Saturday, September 27, 2008

Zac's Departure from Darwin: John Knight

Zac hasn't been able to post a blog because his email has been so limited this week. John Knight has been keeping us up to date each evening via his own email. I think his post from last night is excellent and really makes you feel like you are there watching Zac depart.

From John Knight in Darwin:
The Darwin stay is over and Zac is again back at sea. He was relaunched and sailed out of Spot On Marine and Ludmilla Creek at 1620 local time today (0650Z) Saturday, 27th September 2008 bound for Cocos (Keeling) in the Indian Ocean south of Java.

Today was fairly hectic while we obtained fuel filters and collected the last of Zac's Darwin mail. Customs came and cleared him to leave, sealing up the items they had held during his stay in port on board not to be opened until he sailed. Zac spent time securing containers of diesel and tidying up the yacht as he prepared to leave. At 1515 the yacht was lifted from its place in the yard and rolled to the launching slip. Media were in attendance from ABC (Australia) and Channel 9 TV both of which featured Zac on their evening news. After a quarter of an hour successfully running the smoothly performing engine still suspended in the slings, "Intrepid" was lowered afloat and the slings dropped to the mud below. Skillfully backing out, Zac did a turn in the creek and headed to seaward, following a dinghy which guided him through the deeper areas of the coastal flat to sea. I drove to East Point to see him away into deep water. I had hoped to wish him well over the VHF radio from the Darwin Sailing Club but in the flurry of departure he may not have had it switched on. He has headed out into the Timor Sea with a northerly sea breeze but forecasts for the next few days suggest that he may have some slow progress as he travels westward out of Australian waters. Attached are some photos I took which you are welcome to use in the Blog. Not quite Jen's quality but I hope they will do. It has been a hectic few days as Zac and I got his needs sorted. Tiiu and I sent him off with a cooked chicken and two jars of a cheese spread he had taken a liking to so he had something to eat for his first meal at sea. Zac was confident that he had everything he needed on board. If there are any loose ends to tie up in Darwin let me know and I will see what can be done. A 24ft. Seawind catamaran sailed round from DSC in Fannie Bay and joined Zac for the first part of his journey. I last saw him about three miles to sea off Nightcliff heading out to the same waypoint we used to bring him in. There he would turn west and about 500 nautical miles further on he will pass out of Australia's mainland waters and into the Indian Ocean finally leaving the shallow waters which have so amazed a boy used to the near shore deeps of California's Pacific coast. All the best to you both John

Zac called last night to let us know that he had cleared the mangroves and was in 50 feet of water. This was a good thing. He was feeling rested and ready to go. Now...pray for wind!


Lifting "Intrepid" in the yard
Lowering the yacht back into Ludmilla Creek
Running the motor prior to departure

Zac motoring out to sea bound for Cocos (Keeling)
Following the pilot dinghy out of Ludmilla Creek


Blogger Willyboy said...

Outstanding... Thanks, John, for the departure summary and the pictures.

Zac, here's to good weather and cooperative seas. Smooth sailing on to Cocos Keeling... Take care, young man, and know there is a whole host of Zac Packers following you in spirit!

Cheers to you and to all...

milford, ohio

September 27, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Many thanks to John Knight for the amazing description, yes, I felt like I was there.

Many blessings to Zac on this part of his journey. May your weather be fair and your breezes be fresh!

And it is so cool you are finding such amazing friends along the way.

Go Zac!

September 27, 2008 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

Must be so hard to say good-bye so many times, but the hellos are ahead as well. John's description and the wonderful picts make me feel I'm there saying good bye too. Blink blink.
-Charlie, Maine

September 27, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the generous people who have contributed to making Zac's stay in Australia so welcoming and successful in accomplishing so much in such a short amount of time. Its heartwarming to know that there is a loving support system around the world to help Zac with his trip. Now back at sea, well fed, well rested Zac is ready for this next leg of his journey.
I'm sure the Zac Pac is excited as I am to read this next chapter of Zac's story.
Zac, you continue to inspire each of us to reach high for our dreams and we are all so proud of all your accomplishments.
Laurence and Marianne, you continue to inspire all of us parents with your display of love and support and confidence in your amazing son. Thank you for all you do to allow this amazing young man to live his dream.
Zac Pac-Gotta love you all, you are a important part of behind the scenes as well with all the provided information to less experienced sailors, moral support and prayers that are continually sent to our Father above to look out for Zac.
God Bless you Zac, count me in for my continued prayers for your safety and success.

"DO HARD THINGS" - says alot about Zac in 3 short words

September 27, 2008 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Well done John, many thanks for the photos, and your words. Isn't young Zac amazing? :)

Here we go Zac Pac!

Zac, fair weather, good seas, and decent wind! Sail on young man, sail on!! Whoo-hoo ~_/)

As always prayers and well wishes.
Captain SV "Wombat"
Waterloo, NY USA

September 27, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Thank you John Knight, for such a great post, and description of Zac's departure. I always feel for the people who are sending Zac off, as I'm sure a closeness and bond has been made, and you feel like its your own child going off to sea.

