Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last night the wind did lay down and I was able to get more sleep than usual. There were only 3 squalls and a little lightning. (Can't believe I am saying that!) I spoke with Moana last night for the forst time in a few days. They have been having a great time in Gizo sleeping, eating and all of the other things you can't do much of at sea. It was great to talk with them. They got an email from Lady Sarah. They have finally arrived in Vancouver, Canada. While they were entering the channel there they had 60+ knots of wind. They have an awesome 50' sailboat in perfect condition. They said that it got totally trashed inside. They were on the radio with the Coast Guard for a lot of it - pretty terrifying!
I have been missing the Rag on the Air radio net more and more because my time zone is changing and I often get to sleep in the early morning. It is prbably time to start listening in for the Sheila Net out of Oz (Australia).
The swells this morning were massive and steep. I think they must have been about 15 feet judging by where they reach on the mast while I'm in the trough. I copped a few into the cockpit today and learned that my cockpit drains are clogged. After some troubleshooting I found that the valve on one was closed. I was sitting in the cockpit steering when one of the waves came into the cockpit. So much for my squall shower yesterday!
I have been seeing more shipping lately. The AIS ship radar has been awesome. When there is a ship within range, an alarm sounds and the display shows me the ship's speed, direction and position. Thanks again to Dr. Lowenberg for researching this and arranging to have one put on my boat.
Have been studying the Torres Straits and trying to memorize my landmarks and waypoints. Talk about schoolwork...there is only pass or fail out here sometimes!


Blogger James said...

Hang in there...

You'll pass with flying colors, Zac.

Take care and beware. You will do fine.

Jim - Redwood Man
Boulder Creek, CA

August 24, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

I love the pass/fail metaphor. SO true. Every day for you now is a test. But you're passing them all! Praying for you in the SF Bay Area!

August 24, 2008 at 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers always. Damn that sounds pretty scary. Life with mother nature. Love ya dude. It's all part of the journey.

Chris in Alhambra, CA

August 24, 2008 at 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
Always great to read your blog.
Also must have been extra nice to
speak to your friends on Moana.
Those swells, 15'ers, are the biggest ones I have been in myself.
As they carried me off the boat in Acapulco, they tell me I was actually a light shade of green. The worst seasickness of my life.
There's another blog I was reading from a boat in Darwin currently. He says he felt the timing of the tides was the most crucial part of the endeavor. But doing it single-handed means memorizing the route,
he says he got through in one day?
He also has a daughter for help on board. Anyway, connecting with Sheila Net is probably a good idea.
The earlier the better. There's no reason to mention failing BTW,
opportunity knocked and you were prepared and are continually preparing, staying focused. There's no room in that boat for complacency. Now, once you get to Darwin...plenty of time to chill out.
A huge shout out and thank you to Dr Lowenberg who recognized the need and had the means to install the AIS ship radar. A very cool gesture. At least you get some sleep!
Still moldy water? Sail water?
Catchment is the best but it's tricky with waves crashing on deck.
Zac, any fish out there?

August 24, 2008 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hang in there Zac!

15', wow... Good thing you have wind, those would be miserable if you didn't!

Remember, oposing wind and currents always stack things up more, especially in inlets and passes... The Gulfstream here between FL and the Bahamas can be calm one minute and if a thunderstorm kicks up with a North wind (the Gulfstream flows from S to N) the waves instantly stack up!

Stay safe, sleep as much as you can when you can, you're going to need it in the days ahead, you know that, I'm preaching to the choir...


August 24, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

We landlubbers who struggle thru our minor 10-14 work days need to learn your lessons on endurance, patience & persistence. You, Capt. Zac, are truly an inspiration to us all.

Thank you for being who you are & for the blessings you share with us. I, for one, have often wished to be there with you - when in truth I am - even if vicariously through reading your circumnavigation.

Thank you & Team Sunderland for the ability to share your journey, the feel as if we, your ZacPac, are on your vessel with you.

Stay safe man. May the winds continue to be consistent, the swells low & may always Intrepid protect you during the worst Mother Nature/King Neptune throws at you. Beware the Sirens of the mid-south Pacific!


August 24, 2008 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All that I can say is.... WOW!
You are doing such a fantastic job Zac.Amazing.Good to talk with Moana and have some contact in that way.I am sure that you are an inspiration to them and they to you.It all counts doesnt it. Everyone, their part to play in encouraging you on this unbelievable journey.
Thank goodness for Dr Lowenberg and his gift of the AIS.
Love your last line about pass or fail.


August 25, 2008 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hello Zac!!

Glad to hear that you have managed to get in some sleep, I bet you feel better.

