Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ships, squalls and wind!

Thank you for praying for wind. I took a picture of Intrepid's icon on the ClearPoint Weather screen. I am in a bubble of wind surrounded by no wind. Very cool!

I had a better night last night. I was only woken up twice and that by shifting winds not ships. I did do a lot of sailing in the night. Why does the wind come at night? That was weird but what was more weird was about 10:00 this morning this huge black cloud with 4 arms reaching down to the sea was on the horizon. I thought it may be a squall or something so I jumped up on deck to reef the main sail just in case some strong winds came. As I was up there fiddling with the lines, my proximity alarm went off. This is the alarm that warns of objects within a certain distance of my boat. I looked out to sea to see that there was a huge container ship about 3 miles off headed straight for me! I ripped the reefs out of the sail and ran back to the cockpit, started up the engine and hauled out of there. The ship passed me no more than 1/4 mile behind me. A bit too close for comfort for me.
Then, of course, I still have this 4-armed thing looming over me. Wind was going from 7 knots to 20 knots all of a sudden. It is incredibly hard work to be constantly tweeking lines on the sails and lines on the windvane while sliding around on these rollers. The windvane is working better now or should I say I am working better now. It takes some experience to figure out the exact way the vane works with your boat. Just when I get everything set, I slide down these rollers and the windvane gets off course or the wind dies and everything is flogging. My dad always said that every time the boom whacks, it costs you $1. You can't just sit there and listen to it damage itself, so up you go...

I have another situation that I am watching. My main sail halyard has wrapped around one of the collapsible mast steps. I don't know how it got in there because the mast step was closed. Now the line is inside the closed mast step. I'm hoping it will work its way out of there or else I'll have to go up the mast to free it.

I had pretty good wind this morning, then flukey winds this afternoon and of course picking up again this evening. Apparently I am sailing into a large calm. Hopefully, it won't last too long. A day seems like a week these days.

Thanks for the notes and emails.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're doing fine Zac. Remember, the windvane works best with a well balanced sail load. With the various wind changes you are experiencing, don't put all your faith in the vane. Once you get in to a more stable wind pattern, the Monitor will be your best friend.

June 20, 2008 at 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Jerry Nash said...

Hey Zac, good job! I had to go up the mast on a troller in SE AK.., big swells and what a ride! I went out a bow pole when I had to lash down a broken tip, too. If you have to go up, go slow and match your activity with the swells. Kind of like a slow dance.
Think of these kinds of challenges as notches on the rail-you have to gain them one at a time and they just keep on coming. We are proud of you and your post reminds me of the beauty that is found out on the open sea.
Simi Valley, CA

June 20, 2008 at 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac,
That's better! You had me worried yesterday but now I know you'll do it!

June 20, 2008 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous surferjoe said...

And the wayward wind is a restless wind
A restless wind that yearns to wander
And I was born the next of kin
The next of kin to the wayward wind

June 20, 2008 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hang in there Zac! You have the skills and knowledge to be successful!
God Speed.
Waterloo, NY

June 20, 2008 at 2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac: SO GOOD to hear that God heard and answered our prayers for wind! SO GOOD to hear that you are well and working hard! SO GOOD to vicariously share in your adventure! Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress.

June 20, 2008 at 2:44 AM  
OpenID frimmelr said...

Zac, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. You are doing a great job conveying what you are going through. Hang tough and keep up the good work.

June 20, 2008 at 3:56 AM  
Blogger Daphne said...

Looks like everything is going well and I am glad to know that there was wind because when there's no it can arrive to be pretty annoying and when you are in an area where there is a sindrome (if you get what mean, you will understand) it would become the worst nightmare for a sailor.

June 20, 2008 at 4:07 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Zac, you sound so much better today. Praise God for answered prayer. Thanks for being so generous with your time and sharing your adventure with us.You're always in my prayers. Have a wonder-filled day.

June 20, 2008 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger miguel lorca said...

Zac... Good Job, you are setting a great example to your generation. You even inspire me to do great things. Stay focus, don't forget pray to God.
May God Bless You and Protect You.

June 20, 2008 at 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Zack, Saw you on "Good Morning America" and took a look at your blog. Really cool. Hope you are as succesful in life as you are at sailing. I am learning much from you, as I am not a sailor, but adventureous none the less. Wishing you much success!

