Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Limping to Cocos Keeling

Good evening all!

It has been a wild couple of days here. Zac has been busily preparing for his arrival in Cocos Keeling. Sunday afternoon he had a long list of chores that he was hoping to handle including cleaning up and organizing, sorting out his anchor and chain, gathering his paperwork, entering his waypoints into the spare GPS etc. Sunday night at about midnight Intrepid came off of a wave and Zac awoke to a loud cracking sound. He ran up to see what the noise could have been and found his tiller cracked in two. The boat headed up into the wind and rode the swells while he tried to figure out how on earth to repair the thing in the dark and, did I mention that it was raining?
After a few hours of trying different fixes, he found that screwing four hose clamps around the tiller would hold it pretty well. He was able to strap it back into the Tiller Pilot and get back under way. We spoke several times during the day. He was checking off his list and was going to have another look at the engine before having a nap last we spoke.
This morning I got a call from Zac early. I thought that maybe he was excited about his arrival at Cocos Keeling and couldn't sleep. He had been sleeping when he was awakened by a loud crashing sound and the boat slamming around. He ran up to see what was going on and saw that the tiller had come off of the Tiller Pilot causing an accidental jibe. This is when the direction of the boat is changed so that the wind switches to the other side of the boat. This can be a violent motion and causes the boom to crash to the other side of the boat. I'm not clear why Zac didn't have his preventer hooked up but I suppose he didn't feel he was in any danger of jibing under his current pointof sail. I cannot imagine what he thought as he looked and saw that his boom had completely broken in two! The boom is the metal bar that extends from the mast to hold down the bottom part of the sail. He wasn't in that much wind at the time (about 15 knots). He figures that the boom was weak because of age and an accumulation of wear and tear from heavy use.
He was still moving along at about 6 knots with the mainsail sagging. He managed to pull everything in and secure the boom and at last conversation was moving along at between 5-6 knots under genoa alone. He had made contact with Cocos Keeling Customs who were alerted to his condition and would be on standby if he needed any help. The plan at this point is for him to sail into the bay and drop the anchor as soon as he is in the lee of Direction Island. Hopefully the tides, currents and wind will be in his favor and he will have no problems. It is a risky move due to the reefs on either side of the channel.
He is still in excellent spirits considering everything and hopeful of finding a welder on the island. Of all the stops that Laurence has gone to meet Zac, this one would have been the most needed but he did not plan to go out having been to Darwin so recently. In fact, no one is going out due to the expense!

Perhaps the mysterious Indonesian fishing boat was successful in tossing their evil spirits onto Intrepid. But we don't fear because He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world!
I expect a call from Zac sometime tonight to let us know how his arrival went. I will post again if it isn't too late.

On my knees,
Mom Sunderland

PS At 10:45 this evening Zac called to say that his motor miraculously started (and I do mean miraculously!) and he motored all the way to the anchorage! He is sitting in paradise as I type!


Anonymous Sylvia said...

Land Ho Captain Zac,
This has been the most exciting leg of your quest. Our prayers are with you as you ride the waves to C / K. God speed and stay safe as you put anchor.

October 14, 2008 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that just sucks, but a great adventure cannot be without some sort of ongoing excitement right?
Just as I tell my little girl.... Drama, Drama Little Llama.
Hang in there, I'm confident someone will be willing to help. Good Luck.
Can't wait to hear how beautiful C~K is.


October 14, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

I knew about the broken tiller, but had no idea about the boom! That's serious stuff, and even I, a non-sailor knows that.


I can't wait to hear your take on all of this, being the experienced sailor that you are!

Does Zac have any knowledgeable and known supporters in Cocos Keeling, like he had in Darwin and Majuro? I'd feel much better, knowing that he has some support there.

I guess he won't be snorkeling and skin diving in those beautiful waters in paradise, if he has to spend time getting the boat fixed (engine, tiller, boom)!

Or, perhaps, the message is telling him to slow down and enjoy paradise while he may have to wait for boat parts! That might not be all that bad.

Do what you think is right, Zac. We believe in you.

Woodland Hills

PS: Zac will need the proceeds from the event in LA even more now!

October 14, 2008 at 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Oh my..Zac's had quit a day..i was reading the last blog to my husband who has some sailing knowledge..i had him show me on a picture of intrepid what happened..wow that sounds pretty serious. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping he gets all the help in Ck he needs.
See you Zac Packers soon
Bermuda Dunes

October 14, 2008 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Piglet said...

