Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Doldrums

Latest Position: 04/11/09 1440Z 3 3.065S 26 16.649W
























Well I have finally arrived in the doldrums and am experiencing them in a way only a few people get the privilege of doing. Going nowhere for nearly a day while slowly roasting to death just begins to describe how frustrating this is. I could be at anchor for how calm the water is. The forecast shows wind coming (and going) over the next 48 hours but for now I'm stuck. Not much else to say. Hot, humid, boring and frustrating.

Zac

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you motor through, low rpms to save fuel?

April 11, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack! I can't imagine how you must feel. I remember being stuck on lake Mead(Nevada) a couple miles out in my 12' AMF Puffer,no wind at all. I was so mad that i smashed my only paddle against the mast. I got a tow after an hour or so. Hang in there. D.B.

April 11, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Olivia said...

Hi.
I just found your website and blog today and think it's amazing what you are doing. Definitly would be considered doing a hard thing. My youth group did a Bible study on Alex & Brett's book and I really loved it. Just thought I'd leave a comment. Happy Easter.

Olivia

P.S. I'm also homeschooled.

April 11, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger T J said...

Okay, NOW you need to be reading that section in The Phantom Tollbooth about the doldrums...

April 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Bill Jamison said...

I can only imagine how boring it is for you to be stuck in complete calm. You're used to having somthing to do basically 24/7 and for now you can only wait on the wind. This is just another life lesson - use the time to your advantage and focus on the positive things instead of the negative. Rest, relaxation, reading, focus on what you can do, not what you can't (or the heat LOL).

Before you know it you'll be sailing along again on your way to Grenada.

April 11, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow that must be really frusterating. Hope that it doesn't last long! Do you have any books??I went to Alex and Bretts website and the seem really awesome.
Will be praying for ya and have a blessed Easter!!

Morgan
Montana

April 11, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's cool about this all is we couch potatoes learn things as a result of Zac's endeavours. Researching the Doldrums, from sailers, its clear it is a moving 'entity', not a spot here on earth, like say the Bermuda Triangle, where you can sail around or avoid, but it's Mother Earth's 'soft spot' and she'll place it where ever she will. Here today there tomorrow.

And that's cool :-)

Mother's rule the Universe and know best:

You can't avoid it,no matter how you try, consider it paying hommage to Mother Earth in order for her to let you by :-)



If you follow ‘round-the-world races or the sagas of globe-girdling cruisers, you’ve no doubt read about the doldrums, that perplexing band of weather that spans the middle of the planet. This region is renowned for its whimsical weather that invariably frustrates sailors with zephyrous winds that unexpectedly alter form to become savage thunderstorms. Samuel Coleridge in his "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" described this equatorial realm as "hell" and famed circumnavigator Sir Francis Chichester concurred, saying of the region "Calms were the very devil." Some sailors have spent days on end wallowing in what is effectively mother nature’s vacuum.

Situated between the northeast trades of the northern hemisphere and the southeast trades in the southern hemisphere, the doldrums, also known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), is an area of low pressure that lies along the equator. In some areas the fickle winds of the doldrums can spread out to span as much as 150 miles and in others this band can be as narrow as 15 miles. So prevalent is this phenomenon that it carries its own weather, which is characteristically hot and muggy, with thunderstorms and squalls that erratically appear with little warning. That’s hardly fitting when you consider that the term doldrum is derived from the Old English for "dull."



One major area of the doldrums lies in the Pacific Ocean extending westward from Central America and South America to the Philippines. The other area of equatorial doldrums lies in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America. The doldrums are not stationary; they vary all over the map in these general locales primarily between three and 10 degrees north latitude, and they are not the same from one year to the next. However, the good news is that the doldrums don’t extend very far south of the equator.


If you play your cards right you can get through the doldrums in less than a day, but luck often weighs as heavily as skill when it comes transiting this region of the ocean.

