Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back on the Water

G'day All!

It's good to be on the water again. The wind is frustratingly light and the weather is painfully hot and humid. I have been going through a few last jobs and preparing for some heavy weather that will probably come my way on this leg. I have been dealing with my sailmail (email) and will hopefully have my Torres Strait notes up soon. For now, I will give a run down of my last few days in Darwin:

Thursday I finished dealing with the fuel job. I reinstalled the inspection port, picked up diesel, I went with John Knight to reprovision, picking up the last perishables. We went back to the boat and stowed a bunch of it and began to get the boat ready to go. That night , I caught a bus to the Darwin Market, which is a street fair type thing. There are tons of people there. There are people selling everything from tie dye to crocodile teeth. There are all kinds of Aussie foods like crocodile, kangaroo and pretty much all of the other famous animals from Oz. I did eat some pretty good crocodile which is a white meat with a mild taste and a consistency like steak. I hung out with Mark, who is a professional didgeridoo player. I also met a friend of his named Mark who is an avid boater. When the fair shut down around 9:30pm, he gave me a ride home. He came down to the boat and we talked awhile. It was a good night.

Friday John and I went to customs and immigration. We went to Indigenous Creations, a didgeridoo shop to meet a guy who had been following my story while I was in Darwin. He gave me a 4 1/2 foot long didgeridoo that he had painted himself. He gave me a lesson which was great. John had things to do so I skated to an Internet cafe to check email and back to the boat to finish stowing and prepping the boat. That night I skated back to town to go to a rock concert and caught the bus back to the boat.

On Saturday, Customs came down to the boat to do a final clearance. I got the sails ready and lashed down the newly filled fuel jugs. John and I picked up the last round of mail. I am making a list of the things that I was sent and will post that when it is finished so I don't leave anyone out. I did a few interviews back at the boat. Then Spot On Marine lowered Intrepid into the water. I ran the motor for 15 minutes to make sure that there was no air in the lines. I motored through the mangroves against a 3 knot current following a dinghy driven by someone who knew the area well since water was so low. At one point I had as little as 1 foot under the keel. I got to the channel and had about 15 knots on the nose but managed to get out okay. I set my course and then had 3 knots. What a pain. I had a feast eating the food that John Knight brought down. I moved pretty slowly through the night. First night was pretty easy because it was so calm.

Sunday I did a bunch of jobs on the boat. I did see one ship that came within 2 miles. The Australian Customs planes fly over at least once a day. They call me on the VHF radio and ask for my registration number, where I am coming from and where I am going to. I had a terrible headache all day but fortunately it is gone now.

Monday, today, I'm taking care of a few more little jobs while it is still calm. At present I have between 1.4 and 2.4 knots of wind.

Mom and Dad have kept me up to date on all of your comments and many of your emails. I'd like to thank you all for your support. In many ways, this trip would not be possible without it.




Anonymous Liz said...

Hey Zac,
I've been following your journey for quite awhile now.
Like the others, I hit your blog multiple times a day looking forward to ANY update.
I heard about your journey from a very cool Dr. connected to your homeschool group.(he's my boss)
Anyway.. just givin you some props on this fantastic feat you are undertaking.
Sail on !!!!!

September 28, 2008 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Zac, glad to hear you had a good time in Aussie Land! Good luck on the next leg and enjoy the moment even though the winds are light and frustrating...haha!

Ray & Deanna
Clovis, CA

September 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hang in there, Zac.

Wind will be back, keep your course. All will be well.

The Cocos Keeling Isands await you, just like they did for Joshua Slocum.

Sail on!

September 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hey Zac!

How awesome is it to hear from you again. We have all missed you a ton. So glad you are back in motion. Without your daily goings on it has been quite uninspiring. You family has done a great job keeping us informed, but you are the man. Welcome back!

Now I have heard it all. I think you have changed expressions. Instead of croc tasting like chicken, it tastes like steak! hahaha! That is a classic.

We can't wait to hear about Torres Strait. Your pop gave us quite a worry when they lost communication with you. Luckily in the same blog he was able to let us know you were found and all right.

It is so comforting to know you had such good support and made new friends in Darwin. I love the line 'they gave you a ride home". Home is where you happen to be at the moment. Home is where you will end your journey. Friends you will meet along the way. Friends and family will be what you find at home. Friends you have made all across the world, with your spirit and determination.

