Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From Zac via Sat Phone:


The reason that we didn't post my position yesterday was because I made a planned stop at Emerald Bay at Catalina Island for some time with the boat with no distractions. This is so familiar because I spent two summers living here with my family when I was about 10 & 11. With all the media attention last week it was very difficult to get on board the boat for any length of time without distractions unless we were seatrialing. I arrived Saturday evening about 7:00 pm after an awesome sail over in some nice winds. I spent Sunday reorganizing and sleeping and Monday Dad came over with Greg from Itik Productions to waterproof the cameras and install my new anchor, donated by Quickline. My sisters Abby and Jessie came with him and spent the day swimming and hanging out. Photographer, Lisa Gizara, came to help out and take a few last photos. Harbor Steve made dinner for us. We just sat in the cockpit and watched the sun go down and the nearly full moon rise. I couldn't help wondering when I'd have such a time again.

After cooking some bacon and eggs, I dropped the mooring this morning around 11:00am and rounded the west end of Catalina Island. I settled in to my first way point only to have the wind die and the swells roll in. It was pretty crazy rolling like mad and not being able to do anything about it. A quick look at Clear Point Weather showed me that the wind would be filling in soon so I pressed on and by about 3:00 had a good 12 knots and was traveling at 6 knots myself.

The following position was taken at 2:19pm Pacific.

My web guy is out of town but will be posting a new page on the web site that will have my course outlined as well as my itinerary. For now I will give a daily position report.

Since this will be my first night at sea alone, I will answer the question of how do I sleep at night. Intrepid is equipped with 2 radar systems. The first is a RayMarine radar and chart plotter. The radar is set to scan the horizon every 5 minutes. It looks out over the sea as far as 24 miles. If it 'sees' anything a mark will show up on the screen. At night, I can set the radar alarm so that when something appears, an alarm will sound. Secondly, I have an AIS ship radar. This was a sponsored piece of equipment from Dr. and Mrs. David Lowenberg. All commercial shipping (ie. BIG ships) are required to send a signal out over the VHF radio that is picked up by this great little unit. It will show the location of the ship and if you run the cursor over the ship, it will show what type of ship it is, how fast and what direction it is going and even the name of the ship in case you need to hail them. As far as steering goes, I can set one of three autopilots, a device that steers the boat for me on a set course. Another night time safety routine is to turn on running lights; a light on the mast, bow (front of the boat) and stearn (back). I am planning on sleeping in the cockpit tonight, teathered of course to my harness and the boat.

Thank you for all the great emails. I am hoping to be able to answer a few of them when I get into a 'groove' as they say.

Until tomorrow.




Blogger Derek said...

What an incredible journey you are embarking on. Kudos to you, and your parents. While a true novice sailor in comparison to you, I did grow up sailing on the east coast in small lakes and on larger boats in the Chesapeake. Now living in landlocked Colorado, we simply dont have the same opportunities to be able to teach my kids to sail as I learned. I plan to check in with your experiences and have my kids do the same so they can learn a little about them as you go. I am jealous, and wish only the best for you in your journey. Fair winds to you Zac. Thank you for sharing your story.

June 17, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

You've got thousands and thousands of kindred spirits around the world looking at the same stars you are at this very moment. We can't be there in person but we're there in spirit. Steady as she goes.......



June 17, 2008 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger cruz antony said...

Hi Zac,
wishing u all success.

June 18, 2008 at 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Daphne said...

great i will continue to read your blogs

June 18, 2008 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger Jim Fullton said...

HI Zac,

I have been following your adventure and admire your moxie in taking on such an awesome trek. I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico and could sail before I could ride a bicycle. I identify with you. Some of my best memories as a kid were those of sailing alone; full and bye with the chain plates buried.

When my son was only 5 and sailing with me one fine day with a fresh breeze he became excited when the waves would break over the bow and drench us as it flashed up from the spray rail. He said; “It’s a good thing that Mom isn’t with us today because if she were, she’d fuss!” That’s what I named my boat; “Mamma’s Gonna Fuss”.

