Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update & Jen's Blog

Latest Position as of 02/21/09 1600Z 29 08.523S 11 19.610E (470 miles out of Cape Town - 1200 miles to St Helena)
Zac departing Africa with Cape Town in the background
Zac phoned this morning to check in. He is doing really well as is the windvane. He has had beautiful conditions making 6 knots with a steady 15-20 knots of wind out of the south/southwest. The swell is a bit awkward on the aft quarter but all in all it has been a good ride so far. He is in excellent spirits and seems really thrilled to be at sea again.

Laurence has been in touch with Hans from Scanmar Marine to discuss Zac's windvane. Hans has been a gret supporter of Zac from the beginning. Zac may need to make some adjustments to the system when he arrives in St. Helena which should be in about 10 days.

Jen has been wrapping things up in Cape Town in preparation for her 5 day voyage via ship to St Helena. She sent over a blog of her own and some more of her fabulous photos:

Zac and Laurence provisioning for the long Atlantic crossing
Gday from Cape Town.
It was very hectic the morning Zac left, last minute repairs to the engine and myself trying to finish mounting a camera on the solar panel of the boat. Geoff from Bavaria Yachts took me out on a follow boat to see Zac off and snag some photos. It's always nice to be able to greet/see Zac off on another boat, getting away from the mooring/dock always allows for nice photos.

After I saw Zac off I went over to the Royal Yacht club to have a chat with and take some photos of Mike, Peter and Saito. They were busy making their final repairs before their departure today. I put together a little collection of photos on my blog showing all three of the sailors working on their boats, and the different characteristics of their boats

Now that everyone is gone, I am making my final preparations for heading to St. Helena to meet up with Zac. While I was here in Cape Town I found out the only way to get there is by ship so I will be hopping a ship in a couple days to hopefully arrive when Zac arrives, if all goes well.

One thing I've gotten used to over the past 8 months of photographing Zac is that there is no such thing as 'planning' or having a schedule. Things are constantly changing and you just have to go with the flow. To those of you that have asked how I am funding this, well, that's a good question. I have used all my savings, the rest of my student loan money and whatever I can make inbetween meeting up with Zac. A lso, with the kindness of people we have met, as in Cape Town, accomodations have been donated at a few of our stops which is a huge help.

These past 8 months have certainly been an adventure and it has been worth every penny to help Zac and the rest of the Sunderland family achieve their dream, Zac's dream. It has been incredible to watch first hand the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. Laurence amazes me with his energy to get things done while in port, believe me, it is never a vacation for him. Marianne is definitely what I would call a 'Super Mom' managing to not only hold down the fort at home but also to keep everyone connected between Cape Town, Japan, USA, etc. The Sunderland family is an incredible family and I have been extremely blessed to be a part of this project.......



Blogger Daveh said...

Jen - Great update and I believe paints the picture (re: your comments about schedule on these types of adventures..)

I sent you an email with a question and some ideas about your pictures and photography in general (e.g. revenue idea)

Take care,
Daveh & Skipper

February 21, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed today's blog. Jen, it's wonderful to hear your thoughts from your perspective. I absolutely enjoy all of your photos. You most definitely have a gift and I'm happy that you are the one to be documenting Zac's journey.

Please be careful as you travel by ship to St. Helena. I can't wait to see more of your photos when you can Zac meet again.

As for Zac; I'm so happy to hear that he is happy being back at sea. It will be interesting once he returns to MDR, just how long he is able to stay land-locked before the call of the sea tugs at his heart and he's off on some other wonderful adventure.

February 21, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Marianne & Jen,

Great posts and so much good information. I enjoyed the pictures especially the one with all those cans. Are they filled with food???

You're doing a great job at this Jen and I hope you'll arrive a little before Zac does. I admire you dedication and the strength it takes to just go with the flow.

Zac & Jen Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

February 21, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Thanks Jen!!
I'm sure Zac and the Sunderlands feel blessed to have you aboard for this adventure!

The photos are great, loved looking at them....all 5 times LOL!!

Safe passage to St. Helena!

Anita ~_/) Waterloo, NY

February 21, 2009 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

Thanks MA and Jen for the update. It sounds like our boy is getting the wonderful sailing conditions he deserves. It also sounds like he had enough down time to bounce back into the sea-time with some added enthusiasm. It is good.

Jen - YOU ROCK. I sure hope this adventure repays you over and over again in many ways. It is a wonderful adventure for all of us. Consider yourself privileged to see it so close up and report back to us through your lens. (I know you do). We are vicariously living it from lounge chairs - thanks for doing the 'dirty work.' I loved checking out your photos too. wonderful.

SO we look on to about March 3 for the arrival of a Zac and a Jen - to show us St Helena. THANK YOU AGAIN!!
LA in MN

February 21, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful to hear from you Jen!
You are doing an amazing job and indeed it takes someone very special to have your dedication and devotion to 'the job' in hand.
I am sure it is a thrill to see things from the inside and to be a part of this great family.
Thank you for sharing your insights and of course the great photographs.
Enjoy your trip to St Helena and I do hope that the timings work well for you and Zac.

