Monday, April 27, 2009

Still Counting...

Latest Position: 04/27/09 0055Z 10 31.253N 54 51.351W

Everything has been going well out here. Still making good time towards Grenada with 430 miles to go as I write. I should be arriving Thursday some time if I'm able to keep up the good average. Other than the good speed, I passed a ship the other night that didn't show up on my AIS. I woke up to scan the horizon and saw a mass of lights. Not having the radar is such a pain. I had to stay up for 3 hours until I passed the thing. I've been waking up every 20 minutes at night to look out because my radar is dead. The only thing to tell me if I'm on a collision course with ships is my AIS. It only picks up huge ships, some ships don't even show up and fishing boats never show up.

The last 2 nights I've been getting very little sleep. The wind vane that had been holding together very well since I left St Helena broke four times last night. It isn't too hard to fix but I'm pretty tired today. Only 3 more nights until I get in. Looking forward to it more and more.

Have to get back to it here...




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat got yer tongue, today, mate?
First empty post ever. Glad you are still moving along, in any case. We know you are there.

April 27, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...


April 27, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger MindWalker said...

To Anonymous: For Pete's sake! The lad is exhausted. No reason to get on his case.

April 27, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger j said...

RE Anonymous: Did you read the post Mate?, he sounds like he might be a little busy, and sleep deprived !! EASE UP
Rock On Zac

April 27, 2009 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Zac... you're really moving! haven't checked in two days, so your position is way farther north! great job! Have you tried altering your sleep patterns to sleep during the day? I'm assuming that you've thought of that and are not doing it for a good reason.... Good Luck with your entry to Grenada!! and hope all repairs are quick for you - you're almost there!!!

@anonymous: empty? are you serious? what a strange comment you make. @John: oops to what?


April 28, 2009 at 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac.....nearly are doing wonderfully and I can only imagine the feelings you must have as you near land after such a long leg. This has not been without its difficulties and once again you have shown great endurance and strength of character.AWESOME

UK friend

April 28, 2009 at 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

The good news is that shows you having perfect weather all the way through Thursday: 15 to 20 knots on the beam.

Be careful as you get more and more sleep deprived. Put a lot of thought into everything you do. Will be nice when you get to have some serious sleep in Grenada.

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 28, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Just a few more days of good sailing and you'll be able to sleep well. Keep your spirits up, stay alert, and make sure to eat and drink. You must keep you body charged up.

You Can Do It,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 28, 2009 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Zac..So sorry your not getting much sleep:/ Just keep thinking of land and before you know it you will be in Granada!
I hope all the repairs go well so you and intrepid make the last of your journey a smooth one. I bet the hug you have with your mom is going to be GREAT!!!
Stay Safe
Laura BD

April 28, 2009 at 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet a good sleep in Grenada is on the top of your list. Hang in there....after the new equipment and repairs are accomplished, the next leg will be icing on the cake. Smooth sailin' dude. Get a cat nap.
Kodiak Mike

April 28, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Sorry to hear of all the problems and lack of sleep.
Hopefully all repairs will go smoothly and you'll have a chance for some good uninterrupted rest.
Hang in there Zac!
Tucson, AZ

April 28, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Art Guy said...

Since there are many non-boaters out there reading in and some "arm-chair" boaters as well, I'll try to put into words what Zac might like to say, but is too polite to write; If you're passing through an area of shipping and fishing traffic single-handed, without radar, whether it be day or night, the only safe and sane way to avoid being run down or running into a ship or other vessel is to maintain an almost constant watch. On vessels with more than one crew member, it's the law. Zac can't sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, in order to maintain a constant vigil as lookout. If he sleeps during the day the same problem exists, it's just daylight. Try staying awake or having to wake up every half-hour or so for a few days and see if you sound coherent, or can make split second decisions. I rest my case. Hang in there Zac, sleep is just over the horizon!

April 28, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you someone do the math ?

Can't Zac squeeze an hour's sleep on each what.

If I understand the human eye can see as far as 3 miles on the horizon if standing. 5 miles if he climbs up the crows nest :-)

What kind of binoculars does he have on board? 10 x's ?

Is it he can can scan the horizon for 30 miles? If so and he is moving forward at 10 miles miles and hour and say a motor boat is coming towards him at 20 miles and hour, does he have an hour before they collide?


April 28, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Grenada is closer than ever, Zac. I'm sure you're looking forward to catching up on your much needed sleep. Some fresh, warm food and cool drinks are just a few days away.

Sail on!

April 28, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really interested to find out what is wrong with the radar. Pretty sure so would Raymarine. They're quite robust and can take a lot. Hopefully Laurence will detail everything once he knows for those of us who are interested.

