Thursday, December 18, 2008

Durban Update - Zac



Zac in Rodrigues Island
Copyright Zac Sunderland 2008
OK, so as you know I'm safe and sound in Durban now but it was quite a time to get in. On the morning of my scheduled arrival I was bombing along at 6 to 7 knots with full sail. I had about 60 miles to go so I was getting ready for making port by organizing my paperwork and cleaning up the boat. I sailed along nicely for around 3 hrs but after that the wind just died away to almost nothing. About an hour later I had a light SW wind. I put up the sails and continued heading towards my waypoint thirty miles up the coast from Durban and about 10 miles offshore. The wind built slowly and as I closed in on my way point I began to realize that I would have to tack if the wind I had held up. I called home to compare my weather with what was showing on Clearpoint Weather and it showed the wind steady from the opposite direction. The forcast showed that it would shift as I got closer to shore. A little unsure of the plan, I kept going. Right as I reached my waypoint the full force of the buster kicked in and I had 25 and 30 knots on the nose. Now the wind is no problem, I can tack into it. It is slower and a real pain but doable. The problem came from the 5 knot current going the opposite direction than normal against me. I called a friend, advisor and former South African sailor, Rob Jordan, and after talking with him decided to beat into the wind and current and hope for it to die down. I tacked and tacked slamming through squalls and dodging ships but wasn't making any progress because of the current so I set on a tack out to sea about 30 miles. Finally, the current slackened and I was able to make some progress down the coast. I sailed my way past Durban and then tried to tack back in but the wind shifted and the current swept me to 20 miles from Durban. It was now morning and I hadn't slept all night with tons of shipping and electrical storms. So with the out-to-sea strategy not working I tried going inshore but the current was just as strong. I ended up just tacking into it and making very slow progress. At around 3:00 pm some boats from the yacht club came out and took some pictures - I was about 12 miles out of the harbor. At 11:00 pm I was 7 miles out and there was a ship on a collision course about a mile away so I went to start up the engine but nothing happened. It sounded like the starter wasn't working so I grabbed a screw driver and arched the solenoid across but still nothing. I had been on the phone with Mom and Dad back home during all of this. Mom had just received an email from Phillip Strauss of the S/V Abracadabra. We had met Phillip and his family in Mexico years ago while our family was cruising there. He and his family had been in Cape Town but came out to Durban to see me in. His email gave his cell phone number and said that if I needed anything to just give him a call. Mom called him and told him about the wind, current, ships, squalls and failing engine. Phillip was berthed at the Point Yacht Club and was able to organise some guys from the club to give me a tow in. I was able to pick up a little wind and sail right to the mouth of the harbor. The shipping out there was so heavy - there was a constant stream of ships coming in and out and 60 standing off the entrance. So I tacked out to about two miles from the harbor and went hove-to. The guys from the yacht club were having trouble finding me in the maze of lights so I turned on my strobe. When they found me they threw me a line and a cold Coke and towed me in. Now I was so tired coming in that I was falling asleep with the wind in my face. I finally got docked about 4:30 in the morning and went over to Phil's boat for a very light dinner. Then I went back to my boat and passed out until about 9:00 am. I woke up and got busy, getting ready for customs and immigration, meeting people and finding my way around.
The last few days here in Durban have been great. Since I am still on Mauritian time and the sun rises early here, I wake up early and spend a few hours working on the boat. The people here at the Point Yacht Club have been taking caring of me, showing me around taking me on some trips and helping to organise my boat work. Work that needs doing includes: having the new genoa cut down a bit, having the engine troubleshot and serviced, having a complete rigging inspection, major reprovisioning, and various other odd jobs.

As usual, I am having trouble finding good internet connections and while in port the sat phone reception is pretty bad so my communication is not as easy as I would like. Now that I am settled in and have things more under control, I will get a blog out everyday or so.


Thanks to all who sent cards and presents - when I get my photos to upload, I'll send out a few photos and notes on that.

Cheers,

Zac

63 Comments:

Blogger Joe Howell Sr said...

