Sunday, October 26, 2008

Indian Ocean & LA Gathering Update

Latest Position: 10/27/08 0526Z 14 54.775S 87 43.639E

We spoke with Zac this morning and he was cruising along at 6-7 knots in 20-25 knots of wind. Everything was shifting more aft (behind him) and his ride was becoming much more comfortable. Tonight, the swell is more sloppy and he is holding on for a wild ride!

The LA Gathering was a huge success made possible especially by Bill Mann, Marilyn Simcox, and Darrell Steffey who did most of the facility arrangements, reservations, PR and silent auction management. Then there was Lisa Gizara who hussled to get the final layout for the 2009 Calendar ready as well as designing and printing posters for the event. Greg Lawson was our MC and technical guy along with his fabulous assistants Matthew and Cade Lawson. :)
Michael and Sharon Broggie from our own Westlake Yacht Club came out to lend the use of their equipment and spent hours helping processing auction payments. The Mattesons managed the boom signing. Thanks to all of the silent auction donors. What a great display! There were many volunteers from the Zac Pac who manned booths and answered questions, printed forms, etc. etc. A big thank you to my mom for sponsoring all of the food for the evening. Thank you to my kids for being patient and especially for Abby for taking baby Ben for many walks on the beach and finally rocking him to sleep about 8:30 so I could eat dinner!
Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make this evening a huge success.
It was great to put faces on many of the names from the blog. There were many words of encouragement spoken, lots of eating, laughing and inspirational talk.
We ate, mingled, watched some cool video of Zac at sea, talked to Zac and asked him loads of questions. If you have photos of the evening that you would like me to post here on the blog, email them to and I will post them over the next few days.

No blog from Zac today. He has had a busy morning and has not had time to type but will get one out soon.


Blogger Arcticfamily5 said...

Zac and Sunderlands,

Glad to hear you had a wonderful gathering. Have never had a wild ride at sea, but certainly in the air (my husband and family were Bush pilots in Alaska)!

"Carry On Mr Bowditch" was one of our bedtime read-alouds last year. In honor of Zac, just started "All Sail Set" about The Flying Cloud, by Armstrong Sperry.

Here's a line from the book that we would like to dedicate to Zac and all who have been involved in making this voyage possible . . .

"It's the necessities of an age that produce the men it needs."

Our age certainly needs men of vision, hope, and integrity!

Carry on, Zac!

Gayle, Brian, 'Xan, Riley and Jesse

October 27, 2008 at 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Troy said...

It's 11:00 p.m. and I am comfortably ensconsed in my Ramada bed, but folks, I gotta tell ya, I'm still high from having spent too few hours with nearly 200 Zac fans.

I'm at a loss for words. Really.

The buzz was palpable.

I first met Marilyn at the check-in counter. She, along with Darrell and others I didn't have the pleasure of meeting, made this happen.

Marianne was radiant; a remarkable woman with a megawatt smile. Six kids at home (the elders she home schools) and she still finds time to manage Zac's blog. Yes, cutting and pasting at midnight! Look at the posting times.

I met Bill, who facilitated the silent auction. And that was no small feat, with what must have been a hundred items you all so generously donated. Did you know Bill has been a foster parent to 93 kids? Unreal.

Douglas had video camera in tow and will be sharing the video with us. His enthusiasm is contagious. Ebullient would be an understatement!

We signed Zac's shiny new boom, which Laurence will be delivering personally to Zac in Mauritius.

Lisa Gizara, who's beautiful photography is featured in Zac's photo gallery, unveiled a Zac calendar. It's positively stunning! A must have.

Laurence led a question and answer session with the Zacinator himself via the sat phone. When we weren't riveted to his voice from 12,000 miles away, we were whooping and hollering like crazed fans at a rock concert! He is making hull speed with his genoa, and is as cool and confident as ever.

And I had the opportunity to present GiftClix's first ever donation check for $182.81 to Mom and Dad. To those of you who have used Zac's GiftClix portal to shop: Thank You. Let's see what we can do next month! Christmas shopping? You'd better shop at Zac's "mall"!

After the conclusion of the event, Barbara, owner of a beautiful 58-foot motor yacht, and Skipper Jim, took Pac'ers (including me) on a marvelous bay cruise.

Thank you to everyone, everywhere, for your words, time, expertise, thoughts, donations, and prayers for Zac and his family. For me it was an experience I'll never forget.