Whooaa! This post had two shockers in it! I thought it was bad enough having a cracked tiller -Good on you Zac for figuring out a way to mend it temporarily-
and then I read the unbelievable. Wow, I've never heard of cracked boom before but I don't spend much time around boats. I am pulling, praying and sending some good sailing mojo your way. Hang in their Zac. -Rem aka Q.R.Piglet

October 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Billabong Blog said...

Wow.. that really sucks!!

I just talked to my friends who spent some time in Cocos. Robin is the Aussie in charge of customs etc. They are live/work out of West Island but the workshops and diesel mech are on Home Island (home to the orig Malay population). There is a ferry that runs to West Island but I'm sure you can get some transportation from the locals. The wind/waves across the lagoon may be too much to Zac's dinghy.

The good news is the Malay woodworkers are excellent and most of them are sailors. FYI: We've seen some VERY poor boom repairs this past year that didn't last at all. Your best bet is to use a hardwood sleeve inside AND a riveted plate around the outside (if it isn't too damaged). Welding will just weaken the area around the weld especially with anodized aluminum (but I'm sure Lawrence knows all that). My friends also said that there may be some salvaged booms or extrusions that could be used from the various wrecks around the island.

I'm sure DaveH will have more info but a main/boom are only really critical for windward work and getting more sail area in lighter winds. We spent a lot of time sailing across the pacific with just our Jib/Genoa in 20/25 knots. However, It may be critical for beating into the anchorage at Cocos.

Good Luck Zac!!


October 14, 2008 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a story! Boom, bang and engine???
This voyage sure is a lesson in perserverance. Take care Zac and hang in there.

October 14, 2008 at 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia said...

Hello Marianne,

Thank you, thank you for your post. We have been praying for his safety and to hear his engine started was amazing and exciting to hear. Praise God. We can breathe a sigh of relief. Hope he can rest up a bit and then on to tackle his boom and tiller repair. We are proud of Zac, as I know you and Laurance are. Now you can sleep well tonight. He is safe and all is well.

October 14, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy from South OZ, Dusty here..
The fact that the Yanmar starts up after some time off, leads me to strongly feel the mystery clog is in the pick up line between the the end thats sits in bottom of the fuel tank or floats at the level of the fuel left in the tank. If you totaly replace the fuel line it may help.. No doubt crap is still in the tank, or there is just a piece of junk that keeps dislodging and relodging..
Good luck with all your repairs.. Don't forget to enjoy the Island.. Cheers, Dusty

October 15, 2008 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...


Wow, you weren't kidding about tonights blog from Zac. Again, Zac never seizes to amaze me with his calmness in stressfull situations!
These repairs sound very serious. I hope Cocos Keeling has the resources to repair Intrepid properly! It was a blessing that Intrepid's tiller and boom broke where it did, (as he was approaching Cocos) and didn't have too far to have to sail with the genoa! I am relieved that he made it!

Will be thinking about Zac as he gets Intrepid repaired. It is almost like Intrepid knew she was getting close to land, so she waited as long as she could before succumbing and breaking down!

Prayers are coming your way Zac! Enjoy paradise. Sorry you have to deal with the little set back!!

North Hills, CA

October 15, 2008 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

Absolutely scary...can't believe your cheerfulness in spite of all this.
-Charlie, Maine- always praying and celebrating for you.

October 15, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

MA, I'm only 'up the road' in Singapore so if U need me to chase something down from this corner of the world let me know.

Solid effort Zac!!! Get some rest and get a big fat cheeseburger inside U!

October 15, 2008 at 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac,

Another challenge overcome. Well done!

I'm sure there will be lots of willing helpers in Cocos Keeling and your Dad's advice will be the soundest available.

My limited skills are in engineering, not sailing. I guess it's important to establish why the tiller broke. Was it faulty or were you asking too much of it? Bear that in mind when you repair/replace it.

All the best for the next leg. You can do it!


October 15, 2008 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Tiller AND boom, yikes!!! Those accidental jibes can be quite violent as evidenced by the fractured boom! We call that a jibe WHOA!!!! Remember to have that preventer hooked up!! After reading that I've added a Dutchmen brake to my Christmas list..LOL!

I'd have to agree with Billabong, welding aluminum is tricky at best, takes a skilled welder and often times weakens the structure. What are the chances of a salvaged boom? Hopefully Zac hasn't any dammge to the main sheet!

As for your tiller, lucky you! Any room for a spare tiller aboard? Hope the rudder is in good shape too!

