Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Windseeker

Latest Position: 12/02/08 1507Z 27 35.303S 47 40.615E

I am about 170 miles off of Madagascar right now passing south and west towards Africa now. I have about 8 knots behind me so I am only able to sail at about 4 knots and progress is slow. It is much better than getting stuck in one of the frequent storms that this area is infamous for however. There is not much else going on out here - just preparing the boat for the weather to come. I have been putting locks on the lazarettes and taking everything out of the combing boxes so that if things get crazy out here everything doesn't get thrown around. I've also been arranging the lines on deck and sorting out the halyards. I replaced the lines on the wind vane. The line was fine but I hadn't changed them in awhile and since there is no wind it is a good time. I have also stowed the anchor and spent some time prepping the lines on the tires that are to be my sea anchors. I have noticed that I have changed time zones again. In Mauritiuts the sun went down about 6:30 - 7:00. Now it goes down about 8:30 - 9:00. Not that it really matters. Out here time doesn't really have much bearing. I had better get back to it. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and thank you to the Zeigler family for thier birthday present. I was cleaning up and found it stowed in a locker which was a nice surprise!


Blogger Hannah said...

I'm glad everything is going well, after all the craziness earlier on the journey. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Have fun!

December 2, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up Zac you're doing great. Looking forward to you getting around South Africa and away from the stormy seas.

By the way, Ellison from Utah (18 and hot) is in love with you and a regular reader at this point.

December 2, 2008 at 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...


Glad to see that you're settling in and organizing yourself (as usual) while you have calm all around you.

What a joy to find that hidden birthday gift from the Ziegler's. I'm sure it helped to break up the monotony for a few moments.

Are you back to eating hot meals? Did you finish your B-Day cake yet? Did you take a picture of it?
This inquiring mind wants to know!

December 2, 2008 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Betty E. said...

Good Morning! Zac,
Glad to read that you are up and about preparing Intrepid for the day....Just want to say, you are held up in prayer, good thoughts going your way for a safe journey to your next stop...
Keep safe...
Betty E., Lomita, CA

December 2, 2008 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hey Zac, slow is better than not moving at all... Which is the case again with Mike Perham... Autopilot has force yet another stop-repair. This time in the Canaries... cRaZy...

Sail safe, rest while you can, prep is a good thing...

Daveh & Skipper

December 2, 2008 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Island Girl said...

We have been following your trip, Zac, and wish you the best. The use of tires for a sea anchor sounds like an interesting idea - how are they rigged and deployed? We have a few years experience in sailing the San Juans as we live in Washington State, but nothing as awesome as what you are doing. Thanks for letting us share your adventure.

December 2, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
I never realized how much work went into a boat all the time. It must be never ending. If I ever sail someday I'm sure I'll learn how time consuming it actually is.

Hope you're still feeling well and enjoying this time of calm weather. It's snowing here in PA but I bet it's warm down there closer to the equator.

Still praying for you Captain!
A fellow homeschooled friend :)

December 2, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous cindyincincy said...

WOW! What a thrill for this armchair adventurer -- just heard Zac, Laurence and Marianne on NPR. Was Alex Chadwicks's interview live from MDR? So exciting to hear your voices and Zac's sat phone connection was so clear!

Zac, belated birthday greetings and thanks again for sharing your voyage. Best wishes for a restful night's sleep and continued calm -- until morning at least.


December 2, 2008 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Glad all is well, will pray for more wind for you!

I better get back (only have a few minutes at lunch 'till 5th period starts... bet that sounds familiar!)

Can't wait for you to get to port safely!

-Halle S. in Oregon

December 2, 2008 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey zac,

i'm writing to you from winston-salem, nc. i just heard part of a piece on npr radio about you and thought -- WOW! you are an awesome young man. i have two daughters near your age and it amazes me that you are doing what you've begun. you will do just fine i'm certain. i've also read some about you on your website and am thoroughly impressed.

keep up the great job. you know what you are doing. i'll be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts... and steer away from the storms!! wink!


December 2, 2008 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Wheat said...