As you might expect, a sailor hoping to transit the doldrums can gain a significant advantage by entering the doldrums at their narrowest point and thereby spending the least amount of time before emerging into the trade winds on the other side. To locate this specific point in the shifting variable winds requires a good bit of meteorological information and skill as well as a little luck.
Over the years, the doldrums have ingrained themselves in the lore of sailing. French mariners gave this flat, occasionally miserable stretch of the ocean a nickname: Le Pot-au-Noir (the black hole), for its often depressing effects. For sailors bound south from the northern hemisphere, this area is potentially encumbered with problems. Ordinarily, what little wind that exists is punctuated by almost instant squall lines—one moment you’ve got no wind and then in a blink you’ve got 30 knots pounding away at your sails.
In the doldrums, the humidity and temperatures are usually high and stay uniform throughout the year. Any differences in climate here are linked principally to rainfall patterns. For sailors, the problems in the doldrums can be linked to the equatorial sun’s relentless and concentrated heat. As the sun heats the air at the ocean’s surface, that air rises. Naturally sailors prefer the air movement to be horizontal because rising air offers little force for sails, subsequently stopping boats in their tracks. Of course the sun also warms the ocean waters and this adds moisture to the rising air, which ultimately helps produce the frequently violent thunderstorms.


The uncloudy area that runs through the middle of this satellite image distinctly identifies the intertropical convergence zone, or the doldrums.

Across the eastern and central Pacific, air currents, moving from the north and south toward the equator, trend westward and form the northeast and southeast trade winds. These winds bring light to moderate rains spotted with brief and sometimes heavy downpours or clear skies. The trade winds combine or give way to the monsoon winds in the far western Pacific, where the alternate cooling and heating of continental Asia produces a seasonal reversal of winds. From about November to March, the northwest monsoon from Asia brings rain to the northerly slopes of New Guinea, and the Solomons. In summer the southeast monsoon reverses the process.
The countercurrents shift south during the northern winter and north during the summer. To either side of the doldrums, the trade winds blow constantly and push great volumes of water westward in the equatorial currents, raising the sea level in the west. Within the doldrums, where strong constant winds are absent, the higher western sea levels flow downward to the east. The Pacific Equatorial Countercurrent is very strong and is definable year-round. The Atlantic Equatorial Countercurrent is strongest off the coast of Ghana (Africa), where it is known as the Guinea Current. The countercurrent of the Indian Ocean flows only during the northern winter and only south of the equator.

Nonetheless, despite all of the high-tech weather sensing equipment that’s available, along with years of accumulated data and training, the doldrums remain mysterious even for the professionals in the field of meteorology. Recently, in an interview published on www.weatherwise.org, noted weather router Ken Campbell of Commanders Weather said of this phenomenon: "In equatorial regions, I do not know of any way of forecasting cloud development. Basically [when routing sailors], we look for a spot with a narrow or the narrowest band of concentrated clouds and go for it. To a certain extent it is hope and pray, but that is weather forecasting anyway!"
Roger Badham, a well-known New Zealand-based meteorologist and race router concurs: "I use all the high-resolution satellite pictures (infrared, water vapor and visible) for the mean inter-tropical convergence zone position, real time satellite derived winds, and model-predicted winds. We try to skirt all the major cumulonimbus (there are light winds directly underneath these thunderstorms) and use the edges (where downdrafts flow outward), especially at night. Upper-level winds and jet-stream clouds to the north are not used at all."


Marc Thiercelen grew to loathe the doldrums when he wound up spending the better part of two and a half days there while finishing the Vendee Globe.

Where does that leave sailors? Well, Pilot Charts are one source you can check to determine the whereabouts of the doldrums and the narrowest part of the band, but this information tends to be wrong as often as it is right. And getting it wrong can really be costly. No one knows the depressing effects of the doldrums better than French racer Marc Thiercelin. In last year’s Vendee Globe, Thiercelin was trailing his nearest rival by almost 300 miles as he sailed north approaching the doldrums. With very little to lose (his other nearest opponent was well astern), he effected a brave move that appeared likely to pay off and get him through the band of light winds faster. But the frontal system that he hoped to ride through the doldrums evaporated and left him drifting in zephyrs that swirled around him from almost every direction for the better part of two days.

