Friday, August 1, 2008

Land Ho Majuro!

Update from Mom

Greetings to the Zac Pac!

It has been a hectic day for Zac with light winds this morning threatening his daytime arrival in Majuro. Once he enters the atoll of Majuro, he still has to motor 10 miles through a channel surrounded by reefs to get to the Yacht Club and his mooring. He decided to motor sail for awhile to get himself further along. All was well until the motor died. He checked the fuel filter which was clogged, changed it, filled it with fuel and fired her up. Five minutes later the engine died again. The fuel filter had no fuel which meant no fuel was getting to the filter. Zac eventually, after a few well-placed phone calls, took the fuel line off the filter and sucked and blew until fuel came pouring into his mouth and out his nose! I didn't hear even a hint of a complaint as he was merrily motoring along under full sail headed for Majuro. Last we spoke he was planning on entering the atoll around 5:00pm Majuro time which is 11:00pm here in California. I am not expecting a blog tonight but will get more info in the late morning tomorrow. His only concern was that he hadn't kept the boat very tidy, which must be why he hasn't mentioned cleaning up on this leg. I told him that no one should judge him but that they probably would so he'd better clean up! I'll get the full story from Laurence tomorrow. Laurence, Greg from Itik and Jen Edney, photographer and happily house at the Robert Reimers Hotel in downtown Majuro. Laurence was on the run but said it was beautiful. So that is all we get for tonight. I'll get something posted tomorrow as soon as I can.


PS. Don't make T-shirts yet! We have 900 left from the Boat Show which should be available on line by next week.

Photo by
T-shirts: 2 designs on 2 colors


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the update and
for all you do! Zac is such an inspiration and I love reading his blog - and your comments - every day. You are an amazing family.

All the best,

Sherman Oaks, CA

August 1, 2008 at 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG- you are such a cool family. Is this photo of your other 6?!? Thanx for all the info. Zac is amazing- just keep him off the Calif. freeways...... God bless you all!

August 1, 2008 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Marianne...I can now go to sleep knowing your son is safe!
According to Weather Underground for Majuro: Sat thru Wed 50-60% chance of rain, highs from 84-86F. Not too hot but high humidity. If you go to Mieco Beach yacht club website , they have an artist drawing of a map of that part of the island with all the attractions noted. Meico Beach is where Zac has or will be soon. Let's see, it's
11:17PM FRI CDT, Majuro is 4:18PM SAT. There you have that gas tasted real good! Yuk, we do what we have to do, hopefully he got there uneventfully after that. I can only imagine what the boat looks like inside after three weeks, clutter is one thing, smelly is quite another! Oh well, have a fun time, sleep when you can!

August 1, 2008 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Glad to see you'll soon be on the hard again. Even if you're on a spot that isn't much more than a few feet over sea level. It's the unshifting bed, the warm and tasty food, and the look in your Dad's eye when he see's you safe again.
Knowing teenage boys as I do, having a 15 year old of my own, I'll bet you sleep for hours that first day. Fresh sheets, comfy pillow, and gentle seabreezes.

Mom, got any of those T-shirts in 3XL? Guess I can buy my own birthday (8/1) I'm 57

August 1, 2008 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Karyn in Simi said...

Are those some of his siblings? Great looking bunch! Let us all know!

August 1, 2008 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL Marianne!
Thanks for the post. It's 10:30 pm, so Zac should be pulling into port any moment now! Hopefully he will have had enough time to tidy up the boat. You're correct in that we didn't hear much about "housekeeping" on this leg. This is typical for a teenager as I have two boys of my own.
The T-shirts look great!
Looking forward to hearing from you or Zac soon!
Congratulations on another successful crossing!
Melanie in Torrance

August 1, 2008 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger LA Architect said...

Keep up the good work Zac! If it gets dark, wait until sunup to navigate the reefs. Better safe than sorry!! I cannot wait to read your blog every morning!!

