Monday, October 27, 2008

Another day in the life of a solo circumnavigator...

Latest Position: 10/28/08 0445Z 15 20.612S 85 24.720E

I'm still rocking and rolling out here in some pretty confused seas. (Swells coming from different directions) Intrepid doesn't know what is going to hit her next. Sometimes two big swells will slam together from opposite directions right by the boat make a huge pointed swell. Not very comfortable out here so I'm just giving an update on today and will say more about Cocos Keeling and other things another day.
Last night I had between 20-25 knots and was making an average of 6.5 knots. About midinght there was a ship about 4 miles off that I sat and watched for awhile. I woke up about 5 am to a series of small squalls. The wind died down to 12-18 knots though the weather called for higher winds. Maybe the squalls are stealing the wind. This morning I woke to find about 200 flying fish on my deck. There must have been a whole school of them that flew on board at once. Hopefully they will get washed off during the day. I don't like going on deck too much with this motion but I don't want to have to pick them off after they've dried on there either!
I am rationing my matches from now until Mauritius. My stove lighters have all died and now my matches are damp. I have 32 matches left but they don't always light.
Its hard to do much on days like today but I'll hopefully get to my list of chores some.
Thanks for coming out to LA yesterday. Glad you all had a good time.

Link to Karyn Newbill's photos from the fund raiser:


Blogger jlh said...


Save your CK comments and don't worry about writing right now. You need to get through these confused seas until you are in a more confortable position to communicate. Your safety and comfort obviously come first! We will enjoy hearing about Ck when it's a better time for you. Hope those fish wash overboard!

Keeping you covered in prayer.

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks,CA

October 27, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zac,
Too bad you can't grab some fish and eat them. With your matches wet and nothing to cook with, raw fish doesn't sound so appetizing. Hope the swells become peaceful. Pray to Christ to make them calm. Have a good night.

October 27, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Capn' Zac,
I'm with ya in spirit,buddy!
May God watch over you and your sturdy vessell!
Straight Wakes!
Favorable winds!
Mike S.

October 28, 2008 at 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh Zac....can only imagine what's going on with you out there.Thanks for taking the time to write and let us know.Many many people are with you in prayer and spirit....and especially the One who knows all things.
Keep safe and oh those
A bit like a London bus, you want one and none comes for ages and then three come all at once!

UK friend

October 28, 2008 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Hi All,
I had a great time at Zac's fundraiser. It was, as I expected and more! Just seeing all the out pour of love and admiration was amazing. It was a special moment meeting Laurence, but somehow missed the opportunity to meet Marianne! She was buzzing around, mingling and greeting, I don't know how I missed out!! Oh well, my loss!! I hope there will be a next time!! Laurence kept me glued to my chair listening to him talk of the son he is so proud of. I had a few tears, admittedly, as he talked of his loss of his father, and his praises for Zac and his family. The highlight, of course, was when Zac was on the phone.That was so exciting, and he sounded terrific! Greg Lawson's video was also great! I didn't want it to end! I also was a proud Zac Packer when I was given the pen to sign Zac's new boom!

Thank you to all that made the event so successful. Your thoughtfulness and hard work was very much apprectiated. And..... thank you Karynn for the nice pictures. You did a very nice job, capturing the event. And, Bill, you did a terrific job with the silent auction, even if you didn't want my help when I asked if there was anything I could do for you!! I just put my tail between my legs and found someone else who could use some assistance!! Tee Hee!!

Zac, I hope the seas calm down a little to where you have a smoother ride and I hope the fish get washed off too! Yuk! So let me get this straight, you have only caught 1 fish by a fishing pole, as I recall, but while you were sleeping 200 fish just managed to jump on your boat!! Now that is talent!! Who said you didn't have any luck catching a fish!!

Zac, we enjoy hearing from you, but I would feel better for you to write when the seas are calm and you are not bouncing around. Stay safe, as always sending prayers your way as you get closer to Mauritius. Yeah, almost half way,that is awesome!!

Hugs and Prayers,
North Hills, CA

P.S. @Anita, I was sorry to hear of your little kitty! I had to put my beloved kitty down last February, so I know what you are feeling right now!! It will get better as time passes. Sending you a BIG HUG!!

October 28, 2008 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hello All!

Heart felt thanks for all the well wishes and notes, you are all truly amazing people. It's been a blessing to have been led to this site, so many wonderful things can be accomplished when people come together, again; many many thanks.

Confused seas = no fun!! I feel for you Zac! Remember that you have angels about you and God's protection, no worries mate, you'll be right!!

What a sight to find all those fish on deck...ick! If they end up sticking to the triple ick...LOL!! I guess there is something to be said about sailing fresh water, no flying icky stuff on deck AND no sharks!!!

