Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Torres Strait

Copy from charting software showing the Torres Strait
Latest Position: 09/09/08 0630UTC 10.39S 141.25E

I know there are those of you who would prefer that Laurence and I not write - though I'm sure you wouldn't dare mention it in front of the Zac Pac! I will keep my post to the point not so much because of that but mostly because the last few days have been exhausting.

The fabulous crew of Team Zac Majuro, Jerry, Cary, Karen, Bryan and Ted have been faithfully meeting up with Zac on the HF radio, relaying our messages to Zac and then emailing info back to us. It is interesting trying to keep track of everybody with the 3 time zones.

We heard today that Zac has indeed made it through the Torres Strait! We also know that he had about 4 hours of sleep in the past 48. His next 500 miles are pretty straightforward with more attention to navigation needed as he enters the Dundas Strait into Darwin.
John Knight, the author of the Northern Territory Cruising Guide, has been a great help at gathering tide info and confirming waypoints as well as booking the yard, alerting media and even rummaging up a yellow quarantine flag that he will run out to Zac. Also many thanks to Bill Cruz from Australian Customs for alerting Thursday Island as to Zac's situation and sending on his boat and arrival info to Canberra for us.
Zac has been troubleshooting his email set up and reportedly has intermittant service for some reason. Laurence flies out tomorrow evening late and arrives in Darwin Friday afternoon by way of Brisbane. Thank you to Peter Grether and Adam from The Beach Comber for replacing Zac's lost ipods. Tomi de Greco had a new power supply sent over for Zac's Toughbook. Mike Smith is replenishing his DVD library. Ty Robinson, Bubba Cathy, Johnny Bear, John Weber... the list goes on and on! Many thanks to all of you who have sent equipment, money, letters and emails. There are so many thank yous to be made...I hesitate to write thank yous for fear of someone feeling left out. We appreciate all of you and your support: physically, financially, and spiritually.
I attached a section of my computer screen showing a somewhat detailed chart of the Torres Strait. Someone asked why Zac entered the Strait so close to PNG. He entered the Strait at Bramble Cay in the top right corner (9 08.946S 143 53.496E) The yellow circles show the lights marking the reefs along the Great North East Channel. He followed that down to Twin Island (10 26.027S 142 27.363E) and then had to bear west through the Prince of Wales Channel, out past Booby Island (named for the infamous bird) and out past the Carpenteria Light Buoy at about 10 47.192S 141 02.329S. Yesterday's position (9/9/08) had him just east of the Carpenteria Light Buoy. That black snake-like line to the right of the screen is why Zac entered the Strait so far north - it is called the Great Barrier Reef.
Laurence was going to answer the question about the skeg but has fallen asleep so will have to wait for now.
Thanks again for all of your support.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Zac made it through the Torres Straight. Question: Is Intrepid taking on water? Is this why you need to check the skeg? Hope it won't take too long to repair.


September 9, 2008 at 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Am so glad to hear that all is well, and I am in gratitude of whoever writes. I hold you all with deep love. Zac may be sailing it, you all are going through this in your own way. Yeahhhh for being through the straits alive, well, albeit tired. God Bless, Love, deb

September 9, 2008 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger juliette said...

I think it's great that you guys (parents) are posting. You help fill in the gaps when Zac is unable to write and you flesh out the details of things probably many readers don't fully understand. I think that's important in telling the full story of this journey. Keep it up!

September 9, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Thank you Marianne!!
I've been following since the beginning of Zac's adventure, it's become a routine for me to get up, turn on the coffee, head for the computer and hop on to Zac's blog. Best "read" I've had in a long time!! Can't wait for the movie and book :)

Yesterday (9 Sept)I posted a small package for Zac, should be in Darwin 6-10 days. Just little things, hope it gets there in time!!

Will continue to keep all of you in prayer.

Many blessings,
Anita Waterloo, NY

September 10, 2008 at 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all...

For what it's worth, I find fishing while navigating through dangerous waters a distraction I can not afford...Almost lost a boat in the Cooks, taking my attenton off the job at hand to pull in a fish from a drag ling off the stern..
You are doing a heck of a job Zak...Cheers, Dusty

September 10, 2008 at 2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post Maryanne. You know the Zac Pack anxiously awaits a post from any member of Team Sunderland!

