Friday, October 10, 2008

In the Trades

The wind has been picking up gradually and has been more steady now. I have had a consistant 15 knots all day and am making between 6-7 knots average. The wind has shifted from the beam to the stern (coming from the side to the back) and the swells which are growing are now mostly behind me. It feels great to be really moving again. I haven't seen any boats in the past few days. I did have a squall that set off the radar alarm this morning which was unexpected because I haven't seen a squall in 3 weeks. Things are going well. I have been studying my charts and getting familiar with the approach and anchorage in Cocos Keeling. I have been reading up on some heavy weather techniques and taking care of the continual boat maintenance. I probably won't spend too long in Cocos Keeling as the longer I am in the Indian Ocean the closer it gets to cyclone season. As it is David Morris is keeping a look out now for any early activity in the area. It is not unheard of for an early cyclone to develope in as early as October and November even though cyclone season doesn't officially start until December.
I hear that you are all planning for a party in the next few weeks. Wish I could be there but I guess a few days in paradise will have to do for now!


Blogger James said...

Go Zac! You enjoy your shore time in the Cocos Keeling Islands!

A few days in paradise, as you say, is a wonderful thing!

Get some deserved rest and keep on keeping on!!!

Glad the winds have been with you lately.

October 10, 2008 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hey Zac,

Great to hear from you, and to know everything is going so great for you. Yes, paradise will be far better than a party in LA, except that the party will be all about you. So we will also be in paradise too. Plus we hope to hear from you too!


October 10, 2008 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Evan J said...

Sounds like good sailing, the Cocos Islands sound like more fun.

October 11, 2008 at 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

Well what a week you have had. I knew that you would get allot of boat traffic where you are now. It sounds like you did a great job in handling what happened last weekend.

Once you get in the middle of the Indian Ocean things will be better. Just remember that you need to get around the Horn.

Well not much to talk about this week. Keep up your great work, have fun and I will write next weekend.

Gary, Houston, TX

October 11, 2008 at 3:46 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hiya Zac!

Glad to hear that you are moving along quite nicely! Down-wind can be a great ride.

How are the charts looking; will the approach to Coco's be difficult? From all accounts you are headed to an incredibly beautiful place, drink it all in and tell us all about it!!

Many thanks to David Morris keeping an eye out for storms. I'm sure you rest just a bit easier knowing he's got your back.

I was able to get in some great sailing Thursday. The wind and swells were much heavier than I've ever experienced. At first I thought I'd be afraid but was able with help of two experienced sailors; to settle in. I thought of you several times. One of my friends remarked to me that you sail in much heavier conditions hour after hour, and here we were out for a nice day sail, knowing that when we got tired we could come about and head home. At one point another reef had to be put in and my thoughts went again to you. It was a chore in those winds and there were 3 of us!! I couldn't imagine being ALONE on a boat that size (37.5) in those conditions! It was fun and exhilarating, and we saw some impressive waves, I may have better understanding of what you deal with (on a much larger scale of course) on an hour to hour, day after day basis. WOW!

Sail on young man, you are doing a fantastic job.

Remember you are covered with prayer, angels are about you, that's about as good as it gets.

God Speed
Hugs, Anita
Waterloo, NY
ps do you need more floss?? LOL!!

October 11, 2008 at 3:55 AM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Keep up the spirits Captain, It's a wonderful thing to hear.

Winds at your back, how nice, pushing you onward towards home....keep up the great work.

Cheeseburger in Paradise.........

October 11, 2008 at 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Sterling said...

glad to hear things are picking up

how have your traditional (scholastic) studies been going?

October 11, 2008 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Hi Zac.
You must feel like flying after all that slow drifting around. Cocos next Saturday??
Have a nice weekend

October 11, 2008 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Yes, you'll have to somehow make do with a few days in paradise. I'm eagerly awaiting photos of that, too.

from Iowa

October 11, 2008 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

I'm so glad you finally have some great winds and making great progress. I know you can't wait to arrive in Cocos Keeling to get some land legs in a beautiful island. I'm sure you'll enjoy your time there.

Thanks David Morris for looking out for any future weather that Zac won't encounter. I know this takes time and your doing a wonderful service to Zac and his journey.

We're planning a party for you but you won't be attending and that's sad. If you were attending this party I believe would have a different theme. We are all getting together and trying to help out in any way possible and also meet the so-cal Zac-pac in person. This is a great time for the Southern California Zac-Pac to shine and show there support. I even altered my weekend schedule just so I could be at your party.

Enjoy your sail and head straight for the Cocos. Get that Island Fever going right now that will inspire you to arrive sooner.

Sail On Zac Man,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 11, 2008 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,

So glad that the winds have picked up! Enjoy paradise. You deserve it!

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks, CA

October 11, 2008 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I hope that you don't run into a tornado.

October 11, 2008 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Zac,

Through your description, we can feel the air and smell the sea. Your senses must be full.

You're living in a dream...


October 11, 2008 at 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac--I have a few questions...what kind of food are you eating these days? Do you yearn for a person to talk to? Is it getting boring yet? What will you do once this trip is over? Do you think it will be hard to adjust to living on land and not having such an adventure? Will you miss the excitement? And finally, do you use a toilet on the boat or just do your thing overboard? Thanks.

October 11, 2008 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'll trade you a party in LA for a day in paradise any time! I looked at some pictures of Cocos on're right! Looks like PARADISE!

Must feel good to have the swells and wind flying!

Have fun!
Santa Monica

October 11, 2008 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous laura said...

