Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flying Through the Doldrums

I'm still making good progress towards the equator although the squalls have picked up quite a bit. The intensity is not too bad. Most are only 20-25 knots. I've been able to use them my advantage which has been making a pretty boring passage much more interesting.

I've been able to stay in squalls today for about 8 hours going along between 6-7 knots - a little over hull speed. As soon as I get out of the squalls, the wind drops quite a bit and I may only be going 4 knots for a couple of hours. I'm averaging about 120 miles a day right now. If I am able to keep up this speed I should be crossing the equator in about 3 days.

Other than that, I think it is a full moon tonight so when the clouds clear up enough for it to shine through it seems like it is almost as bright as day which makes it easier to do things at night.

One of the squalls today had 35 knots and as I was reefing the genoa I looked over at the knot gauge and I hit 11 point something knots boat speed! Not bad for an Islander 36 whose hull speed is 6.3 knots.

My wisdom teeth seem to be doing OK today. Mom talked to the dentist who had a look at my Xrays and advised me how to handle things until I get to port.

Getting late here. Need to do some sail trim before I go to sleep.



Blogger Daveh said...

Great news on the wind and teeth! I posted something on yesterday's blog, probably minutes before your new update...

Fantastic about the wind for sure..

Daveh & Skipper

April 9, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last Chance. What about a message in a bottle? About 10 years ago from NA to RSA right on the equator I tossed a message in a bottle. 2.5 years later I receive a letter from Brazil. Young girl walking on the beach saw it bobbing amongst the sea weed and decided to take a look. Made the news papers there :-) Didn't exactly travel very far but sure took long enough to be found, just that was cool, that it was and still was readable.

Zac's soon approaching the equator, do the same. Write down who what how where and when and forget about it. Plastics best (glass can break on rocks or ships hitting it etc. Just duct tape the cap solid , fold the paper inwards so the writing is not exposed and let her rip. You might get a nice surprise in 3 or 5 or even 10 years time.

April 9, 2009 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

So do U keep in touch with whoever found your bottle? I kinda think there must be a reason why your paths crossed.

April 9, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

Glad the tooth is cooperating.

It's a full moon here in San Diego too. When you look at the moon, know that we see it too.

Fair sailing Zac.

April 10, 2009 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Awesome hull speed!
Glad to hear you have some resolution re the wisdom teeth!
Sail on Captain!
Hugs and Blessings
Waterloo NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

April 10, 2009 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Definitely hope the winds remain kind to you. I'm also happy to hear your wisdom teeth are feeling better - or causing less trouble for your other teeth. I have been bless with no wisdom teeth, a good thing because I get squeemish over work being done in my mouth.

Sail on, Cap'n Zac! Stay safe and stay hydrated!


milford, ohio

April 10, 2009 at 5:33 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Squalls are not great news but 120 miles per day sure is. Good luck with the wind and hopefully you'll make great time.

Keep working on that book.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 10, 2009 at 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great hull! Zipping right along. Glad to hear the wisdoms have backed off a bit. Take care.
Kodiak Mike

April 10, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought hull speed was the square root of LWL*1.34? If the Islander 36 has an LWL of 28'3", then hull speed should be 7.12 knots, right?

April 10, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac...

It's great to hear that you are moving with good winds and covering some amazing distances. We had 50+ Knot winds yesterday, bad wildfires and over 100 homes destroyed here in central Okla. We also had a foolhardy sailor on the lake that had to be rescued after his sailboat went keel up.
You are getting this done, stay alert and take care of yourself and Intrepid. Have a blessed Easter!
Bob in OKC

April 10, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Art Guy said...

Hey Zac,
7 knots, wow!, that's almost as fast as my last trawler and you're not using any fuel!! I'm reading a book on a sailing adventure that has an unfortunate ending. Please be careful out there, keep a really sharp lookout for ships and don't become complacent even for a moment. Wishing you onward to Grenada.

April 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hey Zac,

Funny, after I posted my comment on the last blog, suddenly you are getting good hull speed. :-)

I'm wondering though, so many people say keep ice on to keep the swelling out of your tooth/mouth, or whatever; however, do you have ice out there? Hmmmm!


April 10, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Briar said...

Hi Zac,

I just found out about your amazing journey from Alex and Brett Harris' 'Rebelution' blog.

I think it is great that you are realizing such a huge dream. It is inspiring to see someone surmount huge obstacles in order to achieve their vision.

I will be following the remainder of your journey with great interest, and look forward to reading your book.

April 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Bill Jamison said...

Wow Zac you really are making a lot of progress - so much for being worried about being becalmed for any length of time. This seems to be the smoothest leg of the journey so far, a combination of luck, great forecasting, and experience maybe?

Hopefully the winds will continue to push you along to your next port of call.

April 10, 2009 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok! I am waiting frantically for news on a solo circumnavigator being rescued. That is all I heard on the news. I can't find anything on the internet. Am totally worried that it might be you Zac. Please let us know that you are alright.


April 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger T J said...

Every time I read doldrums here, I think of The Phantom Tollbooth.

April 11, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

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