Is there a good chance that you and Mike Perham will pass each other when in the Atlantic Ocean?

happy belated birthday!!!

December 2, 2008 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our interview with NPR aired today. They did a nice job with this. Check it out!


Marianne & Laurence Sunderland

December 2, 2008 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Welcker Family said...

Here is the link to the NPR broadcast for those of you who missed it (like me!)


You are doing great, Zac!

December 2, 2008 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & The Pac,

You may not be moving fast but at least a slower pace is better than not moving at all. If you could avoid storms all the way into Durban that would be great.

Let me know if you ever get a picture from Ellison the HOT girl from Utah. Zac, it seems like your breaking hearts all around the country or maybe even the world!!!

Enjoy the long days on Intrepid because here in MDR at 5:15 pm the sun has already set.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

December 2, 2008 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Just heard the NPR interview by Alex Chadwick. I enjoyed it very much. It was great to hear Zac's voice!

However, with all due respect to Alex Chadwick, I think there will be quite a large crowd that will gather to welcome Zac home. Not to mention those around the world who may not be physically present, but will most assuredly be there in spirit to cheer Zac's completion of his journey right back where he started; home!

December 2, 2008 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Zac, figured I should post the NPR day-to-day link here since you added a new blog entry about the time I heard the story:
NPR Day to Day Cap'n Zac Story

December 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


Daveh called it with "moving slowly is better than not moving at all." It's good that you have some time to take care of business on other than an emergency basis.

You're using the noodle again getting everything squared away and prepared for what may come. I'd suggest turning on your after-burners and get all the chores done as quickly as possible, then to kick-back in your pilot's berth and build up the energy banks against future requirements.

Hope things continue to go well. It's really looking good so far. We're still pulling for you, praying for you, and cheering you onward!

The Croaker

December 2, 2008 at 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Yeah! I’m so glad NPR did a follow-up… That’s how I first heard about Zac’s adventure, and starting following this blog (first one I’ve ever followed, only one still!) even though I know nothing of sailing, land-locked in OK here. Also, I emailed Day To Day little over a month ago asking them to do a follow up and letting them know about the supportive online community – maybe in some small way that helped get this second interview! Maybe others will hear of Zac and his family the first time from this interview and become part of the Zac Pac :)

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

December 2, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger jlh said...

Hey Zac,

Glad you're moving, albeit slowly.
Good to have time to prepare things on the boat.

Got your calendar today. Very nice! Love the pictures.

Always in our prayers...

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks, CA

December 2, 2008 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hey Zac!

I had to smile when I read of your chores about Intrepid...good on ya! Nothing like a neat and tidy boat. (my friends like to tease me about how I like to keep "Wombat" ship shape). Perhaps the slow moving was just so you could get Intrepid ready for what ever might happen your way <><

How was your cake?? What flavor was it?? Hope you enjoyed every bite!

Sending out a hug, blessings and lots of prayer.

God Speed
Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

December 2, 2008 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Hoppípolla said...

Happy late birthday!!! better late then never!

December 2, 2008 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ OK Well-Wisher-

Enjoyed your entry today! Like you, I'm landlocked psychologically not geographically. I live a mile from the beach here in California and I never step foot in the water. I do love to look at it though. I got caught in a rip tide when I was a kid and never went back in. I have the utmost respect for the ocean and its power. This is precisely why I enjoy this blog (my first and only also) so much.

Isn't NPR great? It has so much to offer in their great programming There are so many shows I enjoy; too numberous to mention. My favorites are "This American Life" and "Says You."

December 2, 2008 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Lori Love & Megan said...

We got out calander today and my daughter can't wait for it to be March. She actually asked if we could just show March for the whole year. She thinks you look SO handsome in that months pictures. Whoever put the calender together did a wonderful job!! I love the quotes on each page and the picture captions are a nice, so we know where each picture was taken. Wishing you a safe journey. You are in our hearts.