June 20, 2008 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Nikol said...

Zac!! it seems that you are doing fine right now.
I think that it is amazing what you are doing. where are you at right now??
good luck...
--nikol borres

June 20, 2008 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger ron said...

Hi Zac, just heard about your trek around the globe. Kudos to you and your family I hope you document well and prove inspiring to the younger generation. You can do anything you truley set out to do, with a little hard work, determination and parents who will help and or push you to your dreams.
I am sure you did not start out on this journey to be famous but guess what you are. As a boater and a parent I hope you have an excellent voyage, conquer the worse and cherish every moment of life. god speed smooth sailing and full speed ahead. We will be watching from land and sea when we are out there too.

June 20, 2008 at 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up Zac! We just saw you on "Good Morning America" and are looking forward to following your journey across the world. What an amazing experience that will be for you! My husband and I are both teachers in Kansas City and are glad to see that young people like yourself are doing such extraordinary things! We wish you the best of luck! -Sam and Molly

June 20, 2008 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Jim Fullton said...

Hi Zac,

Wishing you a happy Summer Solstice! Have you seen any whales yet?

I sure look forward to reading your updates. It's the first thing I do when I get to the office every day.

Where I grew up on Dog River near Mobile Bay, when we got becalmed we called it a White Ash Breeze. Thats the type of wood our paddle was made of. Doubt you'll be doing much paddling though.

You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.


June 20, 2008 at 6:16 AM  
Anonymous Annalicia said...

Hey there Zac, I saw your story today on Good Morning America and I just had to find your blog. This is probably one of the most inspiring stories I have ever heard of someone just one year younger than me. Although I do not sail, I'd like to try it one day. Good luck with your journey and I'll be reading your blog everyday.

June 20, 2008 at 6:25 AM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Hey, Zac!

WOOHOO for wind! It's a beautiful morning here in the Seattle area & I enjoyed your post as I drank my coffee here at work. Sure glad to hear you had a better night...

I hope, like another commenter, that you'll tell us about the sea life that you come across...and I'm curious about if you ever get to fish for your dinner?!?

Probably too busy, huh? :)

TGIF - and good sailing winds to you!


June 20, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,
I'm sitting at my desk in Barbados following your journey and all that comes to mind is.............what an adventure! i think you have tremendous courage and am sure you will succeed. Keep safe!

June 20, 2008 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Peterkg1 said...

Hey Zac,

When reading your posts, its hard to believe your 16 years old. You are a poster boy for home schooling! Great to read that you had a better day. Also, thanks for answering my question that I wrote to you in an email, about how you navigate container ships! Have another great day and all to come!

June 20, 2008 at 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac- Just saw you on Good Morning America. Best of luck on your journey- it sounds very exciting. Congratulations and good luck to you. You are an inspiration.
-CC, San Francisco

June 20, 2008 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Saw your story today on Good Morning America and thought it was great. You've got guts! Best of luck.

Kent, Seattle,WA

June 20, 2008 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Zac - you are amazing. Thanks very much for sharing the detail of your days at sea. You are an inspiration and it is fascinating to see God at work in your life both at sea and on land. We are praying for you throughout the day - keep the faith. You are not alone out there.

June 20, 2008 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger MamaSnapped said...

Saw you on GMA! Good luck with your trip! I'll be checking your blog to see how things are going!


June 20, 2008 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Rock said...

Zac, what a feeling you must get being so independent out there in the middle of the ocean. I get a similar feeling backpacking in the wilderness. Can you include your coordinates with your posts so we can find your location on a daily basis. Thanks for letting us be there with you on this great adventure.
South Ore. coast

June 20, 2008 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Zac! Here I am at work--the first thing I do is open your blog. Wow, you are doing a great job, and the Lord is watching over you.... You're not only an excellent sailor, Zac, you're an excellent writer. Thank you for keeping us informed in such a clear way.
Jean in Marina del Rey

June 20, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger sales said...

