Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sleep, Squalls and Storms

Latest Position: 10/30/08 0255Z 16 32.397S 80 57.703E

Last night the wind shifted around to be directly behind me. The swells are still confused making it hard for Intrepid to stay on track downwind especially in confused seas. This meant another rough night of sleep. I had a few squalls again which means keeping watch until they pass to see if I would need to reef down or not. It is really hard to wake up and reef quickly because your arms are still asleep and your fingers don't want to do what you tell them to do. I had one squall that hit pretty hard taking the wind from around 15 knots to 25 knots instantly. It also brought tons of rain that came down so hard it actually hurt.
My mom was asking me about my thoughts as I pass so slowly through the Indian Ocean day after day. I think that rather than thinking about one day at a time, it is better to think about the goal of getting into port and fixing the boat, doing laundry and oh yeah, having some fun!
At this pace, I should be arriving in Mauritius around November 8-10. I am scheduled to take one week there before timing my departure for Durban, South Africa. When I watch the weather forecasts on Clearpoint Weather I can see the storms passing through that area every 3 days or so. Amazing!


Anonymous Troy said...

Zac, there's nothing better than frolicking in paradise! I'll be doing the same in the Dominican Republic next week, groovin' to the sweet sounds at the D.R. Jazz Festival. Whoo hoo!

I totally agree with you: why set sail without having the maximum amount of fun? For what you have sacrificed, you've got that coming and more!

Handle your business, and make your trip an Xtreme one. No worries man, you're in the zone.


P.S.: Thanks for giving us old folks a reason to party. ;)

October 30, 2008 at 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Troy said...

P.P.S.: I haven't a sliver of your experience, but I have sailed a 36 footer downwind on a flood tide with a nasty swell. I weaved so darn much I though I'd get pulled over for DUI.

Novices like me: "Surfing" the waves that are heading toward the shore with the wind pushing the boat from behind. It makes it hard to steer.)

October 30, 2008 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hiya Zac!

I was pleased to read that you are planning to take some time to have FUN at your next port. Goodness knows you will have earned it.

I would imagine it's rather draining to be so watchful 24-7. Those wind shifts could bring around a world of hurt if they happen to be sudden! As far as a reef goes, becasue I've only been sailing for 5 years my rule is: if I think I need to reef, I reef! I'm not one to have to mess around in heavy wind! My boat is water ballast so she's pretty "tender" and the power is in her main, (B&R rig)so she gets a little funny in 15+ knots w/o a reef.

Luckily replacing the boom shouldn't be too much of a chore; hopefully any other repairs will go smoothly as well.

Strange question but I'd like to know: will you have to motor through the Panama Canal?

Well it's like 4:30am here and I have to start thinking about getting my day started.

Be ever watchful Captain Zac.
Godspeed young man!
Waterloo, NY

October 30, 2008 at 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great question from your mum....that's definitely a caring mum's question....just making sure that her son is doing ok.
I understand that question...because when the going gets tough we need to remember why we are doing what we're doing and what our goal is....I love your answer.You are quite remarkable.
So press on to your goal and keep Mauritius in mind and the meeting with your dad and gosh MORE new friends, I'm sure.
Great to hear from you Zac.
Keep safe.
Thinking and praying for you many times during my day.

UK friend

October 30, 2008 at 3:02 AM  
Anonymous LAURA said...

Zac, good to hear your doing well and getting close to your next stop. Did you have to scrap the dead fish off the deck...eek

So i understand the next part of the trip is going to be the longest? Im sure you will do fine but that wont keep us from worrying about you.. the Torres straits was a nail biter for me.

Well in racing they say "keep the rubber side down" so i guess i can say "keep the sail side up" lol

Stay Safe..see you back in MDL soon

October 30, 2008 at 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like you are getting into cooler weather and calmer seas shortly. At least that is my arm chair take on it. Hope I am somewhat accurate and you can get some sleep, no matter time of day.
I also noticed you haven't mentioned even looking forward to food, instead doing the laundry.
Dig deep in those provisions, there must be something there enticing, where's that goober PB?

