Monday, April 20, 2009

Counting the Days

Latest Position: 04/20/09 0200Z 4 23.617N 38 05.355W

The wind and current are still great. I made the best mileage of my entire trip going 170 miles from yesterday morning to this morning. This leaves me with 1500 nautical miles until I reach Grenada. This could be done in 10 days at this pace! It feels like I should be seeing land by now I've been out here so long. My dad asked me this morning if I was having fun. You have to know my dad to know how someone could ask that. I haven't met anyone yet who really likes long ocean passages but it is something that needs to be done to get to the next amazing adventure so you just do it. Its not that it doesn't have it's amazing moments but there is a lot of down time in between those.

Other than good progress, I've had a small emergency repair. One of the lines on the self steering unit chaffed through. There are 2 lines that run from the paddle in the water to the cockpit. I replaced one while I was becalmed at the equator but didn't bother with the other one because it looked fine but at 6:00am the line snapped and I spent 1/2 an hour hanging off the back of Intrepid threading the new line. (Yes mom I was harnessed.) I finally got it in and tightened up a few bolts that had wiggled loose a bit.

@Becky: So far my food and water are holding up pretty well. I have already eaten everything sweet on the boat and all of my dehydrated food so I'm back to the canned food. Thankfully, my wisdom teeth have been fine since those few days when they were on fire.

@Russ: I am planning a very short stop in Grenada. Although I have heard that it is an incredible place I am hoping to do some repairs and reprovisioning and heading out. My leg from Panama back to Cali is a long one and I want to get moving.

@ Trevor: Richard? You out there? You have a brother named David?

@Mike: I never did catch up with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. I spent a few days considering where I was going to pass Saint Peter and St Paul Rocks since I had changed course so often with the shifting winds. I was glad to pass them to starboard and stay in the stronger current.

@Jiffy Lube: Yes, I can reef the mainsail from the cockpit. The furling jib is a Schaefer roller furling. The best out there!

OK, getting late -gotta go.



Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac,

Well, it sounds like fun to me. Right on Lawrence! Maybe it's a British thing! OK, to be fair perhaps fun is not quite the right word but I'll bet you'll look back at these times relying on your own wits to survive in the vastness of the open ocean with great fondness and some well deserved pride.

My thing is exploring the unpaved roads of Alaska and the Yukon by anything from a Mustang to an SUV. I've had a few exciting moments out there from blow-outs to bear encounters and loved every minute of it. Perhaps not the greatest adventure but then I am a frail 69 year old cancer sufferer.

Trust me, I ain't complaining!

Sail on with smile! Tim.

April 21, 2009 at 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow sound just like I feel when I'm heading home from somewhere....focused and homeward bound!
Great the harness bit...I was just thinking...'I hope he had his harness on' just know us mums need to know that!!
Good job.
Let's hope 10 days to Grenada, comes true, that would be AWESOME.

Thinking of you.
UK friend

April 21, 2009 at 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

U are flying! If U are not careful U might experience speed wobbles!
Good effort. Sounds like U need a greasy cheeseburger and a icey cold Carib Grenada. All good man! Stay safe! Keep doing hard nautical things.

April 21, 2009 at 3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

Thanks for the answer! Is there any way you can let us know when approx. you will be going through the Miraflores locks on the panamacanal? There is a webcam there that does 1 minute time lapse and it would be great to see if I could pick you up live!!!

Take care and enjoy yourself.

Russ Cumbria UK

April 21, 2009 at 3:30 AM  
Anonymous Trevor Leslie, London UK said...

Whoah - I got a mention AND I'm first to comment (benefit of my time zone?)... how stoked am I?

I've got TONS of questions starting to pile up in my mind: kinda technical, logistical and all sorts (yeah, maybe a plan IS forming & I'm starting to scheme a scheme! ;-> ), though... perhaps best saved for some other time when I can really pick the brains of you & your folks?

Besides, you're fairly steaming along again now (170nm in 24 hours in a 36'... blinding!) so that's just GOT to be keeping you busy!

(I'll explain the spelling as & when we FaceBook)

April 21, 2009 at 3:48 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hi Zac!

Glad that you are making such great progress! Outstanding!!

I do hope you are having fun. I know it's not nearly the same, but whenever I'm out on Wombat, and the wind picks up and fills the sail (well not too much I get kind of wiggy at first lol)I have to smile, I love how you can feel the boat lift and move forward; and then there is that beautiful sound of the water as the bow cuts through it.

The very first time I had my own boat, a Sunfish about 7 years ago, my sister Denise was with me, (we're always together where there is adventure to be had)the wind filled in and away we went. Denise just yelled out "you're sailing Anita you're sailing"!!! We laughed and giggled like kids all day it was great. Our Grandfather had just passed away about 3 weeks before that, and we both imagined him smiling at us and of course telling us to be careful. To this day, whenever we sail together and the wind carries us on the water Denise still lets out an excited "you're sailing Anita, you're sailing". Kewl no?? ~~_/)

So hopefully you are having fun! I think of you everyday, and send along good thoughts and prayers.

Anita Miracle
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV Wombat

ps the sanding of the hull has halted due to rain and a pesky thing called a job!! :) Oh yes and I have an additional repair to the first attempt at hard can it be...guess I'll see!

