Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out of Africa II

Latest Position: 12/10/28 0318Z 28 32.197S 34 48.455E

I have been given the green light to head into Durban and am slowly making my way south and west. The conditions are light and shifting but are predicted to fill in today. I will have to push Intrepid hard to make the most of the window of wind for the next 24 - 36 hours. I forgot to mention what I have been eating out here when I wrote the summary of my day a few days ago. I'm afraid it has been pretty depressing. I have not had much success with provisioning and my Costco canned soups and chilis are long gone. I have some canned mac and cheese and some amazingly spicy canned curry that I am sending home for dad for Christmas. (Hopefully he won't read this.) My favorite thing these days is canned fruit and Lara Bars that my grandmother sent with Dad to Mauritius.
To the commenter that questioned whether or not I read the blog comments: the answer is yes and no. I don't have the capability to access the blog from the boat. I have to either dictate or email my blogs home for my mom to post onto the blog. She copies the comments and posts them in emails for me or reads them to me if the weather is too wild to be checking email. I read the blog and yahoo.com emails etc when in port when I have time. That said, I will attempt to answer your questions more regularly than I have done in the past.

@ Daveh - I am totally loving the night vision scope. It is my favorite piece of equipment outside of the radar/chartplotter. I was too tired to forage for a thinner coin or tool so I chose to just watch the ship pass.

@ Jeff Michals-Brown: I set my alarm at 2.5 miles and also at 4.5 miles. The boat is small enough that when I swing the radar monitor into the salon (inside of the boat) it wakes me up pretty well. If I miss the 4.5 mile alarm, I have the 2.5 mile alarm as a back up.

@ Point Yacht Club: I am looking forward to meeting you all in a few days!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool Zac nice to see you getting along, thanks for the posts love em! thinking of you out there.

December 9, 2008 at 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Continued safe travels as you wrap up this leg of your journey. Your diet does sound quite depressing. Fortunately, you will be on land very soon and will be able to eat to your hearts content.

How long will you be in Durban before moving on?

December 9, 2008 at 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Zac,
Iam Michael
i live in Cincinnati Ohio, in the middle of the united states with no ocean. I was surfing youtube and searched for sailing around the world, and you popped up. Aside from your age iam not sure i have ever listened to a more mature sounding 16 year old. My hat is off to you. Iam amazed at your knowledge. I own a company called www.muralpop.com, iam an artist, i love seeing people go after there dreams, when you get back let me know if i can make some murals for you from your photographs, i print and paint murals, feel free to check me out when you get a signal;) i will be tuned in now until you return and i do hope to hear back from you in any form. Stay safe and always stay on your toes out there. My prays are with you.
Michael Burns

December 9, 2008 at 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hey Zac, glad to hear your making your way towards land..be sure to pick up your belated b-day gifts..i think what i got you will be used once your a little closer to home.
Keep up the good work!
Bermuda Dunes CA

December 9, 2008 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Great job Zac! You are nearly there. Perhaps tomorrow you will see the coastline of Africa!

Be safe...Land Ho!


December 10, 2008 at 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Hey man just checking in..I haven't posted comments in a while but I've been reading the blog. To be honest I was a bit put off by people taking shots at that other kid's circumnavigation attempt. Whether I agree or disagree they have their right to voice their opinion so enough said.
Solid effort Lil Buddy. Glad to see your 'Oldman's repairs' ;-) are hanging tough.
Strong finish as U head into SA. Stay alert. We really need to have a better menu in the Captain's Lounge on the next leg.

December 10, 2008 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Cada día escribís mejor !!!

Cada día est{as mas cerca de tu GLORIA PERSONAL !!!!

Es muy grande la diferencia en la forma que escribes desde que zarpaste de MDR a la forma que lo haces ahora, FELICITACIONES !!!!

Saludos cordiales para ti tu flia y el resto del ZacPack


December 10, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

That's great Zac about the night vision scope.... I knew once you used it just one time you would love it.

I considered it one of my most important pieces of safety equipment on all of my long trips and long passages.

Looking fwd to you being able to relax a bit in Durban and plan for the leg around Hope and on to Cape Town.

Daveh & Skipper

December 10, 2008 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger jlh said...

Hey Zac,

Good luck sailing on into Durban. You're making great progress! You remain in our prayers.

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks, CA

December 10, 2008 at 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
Thanks for the answer, I think.
Canned Mac and Cheese? Where on earth does one pick up that stuff?
I'll bet you haven't even turned on the stove since Mauritius. Your body is an engine also. And we all remember what happens when we put the wrong fuel in the Yanmar. I am hoping you stay hydrated and awake for all the shipping lines you are about to cross.

Durban, from all my research, seems like a pretty reasonable place to spend some time, money wise. The largest food store is
Eastman's Super Spar, Durban, north of the channel. Looks like a fine place to spend some dough, reasonably.

You will be in my thoughts until we all hear you have safely arrived in Durban. Just keep moving forward, no matter the speed.

