Monday, October 6, 2008

Pressing On

I was up most of the night last night on watch and passed 6 fishing boats. It's hard to see if you are on a collision course at night because they don't turn on their nav lights. Their decks are lit up with work lights so at least I can see them! I spent most of the night trying to figure out which direction the little white lights on the horizon were moving. This morning the wind shifted around to the nose so I altered course and was able to fill the sails again. After about half an hour the wind dropped down to 5 knots and the sails would barely stay filled. This has happened the last few mornings. The wind just dies. It is almost 12 here right now and it is filling in nicely. Hoping to make some good miles today and catch up on some sleep because I will have to go on watch again tonight. Thanks for all the blog comments. Mom read most of them over the phone today. Good to know you're all out there.

An Interesting note from John Knight in Darwin:

Hi Marianne and Laurence
Sorry to hear of the recent scare. The relevant distance is how far is he off the Indonesian islands, not how far from Darwin. Because they have fished out all their local waters the Indonesian village fisherman has to go farther to sea to catch anything. They were most likely laying long nets when they approached Zac and turned away when they were going to the beginning to pick it up again. This is their normal technique and is usually done late in the afternoon or early evening so that laying, fishing and recovery takes most of the night. Being almost certainly a wooden vessel they are quite likely not to show on radar.
You can keep an eye on the world pirate situation on line. It is monitored from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia where the latest information is available. They keep everyone inform and co-ordinate action when necessary. They will certainly be aware if anything is happening in the areas that Zac is crossing. Try " report.php" for latest reports and check where these are happening on the map. None of the reports on Indonesia is south of the archipelago.
Hope this helps as Zac will probably see a lot of small craft before he completes the circumnavigation and the likelihood that they are bad is very low along most of his route.
Regards John


Blogger Peter said...

Hey Zac,

You sound great, and that is a big comfort. Get some good wind and get the heck out of that area.

More thoughts on the cat, I would say don't get one. If it pees on your boat you will never get rid the the smell. How about a pet rat?

Stay safe and strong.

Best regards,

October 6, 2008 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G'day Captain Zac,
Hope you are getting some cat naps tonight under the Southern Cross skies.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me. Ps. 139:9 A psalm of David

October 6, 2008 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger jlh said...

Hey Zac,

We're always here for you! Hope you get some sleep, soon, although you do sound great. Also hoping that the winds pick up and move you along and out of that area soon!

As always, our prayers continue...


Sherman Oaks, CA

October 6, 2008 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

It was good to hear from John Knight that your visitors were probably not a threat to you.

However it was a threat in your mind and you are better prepared for future threats because of it.

Get some rest, I agree with Peter about the cat but not the rat, and look forward to selling those locks on eBay.

Bill Mann
South Pasadena

October 6, 2008 at 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel much better knowing that the mysterious boat was probably just fishing. It's always good to be ready for the unknown. Keep your spirits up and trust that God will be with you.


October 6, 2008 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hullo Zac:

Today was a better day and there are even better days ahead.

Thanks to John Wright for his words which were comforting. The fishermen (?) were a bit of a dress-rehearsal if anything arises in the future.

You're a cool head, Zac. Pirates, eh? Well, let's just take care of business. You are a man, my son and by your actions you will be known. You'll be a leader of men!

Sorry for the gushing, but I'm impressed.

Your stalwart ally

October 6, 2008 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Thanks John Knight for such great information. It should make everyone feel better about future fishing boats, and intentions.

I go to Jakarta often, and my manufacturing is done there, and in Bali, and Solo. The people that I know are wonderful and smart. It is the largest Muslim country in the world, but has a strong Catholic population too.

The economy there has boomed, but it is a dangerous place as well. At my hotel in Jakarta, we have to go through guarded entry manned by soldiers with guns, rifles, mirrors to check under cars, bomb sniffing dogs, and metal detectors before entering the hotel lobby.