I guess God figured you had enough to deal with and cut you a break with the engine!

Well Zac, once again under pressure you've managed to keep your head about you and deal with your situations, that and God's angels have kept you safe. God's power and love is no match for evil sprits, I am in complete agreement with your mum: He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world. No doubt.

Drink in all the wonders of your beatiful island resting place; we will be excited to read your descriptions & thoughts as you are such a gifted writer.

Blessings young man, may your stay in C/K be a restful and successful one!

Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

October 15, 2008 at 3:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the God of the waves started that engine. Now He will also get Zac safely to Cocos Keeling and back home. We're all still praying.

October 15, 2008 at 4:35 AM  
Blogger Clay said...

Perhaps the mysterious Indonesian fishing boat was successful in tossing their evil spirits onto Intrepid. But we don't fear because He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world!

Why would you say that?

October 15, 2008 at 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh My - what a few days you have had. I think the silver lining is the fact that boom broke when it did - i.e. close to landfall.

Interesting to read all the thoughts on the tiller repairs - I am certain you will make the right choices.

Good luck and we'll be sending good thoughts your way.


October 15, 2008 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

That's what I love about sailing.. there are so many life lessons/parallels. My, you still are impressing us with how you approach problems that arise and find the solution(s) with what is at hand. Some may think the engine starting was maybe somehow a chance of luck or just coincidence, however I and many others know it was much more than that! May you continue to be blessed and find the best fix to the new problems. Stay strong and healthy, be of good cheer as you have many new stories to tell and a growing support group that cares deeply about you!
Bob in OKC

October 15, 2008 at 6:14 AM  
Blogger kwip said...

Man, I can't wait till the movie comes out. Have there been any casting decisions yet? :)

Zac, best of luck to you. Stay safe & know that you're in all our thoughts & hearts!

October 15, 2008 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

Thank you Marianne for keeping us updated. It's not always good news but at least we all know what's going on. We really appreciate your updates as they become available.

Even with this bad news here is a story of a kid, no young man, or just an experienced sailor might work best here. Zac is showing so much maturity by taking the problem and reacting immediately and finding a quick solution to the problem. What a blessing that the engine started up. I'm sure Zac's prayers were answered that very second right before he tried starting the engine.

All we can say is Thank God everything went well and Zac is doing fine. It's also great to know he arrived and is anchored as we speak. These events will add to the list of Things to Do before leaving the island.

I guess we'll need a really good turn out on October 26th for the LA Gathering. Everyone please help out by attending this event and supporting Zac's journey. If you can't make the LA Gathering please hit the Donate tab on his website.

Hopefully Zac will be able to find everything he needs on the island and Intrepid will be tip top shape when he leaves.

Enjoy Your Say Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 15, 2008 at 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac & Pac:
Very happy to hear you're sitting in
Paradise...Now,lets hope there's a good welder around. Rest up, Zac, and eat some good hot food.
Kodiak Mike

October 15, 2008 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous captmikem said...

I have anchored in cocos island, it is a pretty easy approach and Direction island is to windward. There are lots of old seaplane moorings in about two fathoms of water near the little shelter once you come through the reef passage into the anchorage there. Normally there are cruisers anchored there and I am sure one would be happy to come out and guide or tow you in.

October 15, 2008 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I try to be short, but, my first post, so ......
Are we having fun yet?
This the first time I have a post.
When I started watching/reading of the "Zac Attack", I started praying.
I remember when I was his age and how I thought mentality at that age. I am very proud of what Zac is doing as today people seem to be taught, we can not do those things people did long ago.
I think as I did when I was his age. I know this a hard concept for people. But, I put myself into the mentality of that age. I remember how I perceived the world, if, that helps?
As I pray for people, God puts special things in my heart. I had done my math and told my woman; "Zac may make Cocos Keeling by our Monday night, if everything goes well". I not see a post until my Wednesday morning (May been here last night). But, when I not see a post on Monday, I knew; "Now Zac is having fun"! My woman worries of Pirates. I say; "No, he is bonding with Intrepid. We will hear from him soon".
Seems he did well and now can reflect and thank God for something to break the boredom. It may have seemed rough at the time, but, later in life, it add to the adventure and relationship with God. Zac? Do not forget to thank God! I stop now.