I hope that you were all able to get some much needed rest last night.

Can someone from the Pack repost the address for Zac in Darwin? Thanks


September 10, 2008 at 4:16 AM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Marianne, thanks much for the detailed post, the charts, and for just being you. I hope Laurence has a good flight(s) to Darwin.

Very glad, of course, to know Torres is behind Zac. Fascinating info on the routing through.

It sounds like about 4 days to Darwin? I hope Zac can get a bit of rest before heading on in. It also sounds like Darwin will be busy busy for at least part of the time. But I am sure there will be some down time as well and I hope Zac enjoys it and again absorbs all the memories and experiences...

Last, very good to hear about the IPOD. I was very concerned about Zac's mental state if he continued having to listen to the same CD over and over! And, as I wrote, there is a part of me that gets a kick out of Zac making his way through a squall to the heavy sounds of Wagner, so I hope at least part of des Nibelungen was included in the playlist... :) Act 3 from Die Valkyrie anyone?

September 10, 2008 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Daryl said...

Thank you, Marianne! We very much appreciate your posts. Without them, well......... things would be terribly unsettled for us!

from Iowa

September 10, 2008 at 5:31 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Mum, Laurence
& the Zac Pack

You write good news and explanation MUM to all of US, that we want to know day by day what Zac progress… Keep writing please…

Its great to heard that Zac is gone a have a new Ipod sun…

Keep sailing BOY


September 10, 2008 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Sunderland's & Everyone,

Well it's great to hear that Zac is past the Straits. Marianne please don't get caught up in the negative things people write on this blog. Me personally, I would rather hear from Zac's parents than hear anything at all. I'm sure 99 percent of everyone else here feels the EXACT SAME WAY.

Thanks for giving us Zac's location and the map. He is very close to Darwin without any navigation problems. This is great encouraging news. I know the electronic, email, and sat phone are not doing as well but Zac is fine and sailing well and that's all we can really ask for. All the equipment in perfect running condition without Zac sailing means absolutely nothing.

A big hug goes out to Laurence and Marianne for keeping us informed when no one else could have. You both are doing a great job and please don't take negative comment on this blog or anywhere else personally. Some people are never happy unless they make others feel miserable. You're both doing a great job and keep it up without worrying about other people's negative comments.

Hopefully Laurence will have a safe passage tonight. Marianne I'm sure you would love to go with Laurence to Darwin and see Zac. We know you have so much going on at home with many other responsibilities including everything you're also doing for Zac. I know this doesn't make you feel any better but our hearts are with you and we all know you're a loving Mom and will do what's best for the entire family.

We will keep the entire Sunderland family in our prayers. Laurence and Zac get all the work done, have a little fun, please take pictures and video. Hopefully someone will be able to attach all the news media coverage in Darwin on Zac's website. We are all looking forward to viewing everything that comes out of Darwin.

Sail On & Safe Flying,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

September 10, 2008 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger utbronco said...

Marianne & Laurence
Part of the excitement of Zac's voyage for all of us is to be able to read Zac's accounts of his journey. That said, he has his hands full and I for one, am deeply appreciative of both of you writing and keeping us up to date with Zac's progress. You are the most fantastic parents I know off, Zac is fortunate to have you as we are all fortunate that you are filling in the gaps when Zac is so busy or unable to communicate. Thank you for allowing us to watch from afar this extraordinary adventure!!! Thank you Marianne and Laurence!!!

September 10, 2008 at 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the update, Marianne... I've said several times before how I cannot fathom what Zac is going through -- and now I can say the same for you & Lawrence! I'm a mom, but of pre-schoolers, so I just can't imagine that day when they're off on their own far away from me, let alone as far as Zac is from you! Continuing to keep all of you in my prayers...

Wanted to share something with everyone -- when I got the Darwin address, I went to the downtown Hallmark store over lunch break to pick out an encouraging card to send Zac -- I found one that contained a poem I thought fit his character and accomplishments -- and I'll share it with you here:

The Oak Tree
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

September 10, 2008 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>I'm sure you wouldn't dare mention it in front of the Zac Pac!