December 10, 2008 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Well, some good news is that you'll be able to really stock up in South Africa, plus the rand to the dollar is still kind of weak so it won't be terribly expensive. Durban is a fun town with lots of good restaurants (few chinese ones though, if any) so you can make up for the suffering. Be careful over the next day, and please have your mom post as soon as you're safely in. We're all on the edge of out seats...

December 10, 2008 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & The Pac,

So your running a little low on food. I guess you'll have to get into Durban for some Steak & Lobster.

I'm sure there will be plenty of questions today regarding the spicy canned curry, or the comment that just followed. Hopefully everyone remains calm and understands Zac's situation especially during the Christmas Holiday's. Hopefully everyone will be nice and in the Christmas spirit during the next few days of blogging. Please think about your comments and re-read them before you post them, Please.

Have a great sail into Durban and get some warm food in that stomach.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

December 10, 2008 at 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Hey Zac -- I can "hear" in your post that you are plenty anxious to get into port and be in Africa rather than out of Africa! You must also be looking forward to a hot, fresh meal... Take good care out there, I sure hope it continues to be fairly smooth sailing all the way to Durban!

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

December 10, 2008 at 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the posts, mate. Hope you get a nudge from those trade winds
into Durban. Smooth sailin' dude! Enjoy the late birthday present from Alaska. It's at the Yacht Club (I hope)
Kodiak Mike

December 10, 2008 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Splais said...

Zac, I haven't commented for a couple of weeks but I read your blog everyday. It is just amazing watching you growup right before our eyes - well you were already mature - so had to say grow up. I can only imagine the incredible journey you are having. On question - it seems like there is always something going on. Now that you have been on this journey for many weeks, do you ever have periods when you get bored - are just sitting there thinking "man, I'm bored, what can I do now". think you know what I mean.

Steve, Yuma, AZ

December 10, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

You are awesome, Zac! Sail on! It is so fun that you communicate with us AT ALL out there. I really am enjoying it.

Wish you had more to chose from for food! But, hopefully you will get your teenage-boy bod FILLED with many delicious local delicacies in Durban - many times over.

Will any new video be available soon?

Many blessings of health, protection, and smooth sailing your way!

LA in MN

December 10, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Good job Zac. I have been holding my breath that you would make this leg without a severe weather encounter. I hope that you will be able to see a piece of Africa like Robin did while you are there. Sail on sailor. Safe harbor is straight ahead.
Daveh-- please let us all know the make and model of Zac's night vision scope. That was a great gift. It is Christmas and someone on my list could use one.
Roy Gogan---I got a kick out of your comment about the better menu in the "Captain's Lounge". Sometimes at sea the "Captain's Lounge" is some corner you are wedged into and the menu is anything warm in a mug with a spoon.

Happy Holidays everyone,


December 10, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl in San Diego said...

Hi Zac,
I want to thank you for taking me on your world tour! Each time you near a port, I have taken the time to google your destination. In doing so I have 'traveled vicariously, of course, with you to all your wonderful destinations and have learned of the wonders and cutltures of each area. Durbin, for instance: I knew of Durbin but was not exactly sure were it was located and knew nothing of the history. Well, wow, what an incredible destination; beaches, savannah's, mountains, Zulu's, Boers and history and sites galore!
Zak, I do hope you have time to do a little exploring for yourself and all of us!
Thank you again for the adventure Zak. God Bless you!
San Diego

December 10, 2008 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Rusty

The scope we sent to Zac was the prior generation to this model listed below.

Incredible piece of safety equipment. It will pick up ship lights OVER the horizon before radar.

It will light up a night sea or night channel like you wouldn't believe without experiencing it personally the first time.


ATN Night Storm Generation 3 Night Vision Monocular

Product Features"

Total darkness tech. Standard
Magnification 3.5X
Intensifier tube Gen 3
Recognition range 100 m
Lens systems element F1.2,50 mm
FOV 18 deg.
Resolution 64 lp/mm
Range of focus 1' to infinity
Controls Direct
Dimensions 170x58x94 mm
Power supply One 3 volt lithium
Battery life 10-20 hours
Weight 14,5 oz
Warranty: Two Years
Accessories Included:

Instruction Manual
One Lithium Battery
Packing box
Soft carrying Case
Optional Accessories:

Standard Camera Adapter

Daveh & Skipper

December 10, 2008 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Hi Zac,

Surrounded by ocean and fish but alas eating Lara bars? I know you are looking forward to Durban. Hopefully you'll be able to reprovision in a grand fashion.

Steve B
Birmingham, AL

December 10, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Rory: good to see your post again. I thought you'd run away with Jennifer A, perhaps. Also enjoyed your comments about the food in the "Captain's Lounge!"

@ Glen: great to see a post from you again, although I don't really understand it. Perhaps someone will be kind enough to translate for me (us). I hope you are well and that the bees are beehaving :)

December 10, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Is there a Zac Pacer in Durban?? Wonder if they have a x-mas party at the yacht club or do you spent x-mas at sea??
For all the sailors around here - I found another VOR online game. The Link is:


It has better AP possibilities and a better wind forecast. Now I sail in 2 VOR's LOL

December 10, 2008 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Glen said...