Thanks for the great update Zac! Hope all is going well now that you're in sync with shoreside activities.

Joe Howell/Valparaiso Flordia

December 18, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
OpenID rklein said...

Hi Zac,

good to hear from you. What a story to get into Durban. 5knts of current - that is strong and nasty when going the wrong way. And I thought we have strong currents (tidal that is) here in the SF bay. But these are so strong only for a few hours and reverse then. (But they can still sweep you out of the Gate.

Have a good time in Durban.
All the best,
Randolf

PS: Do you know that Mahatma Gandhi non-violent protest for civil rights started in KwaZulu-Natal (the province Durban lies in). There are probably still many Indians in Durban meaning good Indian food maybe. :-)

December 18, 2008 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Ahoy Zac!!
Wow, sounds like you had a time of it for sure! Good on ya!
Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure from land this time!
Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year.
Anita M. Miracle
Captain SV Wombat

December 18, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac-
Amazing account of getting into Durban. Thanks for the update. Hope you got lots of goodies in the mail. Enjoy your stay in SA.
Kodiak Mike

December 18, 2008 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photo of you in Rodriguez Island accompanying today's blog entry says it all. No longer a boy; now a man.

Following your voyage has been truly inspirational. You have made not only your family, but many thousands of people proud of you.

Nicholas in NC

December 18, 2008 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

zac ---GREAT to hesr from you! through any and all adversity you always seem to come through (and we have come to expect no less). we are so proud of you.
here is wishing you and the entire ZAC PAC (and team Sunderland) a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2009.
May God Bless Us All.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA
jbaker1226@ao;.com

December 18, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

So does the tow into Durban mess up your record try, or were you close enough to the harbor that a tow is legitimate?

December 18, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Hi Zac.
Again a great job. Daveh already talked about those nasty currents. For right now enjoy SA take care of the boat and I am sure in a few days you will have some time to get us up to date and find a good internet connection. Please don't forget the positions between Darwin and Cocos.
Axel
heye@madisoncounty.net

December 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Betty E. said...

Zac,
You made it!...Hooray!!!...I've been checking your blog every day to see how you are doing...it sure took a long time just to get CLOSE to the harbor and then to get pushed back a few miles and there you go again trying to get in...Wow! what a trip!...It was exciting reading...I'm glad you are ok and able to get on with your visit and repairs to 'your Lady...Intrepid'. Looking forward to more news about your stay and of course, what you go through out there in the ocean (scares me silly!).
Praying for your safety and well being.
Betty E., Lomita, CA (Palos Verdes Library District)

December 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hey! Where's that kid Zac??? Man, in that picture you look VERY far from 16, or even 17, amazing...

Good update...

Daveh & Skipper
dave@davehickson.com

December 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Patience paid off! Thanks so much for the update, Zac -- so good to "hear" your voice... Very much looking forward to more accounts on your stay in South Africa. What an amazing journey you are on! Thanks again for taking us along with you... Keeping you in my prayers.

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

December 18, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
Pretty intense stuff, what a story, glad you are safe and sound, enjoy your stay in Durban!

Ray & Deanna
Clovis, CA

December 18, 2008 at 2:31 PM  
Anonymous EmilyAnne said...

Thanks for the REALLY long update. I am so glad you got in all safe and are doing well. Nice 'stache, LOL. Anyways, hope you are getting rested and eating LOTS of good food. Or, different food. Because I bet pretty much anything sounds better then the stuff you've been having on your boat. Hope the weather is good for you while you're in Durban, and the rest of your trip of course. Can't wait to finally see you home and safe.

Anyways, it was really nice hearing from you! Merry Christmas! Stay safe, too.

Lots of hugs,

EmilyAnne
Fayetteville, NC

December 18, 2008 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy Zak..

Phill Strauss is a mate of mine' please say "HI" for me, also if Rob Jordan is the same ROJO, Rob Jordan from the old days, please say "HI" from Dusty Way as well. Before long you will have old days and old mates and old stories as well.. Enjoy the road your on... Cheers, Dusty

December 18, 2008 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Zac:

Tense story of contrary winds and currents getting into Durban. The important thing is that you are there. Now we can all relax and enjoy the Season. I hope that you'll remain in port until after Christmas.

