Friday, October 3, 2008

Dolphins, Ships and Wind!

Last night the wind picked to 8-10 knots on the beam and has stayed steady. This morning I started stowing everything for the heavier winds that are certain to come. Around 10:30 am I was in the cockpit when I saw a pod of dolphins coming over to the boat. They stayed awhile and surfed Intrepid's wake. After about 1/2 hour, they took off. I'm amazed that they are the first dolphins I've seen since I left Los Angeles! I went back into the cabin and took a look at my AIS radar. I saw that there was a ship about 12 miles away headed towards me. I kept an eye on the radar but we passed a couple of miles apart without either of us having to change course.
I've been rereading Tania Aebi's book Maiden Voyage. It is interesting how the book reads so much differentl now that I am out here. I'm also reading a book that was sent to me by Mike Williams called The Chronicles of the Schooner Lusty I. It is great to read about other circumnavigators. The wind has stayed steady and I think I'll be hitting the heavier, steadier trade winds before long. It feels good to be moving again and I hope that the wind holds now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's great news Zac! Thank God you're finally getting some wind.
How cool that you were able to see dolphins!
So glad you're moving along now. Wishing you smooth travels now to Cocos.
Always in our prayers!


Sherman Oaks, CA

October 3, 2008 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Billabong Blog said...


Sometimes when the dolphins are around it means there are tuna below. Get those fishing lines out, the dolphin are way to smart to go after a lure (no matter how good it looks).

Glad you've finally got some wind!!

October 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you Zac....great that the winds are stronger for you and that you can see some progress.
Dolphins coming to say HELLO how wonderful.
I like when you say that the book, Maiden Voyage, is reading different now than the last time you much in life is just fact, until one experiences the same thing and then you really do know! Every little detail will be important and real.Makes you feel very connected. That's a good thing just now.
I said to my hubby last night....Zac's trip is making me want to try sailing. I have never ever been in a sail boat!
You are inspiring.
Thank you.

Prayers and special thoughts..UK friend

October 4, 2008 at 1:51 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Dolphins, brings to mind the old tv show. Hope Skipper's family keeps those man eaters away. Is a good sign I think.

Glad to hear you're finally getting some decent wind.


October 4, 2008 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hiya Zac!

Dolphins....that must have been awesome! I've only been lucky enough to see one dolphin in the wild; sailing Derwent River in Tasmania. I was SO excited, my fellow sailors were excited for me but for them it was a daily occurrence. I've always dreamed of swimming with dolphins, who knows maybe one day.

Oh yes the side tracked with the dolphin thing....LOL....Yea wind!! I bet that put a smile on your face. 8-10 knots will certainly move Intrepid along.

"Wombat" is ready to be hauled out of the water. Spent a couple hours cleaning out the cabin, my friends Marty and Dick (Hi Dick, we'll be at the park around 9:30 Sat.) helped me take down sails, and the boom. Poor Wombat, looks kind of sad...:( She'll be taken to a local marina for a centerboard line repair, then shrink wrapped for the long winter....April isn't THAT far away!! Zac, good thing I have your blog, I can cyber sail.

Fair winds young man, enjoy all that God has created as it is awesome.

God Speed
Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

October 4, 2008 at 2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

It has been a long time sense I have talked with you. But I have kept up with what you are doing online. I was getting things cleaned up around my place after IKE came calling. I lost power for 2 1/2 days, so that was not to bad.

Nice to read that you are in the Indian Ocean now. I think you have said it but the water will look like glass all the way to Africa. I would not go swimming being that you are the only person around for miles. By the way it will only get Hotter as you go on.

It would seem like you are making good time. I would think if you have no problems going around the Horn, you will be home before you think.

I still commend you, what you are doing at your age, on your own, is so great. You will come out of this better and stronger. Things will be different at home. After you get home go over your notes and notice how much you have changed. At the beginning you thought about giving it up. I wrote to you and told you not to lesson to your voices in your head. Your mom said that she read that to you and that you agreed and thought about it.

After you do the West to East adventure, think about doing a North to South adventure. Has anyone done that before?

Again Zac great job, keep it up.

I will write again soon.

Gary, Houston TX

October 4, 2008 at 4:27 AM  
Blogger The Carraros said...


I am taking my wife sailing tomorrow on a chartered boat, you have inspired us to do this. We are impressed by your story and aspirations. We looking forward to reading your blog everyday.

John and Jennifer
Houston, TX

October 4, 2008 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

I was out single handed for a number of hours the other day. It quickly became apparent how difficult, and at the same time exciting it is to sail alone.
One moment I felt like I wanted to share the experience with someone else, and just a few minutes later I felt at peace and thankful I didn't have to think or worry about someone else onboard.
It must be fantastic to get back to the rhythym of the sea, alone with your thoughts, your chores, and plans. Yet as said so many times before, fighting off that lonesomeness is a big part of what is important as you sail. You must be glad to have all the communication capabilities you have.
You've do amazingly well, you have truly grown, and accomplished so much already.
I've been following since before you left....and will continue to watch and experience this incredible epic through your eyes and words.
Here's to the Trades.....may they push you along on a swift but gentle course towards the west.
Stay safe, and be well...catch a fish!

October 4, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hey Zac,

Glad you got some wind, and are moving along. From your description, it must be far different on the Indian Ocean. I'm praying for steady wind.