Should you choose to sail through the doldrums any time in the future, go forewarned and go armed with as much information as you can glean. Check out the websites listed below for weather updates, and keep your spirits up and your fingers crossed.

April 11, 2009 at 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Patience is what you learn most of all sailing, Zac, and it is a worthwhile attribute to aquire.

April 11, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Hang in there Zac!
God bless!
Nicki

April 11, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that you are suffering in the heat. I am praying that fair winds arrive soon. Would be a great Easter gift! Hope you are provisioned with something chocolate (more cookies perhaps?)to lift your spirits.

Are you reading a good book to keep your mind occupied? What are you drinking to stay hydrated? I love reading your answers to everyone's questions. Thanks, Zac, for sharing your ups and downs on this roller coaster ride called life.
CindyinCincy

P.S. Congratulations on catching a fish and a tuna to boot! Awesome!

April 11, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Ok, here I sit resplendently in centrally heated and air conditioned comfort drinking a very cold diet soda. and there sits Zac ... well, you read it. How strongly I wish that I could share these creature comforts right now!

What would I do if stuck in the ITCZ right now? How easy it is to contemplate this in utopian comfort. First, I'd get as near naked as I dared in the middle of the ocean then I'd wet the largest towel I had. I'd stretch out in the cockpit, cover myself with the wet towel and try to sleep. The practical question arises, would that scenario have a cooling effect, or would I merely be parboiled.

When the chips are down, Zac is far more clever and resourceful than I so I trust that he has devised a means of coping with the situation in the short term.

So Zac,our buddy, hang in there. It sounds miserable, but it's just the thing of the moment and will run it's course. Eventually you'll either find some wind or the wind will find you and the change will result in exhileration ... and off you go until the next big deal.

Thinking cooling thoughts for your and Intrepid,

The Croaker

April 11, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Zac,

Whatever you do and no matter how hot it gets, "stay in the boat!"

I like Croakers idea of wetting some towels and wrapping yourself in them to stay cool and do some reading or catch up on some school work. This too shall pass.

I would like to offer my good intentions and prayers for the Capt. of the Maersk ship who is currently being held hostage by Somali pirates. I also want to acknowledge the French woman whose husband was killed when their yacht was taken over by Somali pirates. I am so grateful to God that you managed to sail through that most dangerous region unscathed.

All in all, things are good, Zac. It's time to be patient and to be grateful for what we have. The wind will come...

April 11, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Is there a lot of shade on your boat? Maybe you can dip some sheets into the water and hang them up for shade and cooling. I'm from Simi Valley by the way. I know all of Ventura County is rooting for you!!!

April 11, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Daniel Chen said...

"I lift my eye unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth."
God bless and hang in there, Zac. People around the world are thinking of you. And praying.

April 11, 2009 at 11:59 PM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac,

Bored? You're kidding!

You're Captain of the ship! Get on and do something useful like tidy up or if all else fails, fish! Read, write, do schoolwork but don't give in to this temporary lack of wind and get so negative as to say you're bored!

Lots of us would be more than happy to trade places with you!

Hey I still think you're doing a great job so smile while you enjoy the quiet time.

All the best for an early puff of wind on the aft quarter.

Tim

April 12, 2009 at 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Willvp/East London said...

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: (Coleridge)

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

(from Wikepedia)

April 12, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, as expected Mike shot his mouth off too soon. Now he's sidelined in Hobart awaiting spare parts to be flown in. A 48 hour pit stop turned into 7 days which wlll now turn into 30 days of repeating that fancy boat. All the while winter is setting in in the Southern Hemisphere. Saito-san encountered horrendous conditions after round the Cape so much so he had to shut everything down and laid “ahull to the wind”

As of right now he's fine but has been disabled and the Chilean Navy amounted a rescue and have him under the control and under tow to safety.