Too bad memorizing charts wasn't one of your assingments for school! Maybe someone could make an exception...LOL!! Hopefully you won't be in a big blow like "Lady Sarah" and you'll navigate with "no worries".

Sail on, be safe, and I'll be waiting for your next blog!! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Waterloo, NY
USA ~_/)

August 25, 2008 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Zac, I hope you can get good and rested before the Torres, even if it means taking a short stop. The more I read about Torres and the more I look at various maps and images, the more gnarly it looks.

I can imagine as you get closer in towards Australia the more traffic will pick up - good you have the high end AIS navigational radar on board! I'm curious, though... I know the AIS is transponder based, but will it still alert you to smaller vessels that may not have transponders?

I hope the weather continues to be nice to you - looking at latest sat images, looks like, guessing where you are, there's still a fair bit of activity down there. Stay safe.....


milford, ohio

August 25, 2008 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger Fanny said...

Just wanted to say I think it awesome what you're doing, a real inspiration to other young sailors. I wish you the best of luck, and when things get a bit too heavy and too wet (where they shouldn't be, like inside the cabin or down you neck) remember there are people out here who would love to be in you place :) Trim those sails for all of us!

August 25, 2008 at 5:27 AM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Pass or fail? You will pass with flying colors, of course!!

from Iowa

August 25, 2008 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger Wheelie Catholic said...

Glad you got a bit more sleep than usual, Zac. It's interesting to read about the AIS ship radar- had no idea how that worked!

August 25, 2008 at 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Mark Sims, Simi Valley said...

Zac, you get a passing grade every time I read your blog, which is everyday. Now, with my prayers, pass safely through Torrres Straits -- and beyond. Best to you always.

August 25, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

It's great to know you're having a much easier time than yesterday. I'm sure your happy when you can sleep at least a few hours without any interruptions. The story of Lady Sarah was also another scary one just like many of yours.

It sounds like you'll need to get those cockpit grains working again. If not your looking and some added salt water weight. It great to hear you have friends like Dr. Lowenberg to help you with the AIS ship radar. I'm sure your journey would be so much tougher without it. It's great to know this gives you some piece of mind, Thanks Dr. Lowenberg!!!

Sounds like you have plenty of school work ahead memorizing all those land marks and way points. Hopefully you'll receive an A because any other grade wouldn't be good enough. Your doing a great job and I still can't believe that a 16 year old is writing these blogs and going through all these experiences all alone.

Take Care Young Man,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

August 25, 2008 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

Zac! You are the MAN! 15' swells! I get scared/sick just IMAGINING the walls of water! WOW. Forget the water park - you've got serious front row action that is ALL TOO REAL! Don't become an adrenaline junkie! I don't know what one does for "thrills" after successfully sailing the ENTIRE PLANET...! Well, let's get through this FIRST - shall we?

I am praying that the squalls will split and go right around you. ONLY 3 last night - better!! I read this morning that God speaks in the lightning - you probably wish he'd stop talking so much! J/K - but I think you probably have an angel acting as a lightning rod hovering above your mast. God *WAS* helping to light the way, right?!

Glad you have gotten a bit more sleep and I will pray for continued opportunities to do so.

Maybe there is something in port where you can get your boat cleaned while you are there? I don't know how expensive it is, but maybe someone will do it for you out of good will? It could happen!!

Keep tethered and fed. :)
LA in MN

August 25, 2008 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

You nailed it.

Sailing is a microcosm of life. You only get one chance, overall, to pass or fail, but there are a lot of little quizzes before the final exam.

You remind me of a quote, I don't remember the source, and will probably mangle the quote, and I'm sure someone here (or several someones) will correct me.

"The sea is the ultimate in fairness. The sea doesn't care if you're young, or old, rich, or poor, charismatic, popular, or lonely. The sea only asks one question. "Do you have the skills and ability to handle what is thrown at you?" Most people are unprepared to surrender all of their crutches and handicaps and face that kind of fairness."

Praying for you daily.
Numbers 6:24-26 B'Shem Yeshua

Mouse in Whittier

August 25, 2008 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac, Just started reading your blog a couple of days ago. Also showed your site to my brother who has taken me sailing a number of times. I'm totally green but have loved my times on the water. I'm envious, and inspired by what you are doing. Be as safe as you can. Wow! I've read most of all the blog postings and comments. Very enjoyable from the safety of my office chair in front of my computer vicariously experiencing your journey. Be well and Grace be with you. Thanks for sharing your trip.


August 25, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Gleaming Waters said...

Great day in the morning, Zaz!

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4, The Message


August 25, 2008 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl san Diego said...

