Saturday, June 28, 2008

Current Position (as of 8:15pm PT): 22.17W, 135.39W

A calmer day today. The wind has been lighter averaging about 8 kts all day with periods of time with 15 kts. I am making a pretty consistant 5 knots and am more comfortable as the swells are smaller and not as steep.
I set out a fishing line today. The line screamed suddenly for about 2 seconds and stopped. When I finally hauled everything back on board there was no fish but the lure was still there. I have lost a lot of lures but have never had a fish escape from one! So no terriyaki fish tonight though I have been in the mood for some meat. I'll try again tomorrow all being well.
The boom vang came detached from the boom early today and banged against the dodger. It took me an hour to line up the holes with the pin while rocking and rolling up on deck. Hopefully it will make for some interesting film. Spent some time checking the other pins and attachments this afternoon.
My mom asked me today if I felt like quitting ever. I don't feel like quitting at all but I am tired and wishing for wind to get me going faster! I wouldn't mind pulling over for some In N Out either.
Many questions about wildlife but I really haven't seen very much. I had a few sharks following the boat when I was first out. I saw a few small white birds with long tails a day or so ago. I haven't seen any trash either. Pretty much sky and water out here.


Why aren't you stopping at Hawaii?
Hawaii is right on course to the Marshall Islands and if I need to stop for any reason, I will. Because I left later I need to make some distance to keep up with my weather windows. I am basically working backwards from the Indian Ocean. I need to be able to leave Darwin in September and Mauritius by November 15th.



Blogger Peterkg1 said...

Hey Zac,

Sounds like you had a very quiet Saturday. I hope it means you got a good nights rest. I was watching Deadliest Catch tonight and hoped to God you will never see weather and swells like the ones in the Arctic. If you did, could your boat handle being tossed like that? I hope you never see such action.

You actually have quite a job it seems with having to make a task interesting for a viewer when you end up on Discovery. Did you ever think this will give you great skills as a producer or director in the film industry? I have quite a strong feeling that even after your journey is over that we will all know Zac Sunderland. Very cool.

No sea birds? Your boat is too clean!! They want some trash. Catch that fish and clean it out, I'm sure the birds will join you for a meal.

Understood why you won't hit Hawaii. Your travel map on your site shows you sailing up and over the Hawaiian Islands. It looks like on Google Earth you are charting under them now. Was that a change in plans?

Well there is no In n' Out in Hawaii, so no need to go to the drive through. :) I am in the surf and skate industry. Let me know if you will need any boardshorts or other gear, and I can get some to your parents. Just name the brand.

Zac, have a peaceful Sunday, with plenty of wind. Catch that meal and be blessed with your amazing life.

Take care,

June 28, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Peterkg1 said...

Hey Zac,

I forgot to comment on your conversation with your mom about quitting. Just to say if you ever decide along the way that you can't go further, that I'm sure your parents have told you that is the time to stop.

I'm sure that your family would never consider you to be a quitter. As far as I'm concerned and I'm sure anyone else that is following your experience, that you already are a success and have gone further than anyone else your age as gone. You have touched hearts and you need to follow your own heart and do what is best for you, not what is best for others involved.

But I know your parents have already stressed that to you. So sail along, as long as you wish. Its your life and no one else can tell you but yourself, how far you can go.

Take care Zac,

June 28, 2008 at 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca Z said...

Wow Zac! Well my mom just bought me two the the books you said you read.
During this past week I was at dance camp and kept thinking of you and praying for you.

Actually i sprained my ankle there and was wondering, what would you do if you got hurt on your boat?

Hope you definitely get on Discovery or Travel channel cause I would love to see how you trip is, and so would tons of other people!

Well safe travels!

June 28, 2008 at 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zac,
Could you give us a more detailed description of your communications with David? It would be interesting and enlightening to know how that whole thing works.
I'm following along with you on your journey enthusiastically!
May the force be with you.

June 29, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous dusty said...

Dear Zac,
Could you give us a more detailed description of your communications with David? It would be interesting and enlightening to know how that whole thing works.
I'm following along with you on your journey enthusiastically!
May the force be with you.

June 29, 2008 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Jerry Nash said...

The last position of Zac reads 22.17W, 135.39W, but the first part should read 22.17N.

Good to hear the wind layed down a little for you. I was looking at the two storms to your SE, well behind you now. Glad to see those go by the way-side.

By the way, I just ate at the burger joint you talked about and it wasn't that great. I'd sail a thousand miles to eat what your having (half cooked noodles). Well, actually not, but I am just trying to make you feel better.