I always wonder what thoughts are on Zac's mind as he sets sail again. He has done so fantastic, and I respect him so much for putting his life out there, for whatever lays ahead. It is comfort to know he believes that the Lord is watching over him. As we all know on this blog, we have come to love and respect him. I hope his thoughts were of excitement for the next leg of the journey.

So we all move on in this adventure and responsibility of prayer and support for this fine young man. Zac, you take care of yourself, and know we all love and are praying for you.

Best regards,

September 27, 2008 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

Reading the blog just makes us all feel like we watched "our boy" sail out again. Thanks! Wishing for wind today...


September 27, 2008 at 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, John, for the wonderful description and pictures. I felt like I was there. We really appreciate all of your support!

You're in my prayers, Zac, wishing for fair winds and smooth sailing!

Sherman Oaks,CA

September 27, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you John Knight. You are so typical of the Aussies. Worked with some of your guys during my military years while in Vietnam. Later as a civilian I worked with Kiwis in Singapore. People from 'down under' are outstanding even if they hang upside down on Earth!!

Thanks for your support of Zac, for the great update on his departure, and for the pictures.

We're off again! Yaaaaaaa!

The Croaker

September 27, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Ohhhhh the agony and anxiety of starting a new leg…

e.g. Did I get everything done? Is it done right? Did I forget something? What’s that noise? Let me finish this? I should check that… How are things below the water line? Is the wind-vane/self-steering dialed in? etc… etc…

After 24 hours, I suspect that Zac will settle in a bit… …and on the 3rd day, the groove begins and he and the sea will again be in harmony and friends…

John Knight, thanks for all of the work and assistance that we don’t even know about, because of course, your humility won’t let you state all of your deeds I’m sure…

Daveh & Skipper

September 27, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Well there Zac, you are starting a new chapter on your voyage and I am getting ready to start a new year.

To all those that know what it means, Shana-Tova and wishes for a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous 5769

Hopefully Zac, when it comes time for your New Year, you will be in port so you will not be alone.

But if you are at sea, you will still have several thousand spirits with you, as you do right now keeping you in our thoughts as you brave the Indian ocean.

God speed Zac, stay safe, keep us posted and keep that hair out of your eyes.

Bill Mann, South Pasadena.

September 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Rich Norman said...

Not taking sides on the "hats at dinner" issue, but there is an even larger attire question from recent photos ... safety harness. Some of the photos of Intrepid underway aren't clear enough to say for -sure- Zac is neglecting its use, but a handful of the pictures CLEARLY show it to be absent. Tsk, tsk!

September 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks John for the update and great pics, of course the pics help us better connect with what is happening and just makes the voyage for us at home so much more enjoyable, nice touch!

Zac we are praying for you as you journey on to your next destination, Indian Ocean and Cocos Keeling. Its pretty exciting to be watching such a great adventure unfold before us as you conquer your dreams. Press on man press on!

Ray & Deanna
Clovis, CA

September 27, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac..

Sounds like Darwin was just what you needed just when you needed it. Cheers on a successful launch of your next leg of the World Adventure. You continue to be an inspiration to so many!
Thanks to John for the detailed description of your departure, Great Job! All of the photos from Jen and John have really helped us in the Zac Pac to have better insight to people and places, keep up the great work! Speaking of the Zac Pac, it continues to grow as word spreads about your amazing adventure. If any of the newer bloggers following Zac have not visited the Guestmap please do so and put a pushpin in the map showing where you are from. Just a fun visual to see how widespread the Pac is.

The link is:

Zac, may your days be blessed with fair and favorable winds, and the next leg be smooth and memorable. You are always in our thoughts and prayers here in Oklahoma!!

@ Bill Mann, Mazal Tov and Happy New Year!

Take care Zac, I look forward to hearing your words on Darwin and how things are going.

Bob in OKC

September 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Good luck on the Indian Ocean! Hope everything goes well.Im more convinced everyday that youll make it just on time.You are such inspiration to us all that anyone can follow their dreams at any age.Keep going Zac!

September 27, 2008 at 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Thank you very much John for the great update. Could no find the spot where Intrepid was taken out of the water till I got your update. Now I understand all the tricky parts with the tide.
By know Intrepid must be a medium size cruise ship thinking about all the people on board sailling with Zac LOL.
For all the newcomers here is the link to the Zac Pac map as a reminder. Just for the fun of it - put your pin on the map :-)

You all have a nice weekend. I am patiently waiting for the first position

September 27, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a wonderful description of Zac's final day in Darwin... thank you to John Knight for that and everything else he's done for Zac!!!!!

like someone else has said... here we go!

September 27, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

Thank you John Knight for you descriptive narrative and pictures of Zac's Aussie launching. On to the Indian Ocean.