I'm glad Zac is on alert and armed. Plus he obviously has the maturity and composure to do the right thing.

Sail on Zac!

October 6, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac. It's good to hear from you. A lot of the fear was from the unknown. Between your postings, and also what John Knight mentioned, there is a lot less to fear. So we can all calm down--me especially. I get a bit worked up as my posting may have indicated. I'll chill!


As for your cat........
I don't know if you have ever had a pet before. I lost my favorite cat a couple of weeks ago. Blackie was 16.5 years old and I wouldn't change one second of that time. Having a pet is so rewarding and it enriches your life in little ways that you won't even realize until you lose your pet. It's taking time for me to get used to an empty and deserted house now. It just takes some time.

So if you find a cat that "speaks to you" in some way, go for it.

Some things to prepare for:
1. Only have the cat on deck when you have time to supervise it. You're on a boat and the cat would be new. It is acclimating to it's surroundings and I'm sure it's going to take some time for it to realize what a BOAT is and what an ocean is.
2. When you go to sleep, you need to close all the 'doors' to the deck so it doesn't sneak out. This is more relevant for the first couple of weeks that you have the cat.
4. Don't feed the cat human food.
You can only give the cat chicken, beef, etc if it is protein that has not been seasoned or flavored in anyway. If you have put salt or ANYTHING on it, you should not give it to your cat.
5. You'll need toys if the cat is really young. Rope and string is great. I could keep Blackie occupied for hours with a long piece of string and it helped us bond even closer.

Let us know what you decide.



October 6, 2008 at 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Put a line out and give fishing another go. It's a great diversion and U can have some great eats! Additionally U might have some hidden talent in the galley.
I agree with Pete on the cat front they will stink up the boat.

Dodgers smoked the Cubs. It was UGLY! Congrats all the same.

October 6, 2008 at 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is indeed terrific news that all is well with Zac.

I know that in the moment things can always seem more intense and dangerous and it is impossible to keep our minds from jumping to bad conclusions. My husband and have just recently sailed through Indonesia, the Malacca Straits, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea; all areas known for piracy. I am grateful that we didn't have any problems and I think it is important for those back home to understand the statistics. YOU, the readers, are in more danger of injury in a car accident, mugging, and/or robbery than Zac is of being attacked by pirates. I know it doesn't make it easier to not worry about Zac at times, but at least it gives some perspective.

I believe it is also important to understand the culture of the areas through which Zac is sailing. As one reader pointed out (and it is indeed true) - Indonesian Fishermen will drive their boats directly towards another boat/ship, turning at the last minute in order to throw the bad spirits from their boat to yours. Also, although there are definitely more yachts out today - we are still somewhat of a novelty to these people and they are curious. Finally, many fishermen have been given stuff from yachties before and word has gotten out - see a yacht and get cigarettes (or water or cookies, etc). I realize, until after the deal is over, that none of these facts help - when a boat is approaching at night (or day) and not answering the radio it is scary (I've had it happen more than once), and it is impossible not to jump to conclusions. I can almost guarantee that this is not the last boat that Zac will come across that will get quite close and not answer the radio. Most fishing boats we came across in those water ran without lights, always came near us, and never answered the radio or light signals.

I believe that Zac will have achieved a huge accomplishment when he is finished. But the one thing he is missing (by traveling so fast) and therefore not able to relay to you (the readers) is the true nature of the people in the areas he is traveling through. We were continuously impressed by the good nature and unbelievable niceness of the people we met throughout Indonesia and the Red Sea. The Red Sea was especially surprising because our entire perspective of these people tends to be derived from the news - all of which is usually bad. I am not saying pirates don't exist - they do, and yes, it is best to be prepared and take precautions. But it is equally important, especially after the fact, when everyone is safe, to relook at our reactions and reassess our beliefs. We should not automatically assume that every fisherman running without lights is bad and we should not automatically spread rumors about an area we know so little. Yes, we will not ever know the intentions of that one boat, but why is it that even now everyone is still assuming bad intentions, what happened to our trust in the good of people?