Great post this time, thanks.

June 29, 2008 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

In your case Zak, there is no such thing as quitting. There are many reasons why you might terminate the attempt. That is a termination of the attempt, not quitting. As Peter has pointed out, you are doing something that very few people have done and you are doing it without the living experience that age brings. One of the experiences of age is knowing when to change course, knowing when to go on, and knowing when to stop an endeavor. I know deep down in my heart that you are really headed to In N Out on Washington Blvd. You are just headed there the long way around. Getting there by going west instead of east does not equate to quitting. It equates to being an adult and knowing when it is time to order that #1 with extra grilled onions and holding that paper cup with the palm trees all around it. Somehow Zak, I do not think that you will be ordering that much before your 18th birthday. But if you do, it will not be because you quit. It will be because you were smart enough to know that it was time to order that double-double with cheese. Hang in there Zak. You are not only chasing your dreams, you are chasing the dreams of a lot of lives back here on land whether you know it or not. None of us would ever think that you quit. Whether you get to Washington Blvd by continuing to sail west or turning around and heading east, you have already won. Godspeed. Bill

June 29, 2008 at 2:09 AM  
Blogger melody wen said...

HI Zac,
its nice that you are doing well.
you are awesome! well,i was hopin this is goin to make it into the Discovery. that'll super awesome!!!


June 29, 2008 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

You're going to keep hearing this a lot during the next year. You're amazing man! Doing a world circumnavigation! Fantastic!! We land-lubbers can only dream about what you are actually doing. If you need anything - let all of us know, one way or the other, we'll find a way to get you what you need at your next port-of-call. HUGS!

June 29, 2008 at 2:49 AM  
Anonymous Denford Finke said...

Hi Zac,

I've been following you every day. You are on an amazing adventure that truly inspires me.

I have tried to leave you several comments, but seem to be having some trouble doing that. I'll try now again.

I have had several one week vacation sails with family. My career was airline pilot. There are many similarities between flying and sailing. I love both.

I wish you all the best.

Denny Finke

June 29, 2008 at 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep having fun. Sounds like a blast except for the not sleeping enough. Such is the way of the solo sailor.

So, do you have a sunblock sponsor? How much sunblock did you take with you?

Brian Hampton

June 29, 2008 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Hi Zac, Glad to hear that the weather has lightened up. If you stop in Hawaii I recomend Hilo on the big island. They put you up in a little cove called Radio Bay where you tie up next to all the other cruisers. It is a great way to integrate into the community of world roaming sailors. "Ken's House of Pancakes" is close by and you can get great food there. Hot showers are right there at Radio bay. You can get supplies easily and leave refreshed after a few days of rest. When you begin getting close to Hawaii you will start to seeing more birds and watch for the jet contrails in the sky. They point the way.

June 29, 2008 at 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised to hear the word "quit" even being uttered in small talk. Don't even ponder that word because it can grow within you as things get really hard. Just keep your mind focused on your goal at all times.
All one has to do to sum up an activities value is to to say, 'what are my friends doing right now?' ...... and when you realize they're sitting around watching TV or listening to music or cruising the internet without even a purpose, then you realize just how lucky you are to be actually accomplishing a feat very, very, very few humans ever accomplish. Even without a Discovery Channel Special, your solo cruise will be a lifetime effort to be proud of. You'll still be talking about this and thinking about this when you're 70.
When you hit age 70, THEN you can sit around watching TV, listening to music, or cruising the internet! You are only young once in life. Accomplish your dreams while you can.

June 29, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

The word did not come from Zac. It was asked by his Mom in the same way a coach asks a player, when he's down - The question was perfect in timing, in that it was meant to inspire the 'player' to get up and sail all the harder twards his goal.

Go Zak!

June 29, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Gordon Brimhall said...

Hi Zac
Looks like things are getting a little better and you are getting into a routine. Hope you got my 25.00 donation Ok as I didn't see my name on your donation page after 4 days and I plan to keep donating as long as you keep sailing around. Keep up the Dream for so many wanting to do what you are doing. I am planning to take off next year in my "Nine Foot" Joshua Slocum Mini Spray and follow his route. I am just 50 yrs older than you (66) and have sailed for 23 yrs off and on. You can see my Around The World Challenge page at Just me and my Yorkie "Tina"
Fair and Following Seas Zac.
Gordon Brimhall

June 29, 2008 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Great that the swells have finally calmed down.

It must be pretty annoying to always be going so much slower than you want to, though. The whole time you've been out there, I think there's only been a few days where you don't talk about how the wind is so slow.