October 15, 2008 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here with Goosebumps! I'm so glad he's safely at anchor. That kid is amazing - but then look at the parents! Wow.
J./Sacramento Delta

October 15, 2008 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Zac.
I am glad you did not got hur when the boom came flying. No take a short break investigate the other cruisers and see who can help best with the necessary repairs :-)

@ Dave
The name for that misshap is called a "Patenthalse" in german

October 15, 2008 at 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Bill and Linda, Camarillo, CA said...

Hey Zac,

At least your bad luck happened in a beautiful place. Try to take some time to enjoy Cocos Keeling during your repairs. As we all know, there is a reason for everything, even if it isn't apparent at the time.

You are building great character for all the life has to offer you.

We wish you all the best and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Bill and Linda
Camarillo, CA

October 15, 2008 at 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big happy smile on my face after reading the PS, after holding my breath through the rest of the news! So glad Zac has made it safely to Cocos Keeling, although poor Intrepid is a little worse for the wear! Hoping that Zac finds another community of supporters and helpers on the other side of the world... Looking forward to seeing the pictures and reading all about it... Take good care all. Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

@ Bill Mann -- I have two very nice women's Hanna Andersson skirts, brand new never been worn tags still on, would they be of any use in the auction? I've racked my brain trying to think what I could give, and so far this is what I've come up with! Please post and let me know, if they could be used, I will mail them out as soon as possible...

October 15, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

"Perhaps the mysterious Indonesian fishing boat was successful in tossing their evil spirits onto Intrepid." Oh PLEASE, don't project stuff like this!

October 15, 2008 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger rbwilson said...

Hello Marianne,

You know there are many of us that would be glad to contribute so that Laurence could travel to Cocos Keeling if that is needed to help get Intrepid repaired - just let us know!

Bob Wilson/Laguna Niguel

October 15, 2008 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks so much for the update.
Another one of those posts that touches on every emotion, but thankfully ended with joy.
Our Zac is truly amazing!

Enjoy a much needed time for rest and nourishment in C/K. Good luck with all the repairs.
As always sending good thoughts and prayers your way daily.

Tucson, AZ

October 15, 2008 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Wow, quite the 24 hours I’d say…. I’m VERY glad Zac is safe at anchorage. The feeling of being in a safe calm port after a long leg is always a wonderful-wonderful feeling, however, I’m SURE for Zac, there’s a 10X on the “wonderful” feeling in this case… Man…

I’ve lost a boom (due to an accidental jibe in the night) but man, not steering too! AND I wasn’t alone, had 3 other STONG and EXPERIENCED crew with me to help, Zac is the man, TRULY……

The curve of Zac’s maturity, knowledge and experience is just astonishing…

Regarding the tiller –

As I’ve said in previous post, I’ve never owned a tiller driven sailboat, but have sailed many and while I’m not a fan of tiller steering because I guess I just like the feel of a wheel, however, you can “feel” the rudder a wee bit better with your hand on a tiller.

With that said, I’ve also stated for a trip like Zac’s (single handing around the world ALONE) there is an advantage of a tiller due to its reliability because it simply attaches directly to the rudder post via the tiller-pilot, vs. “wheels” having many linkages, cables, chains, turn-buckles, cams, bolts, screws, etc.. etc… etc… ALL of which can and WILL become problematic or break, AND of course, they will rise to their occasion between 2AM and 4AM, always it seems, why? Who knows, but any long distance sailor will tell you this, 2AM to 4AM is when these things happen, cRaZy, but they do…

Another pro to having a tiller is spare parts. You just need a backup tiller, vs. all the spares required for redundant wheel-steering… Spares are VERY important on a trip like this, but can be difficult to store, are expensive.

Also, I’ve experienced (not on my boat, but assisting a friend with a long passage) with wheel steering the connection between cable & chain breaking and wrapping itself around other parts of the mechanics and locking the rudder into position, requiring a dark trip down the stern lazzarette with bolt cutters in rough seas.

I would assume that Zac had a spare tiller, but these are typically short handled and work your tush off if you have to muscle the vessel with them.

The question would be why did the tiller come out of the tiller-guide/pilot?????

NET-NET – For Zac, I think it’s VERY correct for him to have a tiller setup, hands down.

Regarding the accidental jibe –

If I’m single-handing and it’s night, I only ran the jib. You may remember my post a while back, but the ONLY knock-down I’ve ever experience was due to a jibe preventer being used in heavy seas and the helmsman let us surfed up a swell a bit (allowed the vessel to head “up-wind, racing down a speed swell), and we thus healed heavily to port and BANG the boom tip caught the water and 2 seconds later we were down horizontal… I use jibe-preventers for sure, but I’m creepy about them too…

Sailing with a jib-only at night is slower, but I preferred it, I couldn’t sleep worry about wind shifts, etc..