Now my computer can relax as I won't be checking for an update 40 times a day.

Sounds like, as usual, you are in good hands and amongst good hearts in Durban. Now get some food and rest. Chores will be easier with a rested body and an alert mind. You've earned it, dude!

As a Christian, I'd like to wish you, Team Sunderland and all my fellow Zac-Packers a very Merry Christmas. All those who are not Christian seem to be having a special time at this time of year also. To them, I wish a meaningful and happy holiday season of love, family, and memories that will be cherished.

With reference to the photo of Baby Brother Ben under the tree, I suggest that he look like something that fell out of the tree. He is a Cherub!

The Croaker

December 18, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Wow! Very interesting stuff. I was also amazed at the picture. I wouldn't recognize Zac if I didn't know it was him!

December 18, 2008 at 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Howdy Captain! Yup, I definitely would have jumped overboard and towed Intrepid in by a rope through my teeth. (Just kidding). Sounds like a pretty stressful time.

My family had an Islander 30' on the Hudson river a few years ago and we did the same thing you did by switching the type of fuel but not the fuel tank. Unfortunately, the engine aboard Inconcievable never worked properly...

One time we went out for an overnight and awoke to find flat water. (yuck) We tried the engine the day before and she was working perfectly, but (as is the curse for all Islander's engines I believe) she quit on us that morning. My dad tried and tried to get the darn thing to work, but in the end we just sailed her to the harbor.

Once we got there though, we decided to give her one last try and, low and behold, she worked!

Islander's are cursed as far as engine's go in my family. Hopefully Intrepid's does better!


Glad to hear you're safe and sound (and with a friend). Get some rest,


-Halle S. in Oregon

Skipper of The Dread Pirate Roberts

December 18, 2008 at 4:11 PM  
OpenID rklein said...

Hi,

while Zac is safe in port, I think another sailor needs our sympathies. My thoughts go out to Yann Eliès, a skipper in the Vendee Globe who has broken his thighbone. Rescue is underway, but it will take two long days before the rescue vessel will be with him. Another Vendee skipper, Marc Guillemot, has sailed to Yann, but cannot do much than being around in his boat. There are currently no plans that Marc goes on Yann's boat.

Best wishes to all sailors out there,
RK

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/7327/under-way.html

December 18, 2008 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

Land ho...so glad you made it to Durban and are able to get some much needed rest! Can't believe how long your hair has gotten already! Thinking of you as Christmas nears...SEASONS GREETINGS!

December 18, 2008 at 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Sounds like U did a whole lot of livin' that day! Great pic...U sail against the current a few more times for a longer duration U will have a face like Willie Nelson. (It's O.K. though since Old Willie is tough as nails, humble, and a gentleman too boot)

December 18, 2008 at 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Zac,

Maureen from Boise here. I haven't posted in a good while. I've been working hard here serving people with disabilities to get around in the snow. It is very fun (really). I have kept up on the blogs, however. The photo of you looks like an ad for a men's fragrance - with a bold, adventurous scent for sure.

Glad you made it to Durban in one piece, albeit exhausted. Can you believe that you have made it to Africa? Seems like yesterday that we read of your launch from MDR.
Unreal ...

Have a Merry Christmas. We'll be thinking of you and your family.

Maureen
Boise, ID

December 18, 2008 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi zac

i have been folowing your your journey and you are such a brace young man.
you mentioned that you received a tow in to durban. will that end your record ?

December 18, 2008 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Sweet Heavens Capt, the further you voyage, the more challenges you appear to have and I know the toughest is yet to come :( After rereading Lady Marianne's post of your travails entering port, your's clarifies things even further. It's no wonder to me you were quiet for most of the week. Heck, I'd've slept for a couple days str8! God bless ya lad!