Not many people will ever have the opportunity to make such an impression and touch as many people as you are Zac. You are one of the rare ones. One of the people that will be read about in books for many years to come.

Just a great end to the evening reading your words again. Praying for you daily and more than once a day!

Take care Zac!

September 28, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

Zac, great to hear from you! Sorry you're dealing with light winds - arrgghhh - I know the feeling. Sounds like the street fair was great fun and you met some cool friends. Intrepid seems to be ready for her next leg as are you. We're keeping up with your progress here in Annapolis. Safe passage to Cocos Keeling.

Annapolis, MD

September 28, 2008 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey your description of your stay in Darwin....sounds like you had a great time and made more wonderful....they will be friends for life...a special connection.
Can't believe the water was so shallow on your way out into the Straits....yikes!
Imagine, you have done more in your 16 years than most of us have done in a lifetime.
I admire you and thank you for sharing all this fun and adventure with us.
I took a look at Cocos on the web and it looks soooooooooo inviting.
Looking forward to seeing that little boat icon heading that way on your position map!

Prayers from your UK friend.

September 29, 2008 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Hey man, U are almost in my backyard! I'm glad to see you're back on the high seas! It's great that tried some croc, roo, ostrich. It's delicious. Just stay away from those Caine toads. I got a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards 2008 tshirt for yah. Yes they are running for office. PRAISE JESUS!
I will send to GPO in Cocos Keeling. Ok now for the sports:
Post season MLB:
Angels vs Boston.
Dodgers vs Cubs
Brew vs Phil
Rays vs Chi Sox or Min
Favre is on fire! The guys is like 900 years old but has a canon on him.
Bills and Titans are 4-0.
SD 28: OAK 18
Financial news: The markets are toast and U could probably buy a bank with the money from your newspaper route.
OK dude I got to hop. Jennifer Aniston is coming over and needs a cuddle. LIFE IS GOOD

September 29, 2008 at 2:55 AM  
Blogger Ptolemy said...

Here's something wild... When I paste your next destination into Google Earth, it now spins THE OTHER WAY!

Glad to "hear" your voice again -- wishing you good wind and few squalls for this next leg.

September 29, 2008 at 4:13 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

ZAc, great to hear from you again! It sounds like Darwin was very busy, but you did get some fun in as well. I hope you have better luck playing the didgeridoo than I! Just can't seem to get it right, though I try again from time to time.

With the heat and humidity, I'll pass on my usual warning that you be sure to stay hydrated. I'm sure you do, it's just one of those things near and dear to me.

I hope the wind picks up for you as you move west into the Indian Ocean - that 1 to 2 knots must be irritating :)

Stay safe, Zac. Cheers to you and all....

milford, ohio

September 29, 2008 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Erzsébet said...

Jó szelet!
we, little family in Budapest, Hungary, Europe hope, You 're all right, and wish the best, for Your next route.
Elisabeth and Fam.

September 29, 2008 at 4:59 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

It's great that you're underway again. Life on land can be so distracting, but it's good that you keep your eyes and mind on the task at hand.
So many of us will ride along with you, praying for safety, wishing for 20 knot wind, and glassy seas.
Yet knowing you can handle whatever comes your way.
The rhythm of the sea will soon be your existence once again. Feel it inside, embrace it, but never forget it's intensity or power.
With you all the way to Cocos-Kelling.

September 29, 2008 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

Very interesting about your touristing in Darwin. You sure meet new friends fast. I am curious if the mangroves are actually a maze of trees and channels you had to maneuver. I had a group of ten teachers for dinner Saturday and took them through your blog ( and wore my T-shirt) and they are anxious to share with their classes at our middle school.
We all wish you the best on the next leg.
-Charlie, Maine

September 29, 2008 at 5:21 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


Great to hear from you! Your boat looks great and it sounds like you had a fun time in Darwin. Big fan of the Didgeridoo.

Here is hoping for a cooling breeze at your back.

Birmingham, AL

September 29, 2008 at 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad your're on your way. I emailed Jeff Lang sabout your adventures, he's HUGE in the Australian music scene. Glad you had a good one in Darwin. Smooth sailin' friend.
Kodiak Mike

September 29, 2008 at 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to read about your good times in surprise there !!! great country, great people,great attitude about everything, they never take life too seriously,love to have a good time...and they truely do like people from this country which in this day and age is welcome. I always look forward to going to OZ.