Lucky for all of us I'm still at a loss for words! That, and my laptop is dying!


October 27, 2008 at 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have goose bumps as I read Troy's account of yesterday's time at the LA Gathering. How wonderful!
I am so happy, for you all, that it was such a huge success......I loved this bit so much... 'Laurence led a question and answer session with the Zacinator himself via the sat phone. When we weren't riveted to his voice from 12,000 miles away, we were whooping and hollering like crazed fans at a rock concert! He is making hull speed with his genoa, and is as cool and confident as ever.......what a young man,eh and what a family.
More goose bumps.
And to... everyone.... what a fantastic job, selfless service.
I am soooo happy for all of, team and most of all the encouragement this will give Zac, so far away.
And to Abby....good job!

UK friend

October 27, 2008 at 2:22 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

A great big thank you to everyone who attended the event last night.

For those who sent in donations, my heartfelt thanks. I shall acknowledge each one personally.

For those generous souls who purchased the donations, what can I say? I am humbled.

Marilyn, when someone asked Zac how much has he grown since he left and Zac answered "My hair is longer", and the crowd broke up in laughter, thanks for the love pat on the back and saying "see" instead of razzing me about needing a haircut.

My thanks to Darrell with whom I worked so closely and to my son Robert Todd who worked behind the scenes to help me get ready for the auction.

Toby, thank you for the gift. I am really sorry that your Mom would not let me auction you off. I would have bid anything for you.

Marianne, sometimes don't you think you should have a reverse auction? You pay someone to take them off your hands? What a great group of kids you have. I am not sure who is luckier. You for having such a great brood, or the brood for having such a great Mom.

Laurence, after meeting you, it is easy to see why Zac turned out the way he did.

To all the folks who are making this blog so successful, to Zac for his courage, his resourcefulness, his dream, my thanks as you have all made my life more meaningful.

Godspeed to all of you.

Bill Mann

October 27, 2008 at 3:51 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

I guess that I should not be posting at 0 dark thirty in the morning as my brain is still half asleep.

I would be amiss if I did not thank Grandma Cirqui for all her help. Carol, it was such a joy to meet you. You know that I will be pounding on the door of your lovely home every now and then.

Although I only worked directly with Darrell and Marilyn when doing my small part to put this together, my thanks go to everyone who worked so hard to make the event so successful.

Mr. Broggie, it was an honor to hold the leather bound book AIR FORCE ONE that you authored. Although I was not the winner, you know I will be purchasing one for my coffee table.

Although I do not know or got to meet all those who made the evening so successful, I was chagrined not to have mentioned all of you in my last post.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have enriched my life.


October 27, 2008 at 4:19 AM  
Blogger rt800 said...

to Marilyn and Laurence, what a heck of a job with Zac and the rest of the Sunderland clan. I wish i could have made the party, but as always not the rite time for me. but to all who participated and all who made it, BIG KUDOS, i hope that the next generation of children take this to heart and move this world of ours into a better place to live. Zac is such an awesome inspiration to all that has read his adventures. best wishes to all. thank you for letting me inside by reading these blogs and posts. again thank you, ronnie thompson

October 27, 2008 at 4:34 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

I'm so envious of the good times shared by all the West US coast ZacPac'ers. And y'all got to talk w/Capt Zac his Blessed self!! Sounds like the Warm Fuzzies were flowing into the streets down into the ocean. Hopefully, they'll find their way to Capt Zac :)

Did someone bring scissors to trim Bill's hair?

If there are any items not sold at the auction, maybe Mr Mann might list them so we extended ZacPac'ers might send in our bids to purchase them.

I look forward to seeing & reading the tales of the event in the days/nights to come.

What a great way to start a Monday.

Capt Zac, sure hope those swells are bringing the ZacPac's love to you. Stay safely tethered Capt.

Warm Fuzzy HUGS! to all!!

October 27, 2008 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Unfortunately, I had to leave sunny Florida, for a business trip to cold and windy Chicago...

Wish we could have been there too....