Perhaps a pack of water-proof matches would be in order for you...I'll put that on the list of things to send Zac ;). How's the floss holding up??

Hang in there Zac!
Hugs, Anita
Captain SV "Wombat" ~_/)
Avid Zac fan

October 28, 2008 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

Sorry about all that rocking. I guess the seas are confused and don't know how they will hit you. Two crashing at the same time from opposite ends of Intrepid doesn't sound like any fun. Please don't worry about catching up on the C/K emails when your in seas that rough.

At least now you don't have to worry about fishing. You can go out on deck and pick as many as you would like. Please be careful on deck with those seas. Harness up and watch those waves.

It was great to read all the emails about the LA Gathering. As expected they were all great. Thanks so much to all the LA Zac-Pac Crew. Thanks to everyone involved putting this all together. Like everyone said the last couple of day's and I'll agree "HUGE SUCCESS".

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 28, 2008 at 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Zac managing the stirring seas and the fish mess -- I continue to be greatly impressed with your ability to handle the relentless responsibilities involved in achieving your goal!

So happy to read that you were able to go exploring and have some fun in CK. I love being an armchair traveller through your descriptions of this most amazing adventure!

Karyn, Thanks for sharing your photos.

Anita, So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and I pray that you will find peace in your heart and a good night's sleep soon.


October 28, 2008 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hi Zac, not sure if you saw it on your weather, but there was a pretty significant system to your NW right as you departed from Cocos, probably about 300NM away, had some 50kt gusts, figuring 20mph wave speed, that’s probably what’s hitting you on the starboard side, with the trade-swells coming from the SE.

I would think those swells from the NNE will settle down soon, but the SE swells will stay with you, as they have for 1000’s of years…

There’s a few more weather systems moving around, but all generally showing westerly winds….

Stay safe! (e.g. let the flying fish lie….)

Daveh & Skipper

October 28, 2008 at 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zac,

I'm able to visualize the swells you speak of...and get seasick thinking about them! You should pick up one of those butane grill lighters for your stove. Not sure if there are any customs regulations about butane cartridges or not. Just a thought I had.
Hope you have calmer seas soon! I love reading your blogs and wish you nothing but the best!
Jan from DC

October 28, 2008 at 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Wow Zac, sounds like the washing machine ride all over again! Stay below, or harness up! Be safe!

Debbie, loved your comment about the fish - can't catch 'em when you want 'em, get 200 when you don't!

I have added captions with names to many of the photos on website, so if you didn't know or couldn't tell who was who, check again! If I don't have a name with a photo and you can supply one, please do so using COMMENT option at bottom; or if you just have a comment - please do!

Thanks again to all who made Sunday possible.

Sail on Zac!

Karyn in Simi

October 28, 2008 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks so much for sharing the great photos. It's so nice to put a face to the name.

Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. Find peace in your memories. Much sympathy to you.

Sorry to hear the seas are giving you so much grief. Hope the flying fish get washed overboard soon.
Sending good thoughts and prayers daily.
Stay Safe!
Tucson, AZ

October 28, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Melanie in Torrance said...

Well Zac it's either fish (hundreds) or famine! Hope the swells quit pounding you from two directions soon. Do the chores you can and you can worry about the fried (in the sun) fish later. Best to be safe in these conditions.

Thanks Karyn for the great pics. It was almost like being there. I had a great time going through them and putting faces to names seen here so often!

@ Bill Mann-are you going to cut that hair or what?

October 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Zac...Wet matches... Sounds like there might be a need for a weather proof lighter. I hope the matches last for you! Man, I do love getting regular coordinate updates again! You seem to be just flying along towards Mauritius!

I hope the seas calm for you a bit and you get a more comfortable ride. Stay safe and stay hydrated!

Cheers to you and all...

milford, ohio

October 28, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,
I don't think I could fare well in a sea of great confusion, with all the rocking and rolling going on. Guess with all the sailing you've done you're probably used to all that.

Sorry to hear about the problems with your stove and matches. Hopefully, your matches will dry up enough to be lit. What have you been eating?

More update on C.K. can wait. Just take good care of yourself and don't forget to stay harnessed, if you decide to take care of the flying fishes. Safety first!

Praying for a smoother sail and Godspeed.

