Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Close and Yet So Far

Latest Position: 12/12/08 0325Z 29 43.107S 31 22.064E (16 miles out of Durban)

Sorry to delay the post so long. We heard from Zac this morning thinking that he would be in port and happy. In fact, he was not in port and very unhappy. It seems that in the night, his beautiful wind died out only to return again from the south south west - on the nose. He was unable to make headway into Durban and was faced with possibly having to head north to Richard's Bay or at least for the 24 hours of southerly wind. After seeking counsel, Zac decided to close haul the boat and fight for landfall in Durban. After another sleepless night with more lightning, squalls and ships tacking towards land, Zac made a total of 12 miles! He was not much comforted by the scientific explanations of lighting proximity. Imagine night time, ships all around and squalls that not only block your vision of the ship but also the radar is cluttered with clouds so the ships don't show up there either. He still sounded positive when he called this morning and can smell land which he has never really experienced before after a long passage. He is in communication with Durban Port Control and the Point Yacht Club and was hoping to be in in the next 24 hours. He still doesn't know fully how the current vs wind situation will play out so that is his best guess for now.
Will post in the morning as soon as we hear from Zac.


Anonymous Tricia in Vancouver, BC said...

Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!! How frustrating for Zac. I'd be going nuts. Hoping for good news in the morning...


December 11, 2008 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

whatever it takes to keep him safe...

December 11, 2008 at 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Liz S said...

Zac!!! I'm sure that just sucks!! Hang in there, you are so close!

Liz and Family

December 11, 2008 at 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing is ever easy,huh? He and your beautiful family are always in our thoughts and prayers. Will you finally get to spend some time with him in Durban? Looking forward to the morning and some brighter news. God bless!
Mattie of MV/CA

December 11, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Wow, Zac can smell land. I hope that he is now in Port. He could probably hear the Point Yacht Club guys cheering him on!

I'm sure Zac will be exhausted when he finally gets there and then has the usual meet and greet and customs and all. Hopefully by the time I get to work tomorrow morning, he will be warmed up in a warm shower and getting some much needed sleep.

Get some rest Captain.

Oh, and a big 'Thank You' Marianne for posting an update!


December 11, 2008 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Sounds like the stuff of nightmares: Electrical storms, squalls pushing wind and waves, all within a busy shipping channel so there is no time to rest.

I just clicked on the "Donate" button on Zac's Blog Page and used PayPal to donate $25. Don't care how the money is used, but in my mind it will buy him a big steak dinner that he'll enjoy just before getting a verly long night of sleep.

As Zac prepares to Round Cape Good Hope, which will place him into the South Atlantic Ocean, and get him well on his way home, it might be a great time to donate something toward his cruising fund if you are like me -- kind of always figured I'd donate something, but am just now getting around to it.

Bet he'll be glad to have that Indian Ocean off of his stern.

Enjoy South Africa, Zac.

Have a steak dinner on me.

And have a safe trip home -- with plenty of blog reports along the way.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

December 11, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeesh, you've got another uphill swim, you have fought for every mile of this voyage, why should this 16 miles be any different?

Hang in there Zac, thank goodness for Daveh's night goggles, bet you have them on all night.


December 11, 2008 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

So close but yet so far!!!
Hang in there Zac, you'll be right!!!

Waterloo, NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

December 12, 2008 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Is there a rule in his quest that says when he can and cannot use the engine? Seems like if a situation gets dicey enough and you need forward speed to establish control of it, then it could be a choice. Obviously I have no idea if he has enough fuel to run for a day or not, but wondered...

December 12, 2008 at 4:53 AM  
Blogger Billabong Blog said...

Good Luck Zac, hang in there.

Nothing beats the smell of land after a long passage. Since you are heading into a large port, hopefully you are smelling the land and not the pollution.

Enjoy your landfall


December 12, 2008 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac!

I'm praying for you! May God post his angels around you and bring you in safe and sound, like in Psalm 107!

December 12, 2008 at 5:28 AM  
Anonymous EmilyAnne said...

Will definitely be praying for you hard Zac. All of us want you in port and happy. :D

And I thought of a question last night: Since you are on your boat and probably out in sunlight a lot, do you keep up a sunscreen regime or do you go without it?

Lots of hugs,


Fayetteville, NC

December 12, 2008 at 5:48 AM  
Anonymous rory gogan singapore said...

U have sailed half way around the world. U have put loads of hard yards in to boot. U are gettin p/o'd when U are 12 miles off the coast?? I'm sorry Zac but U have a great thing going here so suck it up, get your butt into Durban, and eat a greasy cheeseburger. On the one hand I feel for yah, gettin pissed off, frustrasted, and angry etc, -But forgive me, that is part of the the colorful tapestry of this adventure.

December 12, 2008 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

In a previous post somebody asked about lightning protection on cargo ships. This is a try to explain how it works.
First of all – I got this explanation of Lightning protection out of a German merchant marine Forum.
I know how it works but my English is just not good enough to explain it in English. I hope you all understand how it works.