Ok it's back to work like the rest of us. Happy Trails.


September 29, 2008 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Eric Crossley said...


Great to see you are back on the water again. I hope you enjoyed Darwin, it sounds like an interesting place.

We look forward to hearing more about your incredible adventure. Remember you have friends in Maryland rooting you on!

Eric Crossley
Laurel, MD

September 29, 2008 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Nice to hear from you Zac. Sounds like you had a busy stay in Darwin. Looking forward to reading about this next leg.

Santa Monica

September 29, 2008 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Zac -- so nice to"hear your voice" and know you and your yacht are in shape for the the next leg of your fantastic voyage!!

Thanks so much for sharing -- your blog updates are one of the highlights of my days!! I loved hearing about your experiences in Oz -- so happy that you were able to go to the market and concert and feast on lots of Australian food! Many thanks, too, to John Knight and Jen Edney for sharing their pics! They add so much for those of us so far away ...geographically speaking...

P.S. The mom in me wants to remind you to stay hydrated and well-fed to avoid troublesome headaches... Here's to wishing for a nice breeze and less humidity. And a prayer for your continued safety and good health. CindyinCincy

September 29, 2008 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

Awesome to hear from you again! YEA! We will pray for more wind - but I think I am liking it when you are bored - you are catching up with us! ;)

Someone mentioned Natasza Caban before. Solo circumnavigating - she is from Poland. If she doesn't leave soon - you might rondevouz on Cocos Keeling - I believe she is still there right now.

Thanks again for the update and Sail West, Young Man! :D

September 29, 2008 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Good luck Zac! Always good to get back on the water.

Take care,


September 29, 2008 at 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to "hear" from you Zac! I just now read the post from Marianne/John Knight -- have to say I had a lump in my throat reading John's description of your departure... And now reading your account of being back at sea, I feel encouraged, excited, and nervous! Keeping you in my prayers -- for your strength through rough weather. Looking forward to "hearing" from you and your team as your adventure continues. Take good care. Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

September 29, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Hey Zac,
Wonderful to hear directly from you again. We are all so thankful to everyone who keeps us updated when you can't, but just great to hear from the Captain himself.
Go Zac go!
Sail Safe,
Tucson, AZ

September 29, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Thanks, Zac. Your mom and dad are excellent writers, but there's nothing like getting the lowdown from the The Man himself.

from Iowa

September 29, 2008 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

HI Zac!!!

The dreaded bob and fun w/o wind! Under 3 knots...that's just painful! I'm quite certain you'll get your share of big wind on this leg!!

So good to hear from you, sounds like you had a big time while in Oz! The Australians are great people!

As always, sending out good wishes and plenty of prayer, we are all very proud of you!!

Sail on Captain Zac!

Anita ~_/)
Captain SV "Wombat"
Waterloo, NY

September 29, 2008 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Yo, Cap'n Zac!

It is really good to hear from you - and it must feel soooo good to be back at sea. What a contrast from the hustle and bustle of being in port...huh?

I love reading about the personal connections you've made - new friends and supporters every time you dock the Intrepid along her journey. What fun! From the people at Spot On Marina, to a shining Knight John, to Digeridoo're a very fortunate young man!

Kudos to you...and to your parents & siblings...and to all the Zac Pac'ers out there.

We are all very proud to be part of your crew!

Sail on...Zac...sail on!

P.S. Re that headache - dehydration can cause those - and you say it is quite hot/humid there - don't get so busy that you forget to drink lots and lots of water, OK?!?

September 29, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me where Zac will land next and how long does he anticipate sailing on this next trek? Will this part be harder and more challenging than the last? I am trying to follow his journey on my map--Good Luck Zac !!!!

September 29, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

Been following your adventure from the very beginning from the mountains of Idaho. Our environment here is just about the complete opposite of yours. I think that is what is so enticing to me, as well as all the great blogs from you and your parents.

Thanks for letting us be your cyber-crew and travel along on a daily basis. Here's to armchair sailing as we journey across the Indian Ocean. And don't forget - the Zac Pac is ALWAYS with you.


