Friday, February 13, 2009

Cape Town Rendez Vous

Mike Perham, Minoru Saito and I
I was all set to head out on Thursday. I had said good bye to my new friends here, packed up everything and the boat was stowed. And I had a nice fat weather window to go with it. Wednesday evening I went to dinner with Richard, Jed's dad, Seth, Sasha, Dean, and Jen Edney. Richard and I went over some cruising guides of Panama (where he has lived before) and the Mexican coast while looking out of the restaurant window at the mildly stormy sea.
When I called my mom to check in she told me about Minoru Saito, the oldest solo circumnavigator, who was going to be pulling in to Cape Town on Friday. I decided to stay in Cape Town for another weekend - not a hard decision. I went down to the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Friday morning to welcome Saito-san in. We waited at the YC for a few hours and didn't see any signs of him or his approach. We went up to the club and on to his web site ( and saw a photo of his boat. As I walked outside I saw him pulling in just then. We got some photos for our mutual sponsor, Clearpoint Weather. They provide me with my Iridium satellite phone and their fabulous weather forecasting software. Great guys and great software. I'm not just saying that for a sales pitch, they really are the best over there. I've had them cheerfully helping me sort out software issues at all hours of the morning when I was pushing deadlines. A blogger asked if the crahing of the Iridium satellite this week has effected my phone reception. Their site said that there would be some minor problems and I have definitely had some. Apparently they have a few spare satellites up there for just such a time as this so all should be well soon.

Mike and his dad came down to see Saito-san and we all went and had lunch together and, of course, talked about our travels. Saito had been out for 40-some days and had only stopped for some sail repair. He has seen it all in his time at sea including pirates. Although he has been sailing all of his life, he did his first solo circumnavigation when he was 50 years old. He is planning a short stay here in Cape Town before heading on east.

It was great to see the Perhams again. Mike's boat should be back in the water this weekend and he is looking at a Wednesday departure. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Mike. To be able to do what we are doing is no small thing no matter your route, boat or even personality.
That evening we went for a braai at Dustin and Adam's place (sailing instructors down here). There is nothing better than a good South African braai with their big brick ovens and great food. Today is Valentine's Day. I am looking forward to a good one. I have a few surprises happening today. I will elaborate more soon as well as thoughts and details of my next leg into the Atlantic.
Have a great one.

PS Many thanks to Jen for her awesome photos. Check out more of Jen's photos at and


Anonymous Jim, Yuma, AZ said...

It's great that the three of you were able to meet and have a gab. If all of you had planned it before you set out, it never woulda happpened!

February 14, 2009 at 1:47 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hi Zac!
Most excellent you were able to stay and met Minoru Saito! I'm sure he is a wealth in information.

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Valentines Day!
Waterloo NY

February 14, 2009 at 4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing gathering!

Can you believe this could Jim Yuma says...if you'd planned it, it would never have happened.
Hope there is another nice fat weather window coming up real soon Zac!

Glad you are enjoying the braais...they are the best eh....yummy.

Looking forward to hearing maybe a little about your Valentines Day surprises! Fun fun fun.

UK friend

By the way....where is Bill?
Do hope he is ok.

February 14, 2009 at 4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have there been any TV stations that have come out and interviewed - You and Mike together?

If so - is there a video link?


February 14, 2009 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Understanding that the culture in Africa is quite different than in America, a bit of a backgrounder on South African Braii Etiquette will provide some Saturday AM humor...

Wiki Link

YouTube Funny Video

Daveh & Skipper

February 14, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,

Are those dark colored bottles African brew or sodas! LOL.

February 14, 2009 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Happy Valentines Day Zac!

I've just been holding my breath, hoping all three of you sailor Captains would be able to get together!

Capetown sounds like a busy place, and a wonderful place to get the vessels 'ship-shape' as well; sort of like the 'Emerald City' of Africa,eh?!

So, it's on to the Atlantic Ocean!

'Bee's knees' and all of that...

Good Luck Captain!

February 14, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ DaveH
Now that's what's called education LOOOOOL
Hope evrything is ok with Bill and the scissors

February 14, 2009 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The meeting-up of you, Mike, and Saito-san must have some historic significance in the lore of voyaging. I wish for Saito-san many more years of life, happiness, and sailing - aren't they interrelated? The meeting could be taken as a sort of ceremony, a passing of the baton, so to speak. The coincidence factor, probability, etc. is as amazing as the opportunity to pass down the wisdom.

The Croaker

February 14, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, ZAC!! Hope it was a great one!
THANK YOU for the great blog. MA - come on...give him an A!
What a cool thing for the three of you to hook up like that. THAT is a memory of a lifetime.
THANK YOU JEN for the photos! I am heading over to your link next to enjoy more.
HAPPY V-DAY to the Sunderland clan too!
Looking forward to the next installment. I need to go research about where you are heading next.
G_d bless you.
~ LA in MN

February 14, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger NomadRip said...

That is pretty darn cool that the three of you got to meet up there all at the same time. I saw the pictures on Jen's site the other day, and just thought that couldn't have gone any better.

February 14, 2009 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

NomadRip - what is your eMail, I'd like to exchange a few thoughts with you...


February 14, 2009 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Message for JEN.....
I tried to leave this message on your blog but I'm not too good with all the filling in of stuff and couldn't get it to accept, so will leave my message to you here.....

Excellent work Jen.
Your talent has been a wonderful addition to this JOURNEY for us all!