At least in the boredom of droning along day after day, remember your Dad's words, there's no room for complacency on the Intrepid. Stay tethered, hydrated and fed, looks like mentally you are on track for your future...which is really bright Zac. Keep your eyes on the goal, by staying in the moment.
A new adventure awaits in Mauritius.

October 30, 2008 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why your mom said you are going slowly, you are moving very fast.

An Islander 36 is pretty squirrelly straight downwind in a confused sea because of the bottom shape. This is the price you pay for the relative speed on other points of sail. If the seas get large stay alert for a broach.

Thanks for taking the time to blog and post your position updates.

October 30, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Oh Zac, man, you made us laugh on this post…

You sounded so “20’ish” with your how do I do it, crossing the Indian Ocean, day after day…… e.g. I focus on the goal, getting to port, doing laundry, etc…

Then, Zac the kid came out with the “Oh, and have some fun!”…

We laughed so hard at that…

Yes, the Africa leg is edgy, to say the least…

By the way, I have a Bahamian friend that swears that flying fish are very good tasting if you can get one big enough, he swears they are good, if I remember correctly he said the bones are edible I think…

Daveh & Skipper

October 30, 2008 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Troy -

Wow! I just checked the DR Jazz Fest site, it's in Cabarete!!!

I've been going there since the early 80's to surf and windsurf, GREAT little fishing village back in the day, Presidente's at 10cent, breakfast $2.00, including juice and tip... eMail me if you want some off the beaten path ideas, but you may already have your own already...

Love that place...


October 30, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I sent you a t-shirt to majuro
with a booby bird on it. It came back to Alaska undelivered....oh well, guess i'll put some more stamps on it and send it to'll make a "sweet" b-day present. Sail on, dude.....
Kodiak Mike

October 30, 2008 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger The Mortgage Expert said...

I cannot even begin my work day without checking out your Blog and updates. You, and your family must be so proud. You are certainly not the typical 16 yr old, keep up the great work, have fun, but most important, be SAFE!!

October 30, 2008 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Hi Zac, My name is Daniel Rizzotti, Captain of the MY Rainbow Warrior (from Greenpeace), I would like to congratulate you, be safe and keep press on to your goal. Enjoy Mauritius and the diving there if you have a chance, and of course have fun!!!!! you deserve it!

October 30, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Captain Rizzotti -

While there are something’s about Greenpeace that I'm not very fond of, there are others that I admire...

As an avid sport fisherman, I have seen the yellowfin and bluefin tuna population drop ALARMINGLY in the last 10 years and I’m quite concerned over the total annihilation of the species.

I’ve read reports that the breeding column is 10% what it was 20 years ago.

What is going on in the Mediterranean is complete insanity!!! Capturing these fish in giant nets for months during spawning season, if it continues, will surely whip out what little breeding benefit modestly remains…

If this is truly you, Cpt. Daniel Rizzotti, my hat is off to you for your attempts to stop the obliteration of the great blue monster the bluefin, and the smaller cousin, the yellowfin…

Anyone wanting to know more about this, watch this YouTube video, it’s startling what is going on here..



October 30, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

You take everything so calmly when when your followers are amazed...that when you say amazing...I grasp my heart. Mea culpa mea culpa!
It seems as if monotony would be your greatest challenge, but apparently monotony doesn't happen too often.
Bless you
--Charlie, Maine

October 30, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Berry Blog –

Your post made me laugh too today…

You are so right about the lack of monotony, when the conditions are like what Zac is on this leg, everything is a challenge, you minimize tasks that require a lot of moving around because there’s a risk of getting hurt, especially down below, when and where you can’t see the seas coming and the next rogue swell that tosses you about like a feather in the space below, often to get knocked back the other way immediately due to the keel, sail, and trough of the next wave… cRaZy sTuFf.