September 29, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
So good to hear from you again! Sounds like your time in Darwin was both productive and fun. Praying for you daily!
Blessings and Safe Sailing,
Sherman Oaks, CA

September 29, 2008 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Ginger in Colorado said...

I haven't been able to get to my blogs in a few days so was glad to get caught up with you and your travels. Wow...a didgeridoo! And even a lesson on how to play it! It isn't everyone who has that opportunity. You are experiencing so many new and different adventures and it's exciting to be a part of that from here in land-locked Colorado.

Many blessings on the next leg of your incredible journey!

September 29, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Lefty Swirl said...

Ptolemy said...
Here's something wild... When I paste your next destination into Google Earth, it now spins THE OTHER WAY!

Of course it does, he's below the j/k ;-P

Happy sailing

September 29, 2008 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Hoppípolla said...

Sounds like you had lots of fun. But what i really want to know is what rock concert you went to?????
Well i bet your glad to be back on the water.

September 29, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl in San Diego said...

Hi Zac,
Gee, great to hear from you in 'person'! What a wonderful adventure you are having and I am sure I speak for many when I say, "what a wonderful adventure you are allowing all of us to have with you!" My gosh, when I read your blog for those few minutes I feel as if I am right there enjoying the same experiences, I could almost hear the rock band and overhear your guy conversation on the boat with your friend! Thank you Zac, and Mom and Dad of course as well, for taking me with you!
May God continue to Bless and provide His grace to you and your family and the Zac Pac too.
I am sure some good wind wind will be coming soon.

September 29, 2008 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers Zac:

What a great post! Your adventure is certainly diverse. From the safety concerns of PNG to being able to skate in and out or use public transportation to/from the marina. Real food! Real people! Even a rock concert. I've been to Sydney, Kooma, and Thredbo, but never to Darwin. It's now on the list of 'must sees'. (note: In Thredbo, we were snow skiing on July 4th.)

Use the time of light airs to prepare for the heavy stuff and stay safe. Wear your tether, eat well, drink water, and catch some fish!!

The Croaker

September 29, 2008 at 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,

So glad to hear you're happy to be on water again. We enjoyed reading about your busy, yet fun time in Darwin. Through your descriptions, it seems like we were right there with you experiencing everything you did. It's always sad to leave the wonderful people you meet along the way, but their friendship will be cherished forever.

Glad you made it through the dangerously shallow water, leaving Darwin. Sounded like quite a maneuver, which you handled like a true sailor.

Our prayers for your safety as you journey along on your next leg to Cocos Keeling. Take care and God speed.

Dick & Gin

September 29, 2008 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Sounds really tranquil. It would be nice if you didn't have a time schedule to keep! I'll be wishing for significant wind so you can be on your way, Zac.



September 29, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Zac, great to get an early update...

The light winds must be driving your crazy... However, I have two things to say...

#1 - Be glad there are no bugs, light wind, pouring sweat, everything is sticky, then, if there's bugs, oh my gosh, what a miserable existence until the winds come back to your favor…

#2 – Look at is as some training for the leg from St. Helena to Trinidad, sigh…. Hopefully, you have a minimal experience in the doldrums, so this is just a test! [chuckle]

I checked ugrib (thanks Axel) and you should be getting into some better winds out in front of you, if you can justtttttttttt get there… At least it looks to be a beam wind instead of a stern wind, you’ll feel like a rocket after 2 days of 1-2kts…

Daveh & Skipper

September 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Dave (Bedfordshire, UK) said...

Hey Zac! :D

I have been following your progress, and have enjoyed reading about your stay in Oz...and as has been mentioned on your blog, those guys who helped you service Intrepid, and who made your stay so useful, deserve much is great to know that so many people have offered you so much help to keep your dream afloat! (do excuse the pun!)

It is good to know that you are now back on the water, and I am sure that we will all be waiting, with baited breath, to hear how things go for you in the next leg of this rather epic journey.

Although we are spread out all over the world, and watching you from the comfort of our homes, always remember that it is as if we are making that very same journey with you, this internet thing really does make us all feel so close to you....and proud of you too.

You have my very best wishes and hopes for a continuing safe voyage, and you are one heck of a brave guy, that is certainly beyond all doubt.

Take Care, will speak again soon. Regards, Dave

September 29, 2008 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

So glad to see that post.Keep posting about it.You guys are making more and more progress every day!

check my blog

September 29, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

My family read about you in God's World News..we will be praying for you and keeping up on your trip in your blog!