One last thought - careful with the gun Zac. I can tell you firsthand of a man who fired at fishermen approaching his boat - and shot one. Luckily it was only in the hand (imagine if he had killed the fisherman). The yachtsman was promptly escorted into Sri Lanka by the military and it was a good week later, after much influence from his embassy and a hefty fine that he was finally allowed to leave.

I wish Zac all the best. I hope that he comes away with not only the record but also a little more insight about the world and varying cultures we live in, a stronger belief in the good of people, and more tolerance for those that are different from him.

October 6, 2008 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Billabong Blog said...


Glad everything turned out OK and was happy that someone like John could shed some light on the situation. We sailed through Indonesia this past season and met nothing but friendly/welcoming people and never felt threatened. In fact we didn't even lock our boat (we only need do that in "civilized" places).

Indonesia is an incredibly over populated country that has decimated it's natural resources (over fishing, fish bombing etc). Fishermen are forced to head further out to sea to catch fish and literally risk their lives to feed their families. Stainless cables and winches, they wish they had those; modern electronics not a chance, some don't even have windows. If our authorities saw them they wouldn't allow them to leave the harbor. It's sad but it's what they have to do to survive. True survival, it's something that we are all fortunate enough to have never experienced. On our trip up the Red Sea, yachts put together "Pirate Packs" with water, cookies and a few smokes for the fisherman, all were warmly received with HUGE smiles.

I am a little surprised about the reactions to "the Gun". A gun has no place at sea, because it only endangers everyone involved, including those following in your wake. Last week I met Pippa Blake (wife of the famous sailor/adventurer Peter who was killed by his own gun in a boarding), an in the face reminder of the dangers. If a pirate wants something they will get it. They have fast boats and now they carry bigger guns and in some cases rocket propelled grenades. After resistance from yachts with guns, they have adapted their technique to include firing AK47s at the waterline (from a distance), forcing the crew to fight for the boat and their lives. To clarify one point, I don't think Zac installed Lexan ports out of fear from pirates or he'd be in steel boat. Lexan is a stronger plastic designed to withstand the impact of waves not bullets!!

I'm not sure if you have declared your gun in previous ports, but now that the word is out make sure you do. In most places in the world, only criminals carry guns, no questions asked!! In the Red Sea they as common as candy (ok maybe even more common but they can't afford the bullets), it was strange and took some getting used to but we never felt threatened. Most cruisers I know that started out with guns have thrown them into the sea to avoid the hassles.

Noonsite has some specific piracy information related to yachts. Remember that only the bad incidents are news worthy; unfortunately that's the nature of today's world. This season at least 50-100 boats transited the Red Sea and the 1000s of the great interactions with locals, helpful fishermen, and friendly people all went unreported.

Zac as much as I want you to break the record, I really wish you could press pause and experience the beauty of the people and the places in the areas you are sailing through. I've always thought that the world would be a better place if we were all cruisers. You really get a chance to meet people and experience their world on an intimate level. It really helps put the faith back in people, of all backgrounds!!

October 7, 2008 at 1:52 AM  
Anonymous rory gogan singapore said...

Yep I gotta agree with the no gun rule. Many of my comments are said with a healthy tinge of levity. Anonymous the yachtie and Billabong Bob make a lot of sense. There are some great people all over the world and some bad opportunist as well. To bad U don't have time to drop sail and meet them and make your own call. As for the gun it will only complicate things. Good manners and a genuine smile will go alot further.

October 7, 2008 at 2:54 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

There seems to be a consensus by the Zac Packers that people all over the world are pretty much the same.

I found this out on the evening of November 9th 1989 when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.

Anyone interested in my reaction can read it here.

It is amazing how much different we all are and yet how much the same we all are.