Daveh & Skipper

October 27, 2008 at 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

I would like to know where I can see pics of Zac's journey so far?? Has he been taking pictures and video of places he has been and as he is sailing? Can someone show some pics here? Thanks

October 27, 2008 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

@Tomi - What a great idea for the rest of the Pac to bid on any unsold items... were there any? As I was reading through Bill's post, I was sitting here wondering if there was anything more the rest of us could do. I sent in a donation (over 10 years in IT and I still didn't do it right - went straight to PayPal instead of going through the store so they could see it was related to the event... doesn't matter, still goes to the Sunderland clan!). But I'd love to put in some bids if there's anything left to bid on.

@Bill - Thank you for telling us about the evening from your perspective. You're a remarkable man yourself! I appreciated getting to "be there", even if only vicariously. Did anybody take a picture of the boom? I'd love to see it posted if so, along with the rest of the event pics & hopefully video.

Sunderlands - Your whole family is an inspiration. I'm so glad the evening was a success!

Raleigh NC USA

October 27, 2008 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

@ Bill Mann, Troy and all that gave -

Thanks Bill and Troy for your beautiful rendition of the evening so that all of us far away souls could get a glimpse.

I love those that "give back" and am honored to know you on the blog anyway. I am a stronghold for people with disabilities in my community and it is so gratifying to care for others even if you don't know them very well. It's better than anything money can buy.

Thanks for all you do -


October 27, 2008 at 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Zac.
Just put the last position on my map. Looks like you had another day with over 170 miles. You are flying right along.

Thanks to everybody who made this gathering such a huge success. Wish I could have been there too.

Just checked flights to Mauritius (not that I can go LOL) but it looks like Emirates has the cheapes flight and you will fly on the new A380 (currently the biggest passenger plane in the world)
Have a great week
P.S. When making flight reservations I would mention the boom just to be on the save side.

October 27, 2008 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Maureen in Boise. Please drop me an email at

I used to teach blind and deaf/blind children and would love to chat with you about persons with disabilities.

Two of my kids are blind, three are deaf and two have physical disabilities.

October 27, 2008 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zacman-
Looks like the zac pac did ya good with the fundraiser. Smooth sailin into neck of the woods in Alaska has 60 knot winds and 22 foot seas this morning. Thank goodness for the Indian Ocean, eh? Take care, budz.
Kodiak Mike

October 27, 2008 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

Along with everyone else there, my wife and I had a blast at the get together. We met fellow sailors, motorcyclists, musicians, and all-around groovy folks. We even met one long-haired hippie (sorry Bill, wink wink)

A few suprises were to be had. Meeting Laurence and Marianne Sunderland, I had known that they were impressive parents and savvy internet writers, but it was a joy to meet two folks who were both personable and intensely interesting on their own, aside from their eldest's accomplishments.

Listening to the Q&A with Zac on the phone, I was impressed with the fact that Zac is an extraordinary person with rare drive and responsibility. I was also impressed to discover that, in a lot of ways, he's a teenager just like my daughter and her friends. His trip is an inspration to youth (of all ages) everywhere, but he's not from Krypton. My kids, and yours, may not have the same abilities as he, but that doesn't mean that they don't have just as much potential.

And, yeah, it was kinda cool to sign the boom that'll be finishing the second half of Intrepid's and Zac's trip.

Now in a more personal way...
Still praying for Zac daily
Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

October 27, 2008 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth / USA said...

Did those local teenagers get to use some "free" tickets?

October 27, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

To All,

We have so many people to thank for last nights event. What a huge success. It was amazing to see so many happy Zac Pack people coming 2.5 hours early to set up tables, chairs, and then re-arrange all the tables and chairs for better viewing. I never heard one complaint form anyone in the room all night long. Thanks goes to everyone yesterday who had any part in last nights event. A special thank you to everyone who attended, who purchased items from Bill's Silent Auction, posters, calendars, and those great t-shirts.

Bill Mann, you really are the man. I could clearly see that you invested so much time putting this silent auction together. Because of your efforts this evening was a huge success. Your a great Mann.

Marilyn, it was finally great to place a face to that name on the blog who is always encouraging. Thank you so much for working all night long and putting this event together. It was a huge success and we must thank you for everything you did before, during, and after.

Bobbi Rooney, A huge thank you goes out to The Organic Panificio Event Manager. She was all dressed up nicely and was helping us bring heavy tables upstairs and directed us to all the supplies we needed. I have never seen a Event Manager work so hard. Bobbi, thank you so much. I'll use those 25% off cards in the very near future.