Not heard yet how long y'all plan on remaining in port, but reading between the various previous blog posts & comments it'll be a couple weeks. Any chance y'all might be able to post yer plans for Yule/Christmas/Chanukah? Just curious mind ya. :)

Did y'all get a chance to see a doc/medic about y'all's earache? You HAVE been taking yer antimalarials? YES?!? Especially since it's entering the hottest time of year down there (funny me saying that being in ATL, when they're forecasting freezing night temps after Yule/Christmas again).

Thx again Lady Marianne for keeping us updated w/Capt Zac's posts. HUGS around to y'all & the rest of Team Sunderland.

@ ZacPac -
May the final dashes to complete yer Holidaze shopping be successful & the recipients of y'all's gifts enjoy them as much as you enjoyed finding "just the right thing" for them.

@ Bill Mann (& my other Judean ZacPac friends) -
May this season of The Festival of Lights bless you & yours w/peace of heart, plentiful friends/family sharing love & hugs and of course many "lights" to brighten yer lives.

To my Atheist ZacPac friends, enjoy the day off! :D

Warm Fuzzy HUGS!
Tomi/ATL

December 18, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

PS Capt Zac -
the 'stache & beginnings of goatee look good on y'all - think about keeping them :)
T.

December 18, 2008 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Zac,

I am glad all ended well. Being frustrated is the worst. I hope you have a good time in port. Eat well. Sleep well. Play well.

~Hannah

December 18, 2008 at 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac,

Man, you really "leveled up" there in some challenging times. Congrats! Enjoy your well-deserved break.

I just got your poster framed for my bathroom wall. Don't be offended!! I have a bit of a water theme in there.

Christmas and holiday blessings to you, Zac, and your family and other Zac Packers.

--Jack M (Mulkey) in the L.A. South Bay

December 18, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous canadian_meisjes said...

Thanks for the update! Man, coming in sounded nasty... hope you have a great time in Durban to make up for it. :)
~Jessica from Canada

December 18, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hey Zac,

Thanks for the update. It sounds like making port was a couple of nightmares. You take 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going,' to a new level!

Are you staying with Phillip, in a motel, or on the Intrepid? Where ever you are, I hope you are getting loads of rest, feeding body and soul, and enjoying every moment!

Merry Christmas Zac and all of the Sunderland family.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of the 'Zac Pac' also!

Nagaa

December 18, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Another "heart in my stomach" moment, reading your update about the approach to Durban! I can fully appreciate that feeling of unmitigated exhaustion you must have had at the end of that ordeal! Nice to be able to get some quality sleep between all your tasks...at least you're not at sea and can really bank some rest hours. Pfew!

Dana
Santa Monica

December 18, 2008 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Zac, what an amazing adventure just getting into Durban. Reminds me of my trips to San Francisco and the time it took to go under the Golden Gate Bridge, dodging the ships & dealing with the tides. I hope you can post some pictures of the the harbor....with that many ships around, it sounds like an interesting time.

I want to wish you & your family a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Jeff
MDR via Santa Clarita

December 18, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac. Geez! I'm not boat expert--or even a boat novice--but your time into Durbin sounds like it was much worse than any encounter thus far on your voyage. Am I imagining it or just not quite understanding your boat lingo? It sounded like your entry into Durbin was much, much more difficult than what you have had to deal with.

Anyway, glad to hear that you're safe and secure now. Catch up on all that sleep you have been missing!

Scott

:)

December 18, 2008 at 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

hahahaaaaa Rory!

Jen

ps.. Zac: you look wiser, more thoughtful and definately not like a teenager anymore, more like a man whose had to face incredible circumstances!! Enjoy your time Durban!!! you've earned it and I am proud to see the changes in you.

December 18, 2008 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

Time for you to spend some quality time in Durban.

December 19, 2008 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger bryanmitch said...

Zack described exactly the conditions he will face on his trip down the coast of South Africa. Please respect the SW and the current. Sailing south during the SW'ly is not worth the effort or the swells. Rest and time the sailing on the NE winds.