Sail on young man

Bill Mann

October 7, 2008 at 4:18 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hiya Zac, and fellow Zac Pac!

Good to hear that you are moving along Zac. I would imagine you'd be much happier if it was blowing stink though!

@Scott, sorry you lost your friend Blackie. I've lost a pet or two over the years, it sure hurts doesn't it.

Zac, cats are "kewl" pro's and con's though. Litter box: a big CON. A loyal and constant friend: PRO!!! Kittens are great, BUT they grow up and you are not exactly anywhere near a vet when it's time to be spayed or neutered (necessary as males spray and females get obnoxious) perhaps an older cat?? In my experience males are usually a bit more friendly. I think a pet would be great but as I said lots to consider. Just in case here's a name suggestion "Zip"

@ Peter: A rat :0....ah, not so much LOL!!!

Never fear Zac, we here in the Zac Pac have included you in our daily thoughts and prayers. I've written before that my circle of friends and family ALL know who you are! I'm grateful that I came across news of your adventure as it has been a privilege to follow along and witness your courage and determination. Secondly it's wonderful to "see" other believers express heart felt faith and come together in prayer.
Worry looks around
Sorry looks back
FAITH looks UP <><

Fair winds, God speed
Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

October 7, 2008 at 4:23 AM  
Blogger Beetlejuice said...

God Bless you on your voyage!

October 7, 2008 at 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

If you do get a cat I'd super-glue the litter box to the deck.
I'm still praying for you.

October 7, 2008 at 5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read yesterday's blog comments. Come on people! A little reality please. Just what good do you thing a 357 is going to be to a solitary person... with no chance of back up suddenly arriving... confronted by a crew of unscrupulous, and probably better armed, third world pirates, who have a lot less respect for human life than we are accustomed to??? Banishing a weapon in those circumstances is only going to escalate the situation and almost certainly ensure a tragic ending. Can you just imagine one of the pirates shouting, "He's got a gun! Turn around! Let's get out of here!" Yeah right!

Far better to go along with whatever their demands are, and not presenting a threat to them. While the result might end up being just as tragic, at least there is a chance that they won't take your life! They other way it is almost a given that you won't survive.

Pirates are hijacking large freighter's with crews of perhaps 20, and presumably with weapons on board. A solitary person on a yacht without artillery, torpedoes and a machine gun, doesn't have a chance.

Zac has set himself a task that is both challenging and dangerous. One of the challenges is survival of both natural and man made situations that he will confront. We all fervently hope that he will complete this journey that he has embarked on, without his life being threatened. But realistically, there is that possibility.... and a 357 isn't going to help.

Having said all that, (and no doubt upsetting the sensibilities of some readers).... after almost 24 hours of anxiously checking the blog frequently for updates, (including waking several times Saturday night to check),I'm thrilled that nothing came of this situation. While I'm sure it was disconcerting for Zac, and frightening for his parents, it is quite likely that there was no nefarious intent here. Having traveled extensively at a grass roots level in third world countries, I know that you can't expect the same levels of conformance with standard operating procedures, or even respect of personal space, as we are used to. Especially from the level of people who are likely to be manning a decrepit fishing boat off the coast of Indonesia. While we can hardly imagine being 150 miles offshore with out something as basic as a radio, I'd be willing to place a moderate bet, that they didn't even have one.

I know that reading this will probably be disconcerting to Lawrence and Marianne, and I have no wish to add to you level of anxiety. However my advice would be to tell Zac to toss the 357 overboard. I'm convinced that he'd be safer that way.


October 7, 2008 at 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have just read today's earlier comments, and fully concur with Rory, Billabong, and anonymous. The vast majority of people you will encounter in third world countries, are just intent on their own survival, and will wish you no harm. Often their generosity, given their own limited circumstances, would put most of us to shame. It's just the few bad apples that you have to worry about.... and a gun is not going to help you there.


