Sunday, August 3, 2008

Majuro - Day 2



For some reason, Zac is having a hard time finding time to write! I did speak to him this morning via sat phone very briefly as the local weather conditions were causing his reception to be intermittent. Day 2 was spent resting, eating, bathing and cleaning the boat. This, by the way, was documented by cameraman Greg Lawson. Speaking as a mother this is some footage that I'd really like to see! Then again, maybe not... Zac also has been amazed and so blessed by the local people and cruisers for their kindness and generosity. People stop him for photographs and to by him a drink. He has so many great stories to tell. Things like the chef of the restaurant preparing his order first before the other diners and presenting it himself along with a mountainous ice cream shake! He is hoping to have time tonight to blog but the schedule sounded pretty tight with Greg flying out tomorrow. He'll have the rest of the week to relax and visit.

The e-commerce site for Zac's T-shirts was picked up as a sponsorship by a member of the Zac Pac, Qbaroo. Jasmine offered to host his site so that the T-shirts could get online quickly and efficiently which is the name of the game here! Here is the link to our new e-commerce site: www.qbaroo.com/zacsunderland
There will be a link on Zac's web site and a link on the blog soon.
Cheers,
Marianne



64 Comments:

Blogger Tomi said...

I bought 3 t-shirts. Wanted to be one of the first ten to do so :) Thx to Qbaroo for sponsoring the shopping cart & getting AuthNet to put it up so quickly.

Lady Marianne -
Thank YOU for your patience & support of us in the ZacPac!

HUGS!
Tomi/ATL

August 3, 2008 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

A 16 year old boy virtually on his own on a beautiful Southern Pacific island with lots of pretty girls that want to meet him.

Hmmmmm....next to the boat maintenance I can understand why he isn't too interested in writing right now!!!

hehehe

:)

Scott

August 3, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Hi M.A. So Zac is slackin in the chores department?!? I to was one of those teenagers. So I "get it"! I'm proud of the Zacinnator! 10 minutes after he makes landfall he's in the bar with some beautiful drop dead gorgeous raisin colored Majuroite gal with a 10000 WATT smile. Good for him! ZacMan I think U might have some Irish blood!
"Raise your glass to the hardworkin' people. Let's drink to the salt of the Earth" (M Jagger)
All The Best! Here's to all the chores forgotten!! :-)

August 3, 2008 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Donn said...

Marianne,

It can seem an eternity, I know. Be at peace, though. Someone has been taking good care of Zac for you all this time ... for all of us.

Hey - he's young. He'll call home.

August 4, 2008 at 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac, This is my first post to you, I feel kinda guilty cause I've followed you since day one & haven't posted a comment yet. There's a lot of us out here thinking about you, more like wishing we were you!

I'm 31 years old and live in Portland OR. I heard about you from my Father about 3 days before your departure. My Father, by the way, is the cause of my obsession with the ocean AND traveling.

Anyway, I'll post again in the future.

P.S. Any chance for a daily vidio clip or better yet a live video feed? If not, a live feed, maybe just a shot of the bow with no sound so you can keep you're privacy. If it's possible . . . we would LOVE IT !!!!!

Cheers

August 4, 2008 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous rjvista said...

Hey Zac,

Rest up, enjoy reading your mail (hope it made it!) and eat! We can wait for news, knowing that you're getting great support in Majuro! Thanks to the residents there from "The Pac". We all wish we could be there too :-)
rjvista in New Hampshire

August 4, 2008 at 5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was telling some of my friends who have children about your son's journey. They were just incredulous that you are allowing your young son to do such a dangerous thing. Have you thought about the possibility that your son could die doing this and how would you handle the guilt that you allowed him to be out on the ocean all alone? This may appear to be a mighty adventure to some but as parents we see it as very very irresponsible to allow your son to be in such a precarious situation. I have to question how you are handling the worry or do you enjoy the media more? I do pray that your son will be safe however I fear greatly that he is so alone. We also wonder how he will ever graduate from school since he isn't even going to school??

August 4, 2008 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

It's OK if Zac can't write a blog each and every day. This should be fun time for him and it sounds like he's being treated like a king. Enjoy this time away from the ocean.


Take Care,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

August 4, 2008 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,
Although Zac is alone as he sails, he really has so much help. Besides all the best safety and communication equipment with which he can contact anyone anytime he has the support and advice from a community of long time sailors (who, by the way are extremely supportive of what Zac is doing). We also have a meteorologist/router to keep an eye on weather and help to route him where he will be safe. I would not recommend that any 16 year old do this trip. Zac has had so much experience already at sea and is the type of person who needs a challange...it is a good fit for him He is smart, strong, level headed and is able to figure things out as you can ssee from reading his blogs. As far as school goes, he is already a year ahead and even if he did no school this year while he is away, he could come back in the fall of 2009 and finish his senior year. However, he has all of his school books on board and is eager to finish so that he can get back to the 'real' world as soon as possible. I hope this answers some of your concerns. There will always be people who will disagree with our decision to let Zac go on this trip. It was his idea and it is his desire to continue. He knows we are as proud as can be that he has set this goal and achieved so much. If he chose to stop tomorrow, we would welcome him home with open arms.
Sincerely,
Marianne

August 4, 2008 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Mary - Central Florida said...

Marianne,

I want you to know that there are people out here who understand, I think, why you let Zac go on this journey. If something is so much a part of someone you love's life then you really don't have much choice but to let them go for it. You then have 2 choices as I see it: make it harder on them by not being supportive or take the high road and help them to make the journey that they are so set on making in anyway you can. It is better that they be prepared for what they may or may not face and know that you are supporting their efforts in anyway you can. Your love and devotion will go a long way on those lonely days at sea to support and console him. So, no matter what people say, don't think you've done the wrong thing. It's very obvious from Zac's posts that you have raised a very intelligent young man with a very good heart. Congratulations madam, that's not an easy thing to do in these days.

Mary - Central Florida

August 4, 2008 at 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Wheat said...

I got my shirt!! SO PROUD to be apart of the ZAC PAK and CREW!!!!

Catch you on the flip flop
Wheat

August 4, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

To Anonymous,

It is irresponsible for you and your friends to judge a young man and his parents that you dont' even know. As a parent of two young boys I worry more about them driving when they turn 16 as well as the drugs and alcohol that come along with high school. Zac and his parents are not taking this journey lightly and have as far as I can tell planned and consulted with many people before he set sail.