Hi Zac,
glad to hear your moving along..i sent you my cat..just kidding, i sent a picture of my cat to your face book

Yes we are all looking forward to the fundraiser in a few weeks..i understand the menu will include "spam & cold chili" kidding again ha ha. Im thinking i may get the long distance award though..prob not but im about 2 1/2 hrs away in Bermuda Dunes, thats Palm Springs, Palm Desert area and i have seen a post from someone in Palm will be fun to meet all you new friends.
I have to tell you that you have inspired me to" Do Hard Things" i will let you know when im done!!
Keep keeping on!! And just in case you haven't been told lately..Your Amazing!!

October 11, 2008 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Gemini said...

Hi Zac:
I will donate $20. for your next haircut.

West Fargo ND

October 11, 2008 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...


Thank you from all the Zac Packers but by the time this kid gets around to a haircut, haircuts will be at least $50.00. Besides he will also have to shave by then. :-)


Zac will not be at the gathering for a reason other than sailing. Do you really think he is dumb enough to be in the same room with me and my scissors?

Looking forward to seeing all the So Cal people and at least the one Northern California family that is driving down the great valley. (Watch that Tule Fog around Bakersfield. Getting to be that time of year.)


October 11, 2008 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish we could all meet you in Cocos/Keeling, but I'm not sure the island is big enough for all of us! Can't wait to see some pics and your impressions of the island.

I'm so disappointed I won't be able to make the event in MDR. My sons B-Day is that day and we have a family/friends (his teenage friends) party planned. I am so looking forward to meeting many of you who live in the area. I guess I'll have to just hope someone gets some good pics and sharing of stories. I'm hoping for another event as the months go on.

@ Bill-
I've always said it would be fitting for you to give Zac a haircut when he returns. With all of those foster kids you've helped to raise, did you ever get to practice your skills on any of them? LOL

Melanie in Torrance

October 11, 2008 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Everyone Again,

I caught up on the posts from yesterday after sending my first entry today. The last time I read yesterdays blog was around 1:30 pm and I missed many entries.

@ Bill Mann, Thanks for sharing your story here with everyone yesterday. Even though you already told me this story from our private email communication among others it still saddens and inspires me every time I read it. It takes a special person to actually do the wonderful things you did and are currently doing for all your children. You have touched and inspired so many kids life's in such a special way. You Are The Man Bill. We don't mind if you take on yet another new son named Zac. Although he has great parents I know the love you're feeling. I saw that Smile on your face just now!!!

@ Jennifer & Ben, thanks for sending the post I wrote on yesterdays blog to invite people in your email contact list. It's amazing how small this world really is if we just talk and communicate with people. Invite everyone who will listen or read and hopefully those 300 seats will be Sold Out. Thanks so much for helping. Friends sailing out of MDR in my mind are a must show so please bring them with you!!!

@ Peter, loved the way you expressed yourself yesterday regarding Bill's post. I really enjoy reading your posts.

@ Glen, even people from other countries are writing on Zac's blog. I also had private communication with Glen and what a character he is. He's a True Argentinian in every way. No one will know or understand what this means unless you have spent some time in Argentina. They are a laughing country and express themselves in ways that could make you laugh all day long. They speak Spanish in a singing sore of way and theyt are a comical bunch. Great going Glen. As the say in Argentina "Che Pibe".

What a great group we have here.

Take Care All,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 11, 2008 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...


Hell no!

They were all bigger than me.


October 11, 2008 at 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,

Glad to know you are moving right along and enjoying it. I think the squall showed up just so you wouldn't get too bored. LOL!

Looking forward to seeing pics and your thoughts of Cocos Keeling.

Take care, stay safe and God speed.

Dick & Gin

October 11, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Tillerman said...

Go Zac - you can see by the interest in this blog that a solo circumnavigation is the dream of many people.

October 11, 2008 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That was a feel-good post. Happy that the winds have shifted in your favor and you are enjoying smooth downhill sailing. May it continue!!

Keep us up to date.

The Croaker

October 11, 2008 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Hi all:
Everybody who wants to sail around the world can join the following link. I just found it. It's the VOLVO race. My screen name is Tiger2. :-)

From what I found out - the game runs for the next 5 month

Have a nice weekend

October 11, 2008 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hey Zac,
Have fun in Cocos Keeling. Wish I could go to the party in LA, but I live all the way across the country in SC.


October 11, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Skip said...

Keep up the good work Zac. What ur doing is important more than u know. Wish u the best and keeping watch on info for your route ahead.

October 11, 2008 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all the religious fervor it might get lost that Zac is _not_ on course to break _any_ existing record, especially not David Dicks'.

He may establish a new one, something like "youngest navigator around the globe, with help, non-solo, with stops", but not solo, non-stop, unassisted, or any of the other records. Cape Horn ?

What he is doing is great. Don't pollute it with false claims and outright Palinisms !

-Sven in MDR

October 11, 2008 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Glad to hear that the winds are picking up, Zac. Cocos Keeling sounds like paradise but weather patterns are always unpredictable. Hopefully, this wind will keep up for the next few weeks so you'll fly through the Indian Ocean!

Paradise awaits!



October 11, 2008 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 11, 2008 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sven,
I think you misunderstand. Zac is attempting to be the youngest solo circumnavigator. David Dicks is the youngest solo, non-stop but Jessie Martin is the youngest solo, non-stop and unassisted. You are right. Zac is not breaking those records. He will, however, be the youngest to solo circumnavigate (he has never had crew)if he is successful as he will be younger than both of them. If you talk to any of these young men (and Zac has) it becomes less and less about the record and more and more about a personal achievement - about setting a goal and achieving it. We have email for questions like this @
All the best,
Marianne Sunderland

October 11, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Piglet said...

Hi Zac,
I'm glad you are getting some much deserved wind. From one world traveler to another - You Rock!!!

Sorry I won't be at your party. I live North of San Francisco and cannot get down there.

One of your many Zac Pac fans,

October 11, 2008 at 10:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home