Should they feel threatened ?

Why the repeated attempts to create an "us vs them" atmosphere ? It detracts from Zac's accomplishments and adds absolutely nothing.

Fair winds to him.

-Sven in MDR

September 10, 2008 at 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Zac's Mum,
I'm just glad someone posts something every day, it makes me so nervous when nothing new is there, even when I know he is on land. Mothers everywhere can relate I'm sure.

September 10, 2008 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

MA - you are so awesome! NEVER keep yourself from posting on account of stupid people. Love any update I can get - and I love the perspectives of all three of you who have taken the time to enlighten us. THANK YOU again!

I am REJOICING with everyone else that Zac is through that DAUNTING STRAIT! We DO need to hear from him, though, because it is sounding all too EASY! I am quite sure it was NOT!

I am so glad everyone is coming to his and your side to help. THANKS from me - just because I care that you guys are taken care of. I thank God for motivating people for your provision.

Thanks for explaining his route - I was missing the geography lesson part of the posts. Nice to be able to know where he is/was again.

Hopefully Zac can get some sleep now that he's back on the deep seas. Then he wont look quite so weary for the paparazzi! (oh! Has it come to this already?!)

G-d bless you and keep you as you travel on together, on boat, on plane, in Spirit. BLESSINGS!!

LA in MN

September 10, 2008 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger MissWarren said...

You all are so blessed to have so many people helping in all these ways.
Lots of hugs and prayers,

September 10, 2008 at 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be absolutely exhausted. I so admire your strength.
I'm not sure who you were referring to about you and Laurence not posting. Please continue to post and keep us informed as much as possible. Those who dont want to read your post can disregard it that day.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Good job Zac!!!!

September 10, 2008 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

If anybody thinks you should not write blogs here, they are out of their minds and do not belong here. Both of you are doing an outstanding job keeping the Zac pac informed.

September 10, 2008 at 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl in San Diego said...

I hope you all get some much needed rest after that ordeal. You know the chart that you posted was simply eye-popping! I had no idea looking at the google maps etc. how constantly dangerous the Torres Straits are. What an incredible achievment by that young man! No wonder you and Laurence are so exhausted and to say nothing of Zac!
Peace and Grace to you two and Zac.

September 10, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks for posting, I think the Zac Pac is always appreciative of any information that is shared with us.
The Torres Strait behind him, WOW another milestone!
As always, sending good thoughts and prayers for Zac and Team Sunderland.
Tucson, AZ

September 10, 2008 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne and Laurence,

Thanks so much for the latest info/update on Zac. I too appreciate yours and Laurence's voice on the blog. It actually gives greater insight and perspective as to how each individual (yourself, Laurence, and of course Zac) is experiencing and processing this endeavor.

I also would love to hear more from Zac directly, but understand that he's extremely busy trying to navigate this journey. This is the reality of the situation and perhaps some folks haven't really thought about how overwhelming the job that Zac is doing really is. This last leg from Majuro has been incredibly taxing on Zac, Intrepid, and of course your family. Being cut off technologically doesn't help.

I'm actually in awe of Zac as I reflect and realize that pretty much since leaving PNG he's been cut off from you and Laurence for the most part. He's tackled the Strait on his own merit with well-developed instincts and the support of so many for which we are grateful.

I look forward to reading Zac's reflections on the last couple of weeks when he has the time to do so. I also look forward to more pics and video.

With regards to Intrepid; I'm thinking that Laurence wants to pull it out of water to examine the underside and assess whether any repairs are necessary. Is it like a car where after so many miles it needs routine maintenance?
Where's daveh? LOL He's my nautical guru! Actually there are a few others more knowledgable in this regard than I who can perhaps answer this question....

Safe travels Laurence! Give that boy a big hug from me!

Melanie in Torrance

September 10, 2008 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Thank you, Marianne, for sharing the map of the Torres Strait. I am so impressed that a 16-year-old was able to navigate through that obstacle course on a sailboat alone and with communication challenges, to boot.

Really looking forward to Zac's story of the past several days, but am so happy to wait patiently, knowing that he is always doing what most needs to be done. Thanks to all the Zac Packers who are educating us landlubbers. I'm very curious to hear about the skeg.