As far as school goes who cares if he graduates on time or if he graduates at all, he is getting a far greater education than any kid sitting in some classroom. Zac has a passion and he is following it. Far be it for some "anonymous" blogger to judge Zac and his parents.

I applaud Zac for his passion and courage and his parents for letting their son live his life not the one that most parents impose on their children.

I ordered my tee-shirt today and will wear it proudly.

Larry

August 4, 2008 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Zac has the best teacher there is -the sea. And the way he writes the blogs he already knows a lot of it.
Who cares about cleaning there are too many cute girls running around LOL.
I am sure there will be some hairy situations but I also know he knows how to handle them.
Have fun
Axel,AR/Hamburg,Germany

August 4, 2008 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, you're a heck of a mom!
Wish I was your son - Zac's a lucky boy!
Jerry/Ca Delta

August 4, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Wow, Anonymous person. That's quite an accusation. I'm also a mother of a son, and while I understand your somewhat abruptly stated concern for Zac's safety, it should be obvious that this particular "boy" - if you could call a person so responsible and mature that - is very uniquely qualified to do exactly what he's doing. I doubt there are many in the world as equally suited to the task. As someone with my own regrets in life of not following certain dreams and fulfilling talents when I was younger, one of my prayers it that I will have the strength to encourage my own son to follow his unique talents and dreams without imposing my own fears and perception of what I "think" he should do with his life. Yes, it is dangerous. But if you understand the nature of life, you know every day is dangerous. Walking to school is dangerous. Turning your back for a second can be dangerous. The air you breathe, the mail you open, random meteors, accidents, unaccounted-for nuclear weapons, child predators... there isn't enough room for this list. The question really is, when you die, did you really enjoy and participate in life to it's fullest? Did you pursue your dreams and encourage others in theirs? Did you love those around you, and yourself? Did you try your best to appreciate and live in every moment?

I don't know Zac, but just from what's he's written, I believe he may have already lived more, dared more, experienced more deeply the moment than some people do in a lifetime. I very much admire Marianne for her strength and courage to let her son go after his dream. Neither myself or you, as "Anonymous", have any idea what she has gone through or continues to go through to be supportive of him and let him do this. I for one think she made the right decision. As a parent, you can't protect your children forever. And while you certainly don't want to be careless or negligent in keeping your children from harm, I think it's best to realize they're truly only on "loan" for the raising, and after that they are citizens of the world making their own decisions. I think Zac will be uniquely prepared for that time, and has a strong bond with his parents that I can only hope for when my son is 16.

Brooke
Raleigh NC USA

p.s. I apoligize for some of the sarcasm, but I have a pet peeve of people that leave criticizing comments that refuse to sign their name to them - even a first name. If you think it's valid criticism, why not own it?

August 4, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Brian in DC said...

Marianne,

As a father myself now, I can appreciate the parental concerns others have expressed. However, I strongly agree that what you're allowing Zac to do is incredibly good for his future. At age 20, I studied in Mexico, backpacked through part of Central America, and inadvertently traveled through a number of extremely dangerous areas. That experience was dangerous, but provided me with a level of self-reliance and confidence that has served me throughout my life. It also allows me to serve as occasional translator for Glen (Saludos!) on this blog.

Bluewater sailing can absolutely be dangerous (though Zac at sixteen is showing better judgment than I did at twenty), but given Zac's background and the extensive support network, I applaud you for letting him do this. He is an inspiration for those of us who never stopped dreaming. Meanwhile, you are an inspiration for those of us trying to raise kids who are self-sufficient and not afraid of the world.

Brian in DC

August 4, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

p.p.s. Anonymous - the jab about the media was completely uncalled for. You should realize making a snide insinuation like that certainly detracts from the perception that you have a real concern or a legitimate point. Or, let's us readers know you haven't read and comprehended previous posts on this blog.

Brooke

August 4, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Order placed! Looking forward to delivery.

Marianne, I thank you for adding some comments while Zac rests and takes care of business. I, for one, respect your decision to let Zac take on this quest. Certainly there are risks, but the benefits easily balance out. Form all I have seen / read Zac has all sorts of support, from the moral support of the ZacPack to the more critical support from experts in the needed fields. Most importantly, you and your family are helping Zac reach an incredible goal he has set for himself. Life is all about risks, but this quest offers such benefits! Good for you and your family, and know that at least *this* ZacPacker is here for you and your family as well as Zac.

August 4, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous DAN in Johannesburg SA said...

To Anonymous: August 4,2008 6:25AM

Would you like a little more cheese with your whine?? The last time I looked the USA was a nanny free country.

You are probably a PC liberal who never achieved anything in your life, and whose kids (if you even have any) will amount to a big fat ZERO. Do you let them cross the road or climb trees without you there? Do they drive autombiles?

Statistically what Zac is ACHIEVING
(do you even understand the word?)is far safer than crossing the street.

But then what do you care, as long as you have something to agitate about!!

Get a Life!!

To Marianne

don't let the detractors like the above tell you how to bring up your children, and never listen to the rubbish people like this anonyperson is spouting! ZAC is an amazing man (no longer a kid) exhibiting a maturity far beyond
anything displayed by Anonymous

August 4, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne,

Awesome job on answering anonymous. I'm impressed at your ability to speak kindly to so many accusations of poor mothering.

Like sailing around the world by himself is less education for Zac than a year of school. Even if he weren't ahead... he could always add a year to finish high school.

As to the safey issue... how safe is the nearest intersection in MDR? Safety is an illusion. Your son, no doubt influenced by you and your husband, has learned that the only safety is in Christ.

Thanks for letting your son follow his dreams.

From a fellow homeschooler,
Patrick in WI

P.S. I've been reading since a week before Zac left and I have great fun telling all the people I know what a 16 year can do if he puts his mind to it.

Zac,

I'm sure you know this one... but I think it's time to hear it again!

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. 1 Tim 4:12

Sail On Zac!

August 4, 2008 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Hey Fulgum

I’m absolutely agreed with you, in your comment about what Zac do next to the boat maintenance…

Obviously they don’t have time to the bloggers…

He is gonad be to busy in the cockpit teaching how to sail..