Dick & Gin

October 28, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

hang tough zac --you are doing just great! You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. (btw...i've heard alot of 'fish' stories but yours beats them all!)
sail on kiddo....
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

October 28, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Captain Zac, YOU are the Man
what fantastic time you are making, "incredible"... despite all this unsettled seas...
even the volanus pisces are confused, just lookng for a place to rest..."you're wise in letting them find their own way back"
you're heading down to about 57E or so ...(you're doing about two ticks a day) you've got plenty of fire..2 matches a day ;-)
might have to do a fast, (warm food that is).. for a little bit, but that's ok too it'll just make all that "wonderful food" in Mauritius taste all that more special to you...
"Thanksgiving in Mauritius"
Hey Zac just about a month till your seventeeth, you are so courageous and have done beyond words...
we're all so very thankful and
humbly appreciative to have met you, and all of "Team Sunderland"
and allowing us "the Zac Pac",to be a part of "the journey"...
a little over two weeks or maybe even less and you'll be having a "great feast" more ways than one...even a new "Zac Pac, designer signed" boom, Intrepid will love it...
The moon's arising, enjoy ...

"let them give thanks
to The LORD,for HIS lovingkindness,
and for HIS wonders
to the sons of men
For HE has satisfied
the thirsty soul
and the hungry soul
HE has filled with what is good.
psalm 107:8,9

Giant "MAHALO" to all those who made "the gathering" a time to remember and reflect...

Zac you are always
in our hearts and prayers
"Good on ya"

mark n adino, vicksburg,mississippi

October 28, 2008 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi zac god bless you it must be very hard for you but then i dont know much about sea sailing just river sailing in boston m.a.
i will pray for you today about those matches... good day, smooth sailing, favorable winds.
donald anthony
p.s. even though i have never met you i think youre courageous an' cool

October 28, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

thanks for the update. It is always great to hear from yourself. When you cannot, it is great that Marianne is filling in, but it is not quite the same.

200 flying fish! Wow, good that they did not take of with you :-) Flying fish sushi, maybe not. Wet matches are a bummer. Keep eating still.

All the best to you and your ship.

October 28, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long should the whole voyage take? I see someone posted a comment that you are almost half way done.

You are quite an amazing young man.

October 28, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 28, 2008 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Thanks for telling me what his next stop is huge help!

October 28, 2008 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've read in a book by a circumnavigator about the flying fish signing on as crew. I think the writers were Lin & Lee Pardey. The voluntary crew got eaten. Seems that each morning they ate available flying fish for breakfast. Is this not an option? Well, maybe not 200!! Maybe 1 or 2 of the fresher ones.

Take care of business and tell us about CK later ... or we'll get even more detail in the book. Just take care of our captain and author.

Karyn's pictures of the Zac-Pack Fest were great. Those of us who didn't or couldn't attend missed a great meet and bond experience. I can also see why Bill Mann was disappointed not to be able to bid on Ben. He's a real little dude. I want to pinch those cheeks and sneak him out for ice cream!!

There has to be a solution to the match crisis. Do you have any candles on board? Maybe light one and put it in a safe and secure place and keep it burning. Do you have a thermos on board? Maybe prepare a meal and one in advance and keep it hot in the thermos. Any food (even cold) will keep you alive, but something hot or warm feeds more than just the body.

We're all hanging in there with you. Keep the sails up and the keel down!

The Croaker

October 28, 2008 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous craig schreiber said...

Sorry I could not attend the festivities on Sunday, but the distances were just too great. I did try to send an emissary (my daughter from La Jolla) but she had to work. I am sure all had a good time. Were you able to make a voice connection with Zac during the festivities? My students and I are once again tracking Zac’s positions via Google earth and learning a lot about the geography of the world. Thanks to Zac for bringing interest back to World Geography.
Craig Schreiber
St. Gregory Barbarigo Elementary School

October 28, 2008 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

Are flying fish any good to eat?

Zac, Instead of matches, try to get one of those butane log lighters. Moisture doesn't bother them, and they're easier to use than matches in your situation.

You're doing good Zac...hang in there.

October 28, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

LH, The Man upstairs is throwing U a major "bone"...Don't waste those fish. Pan fry them in a little garlic. Throw in some chili flakes. Squeeze some lime over them. If see any orange fish eggs/roe U probably seen them in nearly any California roll. It's all good. Don't be shy..FEAST.

October 28, 2008 at 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Rick Barlow said...

Cap'n Zac, didn't previously pray for "some fish" while you were trolling did you???!!! *grin*

Fair winds & following seas mate!

October 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

Have you ever started a fire with a flint and steel? It's not easy. Lighting a stove with a flint is, however, really easy and flint is a completely waterproof source of ignition. You probably don't have one on board right now, unless you have a cheap Bic lighter, but surely you can get one in port.

Of course, not having ever used your particular type of stove, I may be completely wrong about its effectiveness, but it may be worth a try.

As always,
Praying for you daily, Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

October 28, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you tried lighting your stove with just the ignitor from your used up lighter. The spark should be enough to ignite the gas. Just a possible option if your matches run out.

October 29, 2008 at 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac

Was it scary with the sea bashing your boat about?Did you get sea sick?I know I would!LOL.

April 21, 2010 at 6:05 AM  

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