Friday, September 12, 2008

The Arafura Sea

Overview of the Arafura Sea - Torres Strait to Darwin
Detail of the area around Darwin - not an easy passage
Latest Position: 0630Z 09/12/08 10 46.0S 136 32.0E

Zac is still gliding along in light winds and calm seas. Last night's radio contact had poor reception but he was cleaning up the boat in preparation for his arrival in Oz. Laurence is getting situated with help from John Knight. They are still trying to locate a SSB radio for communicating with Zac.

Not much to report today. There are links to Zac's Myspace and Facebook pages as well as his YouTube videos on the blog now. I'll let you know when there is something new that I know about. Let us know if you are having any trouble using the links or accessing these pages.




Blogger Peter said...

You know what they say, no news is good news :)

September 12, 2008 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Peter. So glad all is well!

Sherman Oaks,CA

September 12, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kit said...

g'day - you'll get a better perspective using Google
Search on Darwin, Australia or use this link
Kit Griffin,132.264404&spn=6.166455,7.932129&t=h&z=7

September 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

I'm glad things are going well. I didn't know the sea around Darwin was tricky. Glad you have an expert like John Knight.

Somebody put SEVERAL shrimps on the barbie for Zac when he arrives!!!



September 12, 2008 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest Position: 0630Z 09/12/08
10 46.0S 136 32.0E

Whew! Glad Zac turned north!

September 12, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

It's quite amazing how quickly things change in Zac's world.....from frenzy to stoic and back again...eventually, just not right now please!
Last weekend I had a small taste of what you're going through Zac, as I picked up my "new" old sailboat, and preferring to sail her to my mooring instead of over the road transport, had a 10 hour sail turn into a 48 hour fog fest along the very rocky coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. No electronics, little in the way of provisions, and sleeping on a way too tiny bunk.
And all the while thinking of you sailing through Torres, and not knowing of the communications breakdown.

It's called empathy....but keep sailing west young Captain.

The video is great, the updates...we'll at least my heart can rest again. You gave us all quite a words were ever better received than, "I'm OK, Mum!

Tuna......chicken of the Sea!

September 13, 2008 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger J-P said...

G'day Zac. Great to hear you're almost in Darwin, huuuge effort! And it sounds like you've had your share of exciting moments. Congratulations.

I'm in NW Australia at the moment, not too far from Darwin, ran out of money so left the boat in Mexico and got a job in a diamond mine here for 5 months.

Hoping for fair winds and smooth sailing for you.

Enjoy Darwin it's a great little city.


September 13, 2008 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger J-P said...

G'day Zac. Great to hear you're almost in Darwin. Huuuge effort, congratulations.

I'm in NW Australia at the moment, ran out of money so left the boat in Mexico and flew home to work in a diamond mine for 5 months.

Enjoy Darwin.

Hoping for fair winds and smooth sailing for you.


September 13, 2008 at 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad all is well and there is a little time for cleaning up the boat.

My vote is on taking a picture in front of the barber shop in every port.

@ Ellisa
Thinking of those in Texas. Hope all is well and you have weathered the storm without any injuries or significant damage. Hurricanes are no fun whether on land or sea. I have experienced a couple on board while in Puerto Rico and will never forget the terror. Keep in touch

September 13, 2008 at 4:05 AM  
Blogger Anita said... news = good news I'm with Peter and Jennifer!!
God Bless,
Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

ps: bob, Thanks for all your help with the Guest Map!! :)

pss: since I have never used face book, what must one do to view contents??

September 13, 2008 at 4:07 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Team Sunderland & Everyone,

Thanks for the Arafura Sea overview. Like always more difficult stuff for Zac to navigate around.

Hopefully the help from John Knight will aid in finding a SSB radio. Please let us know when you believe Zac will be entering the Darwin Port on your next blog. Since he has very little wind hopefully it won't delay him very much.

Thank you Marianne for keeping us informed. We know you have so much going on at home and it must be hard to take the time and keep us informed. With 6 kids at home, husband in OZ, and Zac approaching we definitely know you have so much on your plate right now. Thanks for taking the time and keeping us informed. Many of us here really appreciate everything you do much more than you'll ever know.