;-))))

Keep GOING ZAC…
Not everything can find it in the sea…

Glen

August 4, 2008 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Just one other editorial comment to Anonymous. I worry sometimes that our society shelters our children a bit too much, to the detriment of their development. I could launch into a "when *I* was a child" tirade, but suffice it to say that I think when we've gotten to the point where we won't allow our children to walk to the bus stop alone or play free in our neighborhoods, then the pendulum has swung too far towards safety and protection and needs to swing a bit back towards self sufficiency and responsibility. Needless risk is pointless, but only by taking certain risks do we learn and build character. And the trust, respect and faith a parent places in a child venturing out on its own are valuable gifts to the child - possibly more valuable in the long run than the protection and safety the parents also provide.

Just some of my thoughts on this...

August 4, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

The QBaroo website for ordering the shirt was a bit clunky, so be prepared for that…

But that’s not the worst part, at the end, it says; “Payment will be done by QBaroo and fulfillment by Zac Sunderland!!!

Man, that’s going to be a longggggggg wait with him getting all these special meals, big shakes, etc…

Unfortunately, it’s one more task for mom, but I’m sure she’ll manage the Zac Pac at home and they’ll be a good little assembly & distribution line…

Daveh

August 4, 2008 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Thank you Marianne for posting the blog by Anonymous about Zac's trip, the dangers, and his schooling. I think it asks many questions that some people have but have been afraid to ask. I hope you leave it up.


If you do not mind, I would like to answer that post.

First, all parents want to protect their children. Although all 93 of my children had parents other than me, they were not rental kids, they were my kids.

I have lost six of them over the years and I can assure everyone that parents are not designed to outlive their children.

However the most dangerous thing that a teenager can do in this life is get behind the wheel of a car. Statistically, Zac's great adventure is much less dangerous than going on a Friday night date in the family car. I do not think that most parents are going to stifle a childs desire to gain the freedom of wheels because of that.

Our duty as parents is to raise our offspring to become self sustaining individuals capable of surviving in the wild, not raising an individual that is dependent upon the parent all of their life.

This hold true for all parents, be they human or beast in the forest.

As to schooling, being an Ed.D in Education, I can honestly say that Zac's home schooling and the lessons learned on the high seas are far superior to anything that he can possibly learn sitting at a desk in a brick and mortar classroom.

There are only three basic skills one needs to learn in school. Reading, writing and arithmetic. Once that is mastered, all other learning flows from that base. If one can read and write, one can learn anything. If one can understand basic math, one can design and build anything. No rational person can say that Zac is not getting his share of that base on this quest.

His postings are proof enough that he has mastered the art of the English language far beyond the grasp of the average 16 year old high school student.

His movement from California to the Marshall Islands in a fairly straigt line is proof enough that he has mastered math, especially trigonometry, far beyound that of any high school student in an average high school setting.

Zac, you have learned how to read the manuals so you can repair your equipment. You have learned how to express yourself in a coherent manner so all can understand what you are trying to convey. You have learned how to do math, how to plot a course, and most importantly, you have learned how to make decisions in a rational manner, weighing the consequences of those decisions. So sail on Zac. You have a great future ahead of you.

Godspeed

Bill
bill@barstools4u.com

August 4, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion? If Zac and Marianne do not agree, you do not have to post it. If you do post it and the majortiy of the bloggers do not agree, I am sure I will hear about it.

As someone who holds dear the interchange of divergent views and feels that the world is a better place because of it, I encourage people to speak their mind. My views, my religion, my politics is what guides my life. However that is my life, not anyone else's.

Debate is what shapes my views. Perhaps that is the reason
TWELVE ANGRY MEN
is my favorite movie. Without an email address, I cannot have a debate.

I would therefore suggest that all bloggers be required to leave a contact so that they can be proud of their views and debate them.

Respectfully,
Bill Mann
bill@barstools4u.com

August 4, 2008 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to feel sorry for the people who feel the way the anonymous poster felt about how irresponsible it is to let your
child live their dreams.
No, the average teenage kid is not mature enough to handle the goals that Zac has set for himself, but Zac has been preparing himself his entire life to face this challenge and I can only assume that some people have not gotten to know Zac through his website to have the confidence in him that not only his family has but also those of us around the world that are cheering him on.
I have spoken with several people in my neck of the woods who have also expressed the same concerns as the anonymous poster but obviously they don't understand Zac's background and experience. God Bless you Zac and family! You guys are amazing and all of us arm chair cruisers are blessed to be able to live our dreams through you. Stay safe, enjoy your time in Majuro, you are in all of our prayers!
Terri, Gloucester VA

August 4, 2008 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Karl said...

Hi Marianne,

I came by to check the blog and was simply dumbfounded when I read the comments by the "Anonymous" detractor. I was all set, practically from the end of the first sentence, to blast that person... but kept reading and saw that your response was far better than anything I could (or would) have written. It is obvious to me that s/he has not really taken the time to understand what Zac's adventure is all about, or to try to understand Zac himself. In life there are no guarantees except one - that life will end. Everything else is so open to chance. Sure, what Zac is doing is dangerous. But what in life, even something as simple as crossing the street, is without danger? Sure, Zac is not attending school in the traditional sense (and no home schooled youngster is). Sure, Zac is young - in physical years, but he also has maturity and wisdom far beyond those years. Are there dangers that he has and will face out there, absolutely! But the thing is... even while Zac is physically alone at sea, he is never truly alone with his parents and family, all the members of the technical support team and yes, even the Zac Pac watching him, guiding him and praying for him. Everyone in the world should be so blessed to have that kind of network to support them.

As I have said before, I trust that you have the confidence in Zac and his ability to conquer this challenge lest you would never have allowed it in the first place. My hat is off to you and Laurence for recognizing the maturity, strength, and capabilities of your son and supporting his pursuit of the goal he has set. My only wish for "Anonymous" is that s/he have that same wisdom to allow his or her child to do what they have dreamed and prepared for. If not, I truly feel sorry for that child.

Now that having been said... this is Zac's blog and to you, Zac, I say kudos for a great job thus far. Enjoy your time in Majuro. The memories and friendships you make there will truly be ones that you will value for the rest of your life.

We look forward to seeing you back in the water sailing into history and the record books!

Karl
Colorado Springs, CO

Oh yea, almost forgot to thank you for the chance to purchase a couple t-shirts! Thanks!!