Not to sound rude, but here we have a novice if you can even call it that 17 yo Mike in a decrepit second hand open 50 leaking like a sieve now awaiting re-re-re-pairs and the oldest old salt of the ocean doing this for the 8th time May Daying for assistance around Cape Horn.

Well

And poor young Zac in his sturdy Intrepid that has yet to let him down, is plodding along merrily Doldrums and all displaying the in real time the old fable, the tortoise and the hare.

Everyone will be alright.

Just never ever predict your human capabilities against nature and the seas.


:-)

April 12, 2009 at 3:41 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hey Zac.. the bob and bake huh...that is NOT fun!! I know it's never a favorite activity of mine and that's only on an inland lake in summer in Central New York!! Yep, looking around for the smallest of wind lines, praying for a puff somewhere!!! Hang in there, it's all part of the plan!!

Hugs...and oh yes I agree with Melanie stay in that boat! The wet sheet tent sounds like an excellent idea!!
Anita
Waterloo, NY

April 12, 2009 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zac,
I'm 8 years old and live in Monrovia, CA. Did you see any sharks on your trip? My friend Kellia loves sharks! How much money did you have to save for your trip? What was your favorite country so far?
Sydney Corazzelli

April 12, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

A Joyous Easter to you Zac, your family and the rest of the Zac Pac.

I am sitting here munching on what tastes liked dried cardboard. The worst thing about Passover is Matzo!

As you are on the homeward leg of the journey, I have changed the photo on my blog.

Sitting right next to my sewing machine is my pair of shears. Recently sharpened. So if you think that sitting in those doldrums is going to save your hair, don't bet on it.

Wishing you Godspeed.

Bill Mann
bill@barstools4u.com

April 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following both Mike's and Zac's journeys and find it disappointing that Zac seems to receive an inordinate number of anonymous negative comments. In reference to Mike on April 12, I am quite sure that I have never heard Mike "shooting his mouth off". A statement that paints him as very arrogant - certainly not a characteristic apparent in his blogs.

April 12, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Wishing you a Merry Easter Cap'n Zac, and plenty of wind to keep you busy and bring you home quickly!



I feel your pain on the wisdom teeth... sorry about that. I hope you've got some softer foods aboard to munch on!


My prayers for you and your family, God bless and God Speed!


-Halle S. in Oregon

April 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Bill Mann

Thanks for my laugh of the day!

Matzos sound unappealing -- are you allowed cheese on them? How about chocolate? Best wishes for a peaceful Passover.

Ditto on wishes to all here for a Joyous Easter, Happy Spring, Hopeful Passover or whatever you choose to celebrate! CindyinCincy

April 12, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac and Family,

You really have some deep
support here for you.

What a great collection
of thoughts and comments.

Everytime I read that "Rime"
by Coleridge I tear up. A very
appropriate post, London!

I read most of Natasha's logbook
yesterday -- what she
went through -- as she
neared Darwin!

Maybe I should have worried more
about Saito. But I just thought
the "old salt" would just do
fine and maybe have a lot of
fun laughing, in a good way,
at the "two boys".

The Open 70s have left
Rio for Boston. They are
having too much fun!
No worries with 10-member
crews.

Mike.

April 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Welcker Family said...

Happy Easter, Zac! He has risen - and He will never forsake you! Keep the faith, the wind will come.
Don, Sandy, Cassie & Roxanne

April 12, 2009 at 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there. We are praying for you!

April 12, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, you're not far from the Amazon jungle so hot and humid are the norm. Hope you catch some squalls every now and then.

Mike P may want to think about a Panama route if he spends much more time in Hobart.

April 12, 2009 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAPPY EASTER ZAC!!!