Hi Zac,
Gosh happy to hear that things have somwhat settled down, if you consider 15 ft waves and a little lightning, settling down of course!
A sea water shower isn't exactly refreshing either however,YUK!
Zac I am curious as to why you no longer post your GPS cordinates? I always looked forward each morning to seeing your progress on Google maps. Are there security issues?
Thank you again for taking me and the rest of your 'Pac' with you each and every day!
God Bless you Zac...and Mom and Dad and the rest of your wonderful family!

August 25, 2008 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

To Cheryl in San Diego:
At the risk of piling on to what may be a mass of replies to you, the current coordinates are being withheld due to security concerns. I believe Zac is continuing to record his daily locations and will, when the time is right, post a new .kmz file that will include all his interim waypoints.



August 25, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

What an insightful observation: "it's pass or fail out here!"

No kidding!

You're doing great!
Santa Monica, CA

August 25, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

"practice HOPE", zac!
in my grade book you've got a capital "P"
you remain in our thoughts and prayers, kiddo.
john baker/w hollywood/CA/USofA

August 25, 2008 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Study grasshopper; and you will not fail!Melanie in Torrance

August 25, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

I changed my picture on my blog profile and below is the reason why. I spent this past weekend at the Tall Ships in San Diego. I'll change the pictures on my blog one or two times per week so everyone can get a peek. These were amazing large ships and I have never seen such massive sailboats in my entire life. Many of these ships were between 100 and 220 feet long. Some of these ships had sails that are over 11 stories high from the deck. If anyone would like some great pictures just let me know by sending me your email request.

I had my Zac t-shirt on for this event as you can see on this picture just posted. I actually had a few questions from some of the sailors on different ships about Zac. The tall ship Eagle from our US Coast Guard (most active training ship for the USCG) had a few sailors who knew about your journey. I filled them in on your where abouts and some of your trials and tribulations.

I spent 2 hours sailing on America last Saturday evening. This ship was named after the original ship America (the one I sailed is a replica of the original) and this is the origin of the name from the famous race America's Cup. The race was named after the original ship America and not our country as many people believe. In the late 1800 this ship was unbeatable leaving second place ships so far behind they were not visible by eye at the finish.

This was a working cruise and setting those sails was a lot of hard work. Further pictures will show this in the weeks to come. So much of this weekend kept my mind on Zac. I saw many large ships (22) tall ships with large crews and wonder how Zac is doing this all alone. I know he has a 36' sailboat but he's traveling around the world at the young age of 16!!! I know we are all proud of you Zac. This weekend made me acquire a new respect for what your doing out there. The detailed blog's you send also help us feel your joy and sorrows. Keep them coming because they are very interesting and we are all learning so much from your experiences written on your daily blogs.

I hope your doing well today and getting much closer to Darwin. I don't know if you'll port before Darwin but please do whatever is necessary and safe.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

August 25, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


Glad you are weathering the conditions. The task at hand is your only test at the momment so focus on safety. I would guess that you have already blown your chance at becoming the youngest to graduate from High School and the opporunity to focus your attention on your studies will be waiting when you arrive in port. I value education but experience is one of the best teachers you'll ever have and likely the toughest task master as well.


Birmingham, Alabama

August 25, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Cheryl.
Hi - I am sure we will get the position posted as soon as safely possible. But we do not need any visitors on Zac's boat sneeking in at night. As all of us you have to stay in the dark for a while. If you have Google Earth you can track him from last known position. Our teacher Daveh explained how that works :-)

August 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Clemens said...

Ahoy Zac,

Without knowing your exact position (good idea not posting) and from your mom's comment that you were in open ocean safe again leads one to believe you passed through onto the south west side of the Solomon Islands a few days out from Torres Straits. I PRAY for your safe passage through without incident.

Your on my mind several times a day Zac, I pray for you to pass safely through the Torres Strait and to stay well hydrated.

As they say sleep by day and sail by night.


August 25, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi Zac,

I have been busy and have not been able to read your blog every morning...I just got caught up to speed. Great to read that everything is coming along wonderfully and as planned! God bless and keep on keppin' on Zac!


August 25, 2008 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Jason Helle said...

Hey Zac, I just got your tshirt in the mail a few days ago. I going to wear it on my vacation to Oahu next week to help spread the word. Goodluck and be safe.
Jason Helle

August 25, 2008 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Scot said...

"Pass or fail." Or like Yoda says, "Do or do not, there is no try."

Rock on Zac!


August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to catch up with you again Zac. When I leave town on weekends and don't have computer access, I feel like an important part of my day is missing. I CAN'T READ YOUR BLOGS!! Th world has been so focused on the XXIX Games in Beijing and that's a good thing. But all of us Zac Pac'ers find what you're doing just as challenging and exciting as what we've seen in China. You get the "gold" from all of us Zac! Stay safe and be blessed!