Zac, as someone who gets seasick just thinking about your blog, take my comment with that in mind. When you are finished with this great journey of yours and you are ready to write your book, DO NOT GET A CO-WRITER. As a 16 year old not yet high school graduate, you have a great grasp of the English language and a remarkable way of expressing yourself. I may not be much of a sailor, but I spent enough time teaching to recognize talent when I see it. I will follow your escapades with zeal and look forward to be one of the first buyers of your book. Best regards. Bill Mann, South Pasadena, CA

June 20, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, I look forward to your updates everyday now. My sailing fundamentals book arrived and I am really getting into it. Looks like prayer works. As crazy as the ocean can get, it is also very beautiful. A delicate balancing act of your emotions. Try not to stress to much and keep in mind the regular day to day world that us grown ups have to deal with is a far more scarier place sometimes. I can't beleive it hasn't even been a week since you left. It does feel like forever. Be safe. Have Fun. Sail to live and Live to Sail. Much love buddy.
Chris, Alhambra, CA

June 20, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Krystar Kelley said...

i was watching the local news here in Virginia Beach & they did a report on you. I was blown away by it. Its rad that youre doing this and kudos to you for it. You must be a very strong person to do this and not to mention going at it alone. I know nothing about boats or sailing for that matter, but wanted to let you know that my good thoughts are with you. Be safe and keep your head up when things get bad. When things are down, the only place to go it up!


June 20, 2008 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous franklin5 said...

Praying for your safety and for the right wind!

I love "reading the book" as it is happening! I've read so many sailing around the world adventures and am so glad to "experience" this with you by reading your blog.

Keep yourself well-fed and watered so you have the energy to do this hard work...

Trish and Dan Franklin
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

June 20, 2008 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. My hero growing up was Robin Lee Graham, now my son who is 10 is closely following your trip. Enjoy the process.


June 20, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Toby Leach said...

Best of luck in your adventure around the world Zac. I will be sure to check your blog often for updates and your progress.

Toby Leach
Annapolis, Maryland

June 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

You are going a great job.Don't let the aloneness get you. If you are bored...take a look at my blog.

June 20, 2008 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous J. Doodle said...


Your dedication and tireless efforts reflect greatly upon yourself and your family. They are all proud of you.

Stay mentally, emotionally and physically strong young brother. As I'm sure you are aware, the open blue will be the least of your challenges.

In like thinking of your parents and others, stay safe; stay tethered.

May the wind be with you.

-J. Doodle

June 20, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger obkimmer said...

I would hate to be in a position where I couldn't get my sails down in a hurry if I wanted to.

June 20, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Dear Zac,

I have lived on a sailboat and done small crossings, Florida to the Bahamas. I support your inspiration for this journey and hold you in my heart with love and upliftment.

Years a ago we came across the kind of cloud you described, with four-five tails, they were potential waterspouts, which could turn into them if the tails touched the water. Don't know know if that is the same as what you described.

Best to you always, deb

June 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous RZ said...

Matthew 11:28-30

June 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Troylt said...

Well Done. We are eagerly awaiting what happens next on your adventure, we tune in everyday.

June 20, 2008 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Mark Tomesek said...

You're an amazing writer Zac! I can't tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog each day.

Glad to hear you got some wind and some REST! Cherish the long days. Most of us Americans have days that last an instant, and at the end of the day, we've accomplished nothing and gone nowhere.

As far as I can tell, you are the bravest, most intellegent 16-year-old on the planet. You are truly an inspiration to all who hear your story.

Continued Blessings,
Mark - Studio City

June 20, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Kim, California said...

Thank you for giving us some hope for your generation. There are just so many set on destroying the world, it's an honor to see someone your age embracing it. Good luck on your journey and may the wind always be at your back pushing you along. Cheers!

June 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well dude you got another day under your belt and your closer to your goal. It is just one day at a time. Keeping a routine maintains your discipline and will help pass the time. How is that halyard doing? Do what you can when it is safe - putting things off can contribute to trouble. How often will you update us with your position. Each day gets you closer! YOU CAN DOIT!
from Keith in SoCal

June 20, 2008 at 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way i got around with the boom swinging in light winds is that i unclip the shackle on the boom vang, next to mast, and secure it to a hook i have on the jib track, then tighten up the sheet and the boom stays put !! God Speed!!
Fred "Summer Breeze"

June 20, 2008 at 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

Thank you for your detailed writing. It is like reading a small chapter in a great adventure novel every day. I can't wait to read the entire book!! We are praying for wind, safety and great perspective.
Keep on.

June 20, 2008 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous TCocco said...

I read the article in the San Diego Union and have been following you ever since,Zac. Missed the Good Morning America piece though. Your parents must be so proud of you.Good luck and fair winds as you travel. I have friends blogging as the travel thru the So. Pacific so I will follow the two you from the comfort of my home. I wish you well.

