Monday, April 13, 2009

So Close and Yet So Far III

Latest Position: 04/13/09 1450Z 1 39.192S 27 17.354W

Not much change here. The wind has been light and fluky. The seas are calm. It is boiling hot and humid. I have spent some time today filming, cooking, reading, writing and resting. I tried to get on a Caribbean Net on the SSB at 2000Z (12.359Mhz) but the reception was bad so I'll try again when I get closer. I think the guy who runs it is transmitting out of Canada.

I hear that the Volvo Ocean race boats are leaving Rio de Janero soon. I have visions of all of us being stuck out here in the doldrums together!

Seriously though, I am sooo close to the wind but moving so slowly it feels like being 1000 miles away. The NE Trades are waiting for me near the equator if I can just get there.

Thanks for all of the comments with ideas to keep cool, keep my mind busy and reminding me how lucky I am to be out here. I'm still hot and frustrated but excited to be out of here soon and into the trade winds again.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one awesome sailor Zac! Myself, Susan, Sara, Levi & Jackson are pulling for you. Keep your chin up and stay cool. Grenada is gonna be a great relax.
God speed and God bless you and your family. We have been following you since you left California last spring and we are planning a Zac party when you reach your final circumnavigation destination. Keep blogging and best of luck

April 13, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac!!
Wow, hopefully the wind picks up soon. Yeah, if you got stuck with those race boats you guys could all exchange ideas on how to pass the time LOL!!!!!!! At least you know that it won't last forever and that helps hahaha!!! Well keep sailing and stay cool!!!


April 13, 2009 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hoping really hard for some wind, Zac!



April 13, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... mapping, realtime weather, routing, predicted routing, weather etc. Zoom in zoom out. Can even see poor Zac's coordinates show 0 knots and 5 knots.

Looks like their paths may converge depending on what steam Zac can pick up once out of there. What a cool concept if he sights some of them as they cross paths.

April 13, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious minds want to know -- what are you cooking? What are you reading and what music are you listening to?

Hope you get a bit of a breeze soon! Keeping you in our prayers, Zac and still amazed at your ability to shoulder whatever comes your way. CindyinCincy

April 13, 2009 at 7:26 PM  
Anonymous bilgerat101 said...

hi there your not alone we are all with you here so keep up the grate job you are do

ps Natasa Caban is 262nm off your port qurter

April 13, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Yeah Zac! I heard the stoke in your last post even though you are stuck. You'll get a breeze soon and be busy once again. keep being positive bruddah!

April 13, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

During Passover, I keep thinking about the idea of freedom, not suprisingly. When I think about freedom, I think about sailing. When I think about sailing, Zac always comes up eventually, and that's when I remember to pray for him.

So, good going Zac! I'm still jealous, especially since a chance to go sailing last Sunday fell through.

Still praying daily Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier't forget Cd is still for sale here!

April 13, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you ever thought about designing a sailboat?

April 13, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Natasza Caban's site:

Minaru Saito's site:

You can sign up for daily email updates as well.


April 13, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the direct link to saito's log book, the link via the main site is unnecessarily complicated.

Scroll up for the previous entries the whole story:

April 13, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger red said...

start paddling!!

April 14, 2009 at 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Thanks for the pointers to Saito's site and Natasza's.

Readers of Zac's adventures would enjoy reading Natasza's blog. Go to: and click on "Blog" (I was looking around for something that said "logbook" or something, but the big blue "Blog" button is what you are after.

It is fascintating to read blogs from Zac, Mike, and now Natasza. Three different people, having three very different voyages around the world -- each so very interesting and adventurous.

Someone defined sailboat cruising as traveling to exotic places to repair your boat. All 3 voyagers seem to be bound by that truth.

Saito's blog seems to be told in 3rd person from his support team. Perhaps because of a language barrier. But from time I spent there you had to fill in the details of the stories: But huge stories no doubt: Like rounding Cape Horn -- only to be practically blown back around it again when the 50-knot headwinds and 30-foot seas made it impossible for him to attempt to make progress against. This was when he simply battened down the hatches and went down below for a few days. During this time he got a rope fouled around his rudder -- probably a jib sheet or other line that was blown overboard by the wind and then got tangled as the huge seas drove his boat backwards.

He's now in port, just inside of Cape Horn after getting a rescue tow from the Chilean Navy.

Mike Perham is still in port in Hobart, awaiting new bearings for one of his 2 rudders to be shipped down from the UK.

Natasza reports she was nearly run over by a ship, and as she continues to battle with her self-steering problems, her most recent posting reads simply:

"8.04.2009 Position 06 44 S, 026 03 W, Last night was a very, very long one for me... So long that I have no will nor strength to talk about it..."

And Zac is trying to devise ways to stay cool until he's rescued from the Doldrums by the Trade Winds of the Northern Hemisphere.