My Translation from previous post...

Every day you write better ! ! !

Every day you are more and more near to your PERSONAL GLORY, KEEP GOING!!!!

The entire WOLRD are LOOK it YOU…

There is a Hughes difference in the form that you write since you departure from MDR to the way that you write now,

Your are growing up more faster than any other teenager….

@ Melanie thanks for your comment and your Wishes..
And Yes My Bees are quite well…

See you on board soon…
Warm greetings for you, your family and the rest of the ZacPack

December 10, 2008 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

¡Gran audiencia de usted Glen! ¿Cómo usted ha sido? Me preguntaba qué le sucedió:) Isn' ¿t él que excita que es Zac así que cercano a África en su hogar de la manera? ¡Escríbame cuando usted tiene la ocasión, toma hasta entonces cuidado! Anita

Hello Zac and Fellow Zac Pac!!
It's exciting that Zac is so close to Africa!
Zac, you really have to get some good food and LOTS of it stowed away! LOL!!

God speed!
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV Wombat

December 10, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entry is for Mom Marianne, dad Laurence, and the bloggers. If it is shared with Zac at all, please edit is appropriately.

On Zac's diet - as I understand it, the kid needs approximately sixty grams of protein per day for normal activities, before the body attacks its own muscles for sustenance. He may need more given the activities in which he is involved - hard physical work, lack of sleep etc. If Zac is eating only canned soup, and fruit, please have someone calculate whether he is getting enough daily intake of protein to get him going until Durban. Do we have a nutritionist or a doctor amoung bloggers?

A skinny Zac is OK, as opposed to a malnourished Zac on high seas.

Man, I'll breath a sigh of relief when the "Intrepid" rounds the South entrance into the Marina Del Rey main channel. Until then - godspeed, and happy holidays to all.

Zoran from MDR

December 10, 2008 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

Ahoy Zac,

To that commenter that thought you didn't read our blog comments, we should keelhaul him. (For those unaware of the term, your thrown overboard and hauled up from the other end of the keel.)
And Yes all, I made that comment respectfully. Thanks for responding Zac, now I feel touched by you.

God continues to bless all of us, continued success and special blessings to you and your entire family Zac.

Peace joy Love,

December 10, 2008 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Durban Diaries said...

Hi Zac, I was the cameraman from SABC news Durban that filmed you in Durban on Sunday. I have posted your story on my blog with the pic I took of you. Go well durbandiaries.blogspot.com

December 15, 2008 at 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Update on Mike Perham:

Mike is showing remarkable patience as he deals with the agony of his autopilot delays. You can read about his trip at www.totallymoney.com/sailmike

It's now been exactly 3 weeks since he pulled into the Canary Islands and he has just posted a message saying -- in effect -- they still don't know what is causing the problems with his auto pilot.

I don't know why they don't just unbolt the old one, toss it overboard, and bolt in a new one. First guess would be the cost of doing so, but meanwhile there has to be an equal or greater cost in the company flying in mechanics from Spain and France to try to troubleshoot, which is what has been done so far according to Mike's blog.

On a simpler boat, like Zac's, you would simply toss out your $1,200Autohelm 6000 (for example), pull out another one, and plug it in. To be on the safe side you might have 2 or 3 more Autohelm 6000 units tucked away as backups, and maybe a couple more used ones that pals at the marina sent along on loan. ;-)

A friend of mine in Seattle lived on the ocean for years -- going port to port -- on his old Camper Nicholson 40 and a simple bare-bones Autohelm that never gave up on him.

I'm not pushing Autohelm. Toss in the name Raymarine, or whomever else makes a simple, commodity-priced auto pilot unit, and focus on the swap-out ease and price point that comes with a less complex boat.

On the Vendee site (www.vendeeglobe.org/en) I saw the huge hydraulic arm attached to the dual rudders on the Open Ocean 60, the big sister of what Mike has, and whatever pushes that unit must be frightfully expensive -- hence the fix, don't replace path currently being taken.

But, yikes! Sure gets frustrating for a 16-year-old kid to sit around the dock for 3 weeks waiting for someone to declare it fixed, especially when his past experience has been that no matter what the mechanic says, there is a good chance that the failure -- for currently unknown reasons -- will occur again.

For those who believe everything happens for a reason, perhaps these delays are saving Mike from a storm he would otherwise be victim to, or just ensuring that things get sorted out before heading for the three great capes of the Southern Ocean.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

December 21, 2008 at 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I've been seeing your updates in the God's World Magazene and have put your blog on my fav's. I'm glad to see that you are makeing progress on your journey, despite some set backs. I will try to pray for your safety and progress as much as I can.
Jessi (a fellow homeschooler)
Good luck=)

December 23, 2008 at 5:38 PM  
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