October 7, 2008 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Here's a Dad's and NRA members perspective on a couple issues.
While it's nice to have protection, if done right and safe, it would prove absolutely futile in a heavily armed pirate situation. And I agree it could escalate any potential problems. Along with (now) complicating customs issues, there are legal ramifications. One weapon won't stop pirates if they want the boat, so don't try.

Cats, or kittens.....I have four cats, and love them. But on a small boat, with litter issues, potential overboard problems, food and feeding. Just thinking of trying to find a cat that has fallen, or swept overboard is raising the hairs on my neck.

Stow the firearm....forget it's there, unless it becomes a legal issue.
Cats? Keep the focus on yourself, and your quest. Distractions on board are just that.

As always, be safe, with winds behind you.
Sail on, Captain.

October 7, 2008 at 6:32 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

Lets just be happy Zac is doing fine and everything went well without any harm to him, Intrepid, or any of his equipment. This is really what we need to be thankful for.

In regards to the gun issue!!! Everyone has a personal opinion on weather a person should bear arms. Who knows how long this might continue since it's a big political topic right now. I believe everyone has a choice and it's your own personal decision. Let's not bring anyone down because they don't think exactly the same way we do. We are all different and entitled to our own opinions. Please lets just leave it at that and drop this gun issue.

We are here to motivate Zac and uplift his spirits. We don't want him second guessing any critical decisions he makes based on what people here are writing. Zac is going for the record and HE is doing this solo circumnavigation trip. Let's all be supportive of what Zac is doing here. Please notice that I have not given my personal opinion on weather he should or should not have a gun on board. I would leave this decision up to Zac and his parents.

Everyone please remember we're here to motivate and inspire Zac not second guess every decision he makes out on that large blue ocean that he's traveling on all alone. Take care Zac, get some rest, eat some food, and always watch your back. We all care for you deeply but some of us have different ways of expressing it. I know everyone here cares if not they wouldn't spend time writing on your blog.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 7, 2008 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Clay said...

Ahoy Zac,

I would have thought a parrot, you could teach it to talk and have conversations...haha. Continued success Zac, you the man.

Thank you Toni for your input about having puppies, you have reassured me on what I need to do, keep her warm & water. I imagine having to keeping the Dad away from her and her pups.

Thanks Again,

October 7, 2008 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Zac, glad things have calmed down - I would say returned to normal but not much of this quest is "normal" :) I hope the fishing traffic thins out a bit as you move further west so you can relax and enjoy a bit more. Stay safe and stay hydrated...

Now, if we're taking a poll on guns, I'm in full support of carrying a side arm, with the additional comment that if one is carried then the person should be comfortable with it and should have had some training on its use. I can't speak for sailing, but I hike, trek and camp enough to say it's seldom I get out in the wilds without a side arm. Beyond that, as has been mentioned it's a personal choice.

As for the cat, isn't there a long tradition of cats on sailing vessels? But, it would be one more duty... Still, I like the idea, Zac, if you think it will help pass the time.

Cheers Zac, and all...

milford, ohio

October 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The correct URL for the piracy reports is with no space between "piracy" and "report".

-Sven in MDR

October 7, 2008 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous laura said...

Nicely put Douglas..i was thinking the same thoughts myself..Zac has already proved he can handle himself in many situations.

Zac, keep doing what you do best!! You're a rock star now!{im sure you can bust out a few Metillica songs on guitar hero too whoot whoot} ha ha
stay safe
Laura Bermuda Dunes CA

October 7, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


You are doing great. Sorry for the scare...I know that was very unnerving (for me anyway).

@ John Knight, thanks for your informative post.

@ Anita, I enjoyed your very thoughtful post.

Keep looking up Zac!