September 29, 2008 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Hey Zac,
I just this whole thing surfing around on youtube. My name is Jesse I just turned 21 and I liveaboard a 30ft sailboat in Florida. I think what you are doing is amazing and im sure you have heard that a 1000 times but I wish you good luck and I look forward to your updates. Have fun bro.

September 29, 2008 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Yo Zac,
I just found out about all of this surfing around on youtube sitting on my boat haveing a beer. Im 21 and I live aboard a 30ft sailboat in Florida. Just want to say that what you are doing is awsome and I wish you luck bro. keep it safe
I look forward to your updates.


September 29, 2008 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Clay said...


Sorry to hear about you having a headache Zac, not fun. Sounds like it's nice sailing right now.


September 29, 2008 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous PaulK said...

I was intending to make this remark after Hawaii, but didn't find the
time. It's still appropriate at this point, though. I'm a sailor
myself, and, after a moment of craziness at sea, notably, my climbing
up onto the foredeck to refurl a sail while we were motoring into
10-12 foot seas, lest the the sail come loose and get tangled in the
prop. Yes, I was tethered to the boat, too. Good thing as well, since
I got dunked a few times for the effort. Subsequent to that, my
fellow crewmates remarked that that isn't something you do because
you're brave, you do it because you have to. Your life, and that of
your crewmates may depend on it. What takes guts is going back out to
sea after you've been ashore for a while. Thus, from my point of
view, another major milestone is passed. Congratulations & well done.
This looks like things will work out very well, indeed.

--Paul Keller
Richland, WA

September 29, 2008 at 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Hi Zac.
Is there any current which can help you getting out of the Timor Sea??
Maybe Dave can help with that question. Can't find any maps on the internet about it

September 30, 2008 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Girl Mikal said...'re a pretty cool kid. I've been homeschooled all my life, so it's amazing to hear about the feats of other homeschoolers, especially one like this! We are most certainly underestimated, are we not? :D
Keep up the good work; I wish you much luck.
God bless you,

September 30, 2008 at 12:18 PM  
OpenID rklein said...

Ahoi Zac,

good to read from you again. And good the read that you feel good about being out on the water again. After all that's what you set out for. Then again you probably were looking forward to a shower, a solid bed, and "real" food before arriving in Darvin. That makes me wonder, how do your spirits/feelings change during the passage from one port to the next, the longing for sailing and its thrill opposed to the longing for solid ground and its amenities.

Fair winds and following seas!

September 30, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

Glad the headache has we'll be hoping for some wind! You continue to amaze us here at home!

September 30, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Captain Zac, you're The MAN

so so good to have you off the hard
and back to where you're supposed to be
"breaking world records"....(smile)

and even though the winds are light...
take this time to reflect...
"reflections," just as important,
as getting there...

there'll be days ahead,
believe me,
when you'll be longing and aching for moments like these...

109 days have passed ...
some things to ponder...
"The Man you've become"
questions to ask...
what you've missed the most?
what strengths have manifested themselves and just as importantly what weaknesses...
think back to those who've touched your life in a special way,
GOD's gifts to you...

and those you've yet to see, but, know they love and pray for you..

to hold your mum n dad in highest love and esteem, i know you do...
they are special special parents.. something none of us get to
choose in life, but GOD knows...

a little spiritual meat for you

"I met GOD in the morning"

I met GOD in the morning,
when the day was at it's best
and HIS PRESENCE came like sunrise
like a glory to my breast

All day long HIS PRESENCE lingered
All day long HE stayed with me
and we sailed with perfect calmness
O'er a very troubled sea

Other ships were bloen and battered
Other ships were sore distressed
But the winds that seemed drive
Brought to a perfect rst

Then I thought of other mornings
With a keen remorse of mind
When i too had loosed the moorings
With THY PRESENCE left behind

So i think i know the secret
From many a troubled way
You must seek GOD in the morning
If you want HIM through the day


for you my brother...

enjoy all points
of the compass equally

in our prayers and thoughts always

mark n adino vicksburg,mississippi

September 30, 2008 at 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you make it!

i belive you will!
i read about you in my history book thing.(:

October 4, 2008 at 2:46 PM  

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