Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On to St. Helena

Latest Position as of 021809 1500Z 25 19.788S 003 00.165E

Spoke to our man again this morning. Light winds (12-15 knots), small swells (6 feet) and slow but steady progress. He has had the same problem with his windvane coming apart again but has been able to reconnect everything. Hans from Scanmar thinks it may be a worn bearing - that perhaps the unit was installed at an angle that is just slightly off. He and Laurence are talking, so that is good.

Zac and I spoke briefly of the state of our nation and of our world. He misses the news and keeping up on what is going on. I'm not sure if his SSB radio get BBC Radio and all those great shows that we used to listen to on our Ham radio while our family cruised several years ago. His love of adventure keeps him dreaming up what he'll do next and where he would want to live. He has had time to consider himself and his place in the world. He has always been a bit of a philosopher but it seems his travels have given him more experiences and time to ponder.

I also spoke to Jen on her sat phone this morning. She is enjoying her passage from Cape Town aboard the RMS St. Helena. She has hooked up with the captain who will try to raise Zac on the radio. She has promised to send an excerpt from her journal at sea. She finds it interesting to be at sea at the same time as Zac and maybe understanding his experience a bit better.

It has been great to hear from some 'old' bloggers and to keep the debate and discussion on the blog comments a bit more balanced. It makes monitoring the comments (not moderating) all the more enjoyable.

To 'Ratty' - Thank you for the radio contacts.

To Lynda - Actually, Zac has 4 X 8D batteries. Two of them are under the companionway steps and 2 are in a custom built box in the starboard side lazarette in the cockpit. Laurence said that they are 'gel cells'.

To C. Alter - Thank you for clarifying the reasons why Jen is careful with her photos. She really is the most amazing person. Very focused and determined while being humble and always there to lend a hand. Yes, she did see much of Erik Bjerring. She sent many of her photos from his office. Laurence, Zac and Jen had a great meal with Erik and his family in Hout Bay near their home.

To Anonymous - I think that Daveh explained pretty well why Zac will stop in St Helena. He could shave a week off of his passage by not stopping but that is not the main goal for him.

To Steve - Thanks for the insight on Brazil.

There is a SALE on at Zac's Store.
All T-shirts and Calendars are $10.00 (used to be $20).

That's all for now. We should be hearing from Zac in a few days.



Blogger Tomi said...

Lady Marianne -
Again I thank you & Team Sunderland for the new shirts. I seem to keep giving mine away ;) As always, thx for the great update!

Every now & then I peruse through some of the older blogs & comments to refresh my memory on a couple things & also to see if I missed any of the comments after a new blog was posted. There are quite a few gems in them. If you have time & are relatively new to Capt Zac!'s Blog, take some time & wade through them.

Like most in the ZacPac, I've been studying about St. Helena Island & it's history along w/their current events. Their independent newspaper was quite refreshing after reading/watching our major news media.

In case someone missed the link before:

Warm Fuzzy Bear HUGS! y'all!

February 25, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

What some need to understand is this isn't in fact a competition, other than in your own minds.

Both young men are striving to accomplish their own goals, under their own circumstances and under their own conditions. What is best for one, might be completely different for another.

But what you must acknowledge is this. For a person of 15, 16, 17, or any age, to take on the challenges of sailing around the world 'alone' are incredible. And to successfully complete that challenge is one of the most incredible accomplishments of any age. Each person, despite age, finances, or circumstance accomplishes an incredible feat by completing a "sail around the world solo".
Now if there are any other accolades, accomplishments, or achievements that go along with that feat all the better.

Personally I sit here, and in Mikes site as well, blown away by the accomplishment, the maturity, the ability to overcome and adapt.
I salute both young men, and wish them well and sail on.

February 25, 2009 at 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Thanks for your most eloquent post. I'm particularly touched by Zac's thoughts about the world and his place in it. If he was a bit philosophical before he left, this trip has most definitely stretched him and his thoughts in a most positive way. Record aside, he has been profoudnly changed by this experience. I envy him greatly as I too am fortunate to be a deep thinker.

As I said a few days ago, it will be interesting once he returns and has some time to regroup to see just how long it will be before he sets sail on his lifes adventure and where it takes him and who he will share it with. The personal journey (growth wise) is immeasurable and he most definitely is not that same boy that left MDR eight months ago; and that is a wonderful blessing for a man who has worked so hard to be at this place in time.

God bless you Zac and all of us who have been fortunate to ride in his wake.

February 25, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Like other long-time ZacPac commenters, I dislike posting more than a couple times w/a blog posting - but this thought has been in me craw for a few days now.

Will Capt Zac! (after returning from this voyage) follow in the wake-path of Capt Saito-San to achieve different circumnavigational routes? Just a thought to think upon.