Raymarine's got phenomenal support. I'm wondering if Mom or Laurence contacted them for assistance?

I see on the FAQ Zac;s got a C-70 radar (I think, C series though)looking around Raymarine's site, shows the Radome RD218 scanner or the one up from that. Looking further at the user manuel, the actual scanner looks quite basic. Small motorized scanner in the domed housing, with heavy duty wiring back to the radar itself. than the motor for the scanner dying, or the wiring coming lose, what else could it possibly be?

Surely the actual radar has a built in diagnostics? If the power line to the scanner motor is lose or the motor is dead, would the software in the radar itself be intelligent enough to alert to that? Not unlike you computer if the mouse is disconnected it will alert you :-)

What notifications does the radar give Zac when he tries to use it? It must say something. Not nothing.

Did anyone contact Raymarine? Like digital cable tv, there all sorts of hidden switchs via the input to pull up diagnostics on any computer system.

Other than that, the mount of the radar dome seems very very secure, probably not something Zac want's to do climb up there unscrew the whole thing and bring it down and open it up and have a look. Amazing how these things break down when you really need it. It would have been better in the dead calm of the doldrums, to climb up and bring it down and then a good project to try to fix it.

But there's got to be more to it that it just stopped working. Does Mom know? Even if it is some obscure error code message. Contact Raymarine support.

April 28, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Thanks to Grant for the encouraging weather report and thanks to Artguy for the perspective.

Zac, we are all concerned about you and the lack of sleep. Any of us who have pulled an all-nighter at work or while in school are empathetic.

Grenada is going to be live heaven. The sheer joy of laying your head on your pillow and knowing that it's safe to wake up whenever you wake up is going to be on of the treats of the entire voyage!

Praying that Grant's weather forecast holds up and that you continue to make great time!

The Croaker

April 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger caroline hate said...

Hey Zac! My name's Caroline, I'm from Brazil. Oh My Goodness! Seriouslly, I can't belive you're on this jorney for so long! Well, you appear in a newspaper here, in Brazil, I hope you're enjoying your wonderful jorney!

Best Wishes!

April 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

So close but yet so far!!! Hang in there Zac!
Fair winds and following seas.
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV "Womabt"

April 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Birgit Rudolph/Dirk Krehl said...

Hi Zac,

I haven't checked on you for quite a while as I was always busy with a lot of things. But as in Rodrigues Island the new season has started (due to the calm weather without cyclones in this season for us, they start arriving already a bit earlier than usually), today the third yacht came in already, so really high time to see where you are and how you are doing at the moment...

I cross the fingers for you, hope you will get a bit of sleep before you arrive in Grenada.

I have to catch up about the last weeks during the next days.

By the way, yesterday someone arrived on the second yacht here, who claims to know you well from Mauritius...I won't say more now as I will prepare something in my Rodrigues blog , so that you will be able to see who it is...

It was funny to find immediately, when reading the last entries, a reference to Rodrigues when the drum was mentioned...

Here still a lot of people think about you...

Good luck!

Birgit from Rodrigues

April 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See for 30 miles!? Nope....the limit on his visibility on the horizon is more a factor of the curvature of the earth as anything else. IF he can see three miles from the deck, 10x binocs DO NOT increase that distance to 30m miles!

He's in a serious dilemma at the moment...

Steve in CA

April 28, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


Your little time and motion problem is a bit confusing. First you hypothesize that one can see for 3 miles is standing and 5 miles from the mast-top. How can you then propose that he can see the horizon for 30 miles in your problem?

Well anyway, if he and a ship are 30 miles apart and heading towards one another, the ship at 20 MPH and the yacht at 10 MPH, they are eating up the distance at a total of 30 MPH so they would collide in one hour if no one alters course.

In such a scenario, it would be incumbent on Zac to alter his course as he has essentially stated that it appears the ships at sea have no proper look-outs, do not activate their equipment, and are not to be expected to behave in any responsible manner.

Captain Zac is up to it. Keep the faith.

The Croaker

April 28, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Allyson Janell said...

Keep it up, Zac! You are doing a great job out there!!!

April 28, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With no radar, how will you cope in the event you hit fog?

April 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Will/East London said...

Go Zac !!!

April 28, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Zac, hang in there. Your're doing great. You'll be on land before you know it. We're all sending you great energy to keep you going.


MDR via Santa Clarita

April 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken here…

Art Guy, I fully agree.
All these well meaning people are getting excited over this adventure. Their comments are intended to offer support and suggestions based on their logic and experience. Many of these comments, although heart felt, are not helpful to the cause.