Thank you.

UK friend

February 15, 2009 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Dave H-
That "YOUTUBE" video was great! I have not laughed like that in some time. I loved it although it made me a bit thirsty!

@ Zac - your Facebook states that you're leaving tomorrow. I wish you continued safe travels and look forward to watching your adventure as you sail on!

February 15, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This map may be helpful as Zac approaches St Helena.
May give us an idea of where he is heading.

February 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Jen - your photography is beautiful.

I am wondering, who is financing your portion of this adventure? Is it part of the Zac project or are you participating independently?

February 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Enough braais...Let's get this party started. Haul up that anchor. Time to rock-n-roll.

February 15, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I love the picture of you crashed on the couch in what looks like a 17 year olds bedroom..oh is you bedroom, it just I bet your got a call from your mom when that pictured posted haha
So glad you had a good time in CT. Looking forward to meeting you in MDR real soon!! Stay safe till then
Laura BD

February 15, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... it Rory!

That's so funny.

Enough partying eh.....he may get used to this and not move on at all....then where would we all be?

Keep them coming Rory.

UK friend

February 16, 2009 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

I'm so glad you were able to have a meal with Mike and Minoru. That must have been a real treat and I'm sure you all had some good sea stories. It was a great gesture on your part Zac waiting for Minoru to come in before leaving. Like always, you go out of your way for others, very nice.

A great big THANK YOU to Jen for all those great pictures. Zac's journey wouldn't be the same without you!!!

@ Glen from Buenos Aires, Argentine. Thanks for the Valentine's gesture. I was presently surprised.

Happy Departures,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

February 16, 2009 at 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Parker Fritsch said...

Dear Zac,

I'm sorry that I haven't written lately. I've had some pretty yucky doctors appointments. I guess that I have some pretty painful treatments coming up. I've been to Stanford, Duke, and UCSF since I last wrote you. I sure get to see a lot of colleges. My favorite is still UNC at Chapel Hill, in North Carolina. I'm gonna go there someday! I got to go to a Duke basketball game. It was cool! The Tour of CA is coming to my home town on Wed. I hope that I get to see Lance Armstrong! He is one of my heros!!! Wish me luck!

I hope you get a good window of weather for your next leg. I'm gonna come meet you when you get back, k? I think I'd miss hamburgers too much out there on the ocean for sooooo long. Do you miss hamburgers?

You can read my web site if you wanna see what's up with me.

Your Buddy,


February 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Good reading about the three of you all together in Capetown. Hope yer Dad is rested after a long flight
back to LAX.
Kodiak Mike

February 16, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Incredible! Perfect blog and perfect pics, Jen. Thoughts and prayers for your next leg...

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

February 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though Zac has been quiet, Mike P has some nice info about their meeting, his work and the weather conditions on his blog. Mike is a very good writer. Sounds like Zac may be waiting it out due to the weather conditions.

February 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal, Seattle said...

I just went to Parker's blog: and I hope he gets the chance to meet Zac at Marina Del Ray.

Parker is a 9-year-old who could use some positive energy right now.

You might visit his site and keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

February 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Grant - Totally agree... Clocked that a bit back... Great kid, great...

Daveh & Skipper

February 16, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hey, Zac. Wow! That's great that you, Mike and Saito-san were able to meet. That's kind of historic in a way. I'm sure you all learned from each other during that lunch.

Well, hoping for smooth sailing when you start your next leg. Smooth sailing for all three of you as you continue your long journey!



February 16, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous craig schreiber said...

I am sure the extra day on dry land was not a great imposition for you and the opportunity to meet the other end of the sailing spectrum was a thrill for you as well. Mr. Minoru Saito sounds like a remarkable character and this world is truly in need of more remarkable characters. He may well consider you to be one as well.

February 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, here grant....thank you for reiterating what I am sure many of us feel.

Good to see Parker writing here for Zac.....come back soon Parker....we love to hear from you....another young man with great courage and an inspiration to many.

UK friend

February 16, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitting titled last post while in South Africa

"Cape Town Rendez Vous"

What will the newest post be having left South Africa ?

"Aur Revoir Cape Town"

Is Zac perhaps brushing up on his French so that when he gets to St Helena he can enjoy reading up on Napoleon at the museum? :-)))

Don't forget Zac, St Helena is a stamp collectors dream. Make sure to get batches of stamps, preferably first day covers, and store them carefully, once home you can autograph them and raffle or auction them off. Even the customs entry stamp to St Helena in one's passport is coveted. It's the oddest and one of the most remote islands in the world and no way of getting there other than by boat.

February 17, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

In case y'all missed it, here's an article from when Capt Zac was on the SA East Coast:


February 17, 2009 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Here's a few more while we wait for news of Capt Zac's departure.

We've seen most of this news (if you've been a regular follower that is), but nice to see in an online magazine :) The article is 1/4 way down page.
(The above link references the LATimes blog article.)

Another great article!

A good read:

Warm Fuzzy HUGS!

February 17, 2009 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Zac left yet or what?

What surprises was he going to announce in Valentine's Day?

Did he and Jen maybe get married and now they've decided to stay in Cape Town for ever and happly ever after :-)

If not did he mebbe marry a Zulu or Xhosa :-)))

What's happening??

Michael aka Mike, is prepping to shift out asap after a thorough overhaul of his boat.

Wherebe Zac?

February 18, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

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