August 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

When do you think we'll be getting a Lat and Long from you again?

August 25, 2008 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Mama Jean said...

I'm proud to be known as a Zac-pac, do you think those Aussies will call you their Zacaroo? Just a thought.
Stay healthy, safe, and couragous.

August 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hi Cheryl –

If you go to the site where I've posted images for discussion, you will see IMAGE #14 shows a "guestimate" a few days ago of a location for Zac and then how many miles he has to Darwin...

Security is important, to the extent that I’m not going to post even a “guestimate” going forward…

Either Saturday or Sunday, I posted some estimated distances and durations for “virtual” each leg.

Take care,


August 25, 2008 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous bob yanagihara said...

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors". You have it going on!! Keep up the good work. When you get bored listen to

August 25, 2008 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is GREAT to hear your discription of the stars. What a sight it is! Do you have some knowledge of the constellations so you can identify them? Maybe you have a book along to help with that. It can be very interesting.

Tell me how it is okay to be on the water with a tall metal mast during lightning. I would think it would act as a lightning rod. Must not as many have sailed in those conditions. Have you had to contend with any of that yet?

God Bless. You are in our thoughts and prayers all the time.

August 25, 2008 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac I have been reading your blog since you left SD.

Your position is not updating. The latest one is from the 19th.

Mike (frustrated sailor, i.e. no boat)
Seattle 48N 122W

August 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could remember how I originally learned of your journey! But, I have been following it from day one. I must say that reading your blog each day is like reading another chapter of a great adventure novel. I can't wait to read the next one.

Keep the faith Zac and family. You have a legion of prayer warriors lifting you up.

Kristi - a MN mom

August 25, 2008 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 25, 2008 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

Zac-Pac newbies,

I would recommend that, before asking a question, you check the FAQs on Zac’s website (which will be updated soon). Also, please read the comments posted for each blog. These comments answer many of the questions that have been asked multiple times, and Zac has already answered most of them.

Let's give Zac a break as he prepares to navigate even more dangerous waters, and not fill his blog comments with redundant questions.

Zac, study those charts, memorize those landmarks and waypoints and listen to the guy who suggested that the tides are the answer to navigating the Torres Straits safely.

You are superb!

Marilyn in Woodland Hills

August 25, 2008 at 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to marilyn
EXCELLENT post, i wish marianne could put it somewhere, like on this comment page, right above "leave your comment" or something, i know she probably can't do that and unfortunately i don't think a lot of newbies will see it, but i certainly appreciated it.
Rock on Zac

August 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac and the Team Sunderland:

I have a rant and a rave. Let's get the rant and the negative stuff out of the way first:

People who read this: Please stop asking about Zac's coordinates (location). Prior posts have completely explained that this is a security measure. He was faithful in informing the Zac-Packers as long as it was practical and prudent to do so. At the proper time, he will again. Repeating the question is taking the valuable time of Zac and his support team. This is more annoying that Bill's harping about Zac's choice of hair-style ... until, as I expected, it became evident that this was nothing more than a friendly tease by Bill.

Now for the rave:
This blog is the best "page turner" I've read in a while and, dangit, there just aren't enough pages for each day as my addiction accelerates! I am eagerly awaiting the book. Here's an interesting thought: In these blogs, what is Zac holding back to be exclusive for the book? Would it more likely be 'perils at sea' or adventures in ports of call, or both, or neither? Let's wait and see.

Another rave:

This is for Daveh: Thanks for the elucidation on terminology, analysis of situations, and your other informative comments. Some of it has been things that I knew, but didn't know that I knew (ego satisfying) and other bits have been revelations.

OK, now let them clear out the Torres Straits because we're coming through!!


August 26, 2008 at 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Butch said...

Hello, Zac I have been reading your blog,as a mec.I would hope that the water in oil did not cause a bearing to go & that be why the alarm is still on,make sure that they check oil pressure!!It seams strange that it would go bad at the same time,BUT they do go bad.Salt water is ruff on bearings!! really depends on how much water & how long it was in there & how much it was run with water in there. Good luck!!! I will be watching,if you want you can always ask questions, I would be happy to help any way I can. Butch

September 3, 2008 at 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

Zac - I just learned of your incredible and exciting adventure in WORLD magazine. Through that article I found your website just a few minutes ago and can't wait to start at the beginning of your posts to catch up with where you are now! If you have time I'd love to know the books you took along to read, aside from the Bible which I am sure is one. I am the Grandfather of two home-schooled kids so I feel a special bond with you and the parents who are raising you.

I, too, will be adding you to my prayer list asking God to keep you safe each day and for your journey to be a huge success.

My email is Bruce

September 3, 2008 at 7:07 AM  

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