August 4, 2008 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey "Anonymous" zac lives in Los Angeles, he could die going to the 7-11, or standing on his porch, or walking across the street, or yes, even in SCHOOL, i believe Zac is uniquely qualified for this challenge, he is not like any sixteen year old "kid" i have ever known. I don't have any children but to suggest that his parents are more interested in the media attention than their son's safety?? well obviously you don't have any either. And if you don't think he's getting an education sailing solo across the Pacific Ocean and hopefully around the World, well you're just wrong. A mind is like a parachute, it works better when it's open, you should try it sometime
p.s. i'm not picking on LA, i live here too.
Rock on Zac

August 4, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

What Zac is doing is risky! But hey, life is risky! God has created a beautiful world and placed amazing people in it, He has also put within us a desire to explore and seek adventure. I pity those that have become content to stand on the shore watching the boats come and go and no longer have the desire to experience life because it might be risky, however I pity more the kids that have parents that insist their offspring must stay on the shore for their own false sense of safety. Not every 16 year old should be sailing the high seas, most should not even be driving a car. This is where Zac is so different from most 16 year olds. His maturity and experience has placed him in this unique position to be able to even attempt such an adventure. We only get a glimpse of this maturity and experience by following him on this blog, but I have seen enough to know Zac has the "Right Stuff" to be where he is and doing what he has proven he is capable of. I stand up and cheer Laurence and Marianne and the entire team for such sacrifical support they are providing. But most of all I stand and cheer for Zac, and his zest for life, not just a "safe" life but a life well lived and full of adventure. If you only had one year to live, would you rather spend it circumnavigating the globe, or in some classroom reading a textbook? We have no promise of tomorrow, regardless if we are on the shore or in the boat.
Enough writting, I gotta go buy a t-shirt!
Go, Zac, Go!!
Bob in OKC

August 4, 2008 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Scot said...

I have to say "ditto" to everything Brooke (from NC) said in her lengthy post. She puts my thoughts down as well, and very eloquently I might add.

I can understand the parental concerns of "anonymous." I'm a father of 3 girls. But moreover, I admire greatly the unselfish, and undoubtedly difficult position Marianne and Laurence (Zac's parents) have taken to enhance their son's life. They have shown as much courage as Zac has. And I would be willing to bet that one or both have been jerked awake by a bad dream once or twice since this began.

Thanks for the updates while Zac is on shore leave Marianne.

Scot
California

August 4, 2008 at 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Wheat said...

I have been apart of Zac's adventure since the end of April and I feel like I am on the biggest adventure of my life. To be able to witness this epic journey of a young man seeing the world literally gives me chills. Thank you to Marianne and Laurence for raising an amazing man who can fulfill his dreams because he has the support of ADMIRABLE WONDERFULLY PHENOMENAL parents!! I feel sorry for the children of Anonymous, and anyone who doesn't see this as an unbelievable opportunity to see the world. They will keep their kids in a box and they will never experience the beauty of what the world has to offer. Ya know most people have never left the state they were born in, and Zac is seeing the world on his own! I am so honored to be apart of this sublime adventure!!

An Offical
Zac Pak and Crew member!
Wheat
Ft.Worth TX

PS. When I get my t-shirt I am so putting iron-on's that say "ZAC PAK AND CREW"

PSS. Can't wait til the welcome home party for Zac!!

August 4, 2008 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Marianne,
It seems all of the true "Zac Pac" bloggers agree with your comments to anonymous.
If anonymous had been following this adventure all along he/she would have known there is so much more to this adventure than "letting your son do a dangerous thing".
Zac is an amazing young man and you and Laurence are amazing parents.
The love, support and admiration you must feel from the "Zac Pac" should far out weigh comments from the likes of anonymous.
Hope Zac has a great time in Majuro.
Will you be able to meet Zac at his next port of call?
Take Care,
Mona
Tucson, AZ

P.S. I just ordered my T-shirt!

August 4, 2008 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

To Anonymous –

Being that you were bold, I will respond boldly…

- It’s pretty bold of you to attack someone you don’t even know, and it’s downright ignorant and irresponsible of you to pass judgment about and event that you have ZERO knowledge

- However, I find your media comment to be the most childish and juvenile, clearly proving my point above.

- Have you never heard of home schooling, or CLEP?

- My brother’s wife has home schooled all of their children, 2 started college at 16! The other 3 will likely do the same.

- How do you feel about other child athletes? Such as 14 YO traveling the world for Tennis, or going to the Olympics? They could die from a plane crash, or sustain a life threatening injury during a event, or get killed by a terrorist in a foreign country.

- Maybe you keep your children in a bubble, OR do you even have any children and you’re just spouting off?

- If you have children, I feel they are in a very sheltered environment and will likely go into SHOCK when released into the REAL world…

Dave

August 4, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

To Anonymous –

And another point, much like Zac, my kids, currently 13 and 11 (girl and boy) have sailed with me all over the SE US, Bahamas, Caribbean, S. America. Their first trip was when they were 2yo and 4yo…

Their biggest trip (5 months) was when they were 5 and 7…

They have sailed the waters off of Oahu in the Molokai Channel in 15=18' pacific swells in 20kts of wind (teather in with life-jackets on mind you), but loving every second of the trip...

Does that make me a bad parent because my children have crossed the gulf stream, dozens of times and the equator????

They know more love from me and have seen more of the world than most, and I’m not stopping here…
I can assure you, at 16, if they want to circumnavigate, I will throw everything I have at their adventure.

I’ll be nervous as hell, but at 13, you begin to make your own decisions in life, at 16, you can join the military and defend your country.

Zac has 100% grown up on the water, it’s what he knows and loves, it is what he is and will always be likely.

Zac has chosen to conquer this, which is much more than you will ever accomplish I’m sure.

Daveh

August 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Nash said...

What great responses to the ‘anonymous’ criticism. Why do posts full of ignorance, and mean spirited content come by way of the anonymous? I loved what Brooke of North Carolina asked, “If you think its valid criticism, why not own it?” Hear! Hear!

Some advice to new bloggers would be to read all the archived posts prior to offering any criticism. Here are just a few of the things you would have learned about the Sunderland family. This adventure was Zac’s idea to take on. His parents were concerned upfront with the media and the negative side of any popularity that this endeavor would bring to their son. Zac is not a rich kid, as far as money; he saved for years to purchase his boat and it is by the tremendous donation of others time and money that is making this trip possible. Zac has been successfully home schooled, and with the added credits he will receive during this world trip, he will have fulfilled more than enough credits to graduate High School. Although Zac has never experienced a sea wall (freak wave), typhoon or hurricane, neither have most the boaters in the world. He has the latest electronics on-board to communicate and navigate, with a scheduled daily meeting to discuss with a professional weatherman, choices for safe routing. By the age of 16 years old, Zac has accumulated enough sea time to qualify him to take the USCG test of 6-pack, 8-pack, and larger commercial vessels. At any time, as his mother has so elegantly said many times, Zac may stop the adventure and come home into their open arms.

