Monday, December 8, 2008

Out of Africa

Latest Position: 12/08/08 1600Z 28 14.584S 37 22.228E (350 miles from Durban)

The last few days the winds has been very confused and I was up almost all night last night trying to keep Intrepid on course. This whole area is mixed with areas of low pressure and areas of high pressure which reduce the wind to nothing. Then there are the bits of storms from the southern ocean bringing high winds and swells from time to time. I am still making progress towards Durban. I should be in in 3-4 days depending on the wind. Also, being close to the Mozambique channel there has been a bunch of shipping. I've passed the best part of 20 ships in the past 24 hours. Other than that there is not much going on out here. I'm just ticking off the miles to Durban which is about 350 miles as the crow flies.


Note from Mom:
Zac sounds good when we speak to him everyday. He has been out of Mauritius for almost 2 weeks now which is about how long he can take the solitude and strain relatively comfortably. He'll be under a lot of pressure to keep focused and positive as he approaches the dangerous and unpredictable South African coast. We are gathering counsel from our experienced South African sailing friend and of course meteorologist David Morris is keeping an eye on things.

While Laurence was in Mauritius he had Zac sign a few of his posters and head shots. For the rest of December, everyone who orders one of Zac's calendars will be entered into a drawing for one of each of these. We will draw one name every week for the rest of December. Names will be drawn every Saturday and winners announced on the blog. Calendars and also T-shirts and posters can be purchased through Zac's Store located on the right hand column of the blog.

Thanks again for your support!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

keep up the good spirits. Africa is just behind the horizon. I can hardly believe that your comfort zone is only 2 weeks as your mother wrote. You did so well on your longer legs already even though the conditions got quite uncomfortable. I got the impression these legs were then out of the comfort zone because of the conditions rather than the length. Again the conditions are not perfect, but I am sure you are doing great on the last days towards Africa.

Question: When is the crossing of the Indian Ocean officially over? At the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope?

Fair winds and following seas.

December 8, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Keep your head in the game and keep going, Zac!

We're all cheering you on and can't wait until you reach land safely!

-Halle S. in Oregon

December 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're doing great Zac, only a few more days. Land soon in sight. Try to catch some sleep. Soon you'll be sleeping on your third continent. How cool is that!

Praying for good weather and restful nights!

A fellow homeschooled friend :)

December 8, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Greetings from Massachusetts!
I am a teacher and tutor children after school in a specialized reading program called Wilson.
My student's task today was to read a passage aloud. We were excited and curious after reading a passage about you.
We googled your name and happily came across your blog.
We wish you much success and will be following you from now until the end of you trip.
Mrs. B and Jessica

December 8, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

You'll love South Africa. You may not even want to come home. BTW, I had a client in the office today who WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL with Robin Graham in CDM! As time develops he may be a handy guy to know.

December 8, 2008 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac. Sounds like you're doing well....and you have a lot of company (freighters)! If there were a way to aim down (I mean WAY down) a satellite on your location, you'd have hundreds of the Zac Packers watching you from their computers as well.

We're all there for you and you'll probably find hundreds of our B-Day cards waiting for you in Durban--including mine! Better late than never!


December 8, 2008 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac,

You're going to be very busy all the way into Durban. I'm sure you'll stay focused and calm all the way in.

You're really doing a great job out there so keep it up and you'll be on land soon.

I hung up one of your calendars that I purchased at the LA Gathering in my office today. All my employees ask me "How is Zac going". They all usually ask me at least every week.

Thanks for all the blog entries these last few days. I always enjoy hearing from you even if it's just a few words. Marianne, I enjoy hearing from you also and you fill in the gaps very well.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

December 8, 2008 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

I’m still catching up on the blog from my fishing trip…

Okay, Zac, I just MUST give you a hard time here, in good humor of course…

So, I ship you my night vision scope, AND a lifetime supply of batteries, BUT I forgot to put an appropriate sized coin (a U.S. Dime) in the package so you can change out the batteries??? [laughing]…

Well, good luck, REMEMBER to turn it off when you’re not using it, the photons do have a life…

Stay safe!

Daveh & Skipper

December 8, 2008 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger craig schreiber said...

The students of st. Gregory Elementary school in Houma, Louisiana only wanted to know one thing when they returned from their Thanksgiving break. Where is Zac? We were out of school for approx. 10 days. We were glad to recieve your latest posting but many of the kids are worried about the part of the world you currently find your self in. We don't know much about Durban, South Africa but from your posting it seems like it could be adventurous. Please be careful.

We would like to extend to you and your parents the hospitality of Houma, Louisiana if you choose to travel the country when you return home. If speaking engagements are in your future please keep us in mind for a visit.