September 27, 2008 at 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great that Zac is on his way...with so many good wishes and new friends in Darwin, helping him to set sail.
Can't help wondering, like Peter, what he is feeling and thinking.
I like Daveh's description.
John Knight has been a star and only sorry he didn't get to say his has been a real heart warming experience to see how complete strangers have helped to look after Zac and Intrepid whilst in Darwin...imagine the memories this young man will have.
Zac,your cyber friends are with you as you take on this next leg.

UK friend

September 27, 2008 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

You know you are a Zack Packer when you read the blog that say's "Zac's Departure from Darwin" and get a little emotional and excited at the same time. It must be the mommy emotions in me. I got teary eyed reading John's blog!! I felt so relieved that Zac was safely to Darwin, and now I have the anxiety that he is all alone in the Indian Ocean. But that doesn't mean I don't have confidence in him. I think he is an amazing guy, with sailing skills that he has proved to us all. I have just come to love this kid like he was my own!!

I will be checking in everyday, sometimes more than once, to hopefully get an update of your progress, Zac.

Marianne and Laurence you have a child that is such a gift to all of us. Thank you for allowing us to share his dream.

Praying for you as alway Zac. Love to all the Sunderlands.

North Hills, CA

September 27, 2008 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous DZ said...

You're on your way again...
Looks like you are well taken care of in each port you stop at. You are so truely blessed. We wish you well on this leg as always we will continue to pray. Hope you have enough fresh water for your shakes.
T, D & R Ziegler

We haven't posted much since most of the people here say what we want and there's no need to duplicate what they say. But, we continue to follow along everyday.

September 27, 2008 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Here here' Debbie, from North Hills, CA.....couldn't agree with you more!
Don't we just love this young man.
Hope you don't mind sharing him, Sunderland family.

UK friend

September 28, 2008 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

That was an excellent e-mail and pics. Thanks, John.

Here's hoping you get lots of wind as you race across the Indian Ocean, Zac!



September 28, 2008 at 12:57 AM  
Anonymous kevin said...

Great that Zac is underway again. Hopefully all systems are repaired/replaced, are functioning properly, and we can look forward to regular updates from the captain himself.

While no doubt, this leg will also have it's moments, hoping for a safe and successful passage!!


September 28, 2008 at 3:59 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hi Zac,
You are an amazing man.
You will be in our prayers.
Jenn 17

September 28, 2008 at 5:41 AM  
Blogger Donna H. said...

An amazing week! Thanks, Marianne, for sharing John's e-mail. John, what a picture you painted with your words! Thanks for letting us all feel that we were watching
Zac through your eyes.

Zac, hopefully, things will settle in within a couple of days, and you'll have a little time to catch up on your reading. Guess you haven't been able to read many of the blog entries since PNG! Wow, are you in for some great times with the Zac Pac!

Praying for pleasing winds, lovely weather, sleep when needed, and most of all your safety. May you
feel very strongly the presence of God with you today.

North Richland Hills, TX

September 28, 2008 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

I am only an observer, just like so many on this blog.....yet feel close enough, and connected enough to say "thank you" to all who lend a hand, who keep us updated, and who experience through their efforts firsthand, the abilities and capabilities of this young man and his quest.
Somehow we all feel like a part of this, and in truth we are. The care and concern, the thoughts and prayers, the breathing and the not, all are part of who we all are.
So to all of you, again, THANK YOU!

To you Captain Zac, sail on with wind filling your sails, seas that welcome you, and experiences to remember for a lifetime.
We all will pray, and think of you as you keep your bow headed west.
And wait for the next bit of good news.

September 28, 2008 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sail on my man, sail on. Great photos John and thanks for the update. It was great. Hope to hear from Zac soon. One question it was mentioned that customs had sealed some items that could only be opened after you left. Can you share what that is all about?

Thanks and how about an up date to where you are in relationship to sailing around the world. How are you doing on your time line.


September 28, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

First a big "Thank You" to John Knight. The pictures along with your description really made it feel like we were all on shore seeing Zac off on his next leg.

As already expressed by others in the Pac, "here we go" off on the next leg of this awesome adventure. You're in my thoughts and prayers daily.
I'm anxiously awaiting your next post!

Sail Safe
Tucson, AZ

September 28, 2008 at 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the summary and pictures, John Knight. I'm so far away, but I feel as if I'm right there with all of you. Great job!!

Safe sailing on to the Indian, Zac. God's blessings on you.

Blowing wind your way,
Elissa R. Walther
Houston, TX

September 28, 2008 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Scot said...

I've said on here a few times that my wife is from Oz...Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, and everyone I've met from Oz is wonderful. I still haven't been there yet but I'm looking forward to the time I'll be able to spend there. It warms me to hear these stories of these very kind strangers who are now friends. My hat's off to them. Zac, you're a very lucky guy and I'm sure you are counting your blessings all the way.

This is just one big rare life adventure. Roll on buddy!

September 28, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you to John Knight for the post about Zac's Darwin departure. I could feel the care and support in your words - and the pics were very much appreciated.

Guest bloggers rock! :)

You go, Cap'n Zac - WOOHOO!

September 29, 2008 at 7:27 AM  

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