring you the same comfort today that he brought those in that small boat so long ago.
Regarding your laptop: Have you checked the lid for a switch that turns off the display when closed. The lid close switch is a small button that locates close to the display hinges. On some newer models there is no button, because the switch is magnetic. You can set up your laptop to go to a hibernation mode or to a standby mode when the LCD is closed. It’s done through power management software. These modes are triggered when the display is closed and the lid close switch is pressed down. If the LCD screen on your laptop will not light up when you open the display assembly, check the lid close switch to see if it is stuck inside (it might happen because the switch is dirty).
Just something you might check...
or maybe its in hibernation.. have you tried removing the battery for a few minutes and then putting it back in? Sometimes that will reset things too.
Hang in there Zac!!!!!!

June 27, 2008 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger sloopy said...

Hoping you're really enjoying yourself. How are you handling being alone and not being able to see or speak with anyone else when you want to firsthand? Get lonely?...even though you have a great number of folks watching out for you and reading your daily posts? I've heard that can be an issue at times. I, too, have had my rail below the brine but, like you, we know what she can take and what she can't.
Hope you can upload some video somewhere enroute. Love to see it...Would be nice if you had that kite camera where you could shoot yourself from 100' off the aft quarter... now that would be awesome.....Any sea creatures out there... dolphins, sea turtles, sharks???

June 27, 2008 at 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Airmail said...

I am curious why you are not going directly to Kiribati. It seems like you will have to backtrack from the Marshalls.

June 27, 2008 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Hey Zac,
This is Jill from Georgia again. My daughter & I were wondering if you will have family or friends to meet you when you make port. I hope you do get a show on Discovery or Travel Channel. That would be great. We're still reading your blog everyday!

June 27, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Jerry Critter said...

I would like to second Bob's comment about the laptop screen switch. Mine sticks occasionally. It took me a while to figure it out. I could be your problem.

June 27, 2008 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

Hi Zac,
It is great to read your blogs! They are so descriptive and I can totally visualize what you are going through. I agree with the other post, if you write your book like you are writing your blogs, it will be a best seller. We will be praying for Gods peace, comfort and guidance for you today. I pray that you will have God's peace inside you no matter what the weather is doing outside!
We love and care for you.
The Nash Family

June 27, 2008 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Jim Fullton said...

Hi Zac!
While sailing on the schooner Stephen Tabor out of Camden Maine, Capt. Barnes showed me that plain old Lemon Joy liquid dish washing soap will lather up like crazy in salt water. Not many soaps will. To conserve water, we'd bathe in salt water with the Joy and then rinse off with a little fresh water. Now, if you just happen to have that soap onboard you're real lucky, if not, possibly you can get some when you make your first landfall. I doubt you'll be passing many stores on the way.

Did your sailing term reference book mention why the lowest hull plank before the keel is called the 'devil' and what the difference is between the 'devil and the deep blue sea'? I'll bet your faithful readers would enjoy learning about that sort of thing, especially from you!

I sure love to read your blog every day. It is the first thing I do at the office.

Highest Regards,


June 27, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Zac!
Your blog is very interesting. Now I'm 14 years old and when I had 2 years my dad went singlenhanded round the world with a sailing boat too. Because I was very young I will see your blog to know more thinks about this challenge.
And I hope to sail round the world singlenhanded in the future too!

Fair winds!

Maria, from Mallorca (Spain)

June 27, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous DZ and RZ said...

Sending Prayers your way today and everyday.

Love ya!
Z Family

June 27, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Rusty said...

Hang in there Zac, My name is Rusty Nelson and I sailed to Hawaii and back twice in a 32 and 29 ft. boat twice back in the 70's. I had the same trouble with the boat yawing off course going down wind. We ended up double reefing the main and using a lapper genoa poled out to control it. Sometimes we sailed on just the jib poled out and sacrificed the speed for comfort. I had an inefficient wind vane so we sig sagged our way over. I read your blogs everyday and understand exactly what you are going through. God speed Zac.

June 27, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post again. These posts are riveting. Wish you could do more than one a day, but I understand you have a lot going on just with steering and keeping course.

I was wondering when you were going to encounter some monster rollers out there. We pray for wind but not to much ! Be safe and keep filming Zac. Can't wait to see it all on the Discovery chanel. It will be awesome.

If you get a chance, please post a photo of yourself and the boat or maybe that nice star gaze you were describing. Keep the shutter open for a while or wait until the next full moon. Happy sailing buddy. God Bless and be safe. Learn to look at those scary rollers as a good thing and a way to test and increase your sailing abilities. That way they are more a positive thing rather than a negative thing.

Chris Carnaghi, Alhambra, CA

June 27, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...


Everyday I keep checking your blog for the latest update. I love reading it. I would love to see your expedition on the Discovery Channel! Keep safe, I'll keep ya in my prayers.

June 27, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger tcull said...