Warm Fuzzy BEAR HUGS! Y'all.

February 25, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, Don't forget buddy Chris here in the South Land. Even though I don't post as much as I used to, I still consider myself part of the Zac Pac as I gave Zac his good luck zen beads when he left Marina Del Rey. Chances are they broke which does not mean bad luck, it only means he needed them for so long. At any rate I blogged sometime ago of my quest to get Zac a visit to the whitehouse and a meeting with our now new president Obama. Zac deserves this and I can assure you that if I can get this to happen, I will fly Zac there myself. Promise. All the best Mom you are quite an amazing woman, but of course we all know that because you raised such an awesome young man.
All the best and God Bless you and the Sunderlands. I will see you when the Zac Attack is Back !
Chris Carnaghi
Alhambra, CA

February 25, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to ask this for the 3rd time - and now not in the current flow of events.

Were there any South Africa TV stations that interview both Zac and Mike together about their adventures??


February 25, 2009 at 9:49 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

It's good to see that Zac is over half way to St. Helena, and even closer to his goal. Keep up the good work Zac!

February 25, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No TV spoke to the to guys in South Africa, After the Volvo Ocean Race,The St.Helena Race and the Rio race,all in 3 months leaving from Cape Town, the news had all the sailing they could handel.
The only sailing mag in SA did not want to run a story as they felt it was not the right thing to do having a 16/17 year old taking the risk of this trip.

February 25, 2009 at 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

daveh re fitness. thanks for the explanation. that certainly sounds like a full on regime for sure. in fact you can see in all the pictures of both zac and mike in cape town they do indeed look quite fit. that brings me to another thought and that is, is there any time to actually relax? I've seen pictures of world voyagers on their boats looking like they are trying to relax, reading a book. Is that just for the camera or is one up and about constantly fiddling? Can't you put the boat on autopilot and sit back and relax for a couple hours or so or must you be doing stuff constantly? What is the longest one can relax for even on autopilot? The other thing that I find super freaky or actually creepy is going to sleep. to put a sail boat on autopilot in the middle of the night in the middle of no where and going inside to try to sleep, I can't fathom that. surely it must take time to let your mind go about that? To me it has the scaryness of say, those new automobiles they are developing (radar and guide painted lines on highways etc.), where you switch it on and it can follow the highway and can distance itself from cars in front all without user input. The only way I could see doing that is if you still remain in the front seat and just take your hands off the wheel, but have them inches away at the ready. I could not see sitting in the back seat allowing the vehicle to drive and steer itself. That's one freaky creepy concept and how I would imagine handing over the sail boat to the autopilot and going inside to try to sleep. It must take a lot of experience and trust to do that? Or am I missing something?

February 26, 2009 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello All,

I wanted to thank you again Marianne for the detailed update. Hopefully the windvane will hold up until Zac docks again. I'm sure in Zac's world right no he most likely knows nothing about the current US or world economy. I'm sure Zac is in his own world and he's enjoying it to the fullest.

It's great to know Jen is out at sea. In a small way a little experience of what Zac is going through would give her a better understanding. Great job Jen. We are so glad you decided to take this project on.

@ Zac, I hope you'll be able to stay on top of the windvane. Good luck and hopefully you'll have better winds.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

February 26, 2009 at 6:15 AM  
Anonymous The Kittiwake Kids said...

Just a comment on the comment regarding the state of our country and the world. The following was written in 1909. Notice the reference to the amassing of riches and also how the government will try in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. Sounds just like what is happening today. A prophecy being fulfilled ??? The comments continue with the statement that the prophecy of Daniel 11 has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. A student of prophecy would know that in 1909the only part of Daniel 11 that had not reached complete fulfillment is Daneil 11 verses 40-45.

"There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God's word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.

The Scriptures describe the condition of the world just before Christ's second coming. Of the men who by robbery and extortion are amassing great riches, it is written: "Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." James 5:3-6.

But who reads the warnings given by the fast-fulfilling signs of the times? What impression is made upon worldlings? What change is seen in their attitude? No more than was seen in the attitude of the inhabitants of the Noachian world. Absorbed in worldly business and pleasure, the antediluvians "knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away." Matthew 24:39. They had heaven-sent warnings, but they refused to listen. And today the world, utterly regardless of the warning voice of God, is hurrying on to eternal ruin.

The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place.

"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. . . . Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate. . . . The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth." Isaiah 24:1-8." From Testimonies to the Church volume 9.

Zac, may God guide you as you contemplate your place in this world. Remember He is found not in the wind, or the earthquake or the fire but in the still smal voice (1 Kings 19:11, 12).

Many Blessings,
The Kittiwake Kids

February 26, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

I haven't posted in a while, mostly because by the time I check the blog, everything I was going to say has already been stated, and usually better than I could phrase it.