Plenty of adventure out there on the oceans.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

April 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM  
Anonymous Willvp/East London said...

Don't try this yourself !!!!

When you're stuck in the doldrums, drifting with no wind, you shouldn't whistle to call up the wind, but you could try sticking a knife in the mast. No one knows for sure where this superstition came from. Maybe some poor sailor got so frustrated after weeks without wind that he stabbed the mast. The next day a wind came and the superstition was born.

April 14, 2009 at 2:14 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I'll be praying for the wind to pick up and that you'll have safe journey back home :). I hope time will go by faster for you instead of being really slow...Is it hard being alone for so long or are you used to it now?

God Bless,

April 14, 2009 at 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I just have to ask--when its as hot as you say, do you just strip down to your birthday suit since no one will see you anyways?? You must be getting a great tan !!!

April 14, 2009 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger surfinsarah1590 said...

I feel your pain, Zac. Never sailed down there before, but I know what it's like to be stuck out at sea with no wind and the blazing hot sun beaming down on you. lol It just makes it so much more of a relief when the wind does come! For you have a fan? hehe Keepin' you in my prayers. And it looks everyone else is, too:) God bless!


April 14, 2009 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

I guess we'll have to pray for wind now. At first you had so much wind and now you don't have any.

I'm sure you're all caught up with the chores now. Make sure you are because when that wind comes you won't have time for much else.

Try to Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 14, 2009 at 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting story about ocean currents from Alaska.
Something to enjoy in the doldrums.
Kodiak Mike

April 14, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Zac even have some sort of refrigeration device onboard? FAQ doesn't mention anything. How to get a cold glass of water stuck out there. The holding tanks must be heating up the drinking what enough to make tea. Can you tie together say 300 ft of rope to the anchor, attach a bottle of water (glass or something crush proof) toss it overboard and let it cool down there so you can at least enjoy a cold drink?

How about stowaways? After reading Natasza's blog, seemed to have had a mouse on board that ate some medication or something. Interested to know if Zac found any stowaways, from a spider, a fly, an ant, a beetle anything on board he can chat to? A moth even? Caterpillar? Maybe not from St Helena since he was moored offshore, Cape Town perhaps. From a box of fruit or simply something creeping aboard when tied to the dock at V&A. One thing though, for sure there are no mosquitoes out there in the middle of the equator in that hot humid weather. At least that's something to be happy about :-)))

April 14, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Zac have the lastest radio networks to try if he can't get caribbean net? Though I'd expect his radio has an autoscan feature?

April 14, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hi Zac!
I was wondering if you have trouble keeping things charged up w/o the wind? Or do you run the engine for a bit? Maybe the solar panels do the job??

Praying for wind to get you headed home!

Be safe,
Captain SV "Wombat"

April 14, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zack, watsup? My family just scared me to death by telling me that they're considering traveling the world on a sailboat too. Well, for one thing, I grew up in the country and have never been on the water. I also have a very weak stomach and am petrified of deep, dark water. How do you think I'm going to do? lol All my friends don't like the sound of it either but I don't really have much of a choice. They're all afraid I'm going to get sunk by a storm and never heard from again. So, two things I want to know. How bad are the storms and how does internet work out there?


April 14, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger KATE said...

Hey Zac,
Here's some more Carib Nets worth a try, if nothing else to relieve the tedium:

7.241 MHZ @ 11:00Z (Coming out of St. Croix)

21.400 MHZ @ 13:00Z (This one may follow passage from Med Sea to Carib)

I know just hearing a voice that speaks English would be refreshing at this point.

Carry on young man, drink loads of
liquids and remember complacency
is not allowed on the Intrepid!

Good Luck with the Nets, be sure to let us know if you heard anyone!

April 14, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


Always wondered when you'd have time for school. I couldn't imagine really being able to do much more than sail. And we wondered why you are in the doldrums. Seemed like more cleaning got done at my place whenever I had school work looming.

Hope you get back to sailing soon!


April 14, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hi Zac (mum,dad) sorry no posting... I've been swamped with my companies, and we are moving from West Florida to SE Florida, just been cRaZy...

Good luck in the becalms, you'll get out of there soon and be fwd... I hope your wisdom tooth is being very stupid and quiet....

Daveh & Skipper

April 14, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger kenintoronto said...

Mike Perham's father was fired from his job because he was spending too much time away from work attending to Mike.

April 14, 2009 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Honeybee said...

Hey Zac, Just reading your latest post from Florida. We are getting a pretty good low coming through here and there is plenty of wind associated with it so if you haven't started sailing yet, my guess is you will very soon, that is if you are near Nicaragua (Grenada)?

Have a great time on the rest of your adventure. And kudos to you for taking the time and effort to persue such a thing! May your life always be fullfilling! You are inspiring many! Keep riding this wave!

April 14, 2009 at 6:52 PM  

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