Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Intrepid at The Point Yacht Club
Hello All,
Thank you for all the Christmas messages. It has been great to relax and hang out for such a long break. Work continues on Intrepid and I will soon begin to look for a good weather window to take off towards Cape Town. The current weather forecast is pretty wild so it will have to wait for now.

@Axel: Marta, the European solo circumnavigator, does have a web site but I don't know what it is... I think the people from the boat in that photo is away for the holidays because I have never met them. Most of the cruisers that are here now are from Australia.

@Rory: Marta is testing and promoting a new design of racing sail boat. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the boat. I'll try to find out. It is a pretty interesting story how she got to be doing this. She is stopping in ports along the way with out any record attempt.

@Becky: After much wise counsel, I have decided not to get a cat. :)

@Parker: You're welcome and keep pressing on! Maybe we'll have a sail when I get back this summer.

There were a few questions about my route around the Cape of Good Hope. Depending on the weather conditions I will be stopping in East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay and then Cape Town. My mom's aunt and uncle lived in South Africa back in the 70s and still have many friends out here. I'll hopefully hooking up with some of them and then with some people I met in Cocos keeling that are from Cape Town.

As far as the engine troubles go, I am having my starter motor rebuilt before heading off. Otherwise it seems to be functioning well. The engine was replaced before I left in June but we kept the old gas fuel tanks. My engine problems seem to be caused by fuel in the pick up line in the tank and not the engine itself so there is no need to replace it again.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!




Anonymous JiffyLube said...

Was that fuel tank every cleaned out before departing? Are you picking up sludge from the fuel tank or is the problem something else like bad fuel or mechanical?

Enjoy your time between weather windows.

December 26, 2008 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marta ?

Maybe you are talking about Natasza Caban ? There can't be that many European girls sailing solo near the southern tip of Africa right now:

-Sven in MDR

December 26, 2008 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac. Hope you had a great Christmas! Best of luck as you approach 2009 and continue on your quest. Sounds like you have some tests coming your way going around the cape?



December 26, 2008 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Hello Zac. Hope that your Christmas was merry and bright. Did any of the other Sunderlands make it out. If not, what's the likelyhood that some of them will be able to meet you at a port of call prior to taking on the Atlantic crossing?

Now, on to the New Year. 2009 will be a biggie in your biography. You'll be successful, you'll be exhausted, and you'll be home! Your own bed, Mom's cooking -- nothing straight from the can, and all that.

The Zac Packers are still alive and well and praying for you.

Thanks for the post. Withdrawal is not a pretty thing and it was looming!

The Croaker

December 26, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger EmilyAnne said...

Hey Zac! Hope you had a great Christmas! Did you get anything interesting? Hope the weather turns good for you so you can embark on this next leg of your journey soon. We all want you home and safe. And I'm sure you would like to play football again soon, eh?

Best wishes and lots of hugs!

Fayetteville, NC

December 26, 2008 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hey Zac! Glad your Christmas was wonderful! I was very excited to receive one of your shirts from my Grandparents! Enjoy your rest and I hope you have a Happy New Year.

Hannah in SC

December 26, 2008 at 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Hi Zac! you'll probably never forget this Christmas... so enjoy! we are having a ton of snow!!

*Marta is Polish and her webiste is mostly in Polish... she apparently just left Durban for Cape Town.

I just typed in "Marta sailing around the world" and found her.... gotta love the internet! She has fabulous photos under 'galleria'

Also, are you keeping tabs on the Vendee Globe????
Plus... how are you going to make sure your meals are of better quality? what are your provisioning plans?????



December 26, 2008 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm an old boat mechanic on Bainbridge Island WA. I have wrestled fuel problems. More than likely, if your not picking up a bunch of crud in your filter, you do have a bad pick up tube. You probably replaced an A4 or Palmer gas and the way they did the pick up tube was to either solder a tube in the bottom side of a fitting that screws into the tank. Or kludge some wierd threds together. Which works well for 20 or 30 years. My solution is to use some 5/16 stainless tube. I use a bulb flair tool to upset one end so the hose will seal and a clamp will hold. And meet ABYC standards. I use a 1/8 to 1/4 stainless bell reducer, drill it to let the stainless tube pass through. take it to a welder and carefully weld the tube in the fitting and pressure test, tube to atmosphere and fitting to atmosphere, don't need no leaks rounding the cape. That makes the tube one piece with no screw fittings. I have a pump and one of these clear filters that they sell at hot rod parts houses. I pump from the feed hose at the engine through the return back to the tank and watch for air in the clear filter. After you thump and turn the clear filter to get all the trapped air out there should be absolutely no air bubbles coming through. A tiny bubble ever few minuets is the thing that will shut the engine down after about six hours and it won't start, no way, no how... until it cools off. Read that, when the mechanic gets there, the engine starts fine...hundred bucks, please. Also keep in mind that while Raycor filters are about the best, they are not perfect and they can leak air in but not fuel out. Hope this helps. BTW, I have a tube made up and tested if you need it. Shipping would probably be more expensive than constructing it.

December 26, 2008 at 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

It has been a long time sense I wrote anything to you. I have been working long hours, just do not have time to write. But I have been keeping up with your big adventure.

By the way Merry Christmas. I hope that you received everything that you wished for.