Best of luck to Laurence in his travels and hugs from Ohio to you and the entire Sunderland clan! CindyinCincy.

September 10, 2008 at 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Marianne & Laurence

Ditto all of the above.

Zac - I wish you smooth sailing from now till Darwin, and some peaceful nights for sleep.

I think that every person who accomplishes something amazing always has a strong team behind them. That team does not always get recognized, but should. In this case that team includes family who are stepping in for non-essential things (at least for Zac) for the benefit of us Zac Packers. That is what a team does.

Thank you to all who are the unmentioned team members as well.

Sail on Zac!!

Karyn in Simi

btw - thank you Oklahoma for the terrific poem!

September 10, 2008 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Mary - Central Florida said...

Team Sunderland,

Thanks for keeping all of us out here in cyberspace updated.

Safe travels to both Zac and Lawrence. Marianne, thank you and I hope you have a chance to take a few moments for yourself during all this! You sound like Wonder Woman to me.

Mary - Central Florida

September 10, 2008 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger j said...

Lady Marianne, Sir Lawrence,
i love hearing from you Marianne, and it was an unexpected and pleasant surprise to hear from Zac's Dad.
i'm addicted to the details of Zac's progress, the messenger is secondary,and apparently you've all taken some sort of creative writing class or something.
WRITE ON Team Sunderland
Rock On Zac

September 10, 2008 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

Marianne, thanks for the chart! Seeing the Strait on Google Earth is one thing, but it's nice to actually see a real chart to see what Zac actually had to contend with going through there.

I appreciate the posts from you and Laurence and don't see it as a problem at all. It keeps us up to date and gives important information.

Now, on to Darwin and some much needed rest for Zac. He's an incredible young man and I know you are intensely proud of him!

Annapolis, MD

September 10, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Marianne,

I made a conclusion I think back when Zac was in Hawaii, that this blog is a family affair. I know you have said Zac prefers to write his blog, but to be honest, that is obviously not always possible.

This story is more than just about Zac's sailing, but has become an emotional journey for those of us who are a part of Zac's blogging community. We care deeply about all of you.

By Zac sharing his journey with us, I think we have all become a family together with a purpose in mind, and that is all aspects of this experience that you have all worked so hard to organize and share with us all.

I think being reminded that Zac is son, you and Laurence are his loving parents. This is a story about love and commitment.

I think Zac said it best, when after you were not able to communicate with him, or know where or what had happened to him. The emotional turmoil you were going through as parents and family. The words came to you, "Hi mum. I'm OK ."


September 10, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Marianne: Take a long bath and celebrate each difficult leg, each accomplishment. I know it's hard to do until he touches land, but it will remind you of the difficulties he conquered and will give you a positive outlook on the waves he'll still ride. Don't let anyone's comments steer you away from doing what you want, some people can't feel good unless they squash others, pretty sad. You are both amazing parents and are giving your son more than you can imagine by letting him pursue his dream. He will forever know how much faith his parents had on him and will accomplish ANYTHING he sets his mind to with great self confidence - an invaluable gift. We love to hear from all of you, keep it up. I was so worried when I read that you hadn't heard from him so I am thrilled that he made it through the Torres Straight. I have a better appreciation now that you posted the chart for what he had to navigate through.

Un abbraccio,
Peter & Aixa
Valencia, CA

September 10, 2008 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Jim, Yuma, AZ said...

I agree with all the others on the posts. My first thought when there is no post is, 'What's happened?'

We mainly want to know if he's okay, so post away.

September 10, 2008 at 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Faith Nicole said...

I am glad Zac made it through the Torres Strait! I just heard about his adventure! I hope everything goes well through the rest of the trip!
God Bless,
Faith Nicole

September 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

with fond memories of my time spent "down under" here's wishing laurence and zac a successful journey to darwin. remember---all work and no play is not healthy. God Bless team sunderland, the ZAC PAC and the others who so generously are supporting this adventure.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

September 10, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Dear Marianne,
You are so awesome! I couldn't even imagine anyone not wanting to hear from You or Laurence. I too am so addicted to Zac's journey and can say that when I don't hear from anyone I am concerned! So please never "EVER" say that we don't want to read a post from you. I too start my day like Anita, up and going with my cup of coffee and on the the computer!! I even check for an update before I go to bed!! Now is that a true Zac Packer or what?