Also, with the money crunches recently, I haven't been on the water since last summer. I've been checking both Zac's and Mike's blog daily; when I can't sail I can at least go vicariously through them.

I know that Adonai has been watchful over both young men (and the one old man) on their journeys, and I have faith that He will remain with them. He has granted them all skills, talents, and abilities upon which they can rely, and He's done the same with each of you, whether you're in the news or in the record books or supporting someone else while affecting your own little corner of G-d's world.

Of course, money is still tight, so you can still buy my album with the Zac-inspired song for only $5 here

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

February 26, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Chris.
If you are on a boat you are always at attention in some ways. Some people on boats sleep sort of like dolphins. One ear/eye always watches and listens to the boat But there are also times to relax. There is also the possible problem of collisons with containers ( thousands are lost at sea every year)and sleeping whales. They are hard to see especially at night.
@ Zac.
It's great to see that you just flying along. Do you have radio contact with that ferry coming from CT??

February 26, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a stroke of supreme luck that Jen managed to catch the St Helena going to St Helena at the same time as Zac. Her schedule is so awkward as it is. Wondering how Jen plans on getting back though :-)

You can track here and Marianne can check against Zac's coordiantes real time where each are. Pretty cool if the come in sight of each other and Jen takes pictures of him en route. Lot of wild coincidences on this voyage. All positive which suggests the right time right place as a whole for Zac to be taking this venture all round.

As of today the St Helena [call sign: MMHE5 ]is @

S 24°00', E 004°12'

at last posting of Zac's position @

25 19.788S 003 00.165E

Marianne can track her here [ just refresh it for lastest data ]:

As with everything else in the region the vessel is also historical. Old Mail ship plying that route for a long time. For boat buffs data on that here:

Have fun :-)

February 26, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Steve in CA said...

Disclaimer: I've never singlehanded a boat in the ocean - day or night, but I've spent many a day/night as part of a small crew on long distance ocean races. Ocean sailing echoes the old Sufi saying, "Trust in God, but tie up your camel."

As Zac well knows, a through knowledge of your boat, equipment, route planning, weather info and your own strengths and limitations are essential to safe sailing but, when you've done all you can about that, the rest comes down to "faith". No, not the religious type (though I'm sure that plays a part as well for some people) but faith in yourself as well as in the pursuit of your adventure.

If you are sailing with others, you have to believe that they can handle the situation when you are off watch, that the boat is essentially sound and that you've done all you can to ensure your safety.

It has to be both much easier AND much harder when you are sailing by yourself. You don't have to wonder if your watch mate can handle the stress, nor do you have to wonder if the watch captain actually confirmed your last position; if YOU didn't do it, it didn't get done.

In all the talk about Zac's maturity, its this "faith" that impresses me most. He obviously has faith in himself and this (perhaps above all) is essential to his trip; both to the ultimate success of the venture , as well as his safety along the way.

Ocean sailing is absolutely inherently risky and therein lies the challenge and the joy. I've had people ask me "Where do you park at night?", "Do you turn on your headlights when it gets dark?"

As Axel mentioned, lost shipping containers (usually floating just at or below water level) and whales ARE real dangers. Its not that they are hard to see, they are basically impossible to see, day or night. No one on a boat, especially single handed can pay attention all the time, even in broad daylight. You can’t make the risk go away; all you can do is reduce it and live with the rest.

Sailing at night is another act of faith. With a crew, in bad weather, the collective cojones gets you through. If you are alone, well, its all yours....I know each sailor has their own personal way of accommodating the risk. Zac certainly seems to have found his in profound measure.

February 26, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Marianne for your great post. I wear my Zac shirts with such pride and to let folks know that there are some great things happening in this world that have nothing to do with the economy.

All competition aside, it is wonderful to have two young circumnavigators and one older one to follow as they teach us their craft and what it feels like to sail the world. It is this journey of theirs that makes the internet come alive for me.

I, too, love to see many of the old blog commentors back.

Still praying,
Bend, OR

February 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac
Glad to know you are in ur final stages of getting to St Helena. The Island awaits ur arrival and hopes the weather is not too bad for you. When u get here call in at the St Helena Herald, Broadway House to tell us all about ur travels we would like tohave u in our paper. we have been printing updates from ur blog but to get u in person would be great. Happy sailing.

February 27, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, I'm a sailing grandmother and following your boy. I must have missed something. Is photographer Jen a relative from Europe .... or what??? Thanks and hang in there MOM. Nana Kate

February 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous JC said...

It is good to see you have enjoyed St Helena We look forward to seeing you coming back to James bay some time i am sure you have a lot to share with us

November 18, 2009 at 4:19 AM  

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