We'll pray for Zac's safe entrance, Intrepid repairs, and new or replaced equipment.

Have a Safe Weekend Everyone,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

September 13, 2008 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey Zac,
Sailing long distances and using wind vane is there any particular point of sail that you try to achieve considering comfort, and efficiency or do you sail for maximum trim?? How about when you sleep???
I was also thinking that your knowledge of the boat and your equipment since you started out must be so deeply engrained and enhanced now that your instictive sailings skills must be at the highest of levels.
I guess we all try to imagine being on board with you.
How was that tuna?? Are you using a meatline or rod and reel??

September 13, 2008 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Do we already know which Marina Zac is going into. Have to drop the hook in the right spot on Google :-)

September 13, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

How wonderful to hear of calm seas! A big relief for Zac, I'm sure!

Santa Monica

September 13, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Ah, sounds like things have calmed down again as Zac heads on in to Darwin; Ditto the "no news good news" comments.

By the way there is a new entry in the Zac Sunderland You Tube collection - looks like it was added yesterday:
Food and Diet
Since this was mostly based on video logs from the leg from MDR to Hawaii, I think, I hope the diet and chef skills have improved :)
Still, some good meals in a port of call hit the spot I am sure!

Great video - nasty 'cuda...

Cheers all!

milford, ohio

September 13, 2008 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Marianne,
Thanks again for your update. I know you're anxious for the news that Zac has finally made it to Darwin, as we all are.

Zac, we're all awaiting the news of your arrival in Darwin, where you'll be safe and sound in your Dad's arms. Take care and stay safe.

Dick & Gin

September 13, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can help you find a station operator that will be able to help you make contact with Zac on SSB. If you need my help, you can contact me by e-mail @

From there we can exchange the necassary information! My call sign is WA6ARC...

September 13, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Just checked out the new video showing Zac out there at sea! Really well done; great, compact editing. Love it! So fun for us to see him; a nice visual to go along with his blog posts!

Santa Monica

September 13, 2008 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger David said...

one question that I hope gets answered in one of the next posts, why isn´t zac sailing around Melville Island and getting to Darwin from the west? It looks longer but a lot safer no?

September 13, 2008 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above.

No drama to report? No Squalls? No engine trouble? I think I feel the need to say THANKS!
...I can think of a few praises...
Thank You, Jehovah God, for continuing to protect Zac on this trip - thank you that he didn't get sick from that cut on his hand or anything else. Thank you for his fresh tuna. Thank you that Dad is safe and on the ground and that he will be there to meet him. Thank you for good friends being made along the way as they become part of the team that helps Zac succeed in this adventure. Thanks for giving Zac this opportunity. Thanks for the wonderful people and places he is going to get to know along the way. Thank you that he can share it with us. Thank you for beautiful ocean and islands in the ocean. Thank you for beautiful sunsets. ...Ok...I'll let you add yours if you want to now :D

September 13, 2008 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Zac-packers,

If you haven't seen it yet, check out Zac's new video on food and diet. Poor kid needs a good home cooked meal! I hope he can stuff himself in Darwin. I'm sure there he won't have to endure pigs blood or something awful like that!

September 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

g'day mates!! happy to hear you're almost to Darwin Zac. Have fun.

Tammy: thnx for your kind words. Only one (or two) people died so far that I know of. The wind was so terrible, that it blew a couple trees over in my cul-de-sac and brought down so many tree limbs. My whole back yard was covered in branches!! we got a ton of rain. I have a bayou behind my house that filled to the top, and there are lotsa puddles in my yard too. no damage was done to the houses though. Thank God for that!! Thank you for thinking of us. God bless you.

Much love and prayers,

September 13, 2008 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Kathy V said...

AMEN to Joy's praises and to all other words of gratitude.

I have a question for the experts in the Zac Pac, while things are quiet on the seas....

I sometimes have trouble following the lingo regarding the radio. What exactly does "sched" mean? If it is short for "schedule" I still don't follow the exact use of the word. I'm rather baffled by Karen's phrase: "I think the personal Zac scheds are about to widen, which is super."

Thanks to all! This is such an inspiring group. You make a great team.