The Navigational Map of the Torres Strait was an eye opener!! I have heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but I had no idea of all the obstacles!! No wonder you are all relieved he has past that part!! I bet it was a beautiful place to be though! I picture translucent blue waters and glistening reflections of the sun. What a testament to his knowledge of naviagation!! You both have taught him well!! Since I am not a very well traveled person, I am experiencing different places that I didn't even know existed!!

It is an awesome and a wonderful experience to be a part of Zac's adventure. And I agree with Peter, we have all become part of a blogging family, feeling every emotion along the way. I feel like I know many of you from your posts every day, and it is wonderful that everyday there are new Zac Packers that have joined the journey. He is going to have quite a homecoming when he arrives home next year!! I am just glad I live within a few miles of Marina Del Rey and will be fortunate to be there when he arrives. I hope that many of you that live other than California will be able to make the trip as well. It would be fun to meet all of you!! Since the beginning we have all experienced his accomplishments, his gremlins, and even waiting for him to catch that elusive FISH!!!

We love you Zac, Marianne, Laurence and the Sunderland Brothers and Sisters! Have a safe flight to Darwin tonight, Laurence. I bet you can hardly wait to get there!!

Waiting to hear from you all again patiently!! Well, sort of!! I wish I were a little Booby Bird on Zac's boat!! Tee Hee!!

Hugs to all!!

North HIlls, CA

September 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Diamond-X said...

What an exciting adventure so far. Each situation an opportunity to show what you are made of. Observing, calculating, communicating and resolving. So obviously a true test of skill and character.

You come through as fantastic parents.

And Zac......well, he's just doing great!

September 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep posting when Zac is unable. I don't know why anyone would object - we just want the info. Thank you! Thank you!!

September 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Sorry, been traveling on business and pleasure quite a bit these last few weeks…

I’ve been reading the blog nightly of course, pins and needles with everyone for a bit there, still am to an extent… Zac getting across the straights is a relief, but there’s still quite a leg left…

When a vessel takes the pounding that Intrepid has on nearly 100% of the his trip since leaving Hawaii, a haul and full inspection is a must. You really want to inspect the rudder and rudder post (a lot of sailboats lose their rudder at sea, a real disaster for sure). The good news is Zac steering is “tiller rigged”, meaning he has a wood handle that is attached directly to the rudder post, while some don’t like tillers, they certainly eliminate a lot of moving parts, chains and cable that can also plague when out to see for weeks and months.

Inspecting the keel and keel bolts will be another key area, looking for minor stress cracks in the bottom paint and faring work looking for signs of overload, stress and structure weakness.

Zac’s SSB is most likely grounded through the hull, so checking that and all of the thru-hulls and fittings will be on the list I would think…

Another reason for a haul out is to check the shaft, skeg, cuttless bearing, posts, etc… Also the prop, mounts, nut, sets, etc…

That’s the easy part, under boat inspection is typically easy to see and get to. It’s everything inside, the engine/transmission/shaft area, below the floorboards, wiring, electrical, mechanical, battery and charging systems, thru-hulls, stuffing box, etc… etc that’s where the real labor and work is…

Then there’s all the topside stuff… Standing rigging, mast, spreaders, sails and sail lines (halyards, sheets, etc.).

Inspecting the boom and yolk (where it mounts to the mast) all of the floating and mounted blocks, deck seals (looking for those leaks)… if ANYTHING is weak in the mast/rigging area there is a chance the mast will come down.

I was offshore for 10 days, going from St. Pete to Bermuda, had the boom yolk give in 25kts of wind, at 2AM of course, on a 50’ sailboat. The amount of load of the rigging in those conditions can be deadly. A big jib sheet flogging you in the temple can take you out, much more the boom flying off the mast area…

Zac and Laurence will really go over the rigging I'm sure...