August 1, 2008 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...


Enjoy your weekend in Majuro! You deserve it... What an awesome place!

Hang in there bud.. your doing great!

Thanks to your folks for such great support! I'm sure they are ecstatic for your hard work and strong commitment!

Thanks for posting the radio sched.. We'll check it out..

Peace to you!

San Clemente

August 1, 2008 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Donna H. said...

Thanks for the updates, Marianne!
Not only are we becoming mighty fond of your son, but I think all of us in the Zach Pack have become big fans of your whole family! Great picture, and what a way to advertise those t-shirts! I don't think you're going to have any trouble selling those extras!

I was finally able to get through to the blog tonight through After weeks of working without a problem, Zach's website has been slow to load all week (at least on my computer). Then today, the blog wouldn't load at all - my server couldn't even find it! I'm just thankful someone else had mentioned getting to the blog through a roundabout way when they had a similiar problem. It was Google to the rescue!

As several others have stated, it's amazing what we are learning from Zach and each other -- lessons in sailing, physics, meteorology, geography, social studies, the culinary arts involoving Spam, and I'm sure I'm forgetting more. Zach, you're definitely not ducking out on school this year --- you're learning every day, and taking us along for the ride!

You're in my daily prayers. Have a great time in Majuro!

North Richland Hills, TX

August 2, 2008 at 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

What I would do with your engine is run it for 10-15 minutes a week when you are out to sea. You don't need problems when you really need to use it. Running it you will fine those things that come up. It sounds like water got in the fuel lines, do you have a water separator?, if not that would help.

Great job getting this far. Have you figured out what you will do when you cross the equator?, the GODS will want you to do something.

Like you said your next legs will be harder to navigate with all the Islands around you. You will have to watch out for all the fishing boats that are out in that area. They will be hard to see at night. I hope that your radar will pick them up, if not it will be a log night and day.

Again great job, keep your head up.
Until next time

Gary - Houston Tx.

August 2, 2008 at 3:55 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Thanks for the update!
Beautiful family, you have all been so blessed :)
I'll take a T-shirt, and will be looking to see them for "sail"..LOL

Know that you are all in thought and prayer.
Anita M. Miracle, RDH
Waterloo, NY USA

August 2, 2008 at 4:04 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Primero que nada quisiera agradecerte Marianne por responderme en aquella oportunidad en referencia al blog y demás cuestiones, que me permitieron acercarme y ser participe de la aventura de ZAC., Como así también por todos los up date que haces para ponernos al corriente de la súper aventura de ZAC.
No esta demás decirte que tenes una muy linda familia y muy numerosa.
No creo que esta aventura que emprendió Zac sea la ultima de los Sunderland, sino por el contrario es la primera de una larga serie….

A ti Zac, Gracias por compartir día a día cada acontecimiento y vivencias de tu aventura… GRACIAS por enseñarme día a día cosas nuevas en el ámbito de la navegación a vela.
A esta altura de tu viaje has aprendido mucho de muchos y enseñado mucho a muchos…
Eres ejemplo para muchos sin importar el sexo o la edad.

En definitiva “SOS un GRANDE entre los GRANDES”…

A los Bloggers, bueno, que puedo decir Yo que ya no lo sepan… Gracias por estar ahí, SIEMPRE, ya sea para responder, apoyar, explicar, traducir, enseñar o solo para hacerse presente y comentar algo…GRACIAS…

GOD bless all Sunderland…
GOD bless you ZAC…
GOD bless all bloggers…

ZAC the force be with you…


PS: If nobody can translate this, I made it other day in the best way that I can…

August 2, 2008 at 4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on completing your second leg of this amazing trip! Let me be one more person to tell you what an inspiration you are. You already know this but you have an incredible pair of parents. You are most fortunate.