She was a Fish Class gaff rigged sloop, 23’. As my Dad would say; “Son, there are few women in this world as beautiful as a well rigged ship.”

Zac, I look forward to following your progress. When we lived in South Africa we visited the Cape of Good Hope. I remember looking south over the ocean and imagining all the adventurous men who had rounded that point and what an awesome experience sailing into the unknown would have been like. Well. You’re not in unknown waters but good enough for me.

If you ever find time to respond, I would be awfully impressed.

Highest Regards,


June 18, 2008 at 5:25 AM  
Anonymous cottoncandy said...

Hi Zac!

This is to wish you and her all the best for your adventure! As we say in German: May you always have a hand´s width of water under the keel!

PS: Just decided to send your mum that newspaper page I found your picture on. Mums love that (-;

June 18, 2008 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Your book is going to make for a GREAT read. I lOVE it already.
You are on your way to being a wonderful story teller, Zac.
Blessings be with you.

June 18, 2008 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Jean Pinkham said...

Hey Zac,
Just want you to know we're with you in spirit. I have your photo posted in the fore bunk of our sailboat and am praying for you every day! We love you and God is with you.
Jean & Wess Pinkham
Marina del Rey

June 18, 2008 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

And the first step of the journey begins! All that radar equipment will come in really handy.


June 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Mary - Central Florida said...


Fair winds and good passage. You are an inspiration to young and old alike.

I will keep a candle for you and your family.

My husband teaches history and geography, I'm keeping hoping he can have his students ready your blog and follow your voyage when they return to class in August. Believe me, I'll be reading your blog daily.


June 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed your "first" comments and I can not wait for more. Have a great first night sailing. Please keep us updated.

June 18, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

good luck! I'll be reading your blog and vicariously enjoying your successes and sending big positive vibes towards you.

enjoy all of it!

June 18, 2008 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac said, "I am planning on sleeping in the cockpit tonight, teathered of course to my harness and the boat."

What does it mean to be teathered to his harness and boat?

June 19, 2008 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just found a link to your blog on the Latitude 38 site. Good on ya boy! I'll be following vicariously. I know you're counting your blessings having so much support from your family. Mine would not even -consider- letting me buy a dinghy when I was in high school. Dunno why I asked, should have just brought it home.

Here's the link to the BBC interview:



June 21, 2008 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

What an awesome and amazing thing you are doing Zac. I have a question. What sounds do you hear around you ?

June 23, 2008 at 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Sunderland:

You have become a man now with a man's pursuit and are entitled to the honorific of Mr. Sunderland, while in my old heart, you are that find young man, Zac.

I am an old fogey long past the prime of my time and should not be drawing inspiration from a dude of your tender young years ... yet ... here I am and that's what I'm doing. You have convinced me that the game is not over until the final bell is rung, so I think I'll get off my duff and kick up some trouble. I think I may build a Matt Layden microsruiser and do some sailing along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and the ICW. Perhaps I'll even venture into the Bahamas. It's time to reverse the situation and have my children worry about where I am and what I'm doing! I always told them that I intended to live long enough to be as much a pain to them as they have been to me. That's a bit of a joke, actually. It appears that my efforts at child rearing were largely successful, even though my 23 yo, 5'3", 110 lb. daughter just became a 'biker chick'. She's not holding onto some tatooed guys waist. She bought her own bike, thank you! She says it's due to gas prices and ecological concerns. Yeah, right! By the way, you have some marvelous parents also. Their support of your adventure is uncommon and admirable. There are parts of growing up where it's best for us to just stand back and let the chips fall where they may. Experience teaches!

I'm staying up with your blog and look forward to my vicarious sailing every day. Please keep us, your supporters, up to date.

The Old Bull of FrogPond

June 23, 2008 at 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reading your blog. hope thats OK. saw your boat at the boat show before you left. i have a dream to sail the world! for me, to read you blog is fantastic. this past year i've just started to learn to sail. took a boat out solo from MDR just yesterday. very proud of this milestone. i love the map updates. like riddles? never read a certain book?

Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.


June 24, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

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