Craig Schreiber
Social Studies teacher
St. Gregory Barbarigo school

December 8, 2008 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

Zac, be advised that I had a chat with someone today, the Director of Development (head money raiser) of my college Fraternity earlier and told him of your trip. I passed along the URL to your web site and he dropped me a note a few minutes later indicating that he visited the web site. Knowing Charlie I suspect that he'll tell everyone in Indianapolis and soon the entire HQ staff of Lambda Chi Alpha will be following your voyage before long.

December 8, 2008 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

I don't really think Zac reads any of these post, if he does he sure hasn't responded to anything I have ever posted, but it sure is funny reading some of your comments.

December 8, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a grand adventure!
I do enjoy your blog,hopefully you'll have some video available soon.Maybe even a documentory.
Straight wakes,
Mike S.

December 9, 2008 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Are we there yet???? LOL!!

I wrote this to you before Zac:
Everything we want in this world is just right outside our comfort zone, hang in there and soon you will be reflecting back on this leg while enjoying all that Africa has to offer.

Fair winds and following seas.
Blessings young man.
Anita M. Miracle
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

December 9, 2008 at 2:51 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Clay - I'm pretty sure that Zac reads these blogs almost daily. I know when the conditions are really rough, he speaks with his mom or dad via sat phone and they update him on the blog posters like us.

Offshore conditions do make it challenging for him to stay 100% on top of all of this, then, when he's landside, there's all to duties of repairs, parts, provisions, and of course, studying up for the next leg, options for punting if there's a problem, etc...

Hope that helps, take care...


December 9, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

nicely said..
Bermuda Dunes CA

December 9, 2008 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

Sounds like you are getting a good break from the high winds and big swells you faced just a few short weeks ago. You continue to be an inspiration to so many! How has the engine been? I haven't heard of any problems with it in a long time, so maybe all of the junk is out of the tank/lines. We are getting light snow in Oklahoma this evening. Ready for Christmas! Take care and be assured you are always being lifted up in prayers by many Zac fans!
Fair Winds... Bob in OKC

December 9, 2008 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Zac I have a question for you . Do you get lonely ?
please reply!!:!

from Nate:)

December 9, 2008 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Keep it up, Zac -- still keeping you in my prayers!

@ Bob -- yup, snow in OK, but I think not enough for the snowman my kids desire!

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

December 9, 2008 at 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Zac,
Just letting you know we're thinking about you and want to thank you for taking time out to add to your blog.

Keep up the good job and, soon, you'll be in Durban. We pray each day for your safety and faith in God. Stay strong and Godspeed!

Dick & Gin

December 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous EmilyAnne said...

Hey zac! Keep up the good work!! All of us can't 3ait for you to FINALLY get to Durban!! You can do it!!

Prayers and blessings,

Fayetteville, NC

December 9, 2008 at 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Michals-Brown said...

Sailing IN a shipping lane rather than just across it means being on guard against collisions 24/7. How can you do this and still get any sleep? I wonder if it's possible to sleep in the cockpit and rig your near-proximity alarm to be audible there. Then at least you'd already be within reach of the wheel and wouldn't need as much warning.
Jeff Michals-Brown

December 9, 2008 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


Wonderful that you are apparently going to make it to Durban without any stressful stories of Indian Ocean meteorological phenomena. Great!

I think of you sometimes when eating wondering what gastronomical nightmare you've concocted! Canned mac & cheese? Never heard of it, but my tastes are simple and it sounds like something I would try! ... well, at least once. I've just woke up and being at home alone, I attempted to 'toaster oven' some frozen waffles. They're usually acceptable, but today I managed to cremate them. Even aboard Intrepid they would have wound up as fish food. Imagine all the little fishes of the Indian Ocean scurrying about going, "Patooey!", "Yeecht", "Aargh" etc.

If Mom makes it to Durban, suggest you have her assist with the provisioning for the Captain's Galley. She's been there, done that. There must a a variety of canned goods there nearly equal to the USA. South Africa is not a third world country. Walk through the market looking at the canned foodstuff while imagining eating it cold from the can. That's what I did in college. I ate a lot of pork 'n beans, stews, chunky soups, and yes, spam, but I survived. Some long lived things that can do without refrigeration (for a while) is hard salami, sausages, and cheese. You can minimize mold by wrapping them in a cloth dampened with vinegar.

I wonder if one can use a percentage of sea water to fresh water in preparing rice, dried beans, pasta, etc. You need some salt in the water anyway. Maybe Mom can answer that question and raise all our culinary levels. Daveh, maybe you can chime in here also. We've not talking gourmet or Julia Child here, just survival without taste buds committing suicide.

Happy sailing and give us the shout when it's

The Croaker

December 10, 2008 at 3:18 PM  

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