Imagine you’re holding a large sheet of plywood directly out in front of you, while facing directly into the wind. The sheet of plywood is supported by lines so that it’s weight isn’t really felt by you. Your job is keep that sheet of plywood DIRECTLY into the wind, so that the wind passes each side equally. Now, imaging, it’s blowing 25kts and you let the plywood shift a little to the right and thus the wind starts pushing on the left side, pushing the plywood harder to the right. You won’t be able to stop it.

With that said, imagine the plywood suddenly going from your far right, all the way to “center” and then it continues to fly all the way to your left side and then suddenly stopping . Imagine the load your arms would feel? This is a jibe, which should only be done in a very controlled manner (most would say avoided altogether), but a controlled jibe is something I love to do, it’s so quiet and smooth.

However, an unattended jibe is very very dangerous and can be so violent due, to the loads and speeds that it’s not uncommon for a bad jibe to take down a mast, which takes 3 more paragraphs that I won’t bore you with to describe if that happens, what happens, what needs to be done, etc… But on a trip like Zac’s, these are things that I’m sure he’s calculated an rehearsed over and over in his mind, e.g. how to prevent, IF it happens, what do I do first, 2nd, 3rd, etc.. What might hurt me, what might kill me…

Zac’s thought process and maturity is evident by his rigging of the hose clamps…

As far as repairing the boom, hummm, I’m not a big fan of that at all, but supplies in Cocos are going to be easy, and finding a spare boom in a boat graveyard isn’t going to be easy and aluminum corrodes due to sun-salt exposure, so any booms laying around Cocos aren’t likely to be seaworthy even IF they are the right size…

Some very tough decisions will need to be made here regarding the boom, spares, and schedules. I will just say this… Nearly ALL of the accidents I’ve experienced through word of mouth were due to people making decisions based up “schedules” vs. “weather”, “equipment”, and “safety”.

Schedules are important, and in this case with Zac, very important due to circumnavigation timing, so it adds and extra element of edge to this situation. If Zac were just a family cruising around, it’s easy, he hangs in paradise until a barge slowly delivers a new boom, right?

Sorry for being so verbose here…


October 15, 2008 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Correction -

I mean to say "supplies in cocoas are NOT going to be easy"


October 15, 2008 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey Skipper,

It sounds like you got lucky when this happened being fairly close to Cocos..thank God. That coulda happened half way across from Darwin...yikes. The "PS" at the end of Mom's post made my day. Dumb question...why are tillers wooden?Tradition? Seems like a titanium tiller or steel alloy would be better. Is the next leg about the same weatherwise??

October 15, 2008 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Since there is an airport maybe there is a little shop who can deal with aluminum. Just a thought.

October 15, 2008 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you made it safely into C/K albeit at a "limp." I hope by now you've cleared customs and have been able to enlist some help/suggestions for the much needed repairs that Intrepid needs.
I'm grateful that the engine was able to start up when it did. Someone much stronger than those "evil spirits" is definitely watching out for you.

I hope that you are able to get everything done repair-wise quickly and competently so that you may enjoy relaxing a bit before departing again. You have shown amazing poise and optimism in face of these recent difficulties.

Melanie in Torrance

October 15, 2008 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous SteveNPalmSprings said...

I can’t make the fundraiser so I will make a small $300.00 donation for Zac…

Keep going young man; this will always be your greatest memory in life. Not because you won’t sail around the world again, but because you will never be 16 or 17 again... I wish I could be alongside but I’m 50 and must work. I live my dream through your adventure. When you get home I want to be dockside and hear your every tale.

I am so proud of you that I get chills knowing what lies ahead for you. You are living life as it was meant to be lived, full and complete.

Peace be with you...

October 15, 2008 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger surf mom said...

What an education ! Just following your trail is so typically 'homeschool'- at least in our household it is. My daughter and I laughed to see Billabong blog....we surf (in freezing cold New Hampshire waters )and use many surf websites for the wave height, water temp., wind direction, etc. Someday you should watch "Step into Liquid" for real time 50 ft. wave heights and the surfers and boats IN them ! Well Zac , your name has now made it to the East coast world of ballet dancers (a lot of homeschoolers who are at ABT, Boston ballet, etc.), and the harpists of New England (conservatories in Mass),and the homeschoolers (now that you were in God's World mag.) I seriously know you will need prayer support in a big way for your last 'leg' of the journey. We ARE praying for you. This mom's advice to you is "SLEEP" as soon as you can ....and stay on top of the work being done on the boom and tiller , so no short cuts are done. But don't rush to leave the island until you've gotten a good solid 4 days worth of catch up ,uninterrupted sleep. Psalm 4:8

October 15, 2008 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Gleaming Waters said...