A good inspection in Darwin will be a lot of work for Laurence and Zac… I suspect that Zac and Laurence will go over every possible item and system, once, if not twice and in some cases 3 times…

His next 3 legs until he gets to Durban and Cape Town aren’t going to have much at all for supplies… Moresby will look like 2nd world to Zac compared to Cocos-Keeling and Mauritius.

UGRIB (thanks Axel) shows 10-15kts of stern to quarter stern wind which likely seems like 2 kts to Zac at this point, but I can assure you he’s getting some good cockpit naps, I know I did…

Sail on Zac!

Daveh & Skipper

September 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the entire Team Sunderland, Zac and Z'Packers,

This is an amazing blog to read. Each person who contributes makes it what it is, including Mom and Dad and each poster.

I couldn't imagine going through the last week without hearing some news (including the scarry stuff).

This is not an ordinary blog and this is what keeps us all hooked. Marianne and Laurence, please continue to "fill in" whenever Zac cannot. I am sure that it is a tremendous outlet for you, as it is for all of us.

The chart of the Straits was certainly a different representation that what we saw on Google Earth. I couldn't even imagine where one would squeeze a boat through.

Marianne, did you give Zac an A+ for his Chart study? He did a great job and on only 4 hours sleep. He is an amazing young man raised by two amazing people. I am sure the rest of your children are just as wonderful.

We look forward to reading more, but also know that there will be a long dry spell while in Darwin.

Please keep us updated the very best that you all can.

Bill and Linda
Washington DC

September 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Zac, Laurence, Marianne--whoever we hear from, it's always good to hear something!

So happy to hear Zac is getting along ok. Also wonderful to hear about all the nice folks making those donations.

Santa Monica

September 10, 2008 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

So glad to hear that Zac made it through the Torres Straight uneventfully....I knew he would! :)

Well, now it's on to Oz, the land of Koalas and Kookaburras (spelling?). I hope Zac will be able to get more sleep before he reasches Darwin. Great going, Zac.


September 10, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Bead said...

So glad to hear Zac is going strong. Laurence and Marianne, many thanks for your input that keeps us all informed, don't ever feel it is unwelcome.
We are all in this together!
Great to see pic of the Yacht Club at Port Moresby ...looks pretty flash now!
Auckland, NZ

September 10, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Clay said...


Thank you!

September 10, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

It's me again!!!
have to pass along a quick message to "x-ray"------> ~_/) <-------
has been "mine" for about 3 years now LOL!!! No worries you can use it too. :)
Oklahoma well wisher...wonderful poem. perfect!!
Debbi, coffee is necessary while reading this blog! For Sure. :)
Anita ~_/)
Captain SV "Wombat"
Waterloo, NY USA

September 10, 2008 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Yo! Cap’n Zac!

I truly hope that you realize what amazing parents you have…

YOU are a very lucky young man.

Laurence & Marianne – all of your posts are greatly appreciated.

Fellow Commenters: So are yours!

Brace yourself, Darwin...here comes Team Sunderland!

Virtual hugs to the whole (including ZacPac'ers!)Team!


September 10, 2008 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Heather Wilds said...

Hooray! Through the strait! Couldn't be happier to breathe a sigh of relief for all of you.


September 10, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Many many thanks to you and Laurence for keeping us posted. Like so many others, when I don't hear from Zac I wonder how he is doing. We really appreciate the time you take to keep us updated.
Morning coffee and Zac's blog are always the first order of the day!

Congratulations, Zac, on making it through the Torres Straight! I know it'll be wonderful to see your dad, get some much needed rest and tackle whatever repairs are needed. I hope everything goes smoothly for you in Darwin.

You and your family are always in my prayers.

Oklahoma well wisher: What a beautiful poem. Thank you!

Daveh: Thanks for the info! I know absolutely nothing about sailing and really appreciate your input.

Hugs to Team Sunderland!

Many blessings,

Sherman Oaks, CA

September 10, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are welcome. Not having any news, as you know from your own experience, is not a good idea.

September 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I like the map, no clue as to what I'm looking at, but it is cool anyway.

It is I who thanks you for allowing me to follow Zac on his adventure. I feel like I am reading an amzaing adventure book.