First of all is pretty simple because a cargo ship is made out of steel and swims in conductive material.

Ships with shore power create a potential difference between ground potential via shore power and ground potential via the hull.
The turning ships propeller creates an ionization at the tips of the propeller blades which means even thou everything is made out of conductive material the charge can not be released fast enough and material gets knocked out of the propeller blades. This is an electro chemical reaction.
The charge by the propeller as well as speed through the water creates more electro chemicals reactions like reduction of the hull material. To avoid/reduce those electro chemical reactions, anodes made out of electro chemical “soft material” are placed along he hull in strategically important locations. They look something like a oversized half avocado and resolve in about 12 – 24 month.
If you have a boat you probably have one on the propeller shaft just outside the hull or on Z drives right behind the prop. They look different thou. Never heard about somebody got killed by lightning on a ship unless they got a direct hit
Have a nice weekend everybody.

December 12, 2008 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger kwip said...

Keeping our fingers crossed for you, Zac. Stay safe!

December 12, 2008 at 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Above all, be safe. Durban will come.
Kodiak Mike

December 12, 2008 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

C'est la vie!
C'est la mer!

Sometimes you eat them. Sometimes they eat you.

I played "Set Your Sails" at a friend's CD release party in Hermosa Beach last weekend. When I explained the inspiration, folks in the crowd knew who you were and asked how you were doing, and I got to spend about 3-5 minutes talking about you. Even if people aren't posting or donating here, you are reaching and inspiring men, women and youths all over the place!

Still praying daily Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

December 12, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Both Marianne and Tricia in BC took the words right out of my mouth; "so close and yet so far" and "ARRRGGHHH!" So frustrating and exhausting to "smell land" and not be able to reach it directly.

Once again, your skills are being tested and you will prevail, as always. I hope that by now you have arrived or will arrive shortly and are enjoying a warm meal after the "customs" once over!

December 12, 2008 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK one more time for everyone who missed it.
Question: "What happens to the occupants of a metal-hulled boat when lightning strikes the water?"
The lightning is conducted through the metal to discharge into the water. Metal-hulled boats, airplanes, and buildings are frequently hit by lightning with no harm to the occupants.
Rock on Zac

December 12, 2008 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Arcticfamily5 said...

Persistance, perseverance, fortitude, backbone, determination, tenacity, pluck, just plain ole guts to live life . . . thanks Zac! You don't realize how deeply your voyage inspires those of us "at home" as we encounter our daily circumstances.

Praying that you reach your goal, and that those of us at home live courageously and with such vision.

Gayle, Brian, Xan, Riley, Jesse

December 12, 2008 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Hi Zac,

I imagine that smelling land makes it that much more frustrating to wait. Sounds like you'll have a nice break awaiting you once you get into port. Nothing worse than being alone and so vulnerable to shipping, weather, surf, exhaustion, starvation?, etc. Hang in there,

Steve B
Birmingham, AL

December 12, 2008 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger red said...

Hey Zac!! Glad to see you are doing fine. My prayers are with you always. I was curious to know, about how long will it take for you to get to the panama canal once you get around the cape of good hope? Also, when are you allowed to use your engine? I have salt on my shoulders too. Was in the Navy. Keep the faith!

December 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Hey, Zac, sounds like a frustrating day. I'm so sorry. You have more patience than me though, I'm sure by now I'd be swimming in! :P (just kidding... I think)

Keep going, you'll get there eventually!

@Anonymous (who was talking about what happens to a metal boat when lightning strikes it):

You forgot to mention the fact that all electronics on board are fryed and I'm sure some hair would be a little static-y. lol!

later zac! keep going strong!

-Halle S. in Oregon

December 12, 2008 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Geez!!!!!!!!!!!! What an extreme bummer!!! If there were a way to complain about the wimd, you'd have hundreds of angry Zac Packers on the phone trying to get the wind changed. Hang in there, Zac. The last few miles are always the hardest!!!!!



December 12, 2008 at 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs for Zac.

Hugs for the Sunderland family.

UK friend

December 12, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Hello Marianne/Mom:

Thanks for that post keeping us abreast of what is happening with everyone's favorite son and allowing him to take care of the business he is about.

It appears that getting across the Indian Ocean was somewhat less 'eventful' that was originally anticipated. Now it's time for the dancer to pay the piper. A good case of 'so close yet so far.' Zac is in contact with those on shore and his position is known so we worry more about his comfort than his safety at this point.

Putting myself in the shoes of Zac, I'm hoping that the next report will be that he's in port, has grossly over eaten at a solo mariner's fantasy meal, is squeaky clean from a blisterinly hot shower, and is sleeping like a log all wrapped up in clean, crisp, white, warm, and dry bed linens. Ahhh! He's earned it all!!

Looking forward to stories of feet on the ground in South Africa.

The Croaker

December 12, 2008 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

Never a dull moment...thinking of you as we decorate our tree. Wondering if you will be decorating the boat for Christmas?