April 21, 2009 at 3:52 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Another amazing day of sailing Zac!!! I'm not sure but I believe 170 miles in one day is your best so far??? If you keep this up you'll be faster than the Marina Del Rey Flyer charter service to Catalina.

Dad is right you really should be having fun. After you get back home in a few months time you'll really miss being out there without many worries and the pressure of every day life. You're in a calm place so be a little relaxed, take it all in, and remember to breath that fresh clear ocean air. Make sure Intrepid sails her best.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 21, 2009 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Hey Zac, good to hear you're really moving along. One of my sons sailed on the Lynx, a replica of an 1812 privateer tall ship, from Newport Beach to Hawaii a couple years ago, and the best they made in one day was about 200 miles, and that was with the current and all that sail, so by comparison you're flying!

Perhaps fun isn't the right word, maybe feeling satisfaction at the end of each day would be a better description.

I love the blogs. Keep on keepin' on!

Karyn in Simi

April 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Great to hear about doing 170 miles in 24 hours. This means Zac is averaging just above 7 knots per hour -- which is faster than his boat could go with the engine on.

From the wind maps it looks like you are probably on a tight reach, which is a nice fast way to sail.

Keep clicking off those miles and enjoy every minute of it.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Zac,

We're excited that you're getting closer to home! Know that you're in our thoughts and prayers, even when we don't write.

God bless,
The Coyles

April 21, 2009 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Paige said...

I saw the banner from when you set sail, with the verse from Phillipians on it. I assume you are religious then? If so, has your faith been strengthened or tested while on your endeavour?

P.S. I think that what you are doing is very exciting. in a way, I envy the freedom that you have to be able to go out and sail by yourself. Sometimes i wish for that chance :)

I wish you fair winds and following seas

April 21, 2009 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Going in to this amazing effort, you had to know there would be long times of being alone. And yet it's amazing that you have so successfully been able to go along with it. At the same time it must be so great to stop over, have human interaction, and relationships.
It's been part of your growth to over come hardships....mechanical, electrical, weatherwise, and even deep within your own personality.
I know at times I relish my alone time. Standing on the side of a mountain, sitting beside a remote stream, and yes even on a single handed multi-night sailing trip.
It is at times refreshing to not hear another voice, to be alone with thoughts and contemplation. I bet you've done some real deep soul searching on those nights when the alarms weren't sounding, the wind was behind you and you could sit on the deck, look at the stars, and think what you've accomplished these past 11 months.

April 21, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's DaveH ??
Hope that you are ok.

UK friend

April 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Zac: Just want to wish you a "Happy Earth Day". Wow, you can really celebrate Earth Day in a very big special way! It's just you and Mother Earth out there most of the time. What a blessing to enjoy all of those special gifts such as the ocean, sky and all those glorious stars! Sail Green!

April 22, 2009 at 1:28 AM  
Anonymous John Felan said...

Hey Zac

Chris and I are bad correspondents but we have been following you all the way thanks to your blog.

We're back in the routine here on land. Moana is still with us at the local marina and we talk about you often.

It's a strange thing you know. When we were at sea, although there is only sea and sky out there, I was able to write paragraphs every day. Here on land nothing seems important enough to record or share - but I wouldn't do it in a little boat again.

Chris and I pray daily that you get safely to LA - so you can send that slab of beer! Still no fish eh?John of Moana 4

April 22, 2009 at 1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac Its the Guy, Great Job Sailing Around the World, Be safe and Alert. Let me know when you want to make wall murals from some of those photographs;) Cya!

April 22, 2009 at 5:31 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Zac,

Ponder this - some day in the future, whether it be 6 months or 10 years from now, you will long to be 1500 nautical miles from Grenada. Savor every moment and everyday. The absolute isolation and peace is something very few of us will ever get to experience. I can only imagine what it must feel like. Hot, smoggy LA will always be there.

All the Best,

April 22, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Art Guy said...

Hey Zac,
I'd trade the traffic on the 405 freeway in L.A. and work in a heartbeat to be where you are right now. Just think what the kids reaction will be when a young high school football player turned seasoned, circumnavigator, single-handed-sailor returns triumphantly! Keep smiling my friend, you're making history and proving there is still hope for future generations!! All my best.

April 22, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hi Zac
Your getting closer!! Any plans on your homecoming dates yet? I plan on being there..June is a big month for me and being in MDR is on the top of the list! It would be great if you arrived on June 20th my b-day..haha no pressure just kidding.
Looking forward to seeing you pass through the panama canal..
stay safe
Laura BD
Oh yeah..recruited another fan..a fellow racer last weekend who also sails..hope he blogs with us.

April 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's EARTH DAY 2009. Here's hoping you're zipping along with the wind
and currents co-operating. Happy Earth Day, Zac-pac!
Kodiak Mike

April 22, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac!

170 miles in one day? WOW!!! that's amazing.

I know the feeling of seeing too much of one thing--in regard to seeing water and not land. It makes one even more thankful and appreciative for it when it does finally come. I know, because we've just now been getting sunshine after what seems like forever of rain!!! LOL

Hope your day is going well. How's Intrepid? How are all your supplies holding up?

Praying for your safety and health continually.

Elissa R. Walther
Houston, TX

P.S. I prevail in al things by Him who empowers me. Philippians 4:13 (Working Translation by Walter Cummins)

April 22, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

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