December 19, 2008 at 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hay Zac, let me know when you will be in Cape Town, i have a morring for you at the Cape Grace Marina.
Have a safe trip and see you in Cape Town

December 19, 2008 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Mike Perham has changed his goal from solo non-stop, unassisted, to youngest solo. A smart move, but I still have concerns about singlehanding the O.50, that's one hell of a vessel...

Daveh & Skipper
dave@davehickson.com

December 19, 2008 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger kenintoronto said...

Zac:
Thanks for your personal update and congratulations on your progress. We can now see the REAL Zac with your excellent self-portrait.

@anonymous ...you mentioned that you received a tow in to Durban. will that end your record ?

The other problem of solo circumnavigation will be when he transits the Panama Canal, under power, with a pilot and four line handlers.

Who cares about the technicalities!! In our eyes, he is a record holder!!

Merry Christmas
Ken

December 19, 2008 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello All,

Well it sounds like another great chapter in that possible book.

I hope you're enjoying Durban and having a great time being a tourist for a little while.

Take care and keep sending us pictures and posts.

Enjoy Land,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

December 19, 2008 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Looks like something is wrong with the Zac Pac map. Lost my marker and can't put it back on. It also seems like a lot of markers were deleted or ecaped to nowhere.
Axel
heye@madisoncounty.net

December 19, 2008 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa in Mt. Juliet, TN said...

I was getting nervous for ya when I didn't get to read a blog for a few days but that meant I needed to pray!! As I read the blog my heart beat faster just from reading what you went through! You are an amazing young man. Bless you and keep up the good work!

December 19, 2008 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Great post. I hope you are able to enjoy some down time. Hopefully the boat is in pretty good shape and your energy can be spent having fun, reprovisioning, and making new friends.

SteveB
Birmingham, AL

December 19, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous dave88 said...

I Just wanted to add that Gotreception.com (http://www.gotreception.com) is a great resource for finding out where reception problems are most likely to occur.

December 19, 2008 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

It's a good thing we see pics of you every now and then. If I was your mom and hadn't seen you for a year, I might not recognize you right away. My, how you've grown!

I had to chuckle when I heard about the boat that came to meet you passing you a "cold coke." I bet it tasted great! The fact that you mentioned that it was cold tells me that you appreciate the little things that you have had to do without while on your journey.

This holiday season you have received some wonderful gifts; the gifts of patience, perseverance, courage, and new-found friends. These are gifts that cannot be bought, but are realized when we choose to wake up each day and seek them on our own, unassisted, solo! Am so proud of you Zac and wish you God's blessings and continued safe travels!

December 19, 2008 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Birgit Rudolph/Dirk Krehl said...

Hi Zac!

It has been a couple of days checking the last time on you, tody I thought you must have arrived in Durban by now and so I had a look...funny thing to see first the photo of you in Rodrigues...And I agree, you don't look like a kid.

Good to get the confirmation that you made it to Durban, it did not sound to funny to me..

So keep up your good spirits and have a good rest first.

Birgit from Rodrigues Island

who will put you on her Rodrigues blog from time to time, so I will for that pupose borrow the Rodrigues photo...Hope you don't mind

Thanks for the link to the article in the LAT

PS: And sure, greetings to the Zac Pac...!

December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hello Again!
We are in the mist of a wicked snow storm. We're currently at 12 inches and still going, about a foot per hour. None of us here need to go out so it's pretty neat, but for those who need to be out in this mess wouldn't agree! I'll break out the snow shoes tomorrow and have a nice romp through the woods!!

@ The Croaker: Love your posts they always make me laugh!

@ Glen:Intentaré y conseguiré algunas fotos de toda la nieve que tenemos aquí. Esperanza usted está bien, Feliz Navidad.

@ Daveh: I agree Zac does look a bit older :)

@ All of "The Pac" Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Blessings in the New Year

Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

December 19, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Jason Davidson said...

Glad to hear your in safe and you can now get that much needed sleep. Enjoy your time in Durban!
Merry Xmas,
Jason
Culver City, CA

December 19, 2008 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I'm glad you made Durban and what an adventure.

that pic makes you look 30 years old, very haunting.