Birmingham, AL

October 7, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger j said...

guns make me nervous and i don't like them, but if i was going around the world ALONE, i think i might take one, as for the cat, really bad idea, but if you do get one ya gotta name it "a haircut", ya know, just for Bill,,,
Rock On Zac

October 7, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy "potential" pirates. Man that got everyone fired up, but a real threat nonetheless. Zac I was wondering if you ever picked up a new I-pod and if not, what are you listening to tunes on? I hope your not listening to that same old CD? Yikes. Also were you able to get a new computer to watch DVD's? It must get boring just reading, but I know you have to pass the time. I was wondering how you set a course to sleep? How much sleep can you get at any one time, before you might pick up to much wind let's say? All the best !

Chris, Alhambra, CA

October 7, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous SteveNPalm Springs said...

This from:,25197,24461850-25090,00.html

ZAC Sunderland, the 16-year-old American who is attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world alone by yacht, has scared himself stupid a week after leaving Darwin. Sunderland, who is now about 250km off the Indonesian coast en route to his next stop in South Africa, hit the panic buttons when he sighted a wooden fishing boat near his Islander 36 yacht on Monday. When the boat didn't show up on his radar or answer his radio calls, he broadcast distress calls, contacted his parents in California by satellite phone, locked himself behind the bullet-proof glass of his cabin, loaded his .357 magnum revolver and waited for the "pirate" attack. The fishing boat steered closer, had a look at his yacht, and disappeared. In the meantime search and rescue aircraft from Darwin were diverted to check his safety. Sunderland is attempting to beat the record set by 18-year-old Australian sailor David Dicks in 1996.

October 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Welcker Family said...

Better safe than sorry - you did the right thing, Zac, despite what the article implies!

October 7, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding a cat, consider how the cat will be kept on board, and the risks involved. Tania Aebi had a good experience with this, others have had a harder time. See stories of Lulu at

I agree with John Knight that those fishing boats are usually just working.

You are showing great spirit on this trip Zac.

October 7, 2008 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Say no to the rat. The parrot idea has some possibilities. Rather than the cat, why not contact that Natasza Caban?!? Have you seen her picture!!?? You could sail parallel with her to keep the solo navigation thing intact but she'd be alot nicer company than a cat!! For that matter, forget the whole "pressing pause" suggestion for now and finish the course in parallel w Natasza. Then, toss the rat overboard and take Natasza on-board for round 2!
By the way don't worry about the Aussie's news article. They've just got too much blood to their heads from hangin upside down on the bottom of the world all their lives. We'd have all done the same thing.
Next time a rogue fishing boat comes into view just beat the hell out of them and send some pictures to the Aussie news to post in their upside down-kangaroo meat eating-billabong toting news paper!! just kidding, I'm a big fan of Crocodile Dundee.
Stay strong Zacman. Let me know if that Natasza Caban thing works out!
Your fan in Utah

October 7, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good job out there. i follow your passage every day. you are living my dream.
as far as a cat goes on board. i would say a cat would be perfect. they are very clean animals and the litter box thing is very manage on board. just have a small covered box on deck and clean it once a day. no smell and very simple. as far as the food goes a large bag of crunchies and half a can of food a day and they are happy. i would suggest to get a short haired cat as the sheeding of fur can cause all sorts of problems. plus with sailing in differnt climates they will adapt more. make sure you have a harness when the cat is on deck so it does not fall over board. cats are very curiouse animals and will get them selves in many different situations.
after reading about your gun situation at first i was happy you carried one on board. but after reading the blogs i have changed my mind. i suppose you have to do what you feel is best and i am not second guessing you. but in the event of a attact there would be more then one pirate. and if a gun was used i am sure they could over power the situation. also the hassel of customs in differnt countries. i my self am canadian and the view here in canada is most americans carry guns. it does not make a good image in the eyes of many around the world and could only hurt the situation. but do what you feel is best.

live the dream

October 7, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

hello to all --- well, i guess
one thing the ZAC PAC has going for us is that we can agree to disagree. not to mention that we all love and care for zac and team sunderland and that we are all on this journey with this fine young man. he remains in our prayers and at certain times those prayers are more powerful than that 357. in the end, right will will win over wrong -- good will prevail over evil (and there isn't a cat in the story. LOL)
God Bless Us All.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

October 7, 2008 at 9:50 AM  
OpenID KayaknBaby65 said...