June 20, 2008 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous RAY CECH said...





June 20, 2008 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger dallen57 said...

hey zac, just checking in, you sound so much better today! glad to hear about the wind! thanks for the info on tracking other ships, I'm learning alot from you about sailing, the only ship I have ever been on had CARNIVAL written across it. remembering you in my prayers, be safe!

June 20, 2008 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

What an amazing young man you are. I'll be praying for you. I've never even seen a body of water larger that Lake McConaughy in Ogallala, Nebraska. I can't wait to show my boys your 'blog.' Thank you for sharing your adventure with the world. I can't wait to see you on Oprah!

June 20, 2008 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Curtis said...

Hey Zac,

Hang in there buddy! I'll be watching your progress and story. Your an inspiration to the youth of America. Good luck!

Houston, Tx.

June 20, 2008 at 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Headstrong bro! Keep rollin on and you'll be fine- keep your faith! Billy
Vail, Colorado

June 20, 2008 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep rollin bro! You're doing great- a real inspiration to all who wish they could venture out! Keep the faith in your trip and yourself! Keep writing everything your senses feel so we can live the experience with you!

Vail, Colorado

June 20, 2008 at 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Lee / MDR said...

Zac. Lots of folks are cruising vicariously with you here. Please give us coordinates with your posts so we can follow your progress on the satellite.

Fair Winds

June 20, 2008 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Heather Wilds said...

Hang in there Zac...just remember that this is your longest leg. You can do this!

June 20, 2008 at 6:37 PM  
Anonymous lee / mdr said...

Zac, correction: please includes coordinates AND heading with your blog posts, so we can better track your progress.


Lee / MDR

June 20, 2008 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so excited to check your blog every few days!
Robin Graham was a HUGE inspiration to me and now own sons have your story to follow.
Trust your instincts. You can do this! Know that any difficult situation will pass. Trust that!

June 20, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Zac--just saw a blurb about you on the 5PM news. God speed son--from an old sailor who was on a Destroyer during the Korean War. You have a lot more guts than I do, as I remember some of the seas we fought through on that tin-can and it was much bigger than yours. Your experience and God will get you through Zac.

June 20, 2008 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Dave Grotto, RD said...

Hi Zac:

We didn't get a chance to officially meet but I'm your personal nutritionist assigned to you from Produce for Kids. I think what you are doing is so cool and we are all so proud of you.

I gave your mother recommendations for specific foods that might come in handy for your journey. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. How are your provisions holding out? It sounds like you're getting quite a bit of activity out there with all the challanges being thrown your way so make sure you are on top of your diet to stay at the top of your game!! My prayers and best wishes are with you!!

Dave Groto, RD

June 20, 2008 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous zach marquez said...

hey zac,
my name in zach marquez in corona, CA. I donated $20 and got a cool t-shirt at the Marina del Rey boat show. Good luck and I hope you come back with very good stories on your blog

June 20, 2008 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Job Zac, I was down in LA last week for work and read about you in the LA Times and immediately thought of Robin Graham. Funny you should mention his book and voyage and it made me want to sail around the world too but I just never got it together. You are doing it! Congratulations, and I'm sure you will make it. I went to Kings Point (US Merchant Marine Academy) and have sailed on big boats and small and have a lot of respect for sailing the Pacific on a very small boat!! Question: are you using an active radar reflector? - I don't think most people know how scary a crossing of several miles is for a small boat sailor much less the one you described in your earlier blog. That was too close for comfort and a small boat is very hard to see! As you might guess I am a bit older (graduated from High School when Robin sailed the world :) and learned celestial navigation. It is fine but GPS is much better!! Love it and don't worry about the sextant, it looks great but isn't much use with out all the other tools. Have a great time and glad we can watch your progress. Modern technology is great! - but what you are doing is still man against nature and an amazing adventure. Hang in there and I'll keep up with you.
Salt Lake City, UT

June 26, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I have some basic questions about sailing. I myself have only ever "sailed" twice, and to be honest, we used power most of the time... But my question is, how often do you use your main engine? I was thinking you and Abby had to "sail" the entire time, or does it matter as long as you make it all the way around? Thx Zac!

July 11, 2010 at 6:23 AM  

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