UK friend

February 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Miss Jen's post was a true blessing. Thank you very much for sharing your POV. I look forward to Capt Zac!'s book. I pray he has the patience it will require to write it. And hopefully, the movie/documentary that will eventually follow.

Does me heart good to read Capt Zac! is finally enjoying smoother sailing. I hope the winds hold up.

As always, thank YOU Lady Marianne for being our continual connection to Capt Zac!. Bless you lass.

Warm Fuzzy Bear HUGS!

February 21, 2009 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Marianne, Jen, and Zac:

@ Marianne: Thanks for the update. Seems as all the news is positive this time. Zac needs some fair sailing and is getting it.

@Jen: Your comments and your pictures are pure gold. You are an amazing lady yourself. I love your 'arty' pictures in al the colors of this world. As an aside, I think 'arty' as a pejorative should apply to those seeking a retro (?) effect with black & white, sepia, and other unnatural tones. Zac is a colorful young man who is on a colorful adventure so let's see it as it really is! You are our eyes.

@Tomi/Atl: Glad to see you piping in again!! "Me thinks' I'm likely not the only one to notice your absense.

Here's to sails appearing on the horizon.

The Croaker

February 21, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the old tire for a boat fender...No high tech pretentious yachtie equipment displayed on the starboard quarter that for sure!!

Best to you Zac,

Steve in CA

February 21, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Hey Jen, nice pics, post more please. U need to have e few bucks in your pocket too. God knows we all need to have at least a glass of a buttery chardonnay at the end of the day. Some days call for a few fingers of whiskey. What's your PayPal? I'm sure the ZacPacrs' would like to style U up in a summer dress.

February 22, 2009 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Just checked Mike Perham's site, the NKE Autopilot failed again....

Why it's taken this long for them to decide to replace it COMPLETELY is waaaaay behind my imagintation.

So, the NKE is out and a B&G is in.

For me, the NKE made his boat a death trap in the Southern Ocean...

Daveh & Skipper

February 22, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Daveh,

Just a note to say I always love your posts. They stand out as spot on in your knowledge of sailing.

February 22, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>I love your 'arty' pictures in al the colors of this world


>>I enjoyed the pictures especially the one with all those cans. Are they filled with food???.

LOL !!!


If you copy and paste that picture into any image editor and select "autofix" or simply increase the brightness and contrast you'll get the original snapshot. One of the cans even says "chunky" on it.

Hey, stop whinning about the lovely Jen. Her camera equipment costs more than this trip. Her photography skills are actually excellent.If you see her portfolio on her website, her skills are stunning. Her "artsy" style is commercial print quality. It's just not conducive to recording this historical venture. As above when you cannot even make out the tin cans :-)

She'll make a small fortune presenting her work in a book of this historical venture as the "offical" or exclusive photographer of this historical voyage. And she can reset the color saturation of all these "artsy" pics. when she gets home :-)

I suspect poor Mike who hasn't even started his voyage yet, will continue to be inundated with boat troubles every leg of the way.

Zac will "win" and go down in the record books, and the lovely Jen who recorded it all, "artsy" "fartsy" pics. and all will recoup her small investment 1000 times over in the coming years.

February 22, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger camkes said...

Jen was correct .............Super Mom, Super Dad, SUPER FAMILY..........What a thrilling experience and so much PRIDE in Zac.

February 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous cindyincincy said...

Thanks Jen and Marianne! Following Zac's blog is more entertaining than the Oscars:) So happy to hear that all is going well with Zac and that he is happy to be underway once again. I love all of the photos -- thanks for sharing your perspective and talent, Jen ... cindyincincy

February 22, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi zac, I've been following your blog since october and have greatly enjoyed reading about your experiences and adventures.Hope you make it safe and quicly to St Helena.
P.S. I live in So Cal, halfway inbetween San Diego and Los Angeles, so I know where your hometown is.

February 22, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go, more kicking Mike while he's down. Come on guys, the kid's got more guts than any of us computer watchers...

February 23, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon - I agree. This group can be so ruthless. Some of the most common participants are always the first to have to mention any troubles that Mike is having. These are two young men following their dreams. They both are amazing.

February 23, 2009 at 4:39 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@Anonymous – Please don’t misconstrue any of my comments about Mike Perham as negative. I have never expressed anything towards Mike other than concern over his auto-pilot being a death trap, especially in the Southern Ocean.

I would also like to add that for someone on this to “tout” Zac a bit is perfectly reasonable and expected, that’s the horse they have picked.