Risk without management is endangerment. In the case of the Sunderland family, I think most of us who have been following Zac’s journey would agree that the risk has been managed extremely well.

Jerry
Simi Valley, CA

August 4, 2008 at 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

Hi Zac, Marianne and Laurence,

I don't know how anyone could have read Zac's blog and be concerned about his education. How many 16 year-olds could express themselves so well and keep us watchers so enthralled? As for his personal safety few sailors could be better protected or monitored.

Marianne, your measured, calm and reasoned response to Anonymous today fills me with admiration. You must know that the overwhelming majority of us are with you 100% but the kindness of your tone tells me that you know that!

Very best wishes to you all, Tim

August 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

t-shirts ordered. thanks to the sponsor and everyone. zac --hope you get my card from hollywood ---have a blast, kiddo--be safe-be well --BEHAVE !!!!
john baker/hollywoos/ca/USofA
jbaker1226@aol.com

August 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

qiloiCome on bloggers, do not let more importance to some people that they really have…

LADRAN SANCHO!!!

SEÑAL QUE CABALGAMOS...

I read that the T-shirts have a cost of 20$ per unit.
My question is, in witch way can I buy from Argentina and how gone be the final cost with shipping to AR.

Thanks to all again.

ZAC.
Men keep going…

And the force be with you…

August 4, 2008 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZAC HAS MORE 'SMARTS' THAN ANY 'BOOK SMART' KID COULD EVER HOPE TO HAVE.
SAIL ON YOUNG YOUNG MAN. THE ZAC PAC "HAS YOUR BACK"
JDB-LOS ANGELES

August 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Glen, What makes life so interesting is that everyone is unique with different viewpoints. If everyone thought the same, the world would be very boring.

Glen, lo que hace la vida tan interesante es que todos son extraordinarios con puntos de vista diferentes. Si todos pensaron el mismo, el mundo estaría aburriendo muy.

The fears expressed are legitimate and I am sure they have passed through the minds of everyone on the blog.

Los temores expresados son legítimos y estoy seguro que ellos han pasado por las mentes de todos en el blog.

Rest assured that the majority of everyone here agrees that Zac is doing very well so the fears are not very meaningful.

El descanso aseguró que la mayoría de todos aquí concuerda que Zac hace muy bien tan los temores no son muy significativos.

However one should not minimize the dangers and it is good to talk about them.

Sin embargo uno no debe minimizar los peligros y es bueno hablar de ellos.

I think everyone here, both the Sunderland family and the bloggers appreciate your concern and input.

Pienso todos aquí, la familia de Sunderland y los bloggers aprecian su concierne e ingresa.

Viva Argentina and the Zac T Shirt!

¡Viva Argentina y la Camisa de Zac T!

Bill

August 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Marianne,
Thank you for posting the most controversial post we've seen from anonymous. I'm sure that there have been others that were more mean-spirited which prompted you to enable the moderation feature on the blog. That being said, I am happy that you let this one come through as it prompts all of us to think and respond; but more importantly to engage in a dialogue that cannot be ignored when discussing Zac's trip.
To anonymous, I'd like you to research the blog completely before passing judgement. I don't know Zac at all, but from everything that I have come to understand from what I've read is that he is as prepared as he will ever be to take on this huge undertaking. Risk is something that we live with whether we realize it or not on a daily basis. Some of us just take larger risks than others.
From a parental standpoint, I am sure that neither Marianne or Laurence have had a full night of sleep since Zac left MDR. That's what parents do, whether your kid spends the night at a friends house or on the high seas. Each time we send our children out the door we risk losing them, sometimes in our own front yards and even worse sometimes they don't even have to leave the house.
As for Zac being the "youngest person on record to circumnavigate solo around the world," I'd like to state that at the end of the journey the record really is irrelevant to me, personally. And while I cannot speak for his parents or fellow bloggers, my sense is that at the end of the day (in this case journey) we all want to see Zac complete his mission in his own time, safely, and in good health and spirits. For me the record is secondary and in no way is an indicator of victory nor defeat! Did ya' hear me Zac?
Melanie in Torrance

August 4, 2008 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous i zac said...

Thanks for your comments! That anonymous comment sure livened up the blog during Zac's rest time. I am really glad that it was put on the blog sight. It gave everyone a chance to really show the reasons why they support Zac.

I believe that teens, especially some boys need to do hard things. They need to rise above mediocrity and strive for a BIG goal. With calculated risk and trust in God I know that kids are able to do far more than anyone could imagine.

Zac is tough, his parents are wise, his friends are loyal and caring and we are trusting in a big God to protect and guide him. Zac will be fine.

Kristi
Simi Valley, CA

August 4, 2008 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi. I usually don't post twice during one posting but it really blew me away when I read anonymous' comment. How in the world someone can be SO subjective and opinionated on a family and individual that this person does not even know??? Obviously, you have not read any of Zac's previous postings. If you had, you would have seen that Zac knew more about sailing, boats and geography than many people 25 years his senior! Similarly, just by reading his postings, you can see that Zac has an intellect that is far beyond his 16 years.

The next time you make an accusation like that, make sure you thoroughly understand the individual you are making before saying one word.

Scott

August 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Zac..."you're the man"...

we all continue Zac to be amazed at team "Sunderland"...
you were so so gracious
Marianne,in your kind response

lessons i'm sure you have already passed on to your son... from both Laurence and yourself

not found in the pages of any book, but "ONE",
but even more so than found in the pages...lived out in life,
do you all remember Zac sharing... psalm 107 a psalm that "i had memorized long ago",
memorization is a gift from the LORD it's when you take possession and ownership... .."sweet"

thank you anonymous for the "courage" to express your point of view...
it helps us all to understand and stretch and grow, within ourselves as well... on this incredible journey with our beloved Zac...

Zac LOL, always even now teaching us about ourselves...