Like many others, i follow your journey via this blog every morning with my cup of coffee and i am so inspired by it. You do feed into my fascination with world geography. :) But over the last couple of days, my thinking has shifted. While I think your experience is "way kewl" If I put my mind to it i too can live my dream and at the end of the day it's about belief and faith in yourself and you are teaching all of us this most valuable lesson. Look at all the things that have ligned up for you to make this a reality. It's so amazing and now you are living it.
So thank you for sharing this with all of us. Your adventure is so much more then sailing around the world. Enjoy your rest in Majuro.
Safe and happy travels wherever the wind takes you.


August 2, 2008 at 5:42 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Darn right no one should judge him - unless they also have sailed solo around the globe, at 16 yet...

I was looking at the Majuro atoll on google earth. I assume the yacht club is down in the south east portion?

Anyway, have a fine lay over, Zac. Rest and re-energize and know there are lots of us out here wishing you well and sending positive energy your way.

Milford, Ohio

August 2, 2008 at 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

The picture is of Zac, his brother Toby, sister Abi, and the rest are friends. Yes, good-looking bunch, but then again one of them is my daughter!! Great boat show/ send off. It seems like yesterday and now Zac is already in Majuro!

Zac, I pray for a great rest and good times with your Dad. I read the story of David and Goliath yesterday. It made me think of you and the sea. I know that the sea is gigantic and you are very small, but with God's power, direction and protection you will be able to stand up to all that comes your way.
Love and Care,
Simi Valley, CA

August 2, 2008 at 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go team,

Rest, sleep, have fun, and get ready to go. Thanks to everyone who is helping in the event.


August 2, 2008 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

A close translation of Glens post.

Thank you Glen for your deep feelings you express to the Sunderlands and all of the bloggers.

Bill Mann

First that nothing wanted to thank Marianne for responding me in that opportunity in reference to the blog and other questions, that permitted me to approach me and to be participate of the adventure of ZAC., As thus also for all the up you give you that cause put us current of the super adventure of ZAC. Not this others to tell you that you have a very pretty family and very numerous. I do not believe that this adventure that undertook Zac be finalizes it of the Sunderland, but on the contrary is the first one of a long series

To you Zac, Thanks by sharing day by day each event and experiences of your adventure… THANKS by teaching me day by day new things in the environment of the sailing. To this height of your trip you have learned a lot of many and taught a lot to many… Are example for many without importing the sex or the age.

In final "SOS a LARGE one among the LARGE"

To the Bloggers, good, that I I can say that no longer they know it… Thanks by being there, ALWAYS, whether to respond, to support, to explain, to translate, to teach or alone to be done present and to comment something…THANKS…

August 2, 2008 at 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wish you could share some pics of Zac when he is in port. Has Zac taken any pics of himself as he travels?

August 2, 2008 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Gleaming h2o said...

How many times did I have to say to my son, "clean up your room!" That's funny about the boat needing cleaning up. And how many times have I read the different sailing around the world books where the motor dies; except for Joshua Slocum.
Thank you for the links to show where Zac is. The Majuro atoll is awesome looking!
Cute picture of the children with their t-shirts. Brother sails all aroung the world, and all I get is a t-shirt :[

August 2, 2008 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Pascal Jim said...

As a silent hand on the tiller, this is the most exhilarating voyage I've ever undertaken. This remarakable young man,his family,... all of US on board delight in the daily log.
Jim B.

August 2, 2008 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hello Zac, and Marianne, cool to hear you are almost there in Majuro.

David from Panama here, if you can please send me an email to when the tshirts are available, I would like very much to buy one!

keep on going man!

David from Panama

August 2, 2008 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger GUY said...

Marianne, Thanks for your update on Zac. My whole crew wants T-shirts, please let us know how to get them! I have alittle Zac fan club here which is growing daily! You should be such a proud Mom! Thanks for sharing him with us! Karen....Guy, Emma, Sophia

August 2, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Scot said...

Land Ho! Very good then. Sorry about the mouth full of gas. Like someone else mentioned, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I'll take another of those 3XL if you have any.