Lisa Gizara, for all the work you did on that 2009 Calander. I loved that calander so much I purchase two of them. I'll never miss a day without seeing the lovely work that Lisa has done, or Zac's different picture on every month of the year as 2009 rolls by.

The Mattesons, who stood by that boom all night long handing out Sharpies and having everyone sign it. Mr. Mattesons never sat down the entire evening. Thanks for protecting that boom and making sure everyone kept it short and sweet. What a guy!!!

Troy, Thank you for explaining how easy it is for all of us to donate money to Zac without even trying. Any purchases we do on the Internet give Zac direct commissions without costing us anything. It's a free gift to Zac. Thanks for coming down and explaining it to everyone. What a great way to keep the dream alive.

I must admit I fell in deep admiration last night with a few people amazing people.

#1) Grandma Carol, who paid for all the food during last nights event, Thanks Carol. Grandma came up to me and introduced herself. After that we must have spent 20 minutes talking about life, boats, Zac, her grandchildren, her daughter Marianne, Son-In-Law Laurence, and many other topics. What a loving Grandmother but believe me she looks like no Grandmother. Way to young and attractive to even call her Grandma. I know she reads the blogs daily because she told me and actually recognized me from my blog picture. I wish that she would write on Zac's blog. Just knowing you're supporting Zac and the whole family, and reading is good enough. If you ever change your mind I would love reading your comments. What an amazing woman. Great family's start from the core and it's easy to see why this family is so great.

#2) Laurence, who spoke all night long and kept the evening moving was also amazing. What an incredible father. When Laurence was introduced and spoke of how proud he was of Zac and what he was doing Laurence had to stop. His emotions would not allow him to continue. With tears in his eyes and emotions moving throughout his entire body he could not continue talking and had to take a few seconds to get himself together. The emotions of a fathers love filled the room. We saw an amazing father who truly loves his son and his whole family. I had a huge lump in my throat as we could all feel the love of Dad standing in front of hundreds trying to tell us the amazing things his son was doing. Laurence said many times "I'm not a Professional Speaker" but believe me Laurence that's not what we wanted or what we needed. You were a great speaker and no one could have done a better job than you did. What you did was exactly what we wanted to hear.

Laurence later on in the evening brought up his father who recently passed away and had to stop again. The emotions in the room were so think you could have cut it with a knife. Another lump in my throat, number two. This evening was filled with so much love for Zac, family, friends, and supporters. Laurence, I know speaking last night must have been very hard for you at times but believe me it was worth it. Profession speaker learn not to let emotions get in the way of getting their point across. We didn't need that last night. Please don't feel bad that your emotions got the best of you last night. What you did last night showed your true inside, your heart, your love, your care for the family, and who you are as a man. Thank You Laurence for not holding back and letting us see who you truly are. It was a great evening and you did a Great Job!!!

#3) Marianne, thanks so much for all you have done. With seven children I don't know how you have the time, truly amazing. The way you worked the crowd last night was great. So everyone knows Marianne walked around saying hello to everyone and spending at least a few minutes with as many people as possible. Thanks for answering all the questions as well on stage. Remember Marianne let's get Zac to sign, sign, sign!!!

It was a great evening and all I can say is we really must have another one soon. I know it's to early to mention now but I'm already looking forward to the next one. Thanks to everyone who helped and what an amazing evening.

Zac you would have been really proud of The Zac Pac and your family. What a great support team we have hear. I was so impressed at the human kindness and love shown all evening long.

The Zac Pac is alive and strong!!!

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 27, 2008 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hi Zac

Was very much looking forward to going to your event last night. Had to work and was unable to attend. Need Better planning on my part. :-( Will definitely make it to the next one.


October 27, 2008 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Melanie in Torrance said...

Wow! Sounds like a very inspiring evening shared with new-found friends. I'm so sorry that I missed it. Thank you so much for all who made it possible and successful. I can't wait to see photos and/or video on the blog soon!

My own teenager turned 15 yrs. and we had a smallish (50 person) party with family and his friends. The good news is that we did not run out of food. I say that as you never know what will happen when you're feeding teenagers LOL!

Anyway, I thought about all of you many times throughout the afternoon and evening and was wishing that I could have been there. However, I was definitely there is spirit!

October 27, 2008 at 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Wow, what an evening! I have pictures online, but awaiting Marianne's thumbs up to post link.