"a kind answer turns away wrath"

we all hope anonymous you and your loved ones continue on the journey, as we all are
and like the rest of continue to grow...
in the understanding of our own "limitations" and "bounds" and be a part of the ZacPac.

the article, in the Majuro newspaper, was so well written about you Zac, and the picture worth more than a thousand words..
we, all of us, are so so happy for you and team Sunderland and so so proud that you would invite us along...

we live in such "incredible times", it's like being on the extension phone with thousands and we all dance the dance in unison with you... thank you Zac for the courage and yet humility in bringing us into a very open an unprivate world

Zac you are the "MAN"...

one of my favorite verses that i think of when i think of you is:

proverbs 22:29

"do you see a man skilled in his work,
he will stand before kings;

he will not stand before
obscure men"

and Zac,you will... be prepared

so so very much ahead of you...
enjoy your time in this port o call... and give n get lotsa hugs, opps HUGS... heart to heart, long and hard HUGS and let the tears of joy fall as they may... you'll need every one of them up ahead to carry you through...

you are the "MAN"

mark n adino
vicksbuurg, ms

thank you, LORD
for answering "our" prayers...
"all" of our prayers...selah

August 4, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Hi Bill M. - After reading what you wrote, I checked my Blogger link and saw my email wasn't listed in my profile (like I thought) - actually nothing was. So, I updated my profile. I would say one thing though. When you list your email in plain text in posts on blogs, they are fodder for crawlers that sift through posts harvesting/parsing email addresses to compile mailing lsits to send spam. You might want to try separating the letters with spaces or underscores to make the address invalid unless the reader follows your instructions.

i.e. B_r_o_oke@McK_issic.com

Remove all underscores for my real email address. Just a little techie tip.

Can't wait to get my T-Shirt!

Seeing that picture of Zac in the restaurant with the local beauty brings to mind the line from Top Gun - I can hear Meg Ryan telling Kelly McGillis "hearts are breaking all over the world tonight!" I think Zac is the next American Idol!!! You want to have a conversation about danger... I think land might win over sea ;P

August 4, 2008 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac!

Enjoy your stay on dry land! I hope my note arrived ok and that you have lunch on me!

I want to order a T-shirt but so far, haven't been able to figure out how! I'm no Einstein on the computer but hopefully, there will be a way to clear up the confusion.

Sail on, my dear!

Nancy in Palm Springs

August 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

'Anonymous', I think it's time to lay off the Hatorade. Your 'comfort zone' is YOUR comfort zone. Some people choose not to live their lives in some sterile safe cocoon. Please don't worry about Zac. He'll be right! Life is too short to worry as U do. Life is for living. Worrying never solved anything. Take a deep breath..EXHALE.
(((Repeat as needed))).
Seriously Zac is doing amazing! He is doing a WHOLE lot of living. It's all good karma baby. 'Anonymous' get on board... This young kid might put a few grey hairs in your head, but I have no doubt that when he sets foot back in California U will have a smile on your face that will need a surgeon to remove!!
Deep breath again..
EXHALE
M.A. rocks too!

August 4, 2008 at 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, I sure took a beating today for being all too honest--Lets see --what did I say that was all that bad?


I was telling some of my friends who have children about your son's journey. They were just incredulous that you are allowing your young son to do such a dangerous ( I do see it as dangerous--I just do) thing.

Have you thought about the possibility that your son could die doing this and how would you handle the guilt that you allowed him to be out on the ocean all alone? This may appear to be a mighty adventure to some but as parents we see it as very very irresponsible to allow your son to be in such a precarious situation ( I thought most adventures should be done as a buddy system so you have someone to help you).

I have to question how you are handling the worry or do you enjoy the media more?(Is the publicity worth it if your son should get hurt?)

I do pray that your son will be safe however I fear greatly that he is so alone.

We also wonder how he will ever graduate from school since he isn't going to school? (OK--erase that part--he is getting a real life education)...

I am very worried that something bad will happen to Zac--most of you see it as just wonderful that he has the opportunity to do such a grand thing--I am thinking along the terms of a parent. I do have a son, my gosh I was scared to death when he went to college many many miles away and all on his own. I am probably way too overprotective but to think about a 16 yr old out in the ocean all alone, that just gives me chills.

Are most of you rooting him on because thats the kind of adventure you wish you had done and are living this thru him?

I'd like to think that my post gives a different perspective to this whole trip--this takes me back to when the little 8 yr old wanted to be the youngest to fly all over the world--well she crashed and died (oh yes, she had daddy with her, but yet she still died).

I do hope Zac has a successful journey and I want his wish to come true but yet I am scared for him--I have this motherly thing going that truly fears what lies ahead. I have to wonder if Marianne even sleeps at night wondering if her son is tethered to his bed and safe.

So for those of you who see me as being negative about this trip--I am not--I am just being over cautious and very concerned. I do want Zac to make it and I want to see him not hurt.

This whole trip is not an adventure movie, this is real life and it involves one 16 yr old,alone, in the middle of the ocean.

And I am glad he is meeting girls along the way!!

and btw--my name is Sandy

August 4, 2008 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I came in late to some interesting commentary. First of all, Marianne, what a beautifully articulate, calm and intelligent response to someone who is obviously ignorant of Zac's abilities and support. The many responses ahead of mine speak of what I feel as well.

Zac, have a fabulous time in Majuro. Enjoy yourself. Lot's of work ahead.

It is so much fun to see how many people are following Zac's journey from all over the world. Proud to be part of the Zac Pac! And now to order my tee shirt....

Blessings,

Jennifer
Sherman Oaks, CA

August 4, 2008 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac and family,

The queen of the Sunderland tribe is a paragon of patience. Marianne, your cool in responding to the vapid airhead who challenged your mothering skills was inspirational and exemplary. Observing the difference in how the two of you think and operate was an excellent lesson in maturity, diplomacy, and cool.

I pray that her progeny never have to face any challenges or make decisions for themselves in the next 40 years. They'll wind up under the bed wailing for their mommy to come protect them from all the creepies, crawlies, and things that go bump in the night. Of course, she'll have been the one who taught them to fear anything that was unfamiliar.

Anyone who has read all the information on Zac's website would realize that he is more qualified that most all other humans of any gender or age for this adventure. His preparation began when he came home after his birth. His work with his father in ship-weighting and deliveries has given him 16 years of education for this voyage.

I hate to resort to clichés, but they get to be cliches for a reason. First, if you cage something and seek to control it, it will escape and be gone for ever. It you love it, nuture it, and set it free, it will return again and again of it's own freewill. and ... in the future one will more likely regret the things they did not do that regret the things they did.

I suspect that that strange lady and mother is much less worried about the safety of her children than she about losing control of them. Only her counselor knows for sure.