By the way Zac you popped into my mind the other day while driving.

I've been trying to quit smoking. I've smoked for 30 years and now I have 3 little girls. If you're doing the math, I didn't get married until I was 45, my Aussy wife just turned 27. Obviously my reasons to quit have multiplied now that I want to see my girls grow up and follow their dreams.

Anyway, the hardest times I have are when I'm alone driving. That's when I really want to smoke. I drive around a lot all day for my job. I thought how I can easily talk myself into just one and rationalize that it wouldn't make much difference. But knowing me, one would lead to two then three...then I fail. I thought of how hard it is and how much my family is counting on me, and how much I'm counting on myself. I thought of the words of Yoda..."Do or do not, there is no try."

That's when you and your quest popped into my mind. You're facing a similar situation. You inspired me. I didn't smoke that day and still haven't yet.

You can do this Zac...and I can quit smoking.

Have fun in Majuro


P.S. If you want another yoda quote to hang on the wall of the cabin, here's some dialogue:

Yoda teaching Luke to become a Jedi Knight.“[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.”


[Yoda:] “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”

August 2, 2008 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Sam, North Carolina said...

Land ho, second port-of-call (not counting Catalina, that is). Way to go Zac.

Yep, done the gas thing myself when I was just a bit older than Zac. Tastes awful and you burb up gas (if some went down your throat) for the next 3 days. Yuk. But desperate times call for desperate measures and you got to do what you got to do.

For those non-sailors, everything seeks its own level in a sailboat. What that means is as the sailboats heels over (leans over) due to the wind, all that you stuff you neatly stored moves around and ends up on the floor or wherever. I remember on one of Zacs blogs he said he woke up laying on the wall (heeled over pretty far). Just imagine what your bedroom would look like if you were to turn it up on end, and you can imagine how the inside of a sailboat can get. It is the nature of the beast.

Keep up the good work Zac!

August 2, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Donn said...

Hello to Zac - and to his entire family --

I cannot imagine being the only land-hobbled codger who is sharing your trip via your great BLOG. Thanks for the time it takes to keep this contact.

You are doing. That's the greatest thing about your adventure - you are actually doing. What you are doing for your own future in inestimable. The pride you give your parents and siblings must be overflowing. The thrill you provide for the rest of us can only be expressed one way - HEROIC!

I live not more than 30 miles from your home in Thousand Oaks. You can bet I'll among those cheering you on from shore upon your return.

Donn Coon,

August 2, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hi Zac!
I bet you are looking forward to some much needed rest and some 'real' food. What food do you miss the most while out at sea?
Looking forward to seeing some more pics of your journey.

August 2, 2008 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Wheat said...


You are sailing around the world... by default you don't have to clean anything!! You're sailing it, living in it, looking at it, if you don't feel like cleaning it... I wouldn't worry about it...thats the whole point of porting for a week at a time right? No one is going to judge for not cleaning up...I mean you were fighting upwards of 5 squalls a day and barely getting sleep...just do what you need to do when you are out there and when you port thats when you can take care of cleaning...just take care of yourself first...

get some rest!!

August 2, 2008 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Io Sono Lobo said...

Here, just for the Zac Pac, is a link to some video clips showing the very beautiful Marshall Islands. Can you imagine wreck diving in water only as deep as a swimming pool?

56 Marshall Islands Video Clips (Requires QuickTime from Apple to view. A download link is at the top of the page, if you don't already have it.)

Watch out for that reef shark, Zac!

August 2, 2008 at 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey zac... "your the man"

thank you

m n a (mark n adino)... ;-) :-)
vicksburg mississippi

August 2, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger JohnK said...

He's motoring? Not to be critical -- seriously -- but I'd like to how motoring, especially under sail, wouldn't disqualify him.