I brought several scarves and some pearls to the auction, and came away with some amazing stuff as well: a Kodiak Mike tshirt, handmade silver jewelry, great CD by Mouse (on motorcycle), an astonomy course by a Berkely professor from Bill Mann, and some other great stuff.

The people were AMAZING! Thank you to EVERYONE for such a great evening, and a thrill to hear Zac live.

To Laurence who got choked up when speaking of his father who passed away last year - did you ever think that Zac is living your father's dream as well as his own, and your father may be Zac's own guiding angel out there?

The boom signing was truly inspired! I can just see Zac trying to manuever to read all the stuff while sailing along!

Pictures coming soon!

Karyn in Simi

October 27, 2008 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hey Zac,

Wow, it sounds like you are making faster progress sailing without the boom (when you can) than you did with the boom! I'd better stop procrastinating and get to work on your birthday present, or you will be leaving Durban and it will be too late! I hope the sailing is a little smoother now, and not like the 'washing machine' ride you were enduring.

Have you been 'talking' via radio with the other sailing boats you met in Cocos Keeling as they sail toward Mauritius?

@ZacPac at the gathering:

Nice! From reading your comments; I felt like I was there. I do plan on 'Christmas shopping' from the GiftClix site. Also, I am hoping the calendar will be available in Zacs Store, as I will probably be getting some of those as Christmas gifts too! I feel I must get out and at least window shop also, as I'm feeling like I might be somewhat autistic these days (Asperger's syndrome) as I am a bit focused in my mind on this one thing- Zac's world adventure! :-)

It's been pretty chilly in Colorado, so I dream of swimming in the 80 degree waters of Cocos Keeling! I'm glad it is warmer for Zac 'down under.'

Continued prayers for your safety as always. Eat well, exercise and stay tethered! And did someone say 'floss.'(Anita) :-)

Namaste~~Becky in Colorado

October 27, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bummer, I am in the mid-west and feel so left out. Thanks to all for the summaries on the helped!

Saw my first snow flurries on Sunday
in Chicago...hope anyone coming our way packs for the weather. Burrrrr!

Zac, you riding a rocket? or sailing?

October 27, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great package of blog post and comments today.

Yesterday as Zac wrote about CK, I marveled at his ability to meet friends that he never knew before! Great world!

Thanks to all today who gave their impressions of the fund raiser on the west coast. It sounds like it was a great happening. Since I am geographically challenged here on the other side, envy has made me even greener.

I most regret that my signature is not on the new boom, even though it sounds as if Zac is getting along very well without it, thank you. Did we expect less? No.

Here's to Mauritius.

The Croaker

October 27, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

what a wonderful sunday afternoon! yes there really is a ZAC PAC! it was such a pleasure meeting marianne (there is something very special about a mother of 7 ---i know very well, my mom is the mother of 7 also) ---it was so nice to be greeted so warmly by marilyn and yes...there really is a bill mann --quite special. we enjoyed chatting with our new friens from the desert and well --it was all just very special. thank you from danny, too!.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

October 27, 2008 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hello All!
So happy to hear that the fund raiser was a big success, was thnking of you all, and sending along best wishes.

Some sad news, my best and favorite cat of all times "Chance" passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Sunday morning. He was only 4, seems he had a heart condition that was undetected. I loved that cat with all my heart, and am thankful I had him even if for a short while. I'll miss him.

Wish I could have signed Zac's boom, that must have been great for you Zac Pac!! What a treat!

Hopefully somone will post some photos for all of us long distance Zac fans!

Need to get back to work, will saw good-bye for now.

Sail on Zac, you the man!!
Captain SV "Wombat"
Avid Zac fan

October 27, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Zac Pac and Team Sunderland,
I'm thrilled that the LA Gathering was such a success. Thanks to everyone who posted with details. You all sound like a great bunch of people. Can't wait to see some pictures.

I'd love to order some of the Zac calendars. Will they be available to us out of state packers?

Sounds like you are making great time across the Indian Ocean. Your short visit on Cocos Keeling sounded very busy, glad you got to play a little.
You are such a good writer. It is so easy to visualize what you are seeing and experiencing. I loved the part about the "flip flop beach" and "never finding a matched set". Too funny!
Sending good thoughts and prayers to you daily.
Sail Safe,
Tucson, AZ

October 27, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger jwevers said...

Thanks to everyone that posted a detailed account of the LA gathering. It made me feel like I was there. I can't wait to see pictures, so I hope someone posts them soon.