December 19, 2008 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you are safe, on land, Zac.
What an amazing accomplishment to get through all that 'stuff' on entry to Durban!
Looking forward to some more photos...as someone else said...if we don't see photos now and again we won't know it is you....you are changing so much, so quickly!
Wonder how Intrepid is looking, many repairs?
Bet you are loving the Africa Experience.Wonder what you will be doing on Christmas Day....whatever it is, I hope you have a good time and don't miss your loved ones too much....I'm sure a good internet connection, with webcam, will be a great Christmas gift for you all.
Thinking of you and praying for you.
Happy Christmas.

UK friend

December 20, 2008 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal, Seattle said...

I join Daveh in his concerns about Mike sailing an Open Ocean 50. Boats are just too fast and too skittish -- especially with a jinxed autopilot.

(Dave -- Glad you found my book "The Tomorrow Makers" hope you enjoy the read.)

For anyone who wants to see how crazy fast these Open Ocean boats are, just look at the onboard videos from the Vendee singlehanded round the world race now in progress. The Web site is: www.vendeeglobe.org/en

Not sure what the attrition rate is by now but a hecka of a lot of these 60 foot boats (Mike has the 50-foot version) have already had to drop out due to broken masts, rudders, and other structural problems.

The Australian Navy had to send a warship to rescue one skipper after he broke his hip on deck. He was working with the sails when the boat slammed into a huge wave, shuddered to a stop, and sent him flying. Another competitor explained the same thing happening to him -- only from inside his boat. He flew across the cabin when the boat slammed into a wave, but wasn't injured.

These boats are averaging 20 miles an hour in the Southern Ocean. How the heck could someone possibly sleep knowing that their boat was doing 20 miles an hour and at any point it could all be over if their boat took a wrong bounce off a wave or either slammed into or got struck by a big rogue wave.

Seems crazy to this sailor. I've done 16 to 18 knots on a race to Hawaii, but we had 12 people aboard so there were always plenty of hands on deck while the others were sleeping.

Zac has got the right boat.

Despite my suggestions on Mike's site that Mike downshift to a Westsail 32 and spend his slower trip down below reading the Harvard Classics by a kerosene lamp, I figure he'll continue onward in that crazy vessel. ;-)

--Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

December 20, 2008 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

If you've been watching the Vendee Around Alone Race (http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ )there's an update. Yan Elies who broke his leg being slammed down on the deck in rough seas was rescued by an Australian Navy ship...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SPORT/12/20/yachting.vendee.rescue/index.html

Daveh & Skipper

December 20, 2008 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Oh, it shoud be noted, 30 boats started the Vendee Solo Around Alone race last month, and 12 have already abandonded...

These are professional sailors, most mid 30's, whom sailed as a living (either rich or sponsor support or both)...

I point this out to spotlight the significance of what Zac and Mike are doing at their young ages. VERY signficant indeed.

Daveh & Skipper
dave@davehickson.com

December 20, 2008 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Wishing all who celebrate it a Happy Hanukkah.

Bill Mann
South Pasadena
bill@barstools4u.com

December 20, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Parker Fritsch said...

Dear Zac,

Thank you for the package. I was so excited to get it! My mom wouldn't let me open it though. We put it under the tree for Christmas. I'm gonna send you something too! I guess you'll have to wait till you get back to open it though. Hummmmm....maybe I'll just wait till you get back to send it.

Hope your adventure is going well. Maybe you can take me sailing sometime. I like to steer the boat! I really love fishing too! Do you like to fish?

Wishing you a merry Christmas!

Your buddy, Parker
caringbridge.org/ca/parkerfritsch

December 20, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ All....

Grant Fjermedal and I communicate quite a bit outside the blog, both of us have sailed O 50's in the Pacific (Transpac, Kenwood Cup, etc.)...