Safe journey,

June 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Splais said...

Quitting? Reminds me of that Tom Hanks movie (Forest Gump) I think were he is running around the country and then justs "stops", because he wants too. Some will be upset; but this is your adventure and your trip. Never seen a more mature 16 year old. Sure that's why your parents are letting you do this. Of course there are going to be down days and periods of bordom. But you will make it if you desire too. If you stop because of safety reasons, or just because you feel like it - that is not quitting. I don't see any quit in anything I've read about you so far. The year I graduated from high shcool my best friend asked me if I wanted to take a year off and travel around the world. I never did it with him and have regretted it to this day (I'm 65). Good luck and enjoy an incredible adventure. I'm pretty sure after you get past your first stop you will be highly motivated.

TC/Steve Plaisance, Yuma, AZ, USA

June 29, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been able to click on your location link and it would open a map and show me where you are. This link has not been working the last couple days! Does this have anything to to with your computer being down? Glad you haven't seen all that plastic you mentioned. Good luck fishing. Shark meat isn't bad.

June 29, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Steve G said...

OK Zac,
Remember those sea legs when you step off that boat for the first time. I don’t want to hear about you getting hurt on the dock after all your time at sea, legs just don’t work the same for a while after so much time at sea. I am sure you already know that but I am pretty sure this will be your longest trip between ports In your sailing career.

I believe Hawaii/California is the furthest distance between any two points of land on earth, it would not be a defeat to make that stop, and in fact you may be the first single to every do it considering your route. A lot of sailors like to skip down the pacific coast to about Acapulco and jump over to the Marquises Islands to avoid the doldrums you have experienced. I don’t think they save anytime; it just makes for more fair weathered sailing. Not that I have done it, but something I picked up from the dock cruisers club.

First of all, it seems you are about to clear the area of the pacific that always seems a bit of a challenge for every sailor. You should be finding the winds much more consistent from here on (the trades) I think they are called. You are on your way to achieving greatness, I have no doubt about this, and I believe it will transcend the sailing community. DON’T STOP…easy for me to say, I have never done anything remotely close to the adventure you are on. Looking back from 50, I can tell you I wish I had done what you’re doing.

If you need anything and don't want to stop, just make a list and send it to my e-mail ( My friends in Hilo have agreed to get everything for you (gratis) and you will just need to pull into the harbor and they will toss everything into INTREPIDS cockpit on the fly. If you like, they will throw in a nice to-go order from the local steak house.

Let us know when you can begin to smell civilization, my guess is you should begin to smell Hawaii in a 11-13 days as you should me making about 120 miles per day from here on with your first land fall on July 11th, I hear it is truly amazing that about twenty five to one hundred miles from land you can begin to smell it (land). After 10 days at sea your nose gets so clean of all the trash we breathe on land that you can tell when you’re about to make port.

June 29, 2008 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Current Position (as of 8:15pm PT): 22.17W, 135.39W

Okay man, where are you? West by West, or in the Bermuda Triangle?

Also, the time of your blog post for Saturday reads...

8:05pm did you cross into another time zone?

or are we just guessing?

June 29, 2008 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,

Another great up date,thanks. I do beleive you have a problem with your location. It appears you have two W location. Who am I to speak, as I really do not understand how location works. Good to hear about why you are missing the islands, but depending on how things are going, you have freinds I am sure there that could help. Also you have set a very long first sail, but that in fact will get you back on track.

I enjoyed your short story about the fishing, but still have questions; Do you stop sailing when you are fishing, is it deep fishing, how do you know where and when to fish any books you might suggest? Looking for more stories, and yes I am looking for the film you took.


June 29, 2008 at 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,

Good to see your doing good. It was may sisters birthday yesterday and maybe it was good luck that you both had a calmer day in this crazy world. How long until you get to your first stop?

Can't wait to hear from you!


June 29, 2008 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,

Another great up date,thanks. I do beleive you have a problem with your location. It appears you have two W location. Who am I to speak, as I really do not understand how location works. Good to hear about why you are missing the islands, but depending on how things are going, you have freinds I am sure there that could help. Also you have set a very long first sail, but that in fact will get you back on track.

I enjoyed your short story about the fishing, but still have questions; Do you stop sailing when you are fishing, is it deep fishing, how do you know where and when to fish any books you might suggest? Looking for more stories, and yes I am looking for the film you took.