December 12, 2008 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Glen said...

Hey ZAC...

No te desesperes, que ello trae aparejado Stress y el Stress trae consigo siertas cuestiones como la perdida de cabello, asique relajate y disfruta cada momento.

Si asi no lo hicieras, Bill Man se quedara con las ganas de cortarte el cabello cuando llegues a MDR.

Asique tómatelo con calma, -ya llegaras, y eso será cuando debas llegar, ni antes ni después, solo en el momento JUSTO !!!

Es como dice un refran: ?En que numero de vueltas se acuesta el perro..? (siempre en la ULTIMA)..

Como todo en la vida, las cosas llegan cuando deben y no cuando uno quiere, y eso mi amigo es algo que la vida enseña, solo presta atenion y veras....

Un fuerte abrazo VIRTUAL y hasta el proxino POST.

@ Anita: Como te va tanto tiempo? como andan tus cosas, espero que bien y preparandote para navidad (christmast), te envio un abrazo y hasta cualquier momento.PS: ya te mandaré un mail..

@ Bill Man: Donde andas, que hace rato no veo algún post suyo, espero que ande bien y afilando la tijera... Asludos cordial..

@ Douglas Pistone: un fuerte Abrazo para TI.

@ Marianne/Mom: Gracias por tu gran dedicación en mantener el blog al día, es sabido que teniendo Zac el numero de hermanos que tiene, no es para nada facil ensima de todo seguir criando un hijo en la distancia (ZAC) y mantener además una flia Virtual (Zacpack) informado de los acontesimientos diarios..

Buenos Aires

December 12, 2008 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Marianne,
Your Son reminds me a bit of Howard Hughs. Seems you have a 16yr old Man on your hands, lucky you! Zac is an inspiration to a world of people. Including myself.
God Bless you Guys, and the Hard work being put into this project.
i would love to hear the talk of the town about zacs arrival, any links to the press or how about a frequency as to call him on his boat and say hi;) Wow following him here is quite exciting, makes my trip around the usa in a 1970vw bus seem a little less slow. cya, be safe in the ocean from Cincinnati Ohio!
Michael Burns

December 12, 2008 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Ahh, the smell of land! The anticipation of a warm meal, a HOT shower & a bed that doesn't rock/roll. Funny, that's what I think of pretty much each night during my 1 1/2 hr commute home (okay, a chair in lieu of bed that isn't bouncing, jerking w/each start & stop from ATL traffic). I so agree w/you Capt!


As to your canned food, I go cheap for lunch at w*rk (it's still the dirtiest 4-letter word in my vocabulary!), try the various store brand Chef-boy-ardee generic products. Yeah, a wee bit high in sodium, but they do hit the spot in a pinch & are great right outta the can.

@ Glen -
Senior, tiene un hermoso alcance de las palabras - en cualquier idioma. Gracias por que muchos puestos reflexivo. HUGS Amigo!

@ Team Sunderland & Capt Zac-
In case I've forgotten recently, thank YOU for all you do & for permitting us to be apart of your journey & lives.

@ ZacPac -
Thx for your posts & being so uplifting w/your words to Capt Zac. Many a night I struggle after my 11-12 hr shifts. Your words help to lighten my heart - THANK YOU for sharing. I pray they also uplift Capt Zac when he has struggles in spirit.

In light of the Season, may we all be able to enjoy the sights, music/sounds and peace of heart.

Capt Zac -
You've so earned this mini-vacation (time on shore). Relax mate - do your 3 Rs (recharge, reprovision, repair). Find a hot bod to give you a hug from we ZacPac'ers!

Warm Fuzzy HUGS!!

PS -
Don't forget to take your anti-malarials!

December 12, 2008 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac...

Hey when I went to India I could smell it even before I got off the plane! Never saw blue sky the whole time I was there.
Being in Oklahoma I know about that close lightning and extreme wind. When the bolts are cloud to ground/water and less than a mile from you it gets your attention. Was camping in Colorado once and camp was at 11,500 ft. During the night a thunderstorm squall line moved through and we had some high altitude lightning pretty much right on top of us, every time it struck I counted the number of sticks holding my tent up and always came up with a higher number than I wanted. That stuff can make you want to get to the lowest point of whatever you are in/on. We are bracing for 50 mph winds predicted for Sunday night and Monday morning, got a polar front moving down on us. Make me wish I was on a sailboat south of the equator. Did you hear that New Orleans got 8" of snow this week? Global Warming at it's best.
Hey Zac keep your chin up, you are meeting and exceeding the challenges being thrust at you, very few could/would do half what you have already accomplished. Hang tough!
Bob in OKC

December 12, 2008 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

@Zac, Marianne, Laurence, and al the little Sunderlands.

Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays

@Everyone Everywhere

Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year !!
2009 ix going to be a Year to Remember for many reasons.

The Croaker

December 24, 2008 at 8:50 AM  

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