Wow, isn't it amazing what you can find on the internet? Piracy information! I've been in Montana the last week, so had to catch up on the blogs. I'm sure Montana is another planet compared to where Zac is! I hope all stays well for him and he encounters smooth sailing all around.
Jan from DC

October 7, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find that Au article right in keeping with their initial press
about Zac when he was there. In the initial TV interview, they played up his age and played up the fact that Dad was there to fix his problems, never once acknowledging that Dad is indeed a shipright or that Zac fully helped Dad construct this boat. They
took a tone that never really acknowledged his accomplishment of
reaching Au alone at his age.
From what I can see this is exactly the type of article they would enjoy writing. David Dicks is their golden sailing boy.

I think it was a peculiar Indonesian habit of charging his boat and throwing off evil. spirits. BUT, Zac's reaction to that the first time he encountered that ALONE is not something any
reasonable person could ever call stupid. His reaction was right on
and he doesn't need to defend it in my book.

Also, does everyone realize that his circadian rhythm is upside down...he is sleeping during the day now and up all night. He's probably lonely if he's talking about a cat, he's frustrated because the winds aren't cooperating yet, AND , for some reason, he's eating cold soup when he has a microwave. (stove not working)...and through it all he is optimistic. Amazingly resilient, a very heavy keel for such a young man.

Sail on Zac and don't look back.
Pretty soon you will be far enough away from the Aussie Press, you won't even be able to smell them!
There's a beautiful beach at Cocos waiting for you.


October 7, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A cat?? ohhhh..been there done that. Never again. Once you have a cat on board you will always have a cat on board even after he is long gone. You can never git rid of the pee smell and trust me,you will have it. Good luck and hang in there. CaptRon

October 7, 2008 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Kevin –

While I respect your opinion, and I agree with part of your post, I most certainly disagree on another, from personal experience.

There’s a post from me about this several months back, early on, during the first “pirate” discussions…. (many good post from others as well back then…)

I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding most 3rd world people are simply interested in “tradable items”, most often some form of food from them for things they can’t acquire naturally, e.g. fish, lobster, etc… for beer, whisky, cigarettes. I’ve been approached many times on voyages (most often at anchor) with someone offering even “live” chickens for whisky or rum… Of course I was banishing a weapon (modestly and politely) while I simply gave them some rum and told them to have a good day.

Displaying a weapon (tucked in the waistband casually) or very visible within one-reach is often a strong deterrent that you can’t just be easily taken over or are a cakewalk. Remember, no one actually wants to get shot, even pirates, they are all individually about as worried as we would be about taking some lead, and the more you look vulnerable, the more full of themselves they will become…

I was the one yesterday that said their erratic course was either from reading a sounder for fish or laying out their lines. HOWEVER, being approached while underway at sea (which is what this appeared to be) in a known area of problem will certainly trigger a reaction from anyone that isn’t naive, especially if you haven’t been there before…

The other detail that made me relax a bit is that 150nm is usually their (pirates) outer limit due to fuel constraints and concerns (see my earlier post if you would like more info).

Anyhow, I respect your opinion and you raise good points, but, being that I’ve been there personally, a weapon is a good “strategic deterrent” that I strongly believe in.

Good luck in all that you do,


October 7, 2008 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Hola a todos
Hola Zachary

Soberano cagaso te pegastes la vez pasado con el barco... según tu relato del "Sunday, October 5, 2008".
Me alegro mucho que solo fuera un gran susto.

Que sigas bien ..
hasta cualquier momento y buenos vientos..

