Sunday, October 19, 2008

Update - Cocos Keeling

A brief update tonight on the long-haired adventurer:

We spoke with Zac briefly this evening (his morning). He was in good spirits after having been exploring the various islands that are Cocos Keeling. You can Google Cocos Keeling Island and find decent maps but there was nothing decent that I could take and post here. He has hooked up with the crew from the boat Ingrid over the past few days. Their crew is Captain/Owner Richard, 15 year old son Jed, and crew member Sean. Richard, from Cape Town, South Africa, is finishing up a 9 year circumnavigation. They have spent the past few days taking care of business and then exploring the place. Yes, they did snorkel. Not too many fish but a lot of colorful coral. Zac says the water is incredibly warm and that the sand is so fine it is like baby powder.

He picked up his tillers yesterday. The woodworker has Zac's boom and will attempt to fit it with some wood by the end of today which would have Zac back at sea tomorrow. Everything on the Island(s) is closed on Sunday so he had a great day of rest. He was having fuel delivered to the boat today and then he was headed back to West Island to visit the grocery store, Internet cafe, post office (thanks for mentioning it Rory!) and then back to Home Island on the ferry to check on his boom.

He actually met up with photographer Karen Willshaw whose web address I posted yesterday and she gave him her book of photos! I had been tempted to buy it myself when checking out her site which is in case you missed it! Incredible stuff!

Thankfully, Zac managed to find some time for fun and still get his jobs done. He is rested and weel fed and raring to get out there and over to Africa where he should have more time to play and adventure that ever before on this trip.

We have had a great response to the LA Gathering coming up in a week. Thanks to all who are helping with the details of putting this together: Bill Mann, Marilyn Simcox, and Darrell Steffey. It promises to be a great evening.

LA Gathering/Fundraiser

A celebration presentation of Zac's trip and a fund raiser for his adventures will be held on Sunday Oct. 26 from 3 to 6 pm at The Organic Panificio Waterfront Restaurant located at 4211 Admiralty Way (at the corner of Palawan Way) in Marina del Rey. Laurence & Marianne Sunderland, Zac's parents, will provide an update on his trip, including never before seen footage of his adventures at sea and a computer video presentation of his planned route. A question and answer session and a silent auction of donated products/services will follow. The highlight of the evening will be an attempt to contact Zac directly at sea via a satellite phone connection for an additional on the spot update. Light appetizers will be served and a "cash bar" will be available. As space is limited, reservations are required. Cost for the event is $20 pre-paid, $27 at the door and $10 for children 12 and under.

To pre-pay reservations go to Zac's website at, click on "Store" and follow the prompts.

For additional reservations, information or other payment methods: e-mail Marilyn at or phone (818) 703-1154.

Become another proud member of the "Zac Pac". Hope to see you there.

Please RSVP by 10/23.

Anyone wishing to donate an item, product or service for the silent auction, please contact Bill Mann by e-mail at or by phone at (323) 205-0417.

For those Zac supporters who are unable to attend this event due to prior commitments or geographical location and who would still like to support Zac in his adventure, you may do so by making a pre-paid reservation and inserting in the comments section, along with your name: "teenager donation". We will then see that a teen from one of the local youth groups gets the ticket to attend the event in your place, along with your name as the benefactor.

Thank you for your continued support, it is much appreciated.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear all is well with Zac!! I knew everything would work out. I'm also pleased to hear Zac got some much needed rest.
Karen's pic's are sooooo amazing.

I'm trying to figure out a way to go the gathering, it sounds like a great time is to be had. I just need to figure out what to do with two screaming mimi's!!

Sail On Zac!!

Liz and family

October 19, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Sounds like things are going swimmingly (no pun intended)! But then what do you expect from an area that LOOKS like it could be a tropical Heaven!

Africa is next!

"Break a leg, Zac!"



October 20, 2008 at 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Hans Zout said...

That looks like an awesome book...WOW! Good thing you had enough willpower to resist the temptation to pay Karen for her work when Zac could simply sail on in & get it for free.

Time for me to start repairing dinghys so I can get a sailboat & set off on a world wide collection! I too will accept donations in someone elses name.