I didn't realize the new boom was going to be there. What a great idea to have the Zac Pac'ers sign it before it heads out to Mauritius. Is Mauritius the half way point for Zac? It is according to the Sail World article but I didn't read anything on the blog about it.

=>Bill Mann - you are not going to hear the end of the long hair jokes now...:)


October 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM  
Anonymous JackM said...

Count me among those who wish they could have made it but had to be elsewhere. Very cool how everyone pitched in; I'm looking forward to the photos or video.

I hope y'all do it again, perhaps after the first of the year when we may have those "duplicate" Christmas gifts to auction off!

I got the poster of Zac/Intrepid, and It's tight! Just to sound young.)

--Jack M. (in the L.A. South Bay)

October 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Lori Love said...


Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family for the evening. I know a lot of us parents have "adopted" Zac as our own, and it was nice to be able to put a voice to his face. My daughter, Megan, couldn't stop talking about how handsome he is. I have a feeling when our calendar comes in the mail, she will take ownership of it. Thank you again for allowing your son to follow his dreams.

Lori Love

October 27, 2008 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Melanie in Torrance said...

@ Anita,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your "furry friend," Chance. What a shock for you as he was so young. I am glad that he brought you show much joy in his short life. God's creatures have a way of doing that. They (animals) always give us so much more than we give them in return.

October 27, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Glad to hear things went well yesterday. Sorry I was unable to attend, however. :-( If there is another one before Zac finishes his journey, I'll make it a point of CLEARING my calendar completely so I can attend!

I made a donation so you would get SOMETHING from me.


October 27, 2008 at 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praises for the Gathering and all of the support. Would loved to have been there.

I will be praying for a safe night for you Zac. I am just always so amazed at how your adventure is coming together. This is going to be so incredible for you in your life to come. Keep reaching out and finding all of these people God is putting in your path to help, guide, and encourage you. I do hope I am one of them. I am definitely a committed prayer partner.

Have a beautiful day, all of you Sunderlands. Our Lord will bring you back one even more awesome young man and you will enjoy this epic adventure forever. Zac and Intrepid are quite the team.

Fairwinds and Good Rest,
Kathy, Bend, OR

October 27, 2008 at 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac Pac & Marianne -- thanks for the updates about yesterday's event -- so glad it was successful! Good to hear about it for those of us that couldn't be there...

Zac -- you're doing great and I'm really enjoying reading your accounts again of how everything is going for you. Amazing to think of you literally half-way across the world in the Indian Ocean...

Keeping you all in my prayers.

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

October 27, 2008 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

@Zac Pac
The event was amazing. The highlights for me, were 1) Watching Laurence show so much emotion and do such a wonderful job at the microphone, 2) hearing our captain, Zac, on the phone with a very clear connection for such a long time 3) having the new boom there for everyone to sign and 4) watching lovely Marianne move around the crowd and keep watch on the 6 most beautiful children in the world! (And, Abby is going to be a superb mother, someday, because she is so patient and has had so much experience with all of the little ones and has a great role model in Marianne.)

Greg Lawson and his crew had some great video to show, and Greg was a fantastic MC.

All of the volunteers worked very hard. I’m especially thankful to Lori Love and her daughter for pretty much taking over the “arrival table” and for Jennifer Herschbein being responsible for the “payment station.” She couldn’t have done it without our “tax-man,” David This, who was a godsend, and the Broggies (Michael and Sharon) who worked the credit card machines all night!

When I arrived, Dawn Ziegler and her daughter, Rebecca were already perspiring from working so hard moving furniture from one area of the restaurant to the main room, as were Doug Pistone and his friend, Jolanta. Each of the volunteers just looked around at what should be done and did it! It was amazing. Karyn Newbill was always in the right spot with her camera, where the action was taking place (I’m sure we’ll see those photos soon). And, Troy Brimm brought his friend, photography student, Kevin Munoz, who took a lot of photos as well. As was mentioned, Terry and Jodi Mattson, stood by the boom all night, making sure guests didn’t write chapters, just short messages, leaving just enough room on the boom for everyone to sign. They were very welcoming to everyone. Other volunteers, I want to mention are Karen Blanco, Bonnie Craddick, Dina Froehlich, Janet Ginoli, Debbie Lape, Kristi Nash, Jean Pinkham and Carol This. Thank you all for your time and hard work.