Kathy V
Provo, UT

September 13, 2008 at 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Mann and Melanie in Torrence:
Thank you! read my comment right before this one. it tells of what happened. Ike is continuing north. Galveston is in really bad shape. boats capsized, highways are backed up here in Houston, everyone in H-town is without power. i don't think we'll get back for a long time. it just seems like the list keeps continuing--argh! hopefully this will all pass soon. thanks for all your prayers.

God bless!! Have a good day.


September 13, 2008 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Captain Zac,
"YOU, are the MAN",
How appropriate a Knight helping a Knight...
a week ago all of our hearts were in our throats... worrying about Zac,
so lest we (the ZacPac)all forget,
lotsa lotsa prayer for those touched by "IKE", and also the LA "train", colision.

on the other side of the globe
Zac only hours away from Darwin, great,great work. incredible

especially after seeing the footage on the youtubes, excellent videos, giving all of us "pause to comprehend," it all...

Marianne, your posts are the best, especially the heart and soul of Team Sunderland,the openess and insight you share... don't ever, ever, stop..
cool that you're staying home and holding down the fort, with all the 'other',precious Sunderlands...
two in the bed and two on the floor, hey where's the other two??

I know Zac would have loved to have HUGGED you at the dock,
you think there may have been a tear or two..
you could hear it in his voice... "who's coming to Darwin"

76 days till his 17th,
what an incredible journey,
and Team ZacPac,just keeps getting better n better...
excellent bolgs... the best

great map to follow on the postings is 'encarta world atlas'
y'all will like it...

i was thinking of all the sashimi, uncooked tuna, that Zac has/had...
maybe Zac you can learn how to marinate and dry it (jerky style), pickup lotsa spices and some honey, in OZ land... also lotsa salt you can preserve it that way too...

and you definitely need a bigger frying pan...LOL, get a nice cast iron one, you can bake biscuits in...

here's a great song for the ZacPac... "celebrate" (1980 version), by Kool n The Gang, could that be the Zac theme song...
i can see Ben dancing now...
at the MDR party, and even after every completed leg...

oh by the way Zac all A's for you, actually A+'s...

YOU, are the MAN...

mark n adino vicksburg mississippi

:8 Let them give thanks
to the sons of men!
:9 for HE has satisfied
the thirsty soul,
and the hungry soul HE has filled with what is good.
selah, psalms 107:8,9

September 13, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the new Youtube video about your food and diet. Please ask your Dad about some tips on how to make toast! That was funny seeing you trying to do it with a lighter. I gotta hand it to you for trying!
Glad to see you are closing in on Darwin. I'm sure you will be glad to spend some time on solid ground getting sleep and GOOD FOOD! Enjoy your time with your Dad and look the boat over good while she is on the hard. Keeping you in my prayers daily, you are a special young man to many many people. Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us!
God Bless!
Gloucester, VA

September 13, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Axel said...

That was a great idea to put the maps on the blog. Tried to get some maps online but could not find anything good for free. Can you put a zoomed map of Darwin on so we can have a closer look at the approach? Thank you so much.
@ Dave.
Question to the pro. What is the name for a line you use from the end of the boom to a cleat when you get the wind right from behind. In German it's called a "Bull Stander"

September 13, 2008 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Marianne, Zac, Laurence and Zac-Packers:

I send cheers,


The Croaker

September 13, 2008 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ willyboy; thanks for putting the link for the "youtube" video on the blog.

Having 17 and 15 year-old boys in the house I can tell you first hand they eat alot and often! Also, being in the healthcare business I know how important proper nutrition is for a still growing boy, like Zac. Without proper nutrition the body and brain is vulnerable.

I'm glad to see he doesn't seem to be a finicky eater. Although, when you're hungry even room temp. chile in a can is GOOD and good for you. I hope that can had some beans in it (protein).

The good news is that while Zac is in port I have not doubt that he'll be eating very, very, well. :)

@ Marianne; out of curiosity did you weigh Zac before he left? Might be a good idea to weigh your baby boy again to see just how he's doing and if he's lost any weight and how much. If he's down any you might consider some protein powder that he can mix with water. If he can down one of those each day, in addition to whatever else he eats, he should do well.
P.S. No criticisms intended, it's just a thought to keep Zac's personal engine running!