Lori Love

December 2, 2008 at 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Just got my calender..THANK YOU-THANK YOU !!!I burst into tears when i opened it.. my husband just laughs at me lol.
I also read the interview..oh my more tears ..im feeling the Torres Straits fears again but i know deep down that Zac will do just fine.
I just can't imagine how Mom & Dad get threw the days..im guessing talking to Zac and hearing his voice helps.
Well Zac, i can't tell you enough how amazing i think you are and i tell everyone i can about you. Don't forget to pick up my package waiting for you at the Yacht Club.
Stay safe & dry
Bermuda Dunes CA

December 2, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Abigail said...

Hi Zac!
Thanks for the update! Hope your sailing continues to go smooth for you. I'll pray again for you. God bless!

December 2, 2008 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I can't believe it's already been 6 months since you left! Seems to have gone by like a blur (from where I sit)!

Sounds like you had a good few days of prepping for the inevitable storms. Here's hoping they are few and far between!

Santa Monica

December 2, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Hi Zac,

Glad you are close to your next port of call. The NPR Broadcast was excellent!! It was nice to hear your Mom and Dad's voice, and of course hearing from you is a bonus!! Hope everything is going well. The news has been filled with stories of the Pirate take overs.....This has me a bit concerned, as they seem to be praying on cruise ships and freighters. So hopefully they will not see you. Stay safe and have fun in Durban!!

On your way home......that sounds so nice. You still have so much to endure, and see, but knowing you are more than 1/2 way, and have traveled two oceans already, is amazing!!

As always, I will be praing for your safety, and enjoy your stay in Durban!!!

North Hills, CA

December 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that yesterday's NPR item on Zac was interesting. The teaser at the top of the hour made it sound like it was an update, not a pre-recorded interview. When the word "pirates" was mentioned, my stomach instantly knotted up and my hands gripped the steering wheel tight. I had to take a few deep breathes and remind myself that the incident with the (suspected) fishing trawler was over and Zac was fine. Anyway, it was good to have voices to go with the faces.

I'm enjoying all the geography/social studies lessons I've had from following Zac's travels. I've been trying to get my 12 yr old daughter interested in researching the areas as well, but I seem to be far more enthusiastic. I guess it's easier to be amused when you don't have homework to do.

Michele in Boston
(Belmont, MA)

December 3, 2008 at 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I listened to NPR for the first time in about 6 months because my XM radio decided to "take the day off" and I heard your story.
It was the only story I heard this morning on my 5 minute drive to work. I even sat in my car in the carpark at work and waited for it to finish.
I smiled as I turned my car engine off knowing somewhere out there, alone in the great blue yonder is a young man taking responsibility for his own future.
It is refreshing to hear of someone who has embraced a challenge as you have.
I left England at 21 and moved to Asia (alone). I remember how much I grew in the first 6 months. Your 6 months of practical solitude must be an amazing learning curve. You will be a stronger, more resourceful, brave young man that your parents will no doubt be very proud of.
I wish you all the luck in the world in completing your journey.
The question is: what is Zac's next journey?

December 3, 2008 at 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

@ Melanie -

I agree, I do love NPR - always brings interesting and indepth stories from around the world that I never would have known about otherwise, case in point Zac!

I recently moved further from my work, used to have 5-10 minute commute and now I have a 20-30 minute commute, but one great thing is that's just more time to listen to NPR :) I grew up hearing NPR on the radio from my parents, and now my kids are getting the same. Well, I do turn on the children's CDs whenever they ask, but I'm sure one day they'll be listening to NPR with their own children :)

Living close to the water must be interesting – I love visiting the coast. I’ve lived in OK all my life, but do travel – I definitely feel out of my element whenever I’m in hill or mountain country, or by the ocean – anything that’s not wide open spaces that are solid ground! I love swimming, but the ocean is so different than the pools or lakes I’m accustomed to. I have family in San Diego, so we love to visit there. It was so wonderful watching my kids experience the beach and ocean for the first time this past summer – I’m sure they will never forget that, and they desperately want to go back! Maybe we’ll attempt a sailboat outing on one of our future visits…

December 3, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Zach, on your progress! You are living an adventure that will inspire countless kids for years to come.
Keep up the house keeping. Years ago, I spent a very long night trying to stay off the rocks. We were in a pretty bad storm off Cape May, NJ and the crew on board our boat was inexperienced. No one was policing the sheets, and just when we needed the motor (another story), the prop fouled on our jenny's sheet....
You're doing great. Stay safe.