I further think it’s ridiculous that when some does cheer Zac on, you guys start bashing them as if they are bashing Mike, and 99% of the time, that is NOT the case, they’re just rooting for their pick and not dogging or wishing any harm to Mike…

Ease up………

Daveh & Skipper

February 23, 2009 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Oh come on people..are we adults here or what..if you "anonymous" want to act like a bunch of teenagers try "myspace"otherwise keep this blog page about Zac and his adventures..if that includes Mike every now and then that's cool, Mike is an amazing kid as well but he does have his own blog page..and don't forget that Zac reads this..does the guy need any more stress..take a lesson from a 17 year old and conduct yourself as adults that are here to support Zac and the Sunderlands... for once and for all put this anonymous bashing to rest!.
Laura Bermuda Dunes Ca

February 23, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

@Daveh..i think we were typing at the same time..I agree 100%

February 23, 2009 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@Laura - Exactly.... Man...

Why doesn't Mr. (orMs.) Anonymous defend Jen, or someone else if he/she is so noble? Clearly, Jen received comments that she surly doesn’t deserve…

I'll be you "anonymouse" is from Minn... Just a hunch... Not that Minn. is a bad place, it's not, but, we all remember someone from there that bashed us AND even sent us eMails...


February 23, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Zac and Mike wouldn't want to see people comparing one against the other. They're each doing very different things. They are different people with different boats. Life would be dull if every teen sailing round the world was from Californian, had long hair, and had a traditional cruising boat ;-)

It would also be dull if they were all sponsored English lads with amazing high tech boats ;-)

It would be perhaps more fun if they were all young Australian lasses, but I digress...

That said, it would be nice if the anti-Mike comments stopped. Look on Mike's blog and no one is negative about Zac.

February 23, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Thank you so much Marianne for sending us the very good news about Zac's journey to St. Helena -- I hope it continues to be a nice breeze all the way...

And to Jen, thank you, thank you, thank you for your beautiful pictures. So nice to have your perspective in words as well. We are all so fortunate to have you as part of Zac's team!

I hate to drop a line about the anonyms, I usually choose to ignore any negativity or drama that’s happened on this blog, but c'mon -- how on earth you can take Daveh's post of concern about Mike's autopilot and his relief that it's finally being replaced as being negative is just digging for negativity in any little word. Daveh's expressed concern about the autopilot since it first surfaced as an issue and has deep concern for Mike’s safety, as anyone wishing him success would. All regulars on this blog have time and again expressed sincere support and admiration for Mike, there is no animosity other than that which anonyms unfortunately attempt to subject on us from time to time.

‘nuf said. Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

February 23, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know we live in a free country, but I would have no problem if Zac's Mom trashed messages that come from anonymous people who have nothing good to say. It's certainly not in the spirit of Zac's great adventure.

--Chad in MN

February 23, 2009 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

A quote from this blog:

"I suspect poor Mike who hasn't even started his voyage yet, will continue to be inundated with boat troubles every leg of the way.

Zac will "win" and go down in the record books"

Now, that's not true - Mike has started his voyage and has sailed further than most people here would dare. And it's in poor spirits to suggest that he'll have troubles for all his voyage. Yes, he's had AP problems (so has Zac FWIW) but so what? He's got balls that kid, just like Zac and deserves respect - that's a hell of a machine he's piloting.

February 23, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I've said before; "Don't feed the beast (anonymous)."

Thanks to those of you who update us on Mike's journey. I don't always have time to read his blog, but I do enjoy hearing from those of you who do. It is abundantly clear to me that you take the same interest and concern about Mike' safety as you do for Zac. It is unfortunate that there are those whose blinders are a bit too narrow to see the broader picture.

February 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

My apologies but my name was not attached to my previous remark...
"Don't feed the beast"

I don't like to hide behind the curtain that is the internet...

February 23, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sadly, giving yourself a name doesn't make you any less anonymous than me - you could be anyone ;-)

February 23, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am quite not following my own advice here since it has already been given by someone else. I just want to make it clearer.

Don't feed the trolls!

Meaning do not reply to any of these negative posts. That's just what these trolls want. Just ignore them and they will go away. I know that it is hard to let something offensive go unchallenged, but don't add to it. Maybe email Marianne to suggest deletion, but not more.

Now that's enough of that.

All the best to Mike and Zac and everybody else here.

February 23, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 23, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Of course is these anony"mouse" posters would not be anony"mouse", we could eMail them outside of the blog and keep it professional.

But, without any means of contacting them, we can't...

Daveh & Skipper

February 23, 2009 at 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Daveh and others: Actually I would feel uncomfortable giving out an email address. The last comment I made (quite awhile ago)compared the two boys voyages in what I thought was a very logical and nice way, but my words were completely misinterpreted and I received so much hostility in response that I won't be commenting again. I have found that this comment section is indeed unfriendly to many people who try and state their ideas and opinions. Perhaps I do not have a way with words, but I know I meant well. I consider myself to be as loyal a fan as the rest of the Zac Pac and have followed Zac's trip from the day he left. I will continue to cheer him on, but will do it silently from now on.

February 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

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