June 29, 2008 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Hey guys just a little typo. Replace the first W with a N and you get the location. Coampare last longs/latts in your map. :-)

June 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

HI Zac,
Good to hear that you are making some head way.
Was out sailing Seneca Lake today with about 15 knots of wind and some, what I consider "swells". I bet you'd look at them and say "you call that a swell, I've seen a swell and that's not a swell!" LOL.
Stay strong, stay positive, above all stay safe. You have many many people praying for you.
God speed,

June 29, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read that Hawaii is only an emergency stopping point. Do you have those points everywhere as you go along? Are you stopping anywhere that you know someone? Where?

-Devin :)

June 29, 2008 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

I am so enjoying traveling along with you. For my entire life (55 years) I have always had the dream of sailing around the world. Though I seriously doubt I would ever actually DO it. However, I have enjoyed reading books, watching movies and documentaries about those who have done it. I salute you and stand in awe for all you are dreaming of doing and all you are acheiving at such an early age. Your life will be richer and you will learn a lot about yourself on this voyage. You are truely blessed to have so many people behind you, supporting you and rooting for you. Count me in as one of those special people who will sail along with you, respect the decisions you make and who looks forward to each days report. May God Bless you on your journey. You are living your passion and that is such an awesome thing! Remember to stay focused and live in the moment, send a prayer of gratitude for each day and look optimistically towards your next destination. Be well on your journey and remember it is not the destination but the journey we take that makes us who we are.
May the wind blow perfectly for you,

June 29, 2008 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger mary.daunis said...

just remember how long you waited for this and prepared for this, Zac, and all thoughts of quitting will evaporate.
I have been riding my bike every day and thinking of you and how hard you are working on this journey. Just keep me inspired!

June 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Beetlejuice said...

Hi Zac-Take care!! :)

June 29, 2008 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger ev wolf said...

Hey Zac,
I think I messed up my firts post, so here goes again.

I heard about you and your adventure on T.V just before you left Marina del Rey. Ever since, I've been following your progress and truly fascinated to see how you handle this amazing challenge that you created for yourself.

I have a friend named Neal Petersen (a native South African) who circumnavigated solo around the world in a boat very similar to yours back in the late 90's. Neal's story captivated me as well and we've remained friends ever since. I believe that Neal was the first Black man to accomplish the incredible journey solo. He too went around the Cape of South Africa and spoke about what an awesome experience it was. As soon as I heard about you I sent a note to Neal telling him to check out your voyage. Of course, he already had heard about you and told me that he thought you would be successful.

Quick question: How do you generate the needed electricity for your computers, and other equipment? Do you have lights to see and read by on the boat at night? If you’re out to sea for four weeks at a time, seems too long for batteries alone. Solar?

I’m wishing you all the best Zac. Each evening I check to see that you've checked in with your mom. Don't really know why since I don't even know you... I guess it's because you've captured so many of our imaginations and I really want you to succeed and to be happy and well. When I read your description of seeing all the stars out in the black sky I thought – “how lucky he is.” Reality is that we’re all lucky to be able to share a little tiny bit of this with you. Thanks Zac!

Best regards,

June 29, 2008 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Bead said...

Zac, we are all privileged to be sharing this with you.

Keep the dream!


June 29, 2008 at 7:31 PM  
Anonymous bilgerat bob said...

Zac your doing awesome! As you know being on this adventure alone you have to be so much more cautious than if you had a partner.Stay focused and centered. It's when you are careless or unmindful that you are more likely to make a mistake and you just can't afford any mistakes when you are alone. The greatest adventures are alone but you are never really alone. You are One with all that is. And when you are physically alone for long periods like you are now it is easier to sense your place in this universe. The sunrises and sunsets on the open ocean are a window into the Infinite.You will gain much self awareness and spiritual understanding from this journey. Enjoy each and every moment of it. You are absolutely up to this challenge. Fair winds my fine friend

June 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been following you from the start Zac...we think you are a very brave young man. You are living a dream and many of us wish we had the knowledge and courage you have....
We are all with you.
-Jack (Florida)

June 30, 2008 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Patti Enns said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 5, 2008 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Patti Enns said...

Hi Zac,
We came to the boat show on Sunday and met your Mom. We are enjoying your blog reports! We are praying for your safe journey! God Bless. Patti

July 5, 2008 at 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Sister Krista Mote said...

Hello Zak, I did try e-mailing you earlier, but not sure it went through. I'm a Franciscan Sister residing in Pennsauken, NJ. I too love sailing, but just in the back bays along the east coast of NJ.
I'm praying that you have a safe and peacefilled voyage. I admire your courage, and also that of your parents for supporting your dream. God bless you
Sister Krista Mote

July 30, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

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