I don't mind one bit from hearing from you (mom) or Laurence. We get to hear news of Zac, however it comes about.

thoughts and prayers to Zac and his family.


September 10, 2008 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Berry Blog said...

I love the input from all of you. It's all so fascinating and your parts are all moot- so i want to hear about it from all perspectives. Please keep up all the varied contributions to the blog.
Thanks for the map today. It helps a lot.

September 10, 2008 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Troy Brimm said...

Marianne, if you and Laurence didn't fill in the gaps, most of us would be crying in our coffee.

September 10, 2008 at 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can not start the day with out my coffee, a team sunderland update and then on to the comments from the Zac Pack. And now I must say I have finally broken down and started checking in at night as well just to make sure all is well in Sunder Land.

Thanks Daveh for clarifying to everyone the importance of a good haul out and inspection. Intrepid has been through a beating and you can not know what that mean unless you are a true sailor. You did a great job of painting the picture.

Thank you all for your contributions.


September 10, 2008 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Sarah Varland said...

I love reading your updates. I'm a high school teacher who heard about Zac from the Channel 1 news program we watch in class, and my students and I were so impressed with what he's doing.

We'll be keeping y'all in our prayers. Thanks for the updates. =)

Sarah from Georgia

September 10, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

Never apologize for doing the right things, Mom.
As with any organized effort, whatever it is, there are those out front, and usually more folks in the background. Superbowl, World Series, America's Cup, etc etc, there are many and just as important people no one ever sees, or hears about.
Everyone with half a sense realizes that without a worldwide team this incredible adventure, this amazing feat by a sixteen year old would not be possible, nor would it be taking place.

Off topic my foot, the topic IS the family and organization working to allow a 16 year old young man to accomplish a dream.

Keep up the incredible work Sunderland Family........I know the younger kids are working, helping, and praying as hard as anyone else.

September 10, 2008 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

This is the most interesting, inspiring and educational blog I think I have ever read. My sailing knowledge is very little, but you guys (Sunderland's and the Zac Pac) keep me on the edge of my seat each night. I love reading the post no matter who they are from. My children call home and ask "Mom how is your boy Zac and family doing tonight". Please keep up the good work when you can, but do get a good rest when Zac finally gets to Darwin. I think I am as anxious for Laurence to get there to check things out with Intrepid and Zac as probably you are Marianne.
God Bless

September 10, 2008 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger MrBob said...

Good Morning Zac, Mom, Dad and the Zac Pack.

Those that matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter.

Keep posting your perspective on Zac's most exciting adventure and keeping us informed of Zac's progress when he is unable to post to the blog himself.

It is not like you are attempting to fool anybody by posting. You clearly indicate that it is you who is posting.

Please continue to keep up the good work.

Zac, you are an inspiration. Keep the mast high and the rudder low and may you sails be filled with the wind you desire.

Mr Bob

September 10, 2008 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the post. I have to say that we watch the site because of a local news report. Being from Minnesota, we are pretty much land-locked. We do not have the sailing experience that many of the bloggers have. My only concern is that many of the bloggers give the impression of being "mightier than thou". I think that does construct a "we vs. them" mentality. I am sure that many of us were drawn in from local media, not direct connection to California. To those of you who have direct contact with CA and sailing knowledge - thank you. But, try not to be too preachy - it starts to turn the blog into "them vs. us". In the end, we are all concerned about Zac's well being and journey. Try not to make yourselves the MOST important.

September 10, 2008 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa Wildenhaus said...

As much as we love hearing from Zac, I think we would all rather hear from you and Lawrence then not at all! I know I appreciate the updates and keep you all in my thoughts.

September 10, 2008 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Daveh for confirming my thoughts about pulling the boat out of water and explaining in detail the maintenance that is necessary at this "port in time."

Melanie in Torrance

September 10, 2008 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Donna H. said...

Cheers to the whole Sunderland family! We'd all be going CRAZY if we hadn't heard anything since Zac's last blog entry.

I know Zac will get us up to date when he's able. Meanwhile, I'm loving the entries from both of you, Marianne and Lawrence.

Praying that God will grant you all some much needed sleep and keep you safe. We're cheering for you, Zac!

