Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No News is ... No News

There is a saying that says something like, "No news is good news." That is definitely not the case when you haven't heard from your son who was due in port hours ago but hasn't arrived. I normally would wait to post until he arrived but just so you don't think that we have forgotten about you all - here we are.

We are not really worried about Zac because we know he is in calm seas and not yet that late. Yet, our ears are hyper-vigilant to the possible sound of the phone ringing and email is being checked more than regularly in the hopes of hearing that our boy is safe in port.

I had a nice Skype chat with Jen this morning. It seems like the whole island is eagerly awaiting Zac's arrival. I have been in email contact with some of the residents and the local media. Jen said that because they have not had contact with Zac that it was like planning a surprise party. I guess at least for today, the guest of honor didn't show up to his own party!!

Thank you for all of your kind emails and comments - it does us all a world of good.



Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

It's great the locals are fired up. I wonder what it must be like to live on such a remote place. I'm sure their welcome will be a warm genuine one with some great food and drink. Perhaps they will serve the national dish of Blighty, a Ruby Murry..A.K.A curry.

March 4, 2009 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Ouch... my half-hourly checks of the web site were in hopes of no "no news". Dratted sat phone!!

Ok, so I'm consoled by knowing he's a brilliant and trained sailor, and that the sat phone isn't his only way of communicating in an emergency. If something goes wrong, he can let us know...

but, I know i'll be up during the night checking, so please at least post one line if you hear from him.

March 4, 2009 at 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Adele said...

Oh dear! where are you boy?

March 4, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger mike3k said...

I'll be praying for him.

March 4, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hi Marianne - On the heels of what just happened here on the West Coast of Florida.....

Let's hope and pray that all is well...

Please keep us updated

Daveh & Skipper

March 4, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ol' Zac. Always making things interesting! I've been following Zac since his departure back last June. What an adventure. I'm sure he's really frustrated with the slow progress, but it is a comfort to know that there are calm seas. I'm sure we'll hear the whole story soon.

March 4, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

Oh, my, it must be so hard for you to just sit and wait, when he should have been in port by now; especially knowing his satellite phone has no power. Is there any way (with all of the electronics on Intrepid, that he can contact you or others?


March 4, 2009 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Lori Love said...


Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed. I can't imagine what you and your family go through when you do not hear from your son. And you take the time to inform us, you TRULY are an AMAZING mother and have an amazing family. You and Zac are in my prayers.

Lori Love

March 4, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Marilyn: So nice to hear from you Marilyn! Zac has a high frequency radio and also a VHF radio for short distance marine communication. This is what the St Helena Yacht Club will be listening for him on. If he was in trouble, he would have set off his EBIRB (emergency beacon)or if submerged it would set itself off. This satellite-based system reports his position and all of our contact info to all the major rescue authorities within range. If there was a serious problem, we would be contacted by these authorities. I'm sure Zac is fine. He is 8 hours later there so he is coming on morning now so hopefully we will get a call soon. I will post when we hear, for sure.

March 4, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia said...

Thank you for keeping us informed. He is a courageous young man. Our thoughts and prayers will be with him as he rides the sea to his port - and with you as well. Blessings, Sylvia in Cherry Valley

March 4, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous B. Conflash said...

Interesting story about a family who needed to rely on an epirb. It ultimately saved them , but only after a harrowing experience.

There are links to the news articles and a couple of videos to view.

March 4, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

All: Zac & Intredpid are enjoying some "quiet time" together. All's well.

MDR via Santa Clarita

March 4, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Well I imagine considering the light winds as of your last contact with him, that his delay is a result of lack of wind.

As you stated, Intrepid is outfitted with amazing equipment and will choose to allow that knowledge to keep somewhat calm :). But, as you said, "No news news." We so appreciate you're updating us, however briefly, when you've heard from Zac. I know many of us will most likely check in during the night and will rest better knowing he is safely anchored. Which reminds me that the anchorage situation there is critical. I'm sure you'll remind him to pay close attention to that. I'd hate to hear that Intrepid has traveled on without him on board!

March 4, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Bill Jamison said...

I sure hope he gets a new charger for his sat phone soon - the waiting and not hearing anything must be incredibly stressful for you! Zac is an experienced sailor now and I'm sure he's just cruising along under light winds and can't wait to get into port.

I had never heard of St Helena and I was fascinated by its history! Zac is incredibly fortunate to be able to travel the world at such a young age. Truly amazing.

March 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger RK said...

Thanks for the up date, Marianne.

My guess, just having looked up the local time in St. Helena, is that Zac saw he is not making it to St. Helena in daylight and took it easy during the night to arrive the next morning. As I type the sun has just risen an hour ago over St. Helena. Zac will probably arrive in a couple of hours.