April 12, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

I remeber exactly what the Doldrums are like, being stuck in for a few days before finally getting out of it. We just bobbed for days, praying that any moment would bring some breeze. It was a good time to dry anything out that was wet, and a good time to do repair work since we couldn't do anything else...I don't envy you right now.

I have to say that weather program you have is very cool!

April 12, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

WHOOT WHOOT GO US NAVY SEALS!!!! So glad your out of that danger Zac. Hope by now your getting some wind. I have to agree.. STAY OUT OF THE WATER!!! you tied to a rope looks like bait on a line to a shark. Stay safe and try to stay cool..your almost home!!
Laura

April 12, 2009 at 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perham says he's on track to win youngest title

'I will beat Zac'

Dick Durham, Yachting Monthly, 6 April 2009

http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/auto/newsdesk/20090306095520ymnews.html

April 12, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Lori Love said...

So sorry to hear about your lack of movement. We wanted to wish you a HAPPY EASTER!!!! I hope God made your heart warm today allowing you to feel how many people are thinking and loving you today. You are in our hearts every day! Sail safe.

April 12, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Bill Mann -

Those scissors look quite sharp! It's nice to see you on the blog again. I miss you sense of humor and tonsorial expertise. Happy Passover to you. Matzo isn't THAT bad. How about some Matzo-brei?

@ WillVP -

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner takes me back to my college lit. days. We studied Coleride and this passage at great length ;).

I do wish Mike better luck than what he's had and for Saito-san's safety.

April 12, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Sorry about the winds or lack of them. I'm sure the heat is something that feels even worse since you have no wind.

Hang on and hopefully the wind will start blowing and you'll be at 6 knots in no time. The lack of wind will give you a little time for chores, homework, video taping, and book writing.

Wind Please Blow,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 13, 2009 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Zac,

Only one fish?

Curious about the wet towel idea.

Hope you are moving along soon!

SteveB
Birmingham,AL

April 13, 2009 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

Zac,

I found you blog a few days ago and still can't figure out why I am still reading it. I have no knowledge of boats, sailing, what in the world a knot is (except that you measure boat speed with it), or how you are doing this all. You must cut me some slack though, I live in the singular place in Minnesota without a lake, much less an ocean.

-smiles- Just kidding, even through my confusion I am fully ehjoying reading about your trip. I just wish I had found it sooner.

I hope you had a good Easter. May God bless you with wind and safety. I am praying for you.

Samantha

April 13, 2009 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac,

Any chance you might encounter the Volvo Ocean Race boats when you get near Natal? They are heading north from Rio, while you will be crossing their route heading west.

April 13, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Zac – Sorry you’ve hit the doldrums – sounds horrid, especially after you were moving along quite well there for a while… Keep your chin up – you have done absolutely amazing thus far and will continue to do so, whatever comes your way. Love the Q&A – hope it helps a tiny bit with the boredom! So very proud of you and so very much enjoying your blog for almost a year now. Take good care out there. Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

@ Samantha (new here) – you’re not the only one that knows nothing about sailing to get hooked on this blog – I got hooked before Zac left CA last June, after hearing him and his mum on NPR – found them both intriguing and have been part of this “Zac Pac” ever since. Stick around, it’s a great ride!

April 13, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac-
Maybe its a good thing to be becalmed in the doldrums for a little while----Bill Mann's scissors look pretty sharp.....
Kodiak Mike

April 13, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac,

Have you got a scientific calculator on board? Or,
maybe you have math software
installed on your laptop?
You might want to know
the distance between you
and Natasha
or the Volvo boats.

While in the doldrums
you can try this, and get
a few more boat-schooled credits!

This is the first item
I found on google. There are
many more. You could use the
google earth ruler, too, but
that won't get you any
school credits.

Mike.