If someone is not technically trained in the areas of equipment operation & function, and the accompanying laws, troubleshooting should be kept in their pockets.
Unless I am mistaken, Zack is not licensed to open the radar and do repairs. The FCC requires specific technical training in this area with lots of reasons to support it. Installation can be done by the consumer but not repairs unless qualified.
For those out there who don’t know…
RADAR is not a computer it is a high frequency radio wave signal.
Regulated by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) a US government agency.
Many of these foreign flagged ships are not in compliance anyway.

Best to all

Go Zac…


April 28, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

I've sat here & re-read Capt Zac!'s blog, a couple previous blog posts & then some of the comments.

I've written, deleted, re-written, deleted and decided WTF!

We're ALL worried/concerned (no more so than Team Sunderland I am MOST sure!).

When God fearing people are in trouble - what do YOU do? I don't care Who You worship - NOW is the time to PRAY for OUR Capt!

Pray peeps, PRAY. Get on your blessed knees ask THE Almighty (or your Diety - depending upon your religeon) to PROTECT, GUIDE, BLESS, and keep Our Hero safe, if need be, ask that God steer Lady Intrepid while S/He protects Capt Zac! during a power-nap.

I ask EVERYONE reading this - KEEP Capt Zac! in Your Prayers/Positive Thoughts UNTIL he reaches his next port of call.

We've been asked for our financial support, I'M asking you for your Spiritual/Religeous support for Capt Zac!.


April 28, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Laws? What FCC? Zac's in the middle of the ocean in international waters and you're worried about "upsetting" some ridiculous law in some country 5000 miles away? When his life depends on it? :-) Come on. Look at the owner manual. The radar scanner looks like a mikey mouse toy. It's nothing but a housing with a tiny scanner and motor in it. You are supposed to open it up in order to install it, 3 wires power and data and plug at the other end of the wire is all it is.

FCC LAW, tell that to the Somali pirates ;-)

April 28, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keeping you in our prayers. I can not imagine anything much harder than what you are currently enduring. Take care of yourself as best you can and stay focused on your goal. CindyinCincy

April 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

@Tomi has some good advice.

From an earlier post from Zac I recall that a "hand from nowhere" shook his shoulder once when he fell asleep at the help on a perilous passage.

Let's hope he doesn't need to be awakened again, but if he does, that hand from somewhere is there to help.

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 28, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's speed Zac! You are truely amazing! In a few days you will be in Grenada with your dad! Have you ever read Rudyard Kiplings's "If"?
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowence for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look to good, nor talk to wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
if you can think- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disater
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can beat to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch- and-toss,
And lose and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart to nerve and sinue
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "hold on!";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Your are only 17 years old, but you are definitely a man!

Tim Palm Springs

April 28, 2009 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Zac and 'Team Sunderland,'

Ditto Tomi;

What can it hurt~~I'm on my knees. Keeping Zac safe is what I'm praying for.

Zac, I can't imagine what that must be like, to wake up every 20 or 30 minutes to check the horizon for so many days; especially when young people need their sleep! I'm sure when you reach port; and I'm sure you will, with all the prayers coming your way; that 3 or 4 hours will be all you will be able to handle that first day. It will be wonderful!

My donation may not be much, yet it should be sufficient for enough gatorade to get you to the Panama Canal.

May the wind fill your sails, and the ships be far from you!


April 28, 2009 at 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Zac,

Sure hope the nectar of the Gods was on your provisioning list - Coffee that is !! There's nothing like strong coffee for stamina !!

Stay Strong - You're doing great.


April 28, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Parker Fritsch said...

Hi Zac! It's me Parker! I got a little break from my chemo and am feeling pretty good! :) I bet you are very excited about almost being there. Do you yell when you finally see land??? I would! I think I'd dance and sing too!

Thanks for saying hi to my class. That was pretty cool! I just found out that I'm a finalist for the Build-a-Bear's "Huggable Heros" contest. It's a really great honor if I win. Wish me luck! It's down to about 52 kids and there will be 12 winners in the U.S. and Canada combined.

I bet you can't get the Swine Flu at sea! Maybe you should stay out longer. I hope you get some sleep soon. That must be really hard. Can't wait to hear about the Panama Canal. Take care. Be safe.

Your Buddy,

April 28, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Sherna Taylor said...

My prayers go out to you, Stay focused,

This weekend my daughter was working on a paper for school due Monday 6 pm. She workded all day Sunday, worked thru the night and all day Monday .

Today she is too tired to keep her eyes open to eat. I cant imagine what it is like for you to continually go for days with cat naps.

I pray thatyou and Intrepid be wrapped in His love and that you be guided safely in to St Georges and into the arms of your Dad and onto a pillow

@Tomi. I coudnt have put it any better

Take Care buddy we are sending energy and prayers your way


April 28, 2009 at 10:05 PM  

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