I can't say everything happens for a purpose; it happens because of circumstances of life, good or bad. Things wear out from use. I do believe, according to God's Word, quoted above, that He will bring about GOOD in our lives. It really is in the midst of trouble, every day life, that we can see the Hand of God working for us, as we trust Him. He is always Faithful!

Sail on Zac!

October 15, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger KATE said...

Given this some thought and reading,
I would have to say the boom and tiller replacements can be solved easily. Cocos keeling is Australian and shipping from the west coast of Au seems to be done on a twice a week basis to the International Airport there at Cocos. FYI the airport DOUBLES as a golf course! Yes, it is remote but at least AU air freight is possible. The nagging problem of the engine is probably not going to be fixed there, but give it a go anyway. I would not take a chance on welding the boom. Bite the bullet and order them now.
His life is not worth messing with
a sub standard FIX.

Just my 2 cents, I do care and offer any advice as I would want for my own son.

Hope you find some food you like, some great snorkeling, a decent internet connection and above all,
Zac, I hope you make connections with people there that can help you. But, given the above scenario, it will just be a waiting game for the parts.

Relax and enjoy.

October 15, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Will said...


crazy about all that stuff going haywire...but with the use it gets you can hardly blame it i guess. hope your enjoying your rest!


October 15, 2008 at 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear zac,

I am so glad to hear that you are safe. I have been reading your blog and it is interesting to hear of your adventures on the "entrepid". i have to tell you that the name "entrepid" fits the boat of a young adventurer.

well nice to talk to you,
im looking forward to hearing from you again.

P.S. my family of 8 and i are praying for you.

keli nash from simi valley.

October 15, 2008 at 10:28 AM  
Anonymous 4th and 5th graders, NPCA said...

We are continuing to pray for you every day. Your friends from NPCA, 4th and 5th grades.

North Richland Hills, TX

October 15, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

zac -- yesterday when i reminded you to "practice hope" you managed to get a miracle out of your engine ---keep it up and all will be well. you are in our hearts prayers.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

October 15, 2008 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Wow, Zac... Seems like, as unfortunate as the tiller and boom failures are, I cannot help but think how *fortunate* it is that it happened just short of a port of call.

I hope you can get everything taken care of in Cocos yet still have a chance to relax and enjoy yourself a bit. All work and no play, you know...

It's good to hear that your spirits remain high and I hope that continues to be the case! For all the glitches, gremlins, faeries and sprites causing you grief, your quest, I hope, remains a positive and overall fun undertaking. Stay strong and stay well!

Cheers to all!

milford, ohio

October 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

I can't decide which of you is the best writer. You all have such a knack for letting us feel as though we are there in the rain & dead of night with Zac as he faces obstacles. Thanks for the update. I'm happy to vision Zac in paradise for a few days of rest.

October 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Troy Brimm said...

Hi Zac,

Such beautiful islands! Were I on a trip like yours, I would want to stay awhile on every island I set foot on!

Since you'll have some leftover bits from the tiller and boom repair jobs, you may as well leave a signed chunk as Intrepid's calling card at the Yachty Guestbook on Direction Island!

I hope you'll have some time to do some snorkeling/diving. From what I've seen on the www, it's spectacular.

Best of luck Zac!


Zac Pac'ers: Unable to make it to the fund raiser but you still want to help? Besides Zac's Store, make it a point to use Zac's GiftClix portal every time you shop online. 123Inkjets has great prices on ink and toner, plus they pay 30% commission! That's a $30 donation for every $100 you spend. Businesses: if you aren't using Zac's GiftClix portal to buy ink, toner, and paper, Why not?

October 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Captain Zac, you are the MAN

amazingly amazingly... sometimes we see as men
and sometimes we are given the gift to see as HE SEES...

this has been an incredible leg... and even though my responses have been non-existent on paper, my heart and prayers with you all..
at all times...

so much i wanted to share
and yet, with all the postings
sometimes best to be in prayer...

as you lay at anchorage and ponder it all...
be blessed to know Sir Zac you're in HIS WILL...

you've handled everything excellently...excellently
and in it all,
you are the Man...