Date: 6/8/96 at 18:51:44
From: Doctor Anthony
Subject: Re: Distance calculation

This can be done fairly easily by using the scalar product of
two vectors to find the angle between those vectors. If the
vectors are OA and OB where A and B are the two points on
the surface of the earth and O is the centre of the earth,
the scalar product gives OA*OB*cos(AOB) = R^2*cos(AOB)
where R = radius of the earth. Having found angle AOB, the
distance between the points is R*(AOB) with AOB in radians.

To find the scalar product we need the coordinates of the
two points. Set up a three-dimensional coordinate system
with the x-axis in the longitudinal plane of OA and the xy
plane containing the equator, and the z-axis along the earth's
axis. With this system, the coordinates of A will be

Rcos(latA), 0, Rsin(latA)

and the coordinates of B will be

Rcos(latB)cos(lonB-lonA),Rcos(latB)sin(lonB-lonA),Rsin(latB)

The scalar product is given by xA*xB + yA*yB + zA*zB

= R^2cos(latA)cos(latB)cos(lonB-lonA)+ R^2sin(latA)sin(latB)

Dividing out R^2 will give cos(AOB)

cos(AOB)=cos(latA)cos(latB)cos(lonB-lonA)+sin(latA)sin(latB)

This gives AOB, and the great circle distance between A and
B will be
R*(AOB) with AOB in radians.

-Doctor Anthony, The Math Forum
Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/

April 13, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

A Second Meeting for Mike and Zac?

As some have already noted, Mike Perham has had to put into Hobart for repairs. What started with messed up electronics after a midnight knock-down by a rogue wave in the Southern Ocean has turned into a major problem with a leaking bearing for one of his two rudders.

His father notes: "Mike is obviously very disappointed at the situation and frustrated that he could have been home by now, had he not had to endure such long periods of extra time due to equipment failure."

That kind of boggles the mind: According to the original schedule, Mike would be home by now.

There is talk about the delays getting him uncomfortably close to winter, which begins in June in the Southern Hemisphere. This means he is already sailing in the equivalent of Fall, which for sailors in the northern hemisphere (even on protected lakes and sounds) has a reputation for gear-busting winds. Add that to another 6,000 miles in the Southern Ocean just to get to Cape Horn, and things start to sound even more dangerous than they were before.

As an armchair sailor it would be fun to see Mike make a run for the Cape, and hope he finds a decent enough window to make it through. But as a parent, I just posted a message on Mike’s blog suggesting that because of the equipment delays he re-routes through the Panama Canal rather than risk a late-Fall, or Winter rounding of Cape Horn.

From reading Mike's Blog, I'm sure he'd love the idea of a blustery Cape Horn rounding, but this might be a time when parents and others need to guide that unbridled enthusiasm onto a safer track.

So, who knows, maybe Mike and Zac can have a second get-together in Panama. Toss back some cold ones, and talk about the fun and craziness they have both seen so far in their very young lives.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 13, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac,
I know it's most likely very uncomfortable for you down below in the cabin. In the marina where I slip my boat it gets very hot inside the cabin also due to a hot sun and no breeze. What you can do is drape a tarp over the boom and attach it to your lifelines on either side. It stops the sun from shining directly on the cabin top and helps keep it nice and cool down below. You can always remove the tarp if your weather report lets you know of any wind heading your way.

Wishing you a safe journey.

Malcolm

April 13, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Mike's comment - "I will beat Zac" ...
That was taken of context. If you read the whole interview, he was talking about the fact that if both he and Zac finish their journey's on schedule, he would "beat Zac" because he would be younger when he get's back home...that's all.

April 13, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

I agree with you on
Panama. But,
storm season
starts soon in the Caribbean
doesn't?

I think Mike needs a Westsail 32
to get past Cape Horn safely at this time. The Open 50 would be
great in our waters.

Mike.

April 13, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Oh, man! You're REALLY stuck, Zac! I wish we could all inhale and then exhale at the same time and get you moving across the equator! Here's wishing to Mother Nature for some cooperation......SOON!!!!!