Please note that we are NOT Mike bashers (although some have perceived this) in fact, our post re: Mike are out of our sincere concern, nothing else and that for a YOUTH solo circumnavigator, Zac’s vessel is a MUCH better and safer choice in our somewhat professional opinion… I say somewhat professional because we both have many miles at sea but are not full time racers, like the guys in the Vendee Globe race

Regards,
Daveh
dave@davehickson.com

December 20, 2008 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger hannah144 said...

Wow Zac! That sounds so intense getting in, I can't (nor do I want to haha) imagine! So glad to hear that you got in safe though! Hope you're doing well, getting rest and having fun :)

Love,

The Coyle Family

December 20, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous cindyincincy said...

I am so looking forward to reading your book someday, Zac. Your blog alone has me riveted. Thanks for taking the time to post and best wishes for many wonderful experiences in Durban.

@ the Sunderland family -- Merry Christmas to all and a big squeezy hug for adorable baby Ben!

@ Melanie -- I love the last paragraph of your post. Thanks for such eloquent expression.

@ Jack in L.A. -- LOL on the new artwork in your water closet.

@ Parker -- I am so excited for you and I hope that you will let us all know the contents of your package from Zac. What an honor!
Keeping you in my prayers.

@ All -- Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2009!

December 20, 2008 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

Hope Africa is keeping you well fed and entertained. It's for sure winter time here in Oklahoma, and the north wind is sweeping down the plains.

@ Zac Pac - If you have placed a pin in the Zac Pac guestmap to mark your spot and it seems that your flag has disappeared... it hasn't. If you look in the upper left corner of the guestmap you will see an arrow (link) to go back to other map pages, it seems that one map page can only hold so many pins and then it starts a new additional map page, so there currently is several map pages with pins marking the location of the Zac Pac. It was confusing to me too until I contacted the host for the maps and had it explained to me. Too bad we could not have all of the pins on one page as that would show how many there are in the Zac Pac...

Blessings to all, and way to go Zac!!

Bob in oKC

December 20, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger surf mom said...

Yeeehaaa! You made it to Durban !
Engine fixing....starting things ?? Yep, we got socked with a New England power outage here in New Hampshire for a week...we had to work on our generator (air filter getting clogged...etc.) so...engine repair is something we all can identify with.
Gee, Durban sounds like coming into Boston harbor with all the ships/ boats and such.
Well, get much needed rest wherever you can !! We are still praying for your safety and that "last lap" of the Atlantic O.
Well, your photo shows you a well seasoned mariner (ie. gone from age 16 to about a 24 yr old looking guy )....huzzah !
We are thinking of you in the wind, while we have zero degree weather and just got one foot of snow....and another on its way.
-surfmom in NH

December 20, 2008 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

@ all:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
@ Zac:
I'm praying you'll have a blessed and safe Christmas :)

December 20, 2008 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,
Glad you finally made it to Durban. Reading your update got me so exhausted and I cannot imagine what you experienced. You continue to inspire us with your great stamina and knowledge.

Enjoy your stay in Durban and get all the much needed R & R.

Wishing you, your family and all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dick & Gin
Upland

December 20, 2008 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

I wish you happy Holidays and a very successful 2009.
@ Zac and the ground crew.
You have accomplished a lot in 2008and you will accomplish a lot more in 09. Thank you for keeping us all up to date on the circumnavigation. Can't wait to read the book and watch a movie about it.
It is great that this operation put so many people together on the internet and in person.
For Mike from GB - I just hope evereything turns out ok for him too
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Axel
heye@madisoncounty.net

December 21, 2008 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Hi Zac...
I also am following your account of your trip. I just got back from New Zealand and although I didn't sail, I could envision your journey. I'm back in California now and soon to be working in Joshua Tree National Park as a seasonal park ranger. I once had a dream of doing what you are doing and now I get to do it... through you. Thanks for keeping us so well posted and I am a proud member of the Zackpack.
Don Stoutenger/Orange California

December 23, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Amber and Lili said...

Hey Zac! I think you should get a pet they are fun and keep you company. My social studys class is talking about you and Wishs you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
I Just thought you should know we are all rooting for you.

From Amber and Lili

ps. get a monkey.

January 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

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