P.S.S. @ Marianne and everyone else in the valley; I hope that all of your friends and family that used the Metrolink made it home safely last night after the terrible accident yesterday afternoon. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved in this tragedy in our city.

Melanie in Torrance

September 13, 2008 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Thanks a million, Marianne!

from Iowa

September 13, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Hi All, (Zac, Marianne, Laurence, and the fellow Zac Packers!)

I pretty much spent most of the day catching up with all of the You Tube Videos, reading today's blogs, adding my name to the map, reading all of Karen's articles from the Pacific Magazine, and the greatest thing today was that I got my "Zac Sunderland World Adventure" T-shirt today!!!So I guess you can say I spent my day with Zac today!!

That being said.....

As a Mom, I am really concerned about Zac's diet after seeing that last You Tube, "Food and Diet"!! I think you definitely need a cooking lesson Zac!! I guess you are probably doing the best you can, and being only 16 ( making your toast was histerical!), but you really need to eat a little better. You could have at least put the chili in a microwavable bowl and heated the chili up that way instead of eating it cold right out of the can! I thought I heard you say you had a microwave oven, didn't I? You can't afford to lose anymore weight!! Or how about a good old fashion Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich!! Except maybe you might not have any fresh bread, now that I think about it!! I think what I am trying to say,is EAT MORE!!

Each day you are getting closer to Darwin. Another terrific testament to your sailing skills! The videos give me a little better feeling of what you are enduring out there.I am comforted by being able to watch them and see you do what you do best, but I have to admit it is a little heart wrenching knowing that you are out there all by yourself!

And also...I wanted to say how sorry I am for all the people who lost their lives in the Chatsworth train accident last night.I am saying my prayers for the survivors and prayers for the family's and friends who lost their loved one, and for the speedy recovery of those who survived. I just learned that it was human error for this tragedy. It is so sad. I live only about 4 miles from the accident site.

And also prayers are sent to those who endured hurricane "Ike". I hope you weathered the storm and no harm has come to you. The news media has shown us all the devastation that Ike has left behind.

Zac, sail on...You are almost there!! And Eat, Eat, and Eat some more when you get there!!! Get those Barbies fired up Australia, Zac is Coming!!!!

North Hills, CA

September 13, 2008 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

For Axel, our German friend..... It's called a Jibe preventer...

Is this a test dude??? [laughing]

Frankly, I'm very cautious about using them... The worst knock down (almost turtled) I've ever encounted was because we had a preventer on...

I use them, but cautiously...


September 13, 2008 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Hi Zac, Team Sunderland and Zac Packers,

After watching the most recent video regarding what Zac eats, I think we need to send along some simple recipes. We will need to keep in mind that he carries very few perishiables. We want him to have plenty of energy for the upcoming legs of his trip.

We are hoping that Zac is in Darwin or pretty close.

Zac enjoy your time in Darwin, although it looks like you will be giving lots of loving tender care to Intrepid.

We are all thinking of you.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims of Ike and the Metrolink accident.

Bill and Linda
Washington DC
)Soon to be California residents again--count down 12 more days)

September 14, 2008 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

After last weekend, it is nice to know he is sailing along comfortably for a change. Lie Kit I am following on Google maps, Google earth, etc.
Great fun to be learning so much on this voyage. Love all your posts. I'm thankful to those of you who pick up the slack when Zac is busy. Get so many points of view that way and broad range of information on many levels.
-Charlie, Maine

September 14, 2008 at 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Troy Brimm said...

As a confirmed bachelor, I can vouch for chili-from-the-can. Why dirty a bowl? However, Zac's nutrition is a serious matter. My suggestion: lots of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit stored in Ziploc freezer bags. The nuts are calorie-dense and have good EFA's for sustained energy (and you don't have to nuke 'em or toast 'em with a torch), and the fruit has sugar and fiber. Sugar for quick recovery, and fiber for, well, you know. Zac can munch handfuls all day -- no fuss no muss, and no dirty dishes. Whoo hoo!

There is a book I read several years ago about eating while sailing singlehanded. I'll scan my notes and try to locate it.

Thank you, Kit, for the Google Maps link.


September 14, 2008 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

I have posted a newsletter about Zac.

For those interested in seeing it, you can read it at

Bill Mann

September 15, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

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