44 days out from your 17th birthday
you amaze us all, with the level headedness and stamina you've been graced with...

and the Zac Pac continually having your back, along with the back of team sunderland, especially a week from this sunday at"the gathering"
the 26th of october...

THE LORD will direct the right people in your life to help with the healing of Intrepid, for that we are all in prayer...and encouragement of you

Zac , Be strong in THE LORD and the strength of HIS MIGHT

"the beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom
and with all your acquiring get understanding"... proverbs 4:7

even as you check over The Intrepid, so to Zac , check over yourself... for what lies ahead will be mighty and strong..

that annoying swell that continually pushed you off course and the building of the seas and wind...and fatique setting in, "unseen"
on both The Intrepid and yourself, not just the physical but mental..

enjoy this respite, keep your attention on the goal ahead, and not the what might have beens,for they can be exhausting...

this may be the greatest test
thus far
as you prep yourself and the girl in your life
for all the unknowns..

hey Zac know that the "kitten" is waiting for you in africa, waiting for you to come and pick her up...
"Christmas" in africanas would be a great name for her...but i am sure you've given this much thought as well, you're gonna have so much fun with her, and she'll teach you alot about yourself...

you're always in our prayers and heart Zac and team Sunderland...
now ther's gonna be a team Cocos Keeling (smile)

isn't it great that there's been a full moon for all of this...
yes LORD, YOU are so so good to us

mark & adino vicksburg, mississippi

ps in a word
this season in football


October 15, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

All I can say is THATS GREAT!Yes for those who asked I am in the fourth and fifth grade class.We all watch carefully and stay on track with Zac!

Bloggers check my Blog!

October 15, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

@ Mark & Adino
Beautiful post, I truly enjoyed reading.
Waterloo, NY

October 15, 2008 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger jlh said...

Hey Zac,

So glad you made it to C/K safely.
So sorry for all of the problems! Thank God you were near C/K when things started breaking! Your calm and grace under pressure are amazing. Good luck with the repairs.

@Marianne, thank you so much for the post.

@Mark & Adino, I always enjoy your words. That was wonderful. Nice to hear from you again!

Zac, you are always in our prayers.

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks, CA

October 15, 2008 at 3:00 PM  
OpenID rklein said...

Congratulations, Zac to your next milestone: reaching Cocos Keeling
You did great, obviously.
Unfortunately it added another milestone: repair boom and tiller

Try to enjoy the islands while working on the repairs.

Just wondering, would it be possible to get a wooden boom as replacement (since the woodworkers are good at C/K, as someone posted)?

All the best,

October 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger laffing dawg said...

Just one thing to say = YEAH GOD !!!!!!!

Am praying for each detail to be attended while Zac is in port and in Paradise.

Laurence and Marianne you are heavily in my prayers to as it must be so have to sit where you are and watch Zac handle all of these challenges. You are going to have an even more incredible young man when this journey comes to its successful end back in MDR. Oh my.

Love and Prayers to all the Team Zac,
Kathy Bend, OR

October 15, 2008 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

WOW! This adventure just gets more and more exciting. I am sure your folks are done with some of this drama though!

Good luck with all the repair work. Thanking the Lord you were closer to your port of call than not.

Keep on holding on to the Lord and using all your considerable skills. Blessings, Steve

October 15, 2008 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Dear Zac,

Boy, you really were being tested. But, even in the midst of rainy confusion, HE delivered you to anchor and never left your side.

HE will also heal our good ship "Intrepid" and will deliver those in CK who will serve her well.

On my knees as well,

October 15, 2008 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Have fun in C/K. I hope you get your boom (is that what it's called??) fixed. Once when my Dad was fixing some pipes his friend welded something and Dad asked if that would really stick because it didn't look like it would and his friend glared at him so I wouldn't ask any questions when you do find a welder person.

October 15, 2008 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so pleased and proud of Zac and so disappointed and put off by Marianne making disparaging remarks about the Indonesian fisherman. Not very Christian in my book. Hope all goes well in Cocos.

October 15, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

If you get this--listen carefully to what Daveth said. This is a real serious situation. Take a long hard look at it before you proceed. Get things fixed and fixed right before you head out again. In the meantime WELCOME TO PARADISE!! Enjoy some R&R. Congratulation on safely making it into port.


October 15, 2008 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh me! Oh my! First the tiller and my heart pumps up like a pumpkin and is beating like a one cylinder diesel. Then the boom. Now the goose bumps all over my body try to relocate to the top of my head. Without the PS to the post, I would be out on the floor.