August 2, 2008 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud to be part of the Zac Pac. Looking forward to the t-shirt availability.
Kathy Bend, OR

August 2, 2008 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

With your fouled fuel and clogged lines in the focus, I wanted to remind you that today's blends of gasoline, (at least in the U.S.) have around 10% Ethanol in it.
Without getting into a chemical discussion, lets just say the problem with that is that the ethanol breaks down faster by separating out the water molecules instead of wrapping them and burning it off. Hence the faster water forms in your tanks, especially if it's just sitting there. It also does a job on some gaskets and seals, so perhaps some stabilizer in those tanks might be prudent. I can't speak for gas from other countries, but not trying to be an ugly American, but gas elsewhere, especially on small islands and such, might be worse....stale is the term.

Hope you have a relaxing, refueling, restocking, real good time on Majuro.

August 2, 2008 at 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the record is "youngest solo circumnavigator" whether the motor is on or not is irrelevant, but then again i could be completely wrong,,,
Rock on Zac

August 2, 2008 at 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Dawn Z said...

Io Sono Lobo -
THANK YOU for those stock vids.
Being new divers those videos are just what we need to plan dive trips.
awesome! Thanks for sharing.
The Z. Family

August 2, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Zac said...

When Zac set out to circumnavigate and be the youngest to do so we contacted Guinness World Records in England. They do not make records with regards to sailing and so referred us to WSSRC, the World Record Speed Council, also in England. The WSSRC was 'established to ratify timed claimed records of high speed sailing craft', in other words - racing. Zac's trip did not qualify as any existing world record that the WSSRC had and so could be given a performance certificate at, I might add, great expense. We would have liked to have them document Zac's trip but simply could not afford it. Minoru Saito was just awarded an 'oldest' circumnavigator by Guinness without the Speed Council. Perhaps with Zac's meticulous and public log Guinness will also consider his request to simply be the youngest.
Hope this clears things up!

August 2, 2008 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

Loved the picture and the T-Shirts. This was the same T-shirt I purchased at your booth in the Marina Del Rey (MDR) Boat Show.

I'm going to purchase some t-shirts for my employees here at work. I'm glad to know all is fine.

Take Care,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

August 4, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

To Marianne,

You are a wonderful family, and I think I speak for thousands who are joyfully following Zac's brave journey.

However, I do have one negative comment. One of the reasons many of us follow this blog is that Zac is one of us. He appears kind, unspoiled, unpretentious. The fact that a normal human being (rather than a celebrity) is attempting this great feat inspires us. How wonderful that one of us has attempted this journey.

With that in mind, your use of the term "Zac Pac" really rankles. Though this is certainly not your intention, those words conjure up a pre-packaged celebrity teen-idol status. It turns him into a commodity, rather than a person. If he ceases to be one of us, we lose interest. If you go in that direction, I and many others I know will simply stop paying attention.

Just "Zac" will be fine. We care about him as a human being and as an explorer...someone who is doing what we only dreamed of. We are supportive, and yes, we are
"fans" of this grand adventure. But we certainly do NOT identify as part of anyone's "Pac."

I hope that's helpful. All the best to Zac on his journey!

August 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to Zac's Mom or Zac,

There is a well known boating school operated through a Yacht Club & via a JC in Southern California (Orange County).

For those boaters not lucky enough to live close to such a fantastic training opportunity, please let us know if your father trained you on the maintenance of outboard motors or diesel motors?

It sounded like you would have been in trouble had you not been able to seek assistance by radio on the stalling motor.

By the way, Zac, you mentioned motoring ten miles through the channel to the mooring. Be advised, my wife's big goal is to....... accomplish her FIRST mooring !!!!


August 5, 2008 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about your adventure in World Magazine this morning. Wow! I also have a 16 year old son. I am the pastor of Crossroads Bible Church in Panama. If you think I can be of help to you in any way when you come through the Panama Canal, let me know. I live just a stone's throw away from the Pacific end of the Canal. Sail safe!
Stephen Gunn

September 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

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