October 20, 2008 at 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy day, hearing that the response has been good to the fundraiser evening.Also to hear that all is going well with Zac in CK. Great that he has hooked up with the crew of Ingrid, especially with another young man about his age....imagine a 9 year circumnavigation....pickles my mind! So no doubt, Zac will be seeing them again in Cape Town and will have plenty of support there too...marvellous...just what we want to hear. So, Zac may be back at sea as I write....Oooooo!

UK friend

October 20, 2008 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, MA. It is great to hear that repairs are going well. I was most concerned about the boom especially after some of the previous blog suggestions to run it over with a truck??? Glad to hear that the tillers are on board as well.
ALso glad to hear that the fundraiser is going well. WIsh I could be there. Great idea to send a local teen for those of us who are geographically challenged. I will post a donation for that today.
Thanks to all that have helped are the Mann! Thanks Marilyn and Darrell as well. You are all awesome people to help out.


October 20, 2008 at 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Just paid for a teenie ticket. Who ever it is - have fun :-)

October 20, 2008 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

I'm glad to hear Zac is having fun and getting those repairs done. At least Zac was able to get some snorkeling in. Two tillers on board sounds great. Hopefully we'll hear a little more about the boom and it's repair soon.

It's nice to hear that photographer Karen Willshaw was able to give Zac her book of photographs. I'm sure it will help pass the time when you need a little mental break. What better than looking at pictures of the Island.

I'm so glad the hear that the LA Gathering and Fundraiser is going well. Just wanted to say Thank You to Bill Mann, Marilyn Sincox, and Darrell Steffey for all your hard work. If someone needs help and I'm local and live in MDR please let me know. Marilyn has my cell phone number and my email address is also listed in my blog. I'm hoping this weekend will be a huge success. I can't wait to meet everyone this coming Sunday.

Take care Zac, get plenty of food for the next leg, make sure those repairs all get done, and off we go to Africa. We'll be here thinking of your next leg so get ready and......

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 20, 2008 at 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Glad to hear things are going well for Zac in C/K. And as usual, he's out there making friends!

Warm water and sand "so fine it is like baby powder." I couldn't concentrate after that revelation from Zac.

Melanie in Torrance

October 20, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wouldn't it be easier to just buy the book?


October 20, 2008 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

I received a package in today's mail from Natalie Nimmer containg four flowers made from coconut fronds that have been boiled, planed, shredded and dyed with food coloring. They come from Wotje, Marshall Islands. There is also a sea shell necklace. When I get home from the factory this afternoon, I shall post photos on my blog so you can all see the great donation that Natalie made to help Zac. Thank you Natalie. They are so beautiful I am tempted to buy them before the auction and keep them myself.

Zac, you sound like you are having the time of your life, however if I read the blog correctly, you are probably out to sea by now.

As you have not contradicted me about In N' Out, I have not phoned the barbers in Durban so you are safe for the moment.


Bill Mann

October 20, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Papajock said...

Your updates are really appreciated, Marianne. It certainly sounds as if Zac has been able to get the most out of his time in Cocos Keeling, in many ways.

It is great to hear such positive news. We'll all be praying for 'fair winds' on Zac's next leg.

Jock MacGregor

October 20, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

I wonder what the wood worker's ideas are for trying to mend the boom? Depending on how badly the boom is bent, he could cut the boom at the bent part and use a wood sleeve in it. With some modification a wooden boom could be made, using some of the hardware from the metal boom. I'll be interested in hearing what the repair/fix resulted in.

Karen's pictures are quite beautiful. My wife can't believe that there is a place in the world that looks like that, but I told her that there are many areas in the world like that...she still doubts me

October 20, 2008 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger jlh said...

What great news all around. Thanks, Marianne, for the post.
So glad Zac not only got the repair work done that he needed, he had time to snorkel and explore. The pictures are just beautiful.

Praying for you as you set sail, Zac!

Jennifer and Ben
Sherman Oaks, CA

October 20, 2008 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger surf mom said...

Hi Zac - we are keeping you in prayer ! Enjoy each day as God allows ! It is very cool to think you are walking on the beaches we look at everyday on our calendar :) Karen's photography is TOPS ! Everyone go see her site. That is where Zac is 'resting'....ahhh, the life !
from Surf Mom in NH

October 20, 2008 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger surf mom said...