Bill Mann acquired the most beautiful, interesting and unusual items for the silent auction, and there were so many of them, that we had to bring in more tables to accommodate everything. He and son, Robert Todd (with the help of Darrell) organized all of it themselves, which was a huge undertaking.

The only disappointment was that after all of Darrell’s hard work in contacting numerous sailing organizations and teenage groups, and sending many emails to other sources, the response from teenagers was less than expected, especially since there was an overwhelming response from supporters, who donated teenager tickets. Darrell’s work in organizing the cruise and securing the restaurant is to be commended.

Doug Pistone was everywhere, with his video camera and positive personality (but not his bird), so there should be some good footage of the event on Youtube soon. Thanks, Doug.

Marianne’s mother, Carol shied away from cameras and attention, but it wouldn’t have been a successful event without her “behind the scenes” help and pocketbook! And Doug said it accurately when he wrote, “she looks too young to be a grandmother!”

We wish more of you could have been there in person, but we know you were there in spirit. We felt it, and we hope you did, too.

@ Zac
Zac, you did well last night communicating with all of us. Thanks for your patience with everyone asking all of those questions. You will love the new boom!

Woodland Hills

October 27, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

PHOTOS can now here seen at this link:



October 27, 2008 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Thanks Melanie

October 27, 2008 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

I finally had a chance to glance at some of the bid sheets from last night.

I was heartened by the broad support from the attendees.

Usually in this type of event, a few wealthy individuals carry the ball and feel compelled to bid on everything.

From what I could tell by my cursory glance, there was widespread support from a large number of people. That is an indication of how important Zac is to everyone.

I shall be conversing with Marianne in the next day or so to see about extending the opportunity for other supporters to feel that they are included in Zac's Great Adventure.

However please be aware that next Tuesday is election day.

Since my 18th birthday, with the exception of the four and a half years that Uncle Sam kept me captive in uniform, I have partipated in a support position in every election that was scheduled.

This coming Tuesday I will be busy supervising on a voluntary basis, 15 polling places for Los Angeles County as an area coordinator. That entails checking to be sure that all of the polls are open, have the right supplies, are staffed with enough people and solving any problems that crop up during the day. Consequently it is not realistic that I can do anything until after the election.

I urge all of you to get out and vote, and would implore each and every one of you to not post anything political on this blog. This is not the forum for that, other than to ask you to vote for whichever candidate appeals to you. It would be a disservice to Zac, his family, his supporters and myself.


October 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger jlh said...


Sounds like you are moving right along. Stay tethered as you hold on for the "wild ride!" It was wonderful hearing your voice yesterday.

@Bill and Marilyn, incredible job! It was so nice to meet you, the Sunderlands (what an amazing family!) and other Zac Pac members.
What a great gathering on behalf of our beloved Cap'n!

@Anita, I am so sorry to hear about Chance. So young. Our pets become such a part of our lives.
My heart goes out to you.

@Karyn, great pictures! You did a fantastic job capturing all of the various areas and activities. And those kids! Adorable! Thank you!

@Bill, I'm hitting the polls early Tuesday!

Zac, you remain - as always - in our prayers.

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks,CA

October 27, 2008 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

can anyone tell me what the name of his next stop is gonna be?

October 27, 2008 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

A big "THANK YOU" to everyone for sharing the great time you had at the fundraiser. We could feel the excitement in your posts. Glad it was a huge success. Count me in for a calendar.

Sorry to hear about Chance. We know what you're going through, since we lost our second cat two years ago. He left us with so many wonderful memories.

Glad you're doing great and sailing right along. Take care, and don't forget your harness. Our prayers for your safety, always.

Dick & Gin

October 27, 2008 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger jwevers said...

=>Karyn, thank you for posting the link to your pictures, and thank you for taking them so we could all be "there".

=>Bill - Nevada has early voting so I voted over a week ago!

=>Marianne - hope the New Boom Fundraiser was a huge success.

How long did Zac stay on the phone? What were the other questions asked?

The Wevers Family
Lake Tahoe/Reno

October 27, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger jlh said...


Zac's next stop is Mauritius. From there he sails to Durban,
South Africa.

If you go to Zac's home page, you can click on "route" and see exactly where he is on the Indian Ocean enroute to Mauritius.

Sherman Oaks, CA

October 27, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

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