Glen :-))

October 7, 2008 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My vote if I have one is for a St. Bernard. -Not- I am a dog person, and not a cat person, so I will let you make up your own mind.

Great to hear the good news, and keep sailing. Looking for more reports. But get some sleep.


October 7, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Rough translation of what Glen posted.

Hello to all
Hello Zachary

Your tale of your encounter with the ship ... according to your post of Sunday, October 5, 2008.

I am glad that was only a big fright.

Wishing that you continue well..
and good winds..

October 7, 2008 at 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Dave.
Can you tell me the difference between GREEN 10 knots and BLUE 10 knots on UGRIB. Can't find any explanation.
Thanks for your help

October 7, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac -- DO NOT GET A CAT. As for the 357 (I'll take the 5th ---and I don't mean a bottle). I am glad you are safe -- please remain that way.

October 7, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I think that haveing a gun is a good idia if you are going around the world alone. Don't get it wet! It won't shoot if you do. (Found that out from a movie.)
You should get a cat. They never leave you alone and most of them know not to ballence on the edge or a boat, but I would get a rabbet or dog harness to be sure.

October 7, 2008 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, keep up the good work.Many homeschoolers in So. Cal are praying for you and so am I. I paticularly wouldn't be able to do what you are doing a there very few in the present, past, and future that will be able to. God speed you and take care of you,
Michael Sheetz and Kevin Kirkhim

P.S. Here something for you to try to figure out, which one of those two names is my real name. will post answer later.

October 7, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Axel -

There is a light blue, green and dark green...

I believe that it's 8-12kts vs 10-15kts

Hey, what's 5 knts at that wind level (laughing), it's when it's 20-25kts and 25-30kts that we care...

Axel, eMail me if you want to chat about it via cell phone...


October 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger laffing dawg said...

Hi Zac,
May good winds be yours, my friend, so you can get away from indonesia.

I wouldn't get a cat, Zac. They are very afraid of new environments and putting one on a boat would be stressful for you both. You would be spending a lot of time working with the cat to get it to settle down and may take you away from important sailing tasks.

I have several pet cats and love them but know what it takes.

I envy your glimpse of the heavens from the southern hemisphere. Have always wanted to see the Southern Cross.

God Bless and may Psalm 139:9 be your comfort

Kathy - Bend, OR

October 7, 2008 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Okay, my pennies worth (tho' given the rate of the US dollar to whatever currency Capt Zac's near makes it either worth zillions of them or scrap metal).

Keep the protection - just be safe about it!

The pet (you choose which best will provide you non-human companionship) - go for it. While we humans think we're their owners, it truly is the other way 'round. Given your options, I'd aim for the bird, at least it can "fly back" if it goes over-deck, tho' I'd still tether the beast (& Capt Zac thought the Booby was messy! Wait for the Macaw!) LOL At least it'll talk back - tho' maybe that's a bad idea :P

Capt Zac - it's YOUR journey, listen to your own heart/inner voice. We, the ZacPac, are here to support you, NOT make your decisions for you. We may blast circumstances, offer opinions (wise or not), but in the end, this is YOUR circumnavigation.

THANK YOU (& Team Sunderland) for enabling us to share it w/you.


Have y'all checked out Capt Zac's website recently? There've been a few changes - enjoy the surfing, Of his website that is. Remember to check out the links, items to purchase to support "our Capt's" journey & above all, click DONATE (we DO want Lady Marianne to join our Capt in Cocos Keeling, yes?). (shameless plug to help support one of my heroes - CAPT ZAC!)

October 7, 2008 at 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G'Day Cap'in! A bird ye could get, naming said birdy Mr. Cotton be yer best bet. Godspeed and fine sailin' to ye, Cap'in!

Hope this amuses you a bit. Oh, and may I suggest a good read? Mutiney's Curse, by Dan L. Thrapp

Keep a weather eye on the horizon.

October 13, 2008 at 7:23 PM  

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