Like I have been saying from the beginning, going around the horn will be your most excited time you will have. You think that you were busy handling things now, wait until you start your next step. You will make it, I know that you will.

Well I will let you go. Until next time I write to you.

Gary, Houston Tx

December 27, 2008 at 3:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Job!

Enjoying following your adventure.

Couple suggestions to make a note of:

1. try to rig some cameras that you can take pics with as you round the Cape. Very simply put; I'll just quote another "sailor" :-)

"the fairest Cape in all the world" (Sir Francis Drake - 1580)

2. Similarly if you can coordinate coming into Table Bay during the day, have your camera ready as Table Mountain appears. Not many people get the opportunity to see it this way.

Lastly. Hit Clifton 4 beach for some action, you'll be there in the height of summer, makes CA look tame :-) and see how long you can keep your toe in the water.

Enjoy and good luck !

December 27, 2008 at 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On fuel tanks: I had a similar problem on my first boat, a 1972 Ericson 35. It had a metal fuel tank and a gasoline-powered Atomic 4. The gasoline in the tank started corrosion, and as I began using the boat a lot after it had been sitting at the dock for years, the sloshing of the fuel inside the tank, and the condensation kept giving me constant trouble. At the time I was told that the only safe remedy was to replace the old metal tank, or insert a new smaller, plastic tank inside the old tank. After all the Yanmar 30 aboard Intrepid uses less than a gallon per hour.

I sold the boat for the one with a plastic tank and diesel powered, so I don't know how the new owner resolved the problem. Hopefully, polishing the fuel, and double Racors should do the trick forZac.

Until the Intrepid turns behind the South entrance into the Marina Del Rey Channel, godspeed Zac, and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a safe new year to all.

Marina Del Rey

December 27, 2008 at 4:33 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & The Pac,

It's so nice to hear from you a day after Christmas. I hope all the repairs are going well.

Hopefully you received many Christmas gifts and you're enjoying them all. I received a newly released sailing watch that just came out this month for Christmas from my girlfriend. I was amazed at all the functions this watch has including altimeter, barometer, temperature, stop watch, yacht racing timer, digital compass, atomic time keeping adjusted up to 6 times per day, world time, 5 alarms, moon phase, high & low tides based on your location, solar powered, and it's actually easy to use. Jolanta thanks for the great gift. This gift made me think "This would be a great gift for Zac".

I hope your enjoying your time on land. Take care, eat well, sleep on a comfortable bed, and just simply enjoy life!!!

Take Care,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

December 27, 2008 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G'Day Zac,

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009 !!!!!!! Thank you so much for allowing us to spend the year with you in the way of the awesome calendar.

It is great to hear that you decided against the cat. You have plenty to focus on and wouldn't be able to focus on the safety of a cat and oh the heartbreak if something were to happen.

Enjoy your remaining time in Durban and I will be praying for safe passage on to Cape Town.

A devoted Zac Paccer,
Bend, OR

December 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Zac,
Thanks for the great pictures. I went to Marta's web site and was shocked to see that she looks so much like my wife. I met Cindy in Dana Point ship yard painting the bottom of her boat while I was painting mine. We became friends. Both of us had been single handing for years and started "buddy boating" back and forth to Catalina. Her in a 27 footer and me in my 32. This went on for years before we started taking just one boat. We finally married and settled in San Clemente. We still have two boats.


December 27, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Hey Zac! Keep going! What? No kitty companion??? How very sad, but I understand the decision...

Good luck on your next leg. By the way, my friends all want to know what the weirdest food is that you've eaten so far.

-Halle S. in Oregon
Skipper of the Dread Pirate Roberts

December 27, 2008 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last quick tip:

start eating biltong and droewors in Durban. You'll get the hang of it very quickly, you may even become addicted. It's dried cured meat similar to jerky but better in taste and quality, droewors in dried sausage. This is what the settlers survived on on months ends in the bush. Provided you got lots of water, this will sustain you all the way home, grab several lbs of it if it appeals to you on your test run. No special storage required other than an airtight something (cake tin, zip lock etc.). Comes in massive sticks or sliced. Sliced probably best and maybe a few sticks to chew on. You'll love it. Primarily beef, but comes in all the game meats of Africa as well. Do a test run, you will not not enjoy. :-)

Stock up at Monty & Jouberts in Cape Town on your way out, they have the freshest and widest selection of everything:

December 27, 2008 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger dj olive said...

best of winds to you Zac!
i am a new york dj who took my friends 18.5' bullseye out with my girlfriend a few times last summer off block island rhode island. now im an addict! since i've read "sailing alone", "the long way", "lionheart" and "firstlady"...when the bug bights it bights hard. now i dream of sailing to australia where my mother and brother live and try to make a record along the way.
all the best and happy new year!!
your courage is an insperation.
cheers! gregor aka dj olive the audio janitor

December 29, 2008 at 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, happy new year! How is your body handling all those days at sea? Have you gained or lost weight? Muscle tone? What is the one thing you miss the most?

December 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure to check vacum line are not sucking in water, and clamps are tight, you may access the specifics at for your specific motor. exploded view and wiring diagrams are great, goes over each part in detail.
the mural guy;)
my daily driver is a 1970vw westy

December 31, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2008 at 4:27 PM  

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