December 3, 2008 at 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
I hope you're doing well. Happy belated birthday. What a great adventure! When i read your story i was wowed! i'm a 50 year old man, i have sailed a small inland lake in my hometown have been caught in small storms and can honestly say i would be scared shitless out on the ocean alone! Good for you though i am enjoying the journey with you. Again I hope today is a good day at sea for you. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers in my house in Fond du Lac Wisconsin. I will write again.
Nick Chertos

December 3, 2008 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Yea, how often do you get to hear an NRP session and KNOW the story, including the nitty gritty details and all of the emotiional roller-coastering!

Great listen for sure...

Daveh & Skipper

December 3, 2008 at 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Daveh-
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I'm just bummed I didn't hear the first run on the radio. I don't know what time it ran, but I agree with you that it's nice to have some connection to the subject of the story.

@ OK Wellwisher -

I just love to see the looks in the eyes of someone who has never seen the ocean before. Talk about priceless. I still get a thrill each time I see it and am in total awe of God's creation.

December 3, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Dawn Ziegler said...

Glad to hear you found your birthday gift ;-)
I'm sure you'll find the Christmas one there somewhere as well.
Just wanted to let you know we are thinking about you and praying for your continued success on your journey. The LORD is great and has blessed you many times over.
The calendar looks great and it's going in Rebecca's room straight away. There was no negotiating that one. LOL! I guess I'll have to purchase my own. I have a feeling your social calendar is going to be quite full when you return and that's not even taking into consideration public appearances, book signings etc.

December 3, 2008 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Sherna Taylor said...

So happy to hear that you are doing well and preparing for your next leg.

I listened to the NPR story and i cant wait for the book/movie

Even though i read your blog everyday i still found the story intriguing,

Melanie you are absolutely correct, I know there will be quite a large crowd that will gather to welcome Zac home.

Wishing you continued good health
Sail on..Keep safe

December 3, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac I just followed your story adventure from NPR's site. Absolutely awesome and my family (in Texas) are pulling for a successful and healthy journey for you.

Now I know you're out there, I'll definitely be reading your blog daily!

Jeff Pickens

December 3, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

So, I'm curious have you started planning how your book will be organized? No time like the present to start assembling your bestseller! I'm so looking forward to reading it! I know time is passing slowly for you...glad to hear that you are making good use of the time and planning for the weather ahead.


December 3, 2008 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Hi Zac!

Great segment on NPR. Hang on to that boat!

Birmingham, AL

December 3, 2008 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hi Zac,

Well, there may be some clouds in your area now. Hopefully they will provide just enough wind to push you gently yet swiftly toward Durban!

The interview on NPR was great!

Sail on young man~~I hope by Sunday (Monday your time) you can shout; "Land Ho!"


December 3, 2008 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Hey Zac,
keep up the good work!


I tagged you on my blog! :o)

December 3, 2008 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Nick Vona said...

Hey Zac...

I heard about you, your family, and your adventure. I am really, really impressed at your abilities, maturity, and resolve. I actually went back to the beginning of the blog and read all the way the the present. Good luck to you and keep it up. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the Africa leg.

December 4, 2008 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger RDHS said...

Hi Zac. Today at Rockland District High school, Rockland Maine our World Studies class heard about you and listened to the interview on NPR they had. Our whole class is extremely interested in your voyage and we all are excited for you. Keep up the good work and the blogs:)


December 5, 2008 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger bryanmitch said...

I am sure you have done your homework on sailing the South African coast. The best way is to sail on the Northeasters and wait in port for the SW'r to pass you by. Getting caught in the Sw'r is not worth the experience. You have enough ports to hop down the coast and avoid the storms. If you have any questions please shout bryanmitch@gmail.com

December 6, 2008 at 1:07 AM  

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