From his Hollywood home, Errol Flynn copters to La Jolla's Scripps Institution of Oceanography for a few days. Inspired by the sight of a pod of gray whales, Flynn, his father (an oceanographer), and Dr. Hubbs from Scripts take Flynn's schooner, the Zaca, for a specimen-collecting trip down the coast, through the Panama Canal, and on to a southern port in Jamaica. Flynn's wife Nora joins them; his dad, Hubbs, and John Decker, an artist, turn the Zaca into a floating research lab. The Flynns take a raft for a day trip upriver to a Jamaican waterfall. There's an evening of dancing, then it's back to the sea. Written by
Did You Know?
The Zaca was a wooden-hulled, schooner-rigged yacht with an auxiliary engine. She was designed by Garland Rotch and completed in 1930 at Sausalito, California, built by Nunes Brothers Boat and Ways Co.
Due to the need for local patrol and rescue craft in the busy waters in the San Francisco area during World War II, the schooner was acquired by the Navy from Templeton Crocker on 12 June 1942. Placed in service on 19 June 1942 and assigned to the Western Sea Frontier, Zaca, classified a miscellaneous auxiliary and designated IX-73 operated as a plane-guard ship, standing ready to rescue the crews of any planes downed nearby.
Eventually relieved by the frigates (PF's) of Escort Squadron 41, Zaca was placed out of service at Treasure Island, California on 6 October 1944; and her name was struck from the Navy list on 13 November 1944.
Turned over to the War Shipping Administration on 21 May 1945, Zaca was acquired in 1946 by Errol Flynn, an actor famed for his "swashbuckling" roles in numerous movies. Zaca is featured prominently in the 1947 Orson Welles film The Lady from Shanghai. Flynn owned the yacht until his death in 1959.
As of 2008, Zaca is privately owned and berthed in Monaco. The owner is Roberto Memmo. The skipper is Bruno Dal Pias. A crew of four regularly sail Zaca to ports such as Punta Ala, Gaeta, Capri, Cagliari, and throughout the Agean Sea. The Zaca is frequently seen at prestigious sailing races in the Mediterranean. Her winter port is in Port de Fontvielle Monte Carlo.
In 2009, the Sailing Channel, now the Nautical Channel, dedicated a program to the entire history of the Zaca from original construction to the present entitled "In the Wake of the Zaca". See more
At the start of the film, Flynn leaves his home, mentions and shows that he is carrying an apple and a banana, probably for his lunch. He stuffs the banana into his jacket pocket. As he runs to the waiting helicopter, you can see the banana pop out of his pocket and fall to the ground. He does not stop to retrieve it. See more
Opening dedication: To Dr. Carl Hubbs, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California and to Professor Thomson Flynn of Ireland, my warmest thanks for your technical advice. Signed, Errol Flynn See more