Scott

:)

April 13, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike will be fine. It's his boat that is a worry. Appears as though no one checked it out thoroughly before departing, where Zac and Laurence practically handbuilt Intrepid from the ground up.

I wonder if this problem rudder of Mike's is the other one, or the same one he had fixed in Cape Town. If the other one, and not knowing anything about boats, but would it not be prudent, like with automobiles, if one head light goes out, you can be assured the other one will go out shortly thereafter, so you may as well change them both at the same time.

In the case of Mike's rudder if the one was breaking down en-route to Cape Town, and was repaired, surely the experts there would have the foresight to examine the other one as well and/or repair replace parts to it that they did with the first one.

Whatever. :-)

Was more worried about Natasza, who hadn't logged in for 4 or 3 days now. She just did, all well and it's her birthday too.

Get quite nervous when these three are all silent, just like Zac is right now. Is he busy searching for Oyster Eggs :-) Or Maybe he's fishing. Probably right about now is the best time to test that solar oven. Steamed fish anyone yuck :-(

How about reversing that wind propeller generator. Attach it to the batteries and reverse it so that it becomes a fan and fills up the sails :-) or at least aim it into the cabin to get some circulation at night while trying to sleep. Can only imagine how horrendous it must be hot humid muggy nights with not a single breeze. Ouch.

April 13, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

While Zac is in the Doldrums (geographically, not spiritually, I hope) here are a couple of questions would love to get answered from posts yesterday:

1)Anyone have information on the Japanese solo sailor Saito? "Anonymous" yesterday said Saito had run into problems in mountainous seas near Cape Horn. Tried to Google for more on this, but haven't found anything yet. Anyone have a URL they can point to?

2) Another poster mentioned reading the logbook of Natasha (don't know if that is correct spelling) the solo circumnavigator who has had autopilot and other problems. Anyone have a URL for her Web site? Would like to read the logbook.

And, yesterday I noted that as much as it would be fun (from the safety of an armchair) to see Mike Perham make a run for Cape Horn, the time he has lost to mechanical delays (he was supposed to be home in the UK by now) has put him into a dangerous season in the Sounthern Ocean.

So, just to be a responsible adult, here's the message I posted to his blog yesterday advising him to head to the Panama Canal and save Cape Horn for another day:

Mike --

You've done great so far in your Ocean 50. If you were to trace my comments back far enough you'd see that at the beginning of your journey I was suggesting you do it in something more indestructible such as a full-keel, Colin Archer-designed Westsail 32.

So you've proven yourself over and over again.

The delays that have been caused by equipment failure, though, have taken you into a more dangerous time of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. It is already Fall in the Southern Ocean, and at this rate you'll be approaching Cape Horn toward the beginning of Winter.

As your Dad pointed out in his most recent posting, without the equipment delays you'd already have been home.

While I've got no doubt that you'd be heroic in a winter storm, I don't think it would be fair to yourself or your family to put you in such a position while approaching, rounding, and leaving Cape Horn.

And as Captain of what's become your much-beloved boat, you owe it to your boat to get her home safe and sound.

So . . . with all that in mind, I bet you'd have a great adventure heading through the Panama Canal. If this translated into a longer trip, then that would make for an even better book. Love the way you write, so the more days you spend at sea, the more you can weave your spell.

Hope to see a course change for the Canal. And with some luck, would be cool if you and Zac got the chance to meet again, maybe in some Humphery Bogart looking bar in Panama, talking about all the crazy things you've already seen, and wondering about what might be rolling your way next.

Wishing you All the Best, and Hoping for a Canal Re-Routing,

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Kaylee said...

Hi Zac, I just thought i'd let you know you have my prayers and thoughts. I was on the rebelution and saw you're website. I hope you're journey's an amazing success and it already is an amazing opportunity to share the gospel message with thousands.
-Kaylee

April 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home