I just heard about this website,
you are the man

June 27, 2008 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving your blog. But you continue to amaze me with how you approached the trip. I guess somehow your strategy did not call for a water maker, but if your water storage tanks ruptured, or if the water got contaminated somehow, you'd be in trouble. I guess the idea is that since your family (& the world) are watching you, a rescue drop of water could be arranged via aircraft. I'd have taken at least one water maker. Keep up the details of life on board. VERY helpful to everyone who is genuinely interested.
From now on, my secret code name will be "C-18" ....... :)

June 27, 2008 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Mary - Central Florida said...


It sounds like you are handling everything well, you have all the experience you need I'm sure.

I hope your laptop issue has been solved, or will be easy to solve.

Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I keep a candle burning for you.

June 27, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Gordon Brimhall said...

Hi Zac
Glad you are doing well and as a sailor of over 23 yrs and myself waiting to take off for my record in a 9 1/2 ft Joshua Slocum Spray next year I am with you all the way and going to donate and help as I can now. You can check my plans out at
keep the keel down and safe sailing. Gordon Brimhall - Brimhall Dist - HinkleyMall

June 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just been reading over your blogs you left over the last few days. I mist them because of soccer camp that has totally worn me out to the point where I have no desire to move anymore. I understand your hunger that isn't there anymore, I go through spells where I don't want to eat. Have you tried online gaming instead of DVD's? If I was going to be alone for a long period of time I would bring a soccer ball and practice juggling. It's when you keep the ball from touching the floor by bouncing it off yourself (no hands!!!)


June 27, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, I too really enjoy reading your blog. You are a brave young man. Not to many people out there that would actually attempt sailing to any distant port. I too am a "sail boat sailor" with several thousand miles under my keel. I couldn't help but smile when you were discribing the many many stars in the sky. I too have seen them. Try lying on your back and looking into the heavens through your about stars!! But one has to be in a very dark place and with un-poluted sky to really see what you have described. You and I must consider ourselves lucky to have done such things. One word of very careful when fishing (I assume you are doing so)many accidents aboard boats occures when fish are brought aboard ie:knives and hooks and tangled feet etc. Fair sailing my friend.

June 27, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What made you decide to go with an alcohol stove over a propane stove? Was it already on the boat? Safety concerns?
You are living my dream...hopefully I'm not far behind.

June 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you feel like you're on the Truman Show with all those cameras?

June 27, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Deana said...

Sending prayers your way for calmer seas, steady wind, and more beautiful night skies. Watch for the meteor showers the first week of August wherever you are Persiod Meteor showers are an annual fireworks of meteors I try never to miss.

What books did you bring with you for your adventure and what are you currently reading?

-The Tanguay Family (Deana, Tim, Leon (4) and Luke (2)) Santa Cruz, CA

June 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Nash said...

Zac, you are challenging me to get off my butt. Thank you! For years I have leaned on my past experiences and let them tell my story rather than continue to add new ones to my life.

A dream of mine is to write a book, start flying again, and build a plane. I started building the plane several months ago, but was letting things slow my progress down.

Someone posted earlier, asking the question if anyone was making life changing decisions influenced by your adventure and I belive I am in that process. Keep going and do not let anything stop you. You are living a dream and inspiring many others to go after theirs.
Thanks again,

Good Sailing!

June 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Heather Wilds said...

Many thoughts and prayers reaching out to you in the Pacific. Wish we could see your stars.

June 27, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Zac, keeping up on your awesome adventure.
God speed young man!
Blessings, Anita

June 27, 2008 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Patty from Des Moines, Wa said...

Hi Zac,
I've been reading your blog since before you left, and have been reading it every day. It is so exciting now to read about your experiences...thank you for that! You sound tired, so I am praying that you get the rest that you need to carry you through each day. It's amazing how the world is watching you isn't it? Lots of people are out here cheering you on! Take care,

June 27, 2008 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Patty H. said...

Hi Zac,
I am a new sailor, currently taking sailing lessons out of Channel Islands. I live in Newbury Park and first read of you in the Acorn. I am so thrilled to be following along in your adventure. I read Tania Aebi's Maiden Voyage years ago and was in awe of her. My daughter is 21 and I can't imagine her doing anything like this (I would be so worried!). Your parents must really love and trust you to allow you to follow your dream as you are, at such a young age.
Well I googled the Great Pacific Garbage Patch after your blog and was shocked to learn about it.
I do enjoy your little teachings (like explaining knots today). Keep up the interesting writing you do. I too wish I could see the stars you are seeing.
Keep safe.
Patty H. in Newbury Park

June 27, 2008 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger C said...

Hi Zac - Thanks for the great blog about your trip. Have a few questions for you: Have you tried to catch fish (when the swells aren't so big)? If so, how's it going? What have you caught? Lastly, do you have a rail-mounted BBQ and can it be used when you're at sea? Stay safe.


June 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well if the hazy cloud-like thing isn't really blocking the stars, then it probably is the Milky Way. I saw it about a year ago and at first, I mistook it for a really light cloud too. The night sky really is amazing once you get away from all the light pollution.

Hope the swells calm down soon.