One more thing....we had 24 degrees weather this morning !!! Good ole' New England NH weather :)
And you will be coming this way- heh heh...

October 20, 2008 at 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Marianne, Zac, and Zac-Packers

Seems as though without a lot of whoop-tee-do and agonizing, Zac has just gone about resolving his problems with efficiency and aplomb. So, what's new? The young man is amazing!

Like other Zac-Packers here, I am curious about the solution to the boom situation and hope you'll let us know how that worked out.
Some of the suggestions from the blog were very creative (alarmingly so!) but I'm confident that Zac worked out an obvious and elegant solution that will keep the show on the road.

Looking forward to hearing from him.

The Croaker

October 20, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Thanks for the update. It's always nice to hear from you. The photos captured by Karen are truly magnificent.

Glad to hear everything is coming along fine and you've had time to explore and enjoy C.K. We're looking forward to the next leg of your journey and pray that all goes well.

Take care and Godspeed!

Dick & Gin

October 20, 2008 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger James said...

"hans zout" ??? From your comments, and I hope I'm reading you wrong, it seems more appropriate to think of you as "sour grapes".

Go Zac !!!

I hope the L.A. Gathering / Fundraiser goes well !

October 20, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger country gal said...

Hi! My name is Joy Springhart. I am a homeshool student too! I heard about your trip in the God's World Newspaper. Me and my Mom are REALLY intrested. We will be keeping up to date on this blog for a while now! GO ZAC! =D

Thanks, Joy =D

October 20, 2008 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Anita said...



Hugs, many blessings
Anita ~_/)
Waterloo, NY

October 20, 2008 at 4:40 PM  
Anonymous rory gogan Singapore said...

MA, Now that Zac is officially a 'long hair'. Will this be his new sobriquet?
Where do U see LH spending Thanksgiving? Will he be past the horn by then or will he rock up and hang in Durban?

October 20, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger kenintoronto said...

It looks like the Facebook messages are ahead of the Blog.

"Zac is hedding out of cocos in a cupple hrs. 2:08am" -

(exact comment as published)

Fair winds and calm seas Zac

October 21, 2008 at 4:46 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I wish I was as warm as you are now. Dad got a new heater and he's freezing us to death by exprimenting with it. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

October 21, 2008 at 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Here is a link to the VOLVO OCEAN Race. Maybe some of you like to play :-)

Sail around the world in a race

October 21, 2008 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! What fabulous photography! Thanks for sharing, Karen! And what a wonderful keepsake your book makes for Zac's souvenir collection.

Best of luck, Zac (and Team) as you embark on your next leg. CindyinCincy

October 21, 2008 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Kittiwake Kid said...

We can indentify with the broken tiller. Had one ourselves down in the BVI. We found some driftwood on the beach and off we went until we could get it properly repaired. Can't identify with the boom but we did have a broken mast, just above the spreaders. Didn't have the running back stay set on a very nice day. A freak wave in the genny and SNAP! We limped to a harbor on a sparsely populated Bahamian island and a local helped us get the mast to shore. The beauty of wood is that it can be repaired easier than aluminum. Some wooden dowels from fellow cruisers, some splints, a little fiberglass and we were good to go.

Keep looking up to Him "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance".

The Kittiwake Kids

October 21, 2008 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Zac & Everyone,

Hopefully Zac has already left C/K and is on his way to Africa. It would be great if we could find out how the boom was repaired.

Good luck and prayers are going your way for the start of this next leg. Hopefully you were able to get everything you needed on board before leaving C/K.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

October 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Anonymous DawnZ said...

Is there time to send postcards to Africa? If so can someone post an Address?

Thanks, Dawn

October 21, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The boom is likely hollow aluminum. Marianne wrote that it was busted into two pieces. So, the woodworkers would have placed a wood beam through the middle of the two pieces. Fastening the two pieces into the wood beam.

The boom would now have a wood beam core supporting the outer aluminum boom. Kinda like jiffylube wrote but the metal boom that broke is the sleeve with the wood in its previously hollow core being the arm.

Half-way home sounds good to me!


October 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan SINGAPORE said...

What the Facebook link? Thanks

October 21, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Cool to hear how things are going keep up the good work zac!

October 21, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

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