Maybe the dolphin patrol was sent out to you in order to move along the shark gang. They want to make sure you are made to feel safe in the neighborhood!

How do you feel when you see a ship, besides wanting to make sure they are far from you? Do you want to converse with them? I wonder if they know your story, and would like to do the same?

I know how important it is to keep away from them. Yesterday there was a story of a boat that left Long Beach on the way to Catalina. Another boat came upon a debris field somewhere in between. Sounds like maybe they could have been run down by a freighter or some other large ship. So stay vigilant on that!

I'm glad you have soon good reading, and all is good. It reminds me of your California to Hawaii leg. Enjoy it Zac!


October 4, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Good to hear that the wind is blowing your way

October 4, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

The dolphins are a sign that King Neptune is keeping his eye on you. As for the winds? Strictly a gift from God. All the forces are at work.

Stay Cool,
Boise, ID

October 4, 2008 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

If anyone is wondering why there are no position reports on Zac, they should read this op-ed piece in today's L.A. Times.,0,126546.story

Good to hear that you are doing well Zac.

Bill Mann
South Pasadena

October 4, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Hopp√≠polla said...


October 4, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger kirsten said...

It must be really cool to be able to see all of that,well I guess not if your use to it. Bloggers check my blog!

October 4, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Cool Zac !

Hey Hoppipolla!

October 4, 2008 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Zac, great to hear the winds are picking up. I hope you continue to have dolphin escorts - I've been fortunate to swim with them in the Sea of Cortez and have them as escorts on a little sail in the southern Caribbean. I believe they are nothing but wondrous animals that signify good fortune.

Stay safe, stay hydrated!

Cheers to you and to all...

milford, ohio

October 4, 2008 at 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

Hey Zac,
I have been following you since you left MDR. I have posted 1 or 2 messages but have just been enjoying the adventure viariously. Thank you so much. I had to laugh when I read the other day about the lights on the way through the strait. It reminded me of a visit I made to Australia a few years ago with my friend Devra. We went down so I could present at a conference. We knew we would be traveling after the conference and driving!! So prior to the conference we spent 3 days "readjusting our body clocks" and stayed at an eco resort where one got around via bicycle. We joked that we were actually learning how to drive and we created our mantra, "Stay left, stay left, stay left"! It really did help in the long run. As for Tania's book. Wow, what a great read. Hers was the first book I read about sailing singlehandedly around the world. It hooked me immediately. Since then I have read just about everything I have been able to get my hands on about solo circumnavigators. I love reading your adventures daily and I send you wishes for safety and joy. May the angels be blowing only the winds that you need.
God Bless,
Esther Johnson

October 4, 2008 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just visited Cocos-Keeling via Google! Beautiful pictures of a seemingly beautiful place. It's sort of the reason sea vagabonds become sea vagabonds! Makes life as a 'beach comber' very enticing!

It also noted that the doldrums set in in November so that explains your schedule a bit. Get there, check the place out, have some fun, impress the natives, eat, sleep, then begone!

Keep those blog entries coming. This is a good period right now!

The Croaker

October 4, 2008 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Chloe said...

Hi Zac! Thank you for keeping us up to date. I get a bit lonely for home when I travel to international meets I can't imagine how tough you are to be doing this. Following any dream has its challenges. You just aim really high. Going to he Olympics was awesome. I got sick for my event. I was in China 3 weeks and Singapore before that. Trying to find things to eat that wouldn't hurt me was hard. My race is two hours so the dehydration got to me after the first 2.5k lap. Oh Well, I am counting the days to 2012. You stay tough and go for it! You are inspiring so many people!
You are in my family's prayers!

October 4, 2008 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hi Zac.

I finished Tania Aebi's book, Maiden Voyage, a month ago or so, long after you started your voyage.

Great book.

As Walter Cronkite says on the book cover, "An exciting tale of an extraordinarily brave and romantic adventure."

It is hard to believe that a father would send his 18 year old daughter, who had almost no sailing experience, on a solo circumnavigation.

For Tania to not only complete the endeavor, but to as well find love during the adventure, made for a great read.

Rules are rules, but for David Dicks being considered assisted for accepting a bolt, and Tania being considered assisted in giving a lift of 80 miles to a chef of another boat, it is a shame they simply do not get all the credit they each deserve.

No doubt you, Zac, have learned from your father, as well as reading about David and Tania, along with Joshua Slocom, Robin Lee Graham and no doubt others, what you need to do, (or not do), to accomplish your dream.

You are doing a wonderful job, Zac.

We are all supporting you.

Enjoy the Cocos Keeling Islands. Sorry your don't have the time to spend there as long as Joshua Slocom did in the late 1890's!

May you have fair winds and safe passage!

Thanks for all of your updates, as well as those of Laurence, Marianne, and others.

October 4, 2008 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Evan J said...

It's always nice to have some company

October 5, 2008 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi zac,
Amazing !!!! You were really lucky to get away from them pirates. Do you have any idea how many there were? We are learning about you at school in survival topic. 649 readers you must be popular!!
What happened when you got home? Have you seen lots of creature; sharks? dolphins?.
What is the biggest wave you have seen?
What/who encouraged you to do this?

From Eleanor & Megan (England)
p.s= good luck for mt.Everast :)

April 21, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

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