Safe journey,

June 27, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Gordon Brimhall said...

Hi Barbara H
Tania Aebi is who inspired mr over 20 years ago to learn how to sail. We have onwned 4 sailboats but I have never sailed around the world yet but I will. Tania just took her two boys non a trip to the pacific and now her ex Oliver has them and taking them the rest of the way. I correspond with Tania once in awhile now. My Hero. What is stopping you frem your dreams. We only live once and then we die.
Gordon Brimhall

June 27, 2008 at 5:39 PM  
Anonymous momentum said...

My family and I have been following your blog every night, and we are very impressed by what you are doing. You have a huge amount of courage to be sailing by yourself. I am almost 16 and cannot even imagine doing that alone. I have to say you have truly inspired me and, it sounds like, so many others. I will continue to keep you in my prayers,
GOD bless and we hope you get some restful sleep!


June 27, 2008 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I continue to be amazed at just brave you are! This is such a courageous feat to undertake. It is also dangerous, but you have been in my prayers. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience! I could only imagine doing something this incredible at 16, I'm 18 now and still can't imagine it!! lol

Thank you for your "english" terminology on what the different boat parts are. I would be totally confused if not for the translation!

I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to continuing to read about your adventure!


June 27, 2008 at 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a hazy, cloud-like thing up there too. Not sure if it is the Milky Way? Awesome!

I'm surprised Zac didn't know that. You can se the Milky Way when you get away from sources of light pollution.

June 28, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

I saw your comment about the Milky Way- yes that is what you saw. Beautiful, isn't it? I was in the Navy for 10 years and saw it for the first time when I was a Midshipman. We were about 100 miles off the coast of the U.S. in a Yard Patrol vessel (108 feet long, shallow draft, 2 diesel engines). I had no idea what it was- had to ask someone. Enjoy the rest of your journey!


June 30, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Dear Captain Zac -
i have a niece who we recently sent off to college is really struggling w/homesickness. Was wondering how you are dealing w/yours?

Glad to hear you're hanging in there w/the rough swells, just a week or so & you'll be in your next port-of-call.

Be safe man.


July 26, 2008 at 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First thanks for the answers to the questions people had left. Please answer some more. I think most of us could take up all your time and that would not be fair. Missed your position, but all you shared was great. Blessing.


July 26, 2008 at 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Zac-

We will be following your trip the whole way!

Josh and Adam
Westlake Village, CAa

July 26, 2008 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Light polution is very real. I can remember as a child seeing the milky way quite frequently in Texas 'way back in the 1930's. My parents explained what it was made of. I have not seen it in years.
I am in awe of your great adventure and pray for you.
Safety first!

July 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Mann and Jerry Nash made me cry !!! Happy tears because they both touched on some things that have become evident on this blog as I read them daily (almost daily). Courage, risk, faith and renewal. These are life lessons that you are reminding us of without even realizing it. What a GIFT!
Zac, your posts are so raw and genuine; at one moment you marvel at the stark darkness and the stars and milk way above you and the next telling us of the challenges you are currently facing keeping Intrepid on course. In spite of it all you are humble and gracious. And while we are unable to be with you physically, I hope you feel the combined energy, love and compassion that we send through the good days and the more difficult days.
Each night I look west out my window from my home in the South Bay and send you a prayer of strength, comfort, safety, and most of all hope that you will complete your journey.
You're almost at the next stop, Galileo! STAY STRONG!
Melanie in Torrance

July 26, 2008 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger shan said...

Hi there...from a Mom - up north in Santa Cruz, Calif...Not a sailor - but a Mom who is thoroughly enjoying your entire trip..and has such respect for those who follow their dreams!!
Was at a gathering today - and sat with a family who does sail..shared your blog with them - and they are excited to "catch up" on your journey...what impressed me was their 15 year old daugher - who has done a bit of sailing - and just imagining that you are only a year older and embarkng on such an adventure - and at such a young age!! it really put it all into perspective for me!! You are so mature and insightful for such a yong person..way beyond your years...
Your journey is a part of my every day..Think of you often and pray that an angel on your shoulder will guide you to your goal...lots of hugs - from another Mom!!

July 26, 2008 at 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac and Family,

You have provided a delightful balance of technical information and engaging stories about this trip- as a landlubber I feel that I am learning through Zac's experiences.

I have been plotting the coordinates provided for Zac's position, but noticed that the last few links to the map have indicated the boat is still between California and Hawaii.

He is actually quite a bit beyond Hawaii in the other direction, correct?

July 27, 2008 at 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read Abby's blog first (sorry!!) I am curious how you feel about her boat, and vice versa? I know Wild Eyes is floating out there somewhere, but which boat was more high-tech/easier to sail?

Also, what are your thoughts on recovering Wild Eyes? I assume Intrepid is safe in MDR, but does your family have any plans for Wild Eyes? Will she float around till she sinks or will someone scuttle her? I believe anyone who finds her can claim her, correct?

Thanks Zac! ~Alana

July 11, 2010 at 6:59 AM  

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