Then, when things calm down, there is a huge list of duties that have been avoided due to the conditions that one must deal with…

However, Zac will get a his share of monotony mid-way on the leg from Africa to Trinidad, in the doldrums… I hope he has some good books, lots of music. In those areas, you can get A LOT of reading and WORK done… that is if you can tolerate the miserable heat and humidity…

Maybe Zac will pass through the ITCZ with ease, that would be GREAT!

Daveh & Skipper

October 30, 2008 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

You must be working very hard in all that weather to keep Intrepid going forward instead of sideways. Just take everything one day at a time and Mauritius will arrive soon. Keep a close eye on Clearpoint Weather and you'll master this leg.

Enjoy every day of your adventure even if they are good or bad days.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 30, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Zac! You must be having a lot of fun(and work). Well, keep sailing!

Good luck,

October 30, 2008 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Greetins Zac and Zac Packers,

I first want to let everyone know that I finally will be getting a haircut tomorrow. I am really looking forward to that.

My mailbox has been full with missives from a lot of you saying how much you missed being able to participate in the auction last Sunday and if there would be more auctions.

My initial reaction was maybe, if someone else wanted to. But from me, no, there would be no more auctions.

I then found out that there is a beautiful white boom for Intrepid with a bunch of black magic marker writing all over it waiting to be taken to meet up with its intended ship.

I also found out that $2,000.00 in shipping costs is standing between that boom here in California and it's intended mast in Mauritius.

I feel that it is up to the readers and followers to step up to the plate and keep this going.

In that vein, I am going to have an ongoing online auction starting next Monday. The auctions will last seven days and be a blind auction. There will be a link from the blog to the auction site. You can send a bid to me from the auction page and on the Saturday before the auction ends I will send an email to everyone who has bid and let them know what the high bid is. You would then have until 6:00 PM Pacific time on Sunday to improve your bid. Payment for winning auctions will be made through PayPal directly to Zac.

There will be two auctions each week. One for budget type items and one for more substantial items.

We shall start with some of the items that were not sold last Sunday and then ask for more donations.

Kodiak Mike, as your hooded sweatshirt came to me the day after the auction, that will be one of the first auction items.

As long as there is interest, I will continue doing this. Any remarks should be addressed to me at so that we do not clutter up the blog with remarks.

To everyone who has contributed, my thanks and you will be acknowleged as soon as I get over this election on Tuesday.

Why am I doing this? Simple: I am getting my haircut. I just want to be sure that Zac can afford his.

Bill Mann

October 30, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Hey Zac, it sounds like being pretty scary actually!Do you see any big fish, I mean really big? I hope you get those flying off the deck, it must be getting pretty smelly... eeewwwww! Praying for a safe journey and that the seas calm down to allow you to rest a bit.
Helen (Brazil)

October 30, 2008 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

It appears that the link for my email on the post about the auction is not working. Just copy and paste my email address when addressing me or use the email link in my blog page.

Bill Mann

October 30, 2008 at 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi marianne,
I am so inspired by your easy grace and well, razzle dazzle spirit! here's a totally sincere suggestion (as i realize it may sound silly at first)...Why not try contacting the Corporate office/headquarters at FEDEX and tell them of your challege...(
Seems like a great good will gesture for them, and I bet they could work some magic. That's what they do. Blessings from the fingerlakes NY USA

October 30, 2008 at 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi zac wats up youre still in my prayers. i wanna let you know about a great site called its free, leagal, an no downloadin. its great beacause you can listen 2 youre fav stations.
donald j. anthony 13 ma boston
ps god bless u
pps look @ 1 chronicles 4:9-11
+psalm 23 37 73 121 other stuff in dat book.
ppps good day favorable winds god bless.

November 1, 2008 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ @
\___/ hi

good luck
don anthony:)
boston ma

November 1, 2008 at 9:03 AM  

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