Hugs to all of you,

North Richland Hills, TX

September 10, 2008 at 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sooooooooo inspired by what zac is doing. My boyfriend told me about zac & sent me the link to his website. So inspired & this is a 26 yr old speaking.

Also Zac's parents if only all parents were as supportive as you are of him wouldn't the world have much happier people

all the best


September 11, 2008 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Always great to hear from Team Sunderland. The map of the Strait gave me pause, what a headache! I am glad that is behind Zac and he can focus on more mundane tasks like catching a fish.

Daveh's post got me to thinking about Intrepid. I wonder what the previous owner(s) would think? From reading the blog and from my own musings I would imagine that a sailor develops a rather special relationship with their boat. Has Intrepid ever made such a journey in the past? If Intrepid had been my boat I would celebrate the passage through the Torres Strait and think back to all of the tests that the boat has seen on my trips and Zac's trip. It would seem that Zac's boat was priced pretty low so the previous owner might have felt that she didn't have many more trips ahead of her. I wonder what had been her greatest test prior to Zac? I know Zac has a high confidence in Intrepid but I also imagine that pulling the boat and starting over would be a very welcome exercise.

Just some thoughts as I sip my morning coffee and catch up on
Zac and the ZacPac.

Birmingham, AL

September 11, 2008 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Everyone,

Wanted to send a special Thank You to Daveh and also Debbie for the great write ups.

Daveh: On the technical side you give a very detailed description of what needs to be done and always give your sailing knowledge to everyone here. I'm glad you can invest the time to educate the Zac-Pacers who know absolutely nothing about sailing. I know this cuts down on all the questions that Zac and Laurence receive. The work you do here is highly appreciated and is helping the Sunderlands cut down on the question. I know there would be less questions if people would read all the blog entries from everyone, especially from Daveh. Great Job Daveh.

Debbie: Hasn't traveled much and maybe has never been on a sailboat. But when you read blogs like the one she wrote yesterday it shows how people can all come together. It doesn't matter if you're not a sailor we all have one common ground, The Zac-Pac. Thanks Debbie because it shows you're a Mom and the care and love shows up in your writings just like Marianne's does. Great job Debbie.

I finish the book Dove last week. Wanted everyone to know this was a great read. Robin Lee Graham was the fist kid at age 16 to sail around the world and started his journey in 1965. Not much electronics, radar's, or GPS systems back then. It took him almost 5 years to get back but what an adventure. He returned with a bigger sailboat, became an expert at spear fishing, fell in love, married during his journey, had a child shortly after arrived back, learned so much about people and different cultures, and he had some incredible stories of everything he went through during those 5 years. This book is only 200 pages long with 32 pages of pictures. This book is easy read for children over the age of 12 also. If you haven't read Dove yet pick up a copy at Amazon or Ebay. Everyone here will enjoy this book. Can't wait for Zac's book to come out. I'll be getting a copy the day it comes out.

Hoping Laurence is have a great trip to Darwin. Hoping to here from team Sunderland soon. Take care Zac we can't wait for your next blog or contact from Team Sunderland.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

September 11, 2008 at 6:56 AM  
OpenID ultrawoman2004 said...

I'm glad Zac is okay. I'm glad he made it through the Torres Strait okay.

What will you do if Zac has communication problems in the future? Will you be sitting up all night worrying?

I recall Robin Graham relied mainly on good old fashioned postal service to communicate with home. His parents didn't sit around saying “Life sucks! They won't invent Iridium satellite phones for another twenty years.” They didn't stay up all night worrying about him. Robin Graham didn't have instant communications with the States. His folks didn't stay up all night worrying about him.

Didn't Zac stop posting every day because he was getting readers into the habit of worrying about him if he didn't post daily? I vaguely recall you had to remind readers Zac was busy and didn't have time to post every day.

Has instant high tech communications habituated family into worrying about him too soon?

I am sure Zac will continue to be okay. He has more than demonstrated he can take care of himself.

September 11, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Zac Pac following this amazing journey wants to hear from you guys too, you are ALL on this journey. If it weren't for you, Zac wouldn't be where he is today.

Keep up the amazing work and know that your family is an inspiration to many.

September 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

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