OK, Zac, to you. This voyage has been a kick in the pants so far. I'm so confident in your skills and 'our' safety that I plan to remain onboard for the duration and ride it out. Just remember that everything one does is based upon a decision. Some are good, some are less so, and some are just plain bad. You da man, dude. Let's rumble. Let them think what they will. Someday they'll realize they were wrong, but their old decisions will be irrevocable.

I hope she doesn't bug us again. If she does, I'll stop holding back and let her know what I really think. Maybe I'll even give her a piece of YOUR mind!

Frogpond

August 4, 2008 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Marianne, Laurence, and Zac,
What unfortunately has happened, and to an extent I now contribute to is much the same as 'trolls' in many forums. They make outlandish statements only to get responses.
They succeeded in that.

Those of us who know through this blog, the planning, the effort and the reality of Zac sailing solo around the world, also realize the concern, the acceptance of the risks, and the knowledge that Zac is capable with all of the above work, to accomplish his goal.

Many teenagers (make that most) would not be capable of this endeavor. It takes a special young man, with exceptional sailing skills, amazing maturity, and an attitude of self confidence and responsibility to even begin the tasks at hand.
It also takes a very special set of parents and family members to commit to being part and parcel of this undertaking. I'm sure Dad doesn't mind flying around the world either, if only to look into the eyes of his son, shake his hand, give a hug, and know he is well, safe, and succeeding.

Perhaps the poster had legitimate concerns about Zac's safety, and the the efforts of his Family. But didn't do a very good job expressing it. Which by now is an obvious truth. But I stick with my previous 'troll' thinking.

As a parent, there can be nothing more consuming that to know your child, male or female, is outside of your direct and responsible control.
Yet also as a parent, there comes a time when letting loose the reins of parenthood, to allow decisions to be made, (right or wrong) so that that same child will grow, learn, experience, and accept responsibility for their choices and actions.
We all instill morals, values, and right thinking in our children, then we stand back and let them become the young men and women they will be.

Marianne and Laurence, you're doing a great and noble thing. Your son will never ever forget any of this, not will you, or the thousands that get to share, if only through this forum, the experience to a lifetime.
My only legitimate concern is what goals will be set in the future for a young man who has already accomplished so much. Yet reading, and through those words, realizing the well grounded, and mature son you have, this is only one of the accomplishments he will do, and be successful at.

Sail on Zac, fair winds, and fair fortune. It's all ahead my young friend.

August 4, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

One other thing.......are there going to be 3x shirts available at some point?

August 4, 2008 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Sandy,

You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I would be the last one to deny you that.

However let me tell you about my sailor son.

He is in charge of IT for a major corporation in Northern California

Before he was promoted through the ranks, he was a computer programer.

As a teenager he loved to water ski. Although I get seasick reading this blog, I bought a 21' Rinell so I could take him water skiing.

He owns a cat and did the Baja HaHa last year. He plans on taking the cat to Hawaii in the near future.

Not bad for a father of four.

However if my son can do that, then Zac can certainly do what he is doing. Zac can see his instruments. My son is totally blind and has been totally blind since he was eight years old. He is around 50 now.

People can do amazing things when allowed to.

If anyone asks, I can get a link to his blog. However this blog is for Zac's adventure and I do not want to spoil that.

Bill Mann

August 4, 2008 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

To Sandy, the Anonymous poster...

I think it's safe for me to say that all of us worry about Zac - none more than his parents, of course. I've already posted twice on this entry, but I'll add one more comment.

It's not as if Zac was some typical teen that rolled out of bed one morning and left a note for his mom and dad that he was taking his little dingy and sailing to Hawaii and beyond. This is a skilled seaman that set a goal and went about doing all the things needed to reach that goal.

For my part, the most offensive thing in your post was the implication that Marianne and / or
Laurence value any attention, media or otherwise, over the life of Zac. That is simply infuriating and if you're wondering why you took a beating here, do some thoughtful pondering on that little accusation as well as the general ignorant tone of the rest of your comments. I suspect you mean well, but try reading a bit about all the preparation that has gone on long before the trip actually started.

Cheers all...

willy
milford, ohio

August 4, 2008 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Critter said...

I hope I will not to get crucified by the ZacPac for posting a positive comment about Sandy (Anonymous), but she may be simply expressing her natural fears that we all should have for each other. How much greater would this world be if we all cared a little more about one another.

She seems to be a reasonable person, capable of expressing herself well. She did respond to the criticism of her in a reasonable and coherent fashion.

She is a mother, and as a mother is concerned about children. Is she overprotective -- yes. But is that sooooo bad? Is it worse than being under-protective? Where is the dividing line? I think we each place it a little differently.

She does wish Zac well -- as we all do. I think she is expressing a true fear that she has. Is that so bad? I don't think she is doing it for evil reasons or just to get attention. I may be wrong, but I don't think so.

However, this is just my opinion.

August 4, 2008 at 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Wheat said...

ZAC PAC (i don't know why I kept putting a "k" instead of a "c" when clearly the "c" makes more sense and i have been typing a c since it was named ZAC PAC a week or so back) AND CREW!!

Can't wait for the next blog and my tshirt!

Peace love and GOOD NIGHT!!

Wheat

August 4, 2008 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Sandy,
Thank you for revealing yourself and further clarifying your remarks. Those of us who are parents and even those who are not share many of the same concerns that you do. I think it is fair to say that each of us shares a different "comfort level" that is part and parcel of the Sunderlands adventure. Could I do this, i.e. send my kid off on a sailboat around the world at the age of 16? NO! But my kid (at 17) is an entirely different child. He is a special needs child and he excels in those things that make me as a parent extemely proud. In other words, he is a good student, good employee, and above all, he never gives up. Needless to say my expectations for him are quite different, in that my only expectation is that he endeavor to do his best each day, be honorable, and above all never to give up. I don't doubt that Marianne and Laurence have similar goals for Zac and all of their children; that is to be the best that they can be today, at this moment in time.
Finally, I would implore you to go back and read through the entire blog and accompanying website and articles published. It might give you a different perspective and provide you with comfort about Zac's experience in this endeavor that he has chosen to undertake with his parents supervisionand support.
Best regards,
Melanie in Torrance

August 4, 2008 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger James said...

To Sandy - Anonymous...