Now that we're breathing again, let's look for the good news: First this series of unfortunate events took place near a port of call. Next, Capt'n Zac was on the broken tiller like a duck on a June bug. Next, the mast apparently was not damaged. Finally, Zac was not injured and the adventure continues. Both the tiller and boom can likely be jury rigged, if necessary, until Zac reaches a port with sophisticated maintenance facilities... and such has not been ruled out for Cocos-Keeling. It's just an unknown at the moment.

We'll know soon.

The Croaker

October 15, 2008 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

I can't comment on the problems, they've already been covered.

I will ask three questions. 1) What is the cost of a replacement boom?
2) How do we get it flown to Cocos?
3) Zac Pac, got your checkbooks ready?

October 15, 2008 at 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Jim in Carlsbad said...

To the entire Team Zac,

You are all an inspiration. Your attitude and perserverance should serve as a model for success. When faced with challenges, you understand that these are just temporary obstacles in the face of the ultimate goal. Your focus on the end result has made it possible to overcome many things, and I think that is the best lesson anybody could learn! Way to go!

October 15, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

I took some liberty here. While doing some searching on the web for information on Islander Yachts, I came upon an 'Islander 36 Association', I believe based in California.
I wrote asking if he or his organization knew of any replacement booms, gave him the blogs URL, and asked that he respond if he could.
Their URl is www.islander36.org/index.html

Somehow this might be helpful, especially if the boom is original.

October 15, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,

Thank God you made it to Cocos Keeling, safely, considering all you've been through. Hope you'll be able to get the tiller and any other problems taken care of in the minimum amount of time. In the meantime, enjoy C.K. while you can. Get a lot of rest, sleep, and eat well.

Praying all goes well. Take care.

Dick & Gin

October 15, 2008 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

"Perhaps the mysterious Indonesian fishing boat was successful in tossing their evil spirits onto Intrepid."

Can we just please cut the bull.

This is a really old coastal cruiser that you sent Zac out in. You refitted the boat yes, but "Intrepid" is still an old boat. This brave solo 16 year old would have had enough to worry about with a newer tested Crealock 34, or a Pacific Seacraft or some boat built for this type of voyaging. Not changing the entire rig before he left was just plain stupid I'm sorry. He could have been enjoying a great adventure on a strong simple boat that would have been taking care of him. But no, he has had to nurse this old boat with un tested systems half way around the world. Old fuel tanks full of crud....that's a surprise...duh! This is really dangerous business, and these equipment failures could have cost Zac his life. Any of you ever tried to secure a flailing broken boom in a storm?? Or enter a strange anchorage under sail? All this is completely unnecessary. Zac has been lucky so far. Robin Lee Graham changed boats on his voyage, and I think this whole business needs to be reconsidered at the next port. Zac has luckily not run into a true gale yet, and I'm worried that his luck may run out. This record is just not worth the risk that this kid is enduring with the under funded boat that he was forced to leave on. Many sailors who were lost at sea were Christians and prayed as their boats went down. For crying out loud, finance him a newer stronger little boat and let him get on with his dream with a better safety margin and better equip. How many wake up calls will it take to realize that this isn't going well and his life has been unnecessarily put at risk due to lack of a newer boat and equip?

I don't write this to be a jerk. I'm just worried about this kid, and all this warm cuddly talk and BS is not going to keep Zac safe when something really serious goes down.

October 16, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

daveh said

>there is an advantage of a
>tiller due to its reliability
>because it simply attaches directly
>to the rudder post via the
>tiller-pilot, vs. “wheels” having
>many linkages, cables, chains,
>turn-buckles, cams, bolts, screws,
>etc.. etc… etc…

You are confused about the parts of a boat steering system. A tiller-pilot is not part of the rudder-tiller linkage, it is an autopilot for tillers made by Raymarine.

>The question would be why did
>the tiller come out of the

Once the tiller was hoseclamped back together the tiller-pilot will tend to try to rotate the tiller around its long axis as the tiller-pilot is only attached by dropping down on a small stainless steel peg on top of the tiller. The rotation of the tiller will in turn cause the little hole in the tiller-pilot to pop off the peg as it pushes the tiller to correct the course.

The attempted repair was the right (admirable) way to go and it is easy to second guess everything from behind a computer screen. With that said, it is still easy to see how the repair would be a problem and how it was likely to cause the tiller-pilot to disconnect from the tiller.

-Sven in MDR

October 16, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

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