I am so glad you responded to all the comments about your earlier posting. We all understand your concerns, but most of us have been following Zac's journey since May, before he left Marina Del Rey, in the middle of June. All of us reading this blog have had the opportunity to learn of Zac's past experiences at sea. We have also learned much about the support he is equipped with. As so many have said in the blog today, he is so much more equipped to accomplish this endeavor than you, I, or most of the Zac Pac involved in this blog. If you have the time, start at the beginning of this blog and you as well will understand why Zac is so much more equipped, aware, and enabled to take on this task. As you, and others, have said, the sea, or a crosswalk, just about everything has its perils. If you have been taught well, you are better prepared to handle those perils. I doubt any of us could imagine a person of Zac's age, or really, of any age, that is more experienced to accomplish what Zac has set his goal for. I have no idea when or how your ancestors, Sandy, arrived here, or where you first lived when you were born. No doubt, however, one of your ancestors had enough of an adventurous spirit that resulted in your being where you are today. Most of us learned in school about the explorers. Columbus, Magellan, Sir Francis Drake, Captain Cook... Too many to name. They all took risks with their crew. Zac, however, like so many single handed circumnavigators before him, such as Joshua Slocom, Robin Lee Graham, Jesse Martin, David Dicks, and Tania Aebi, to name but a few, could not resist the same challenge that those earlier explores had -- only each had the confidence and fortitude to accomplish the feat alone. I cannot imagine that you are not as proud as I am that there are people in the world of Zac's caliber. With all its problems in this day and age, the human race would be far more behind without brave people like Zac.

Zac… keep on keeping on…

Marianne… keep being the Mom everyone wishes they had…

Laurence… be very proud… you have helped your boy to become a man in your image…

Jim – RedwoodMan – Boulder Creek, California
redwoodman@gmail.com

August 4, 2008 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

My opinion of Zac's adventure can be summed up with the wise words that the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards once told me: ``Isn't it amazing what we can do once we believe in ourselves.'' Keep sailing, Zac!

August 4, 2008 at 10:23 PM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

Here is the story of a family who decided to take an extended sailing trip, and experienced a dangerous situation. They too had a lifeboat, epirb, etc, but it was of little use.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20051218-9999-lz1c18wreck.html

Though Zac is undoubtedly quite well prepared, perhaps something can be learned by the incident, which helps avoid a similar situation.

All the best to Zac

August 5, 2008 at 3:47 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

qxcFrom Sandy (Anonymous):

"Are most of you rooting him on because thats the kind of adventure you wish you had done and are living this thru him?"

"This whole trip is not an adventure movie, this is real life and it involves one 16 yr old,alone, in the middle of the ocean."

I know this is probably getting tiresome, but I could not let it go without addressing the above two statements.

As for the first one, I'm sure there are many people from all over the world following this blog who have had their own adventures. While I made a comment earlier that I have some regrets about things I didn't pursue when I was younger, that in no way means I've lived a life without adventure, risk, and fulfillment. I've traveled extensively - not yet to Africa, South America, or Antarctica (not sure I care to go there anyway). I think the compelling thing is the personal story of Zac himself. The type of person and character it takes to undergo such a feat, at such a young age, it's incredible to learn about. Some of it for me as a Mom is also reading some good, positive news that helps balance out my officemate who reads the paper every morning and seems to pick out the most horrible story, that inevitably involves a child, to share with me under the guise of "news". I think Zac and his family are a light in the world, and I like sharing that, learning through waht Zac is doing (read all about the nuclear testing near the Marshalls and the government settlement supposedly compensating the natives for damages), and passing the story on to others so they can log in and experience some of that. Is it vicarious? Of course. I think all reading is on some level vicarious living. Does that make is bad or wrong? Not at all. It's not the thing that defines my person.

For the second comment, I can't speak for others but I never forget for a minute that this is real life, and that Zac is on a dangerous journey. I have fears as a mother. Our family goes to the beach at least once a year for a week, and I have to be careful about how protective I am of my son in the water (he's 3 1/2, almost 4). I don't want him to fear the ocean, and some of my best memories are of me riding the waves all day as a child, but if he's in past his knees, either my husband or I am within grabbing distance. I never forget that one moment is all it takes to change everything. But I also have to remember that is the case everywhere, in every moment. I struggle constantly to find a balance in protectiveness versus instilling fear or apprehension. That's why I had made a post way earlier saying something like "I may be calm and smiling on the outside, but I'm a ball of worry on the inside."

I think the Zac Pac knows that this is not a game show. This is the life of an exceptional young man and his family. Do I worry for Zac? Yes I do. Not just the physical danger, but even the pressure of having a "Zac Pac" at all and having that have any influence on his decisions to keep going for fear of disappointment. If you threw up your hands now, Zac, I would think nothing less of you and still be very proud of your accomplishment and amazed at your character.

I think the best statement I can make is that I decided to share this journey with my son. He especially likes looking at Zac's position in Google Earth. I thought about it beforehand and did this with the full understanding that this IS real life, and there is a small possibility that something horrible could happen. And that I would need to explain that to my son. And we still share it anyway together because we have faith and hope, and I can't shy away from having to teach my son the hard lessons as well as the easy ones.

Brooke
Raleigh NC

August 5, 2008 at 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Franklin 5 said...

Hey Zac...just letting you know that we are thinking of you and pray for you for safe travels. I read so many true sailing adventures and love that I can read this one first hand.

Enjoy your time with your dad and don't worry about not doing the blogging right now...I'd want to visit the island and do as much as I could too.

God bless you
The Franklin 5
Winnipeg MB Canada

August 5, 2008 at 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might buy one of those T-shirts if I could see a better photo. They look pretty good :)

And, as someone else posted, what about the cards we all sent? No word yet?


C-18

August 5, 2008 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to the writer of concern about Zac's education.

He is only taking one year off, for starters.

His travel will cause him to excel in all further formal, classroom education because he will have an experts experience in world geography, world cultures, ability to be self confident and self sufficient, and knowledgeable even of world politics and laws of immigration.

Those things Zac has / and will learn will put him way out in front of even people who have a higher IQ. He will be way, way ahead of people his age for years and years.

And the truth of the matter, unfortunately, is that American youth just don't get trained as you suggest. The formal high school classroom is full of deadbeat kids lost to the world due to poor parenting and sometimes teachers who aren't even qualified to be the instructor.

Zac is living a dream that will pay huge dividends. Its not a free dream, though, as his life is literally in his own hands. But that is why his experience far exceeds the formal classroom experience. He might even reap enough financial rewards to live the remainder of his life comfortably (albeit not rich).

C-18

August 5, 2008 at 11:09 AM  

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