Godspeed, Zac.

(usually posting with an the OpenID rklein)

March 4, 2009 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he is having a lie in....perhaps his alarm didnt go know what boys are like...catch a lie in when they can!
Hugs for Marianne and all the Sunderlands.
You are sooo good at keeping us informed...thank you again.
Bless Jen for keeping the island folk Rory says...fired up!
I feel a party coming on!
A Ruby Murry sounds just the thing eh! Yummy.

UK friend

March 5, 2009 at 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, Hang in there! He will show up! All be it his age he is the best sailor I'v Heard of and I hope to meet someday. We pray for hime every night and I know God will get him there. Can he fire up the diesel? Marc from Iowa

March 5, 2009 at 3:19 AM  
Anonymous Willvp / East London said...

it reminds me of the Durban-East London leg....

Me too was waiting in the harbour for Zac's Zac (5 hours late then planned).

After I left...he arrived half an hour later...only for me to find out later that day when I went back to the harbour to doublecheck..

Meaning: Zac must be there by now...

March 5, 2009 at 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Dave (Bedfordshire UK) said...

You have my prayers for his safe arrival in Port, thanks for the update.

March 5, 2009 at 5:13 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Marianne,

Zac has proven himself many times over and I'm sure this will be exactly the same. He can only get in as fast as the sea will allow him.

I feel sorry for Jen trying to plan that surprise party for him. I really must be a lot of work always having to be ready for his arrival. I'm sure by now he's already there. Be strong, have faith.

Sail On,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

March 5, 2009 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


Thanks for the update!

The tragedy off of Florida re-iterates the importance of proper equipment and planning. I imagine that boat had made similar fishing trips hundreds of times without any problems. I believe that Team Sunderland's focus has been on preparing for the one trip (leg) that does present a problem to Zac. (Maybe you should consider adding a back-up emergency beacon or three.)

The Zac pac is drawn to his quest because so few people even attempt what Zac is doing but it is sometimes easy to forget what a challenge Zac has faced and is facing with every single day.

Zac, fight complanceny on these last legs toward home. You've accomplished a great deal these last few months but keep preparing for that one bad day when nothing goes right. I am praying that you'll have wasted a lot of time with those preparations.

Birmingham, AL

March 5, 2009 at 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

OK now im worried...i thought for sure i would see a post that Zac arrived this morning..any news?

March 5, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hope you will post as soon as you hear something. I think those of us who are so regularly following the adventure will be happy and relieved. Gee I'll just bet you feel that way also! Steve

March 5, 2009 at 6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We received an email from Jen that the Yacht Club has been in touch with Zac and they are going out to meet him and follow him in! Will make a proper post when we hear from him.

March 5, 2009 at 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I knew I was happy to hear that Jen was "shadowing" Zac for a reason! Glad to hear that she's there to be our eyes and ears!

Look forward to hearing from you later!

March 5, 2009 at 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Thank You Marianne for the good news and all the bloggers with your positive words.

March 5, 2009 at 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am soooo happy and relieved.
Thank you Marianne.
We can all breathe again.

UK friend

March 5, 2009 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a couple webcams in Jamestown. Tell Zac and Jen to go and stand in front of them tomorrow at a predetermined time and wave to everyone

I guess just ask anyone there were the bridge cam is.

Also I hope Zac gets that first phone charger fixed as well. Better to have two than just one new untested one. Or at least some other back up means for the next leg.

March 5, 2009 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks for the post this morning. So happy to hear that Zac is on his way in for the "surprise party".
Tucson, AZ

March 5, 2009 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger rbwilson said...

Thats the good news we've all been looking for - so happy for all your family, Marianne! Looking forward to Jen's pictures!

Bob Wilson
Laguna Niguel

March 5, 2009 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to St Helena. Just told our listeners on the local radio station that the yacht club has heard from you.
Kodiak Mike

March 5, 2009 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Your boy Mike said...

PLEASE UPDATE... has he contacted you yet??

March 5, 2009 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

YEA! Land Ahoy!

March 5, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome, Marianne's got it all under control. The radio station streams live via the internet, but you got to install a plug-in (not recommended), maybe they will be doing an interview with the Zacster?

Tuesday, 3rd March 2009

Tomorrow, Wednesday, St Helena is expecting the arrival of Zac Sunderland who is attempting to be the youngest yachtsman ever to complete a single-handed circumnavigation. Zac left California in June last year when he was 17. Today, he is about 200 miles away and expects to drop anchor in James Bay tomorrow afternoon. Marianne Sunderland, Zac’s mother, has been in regular contact with Saint FM. Marianne says Zac has communication problems as his satellite phone is not working. The St Helena Yacht Club has offered to assist Zac to his mooring. Zac is facing competition from Mike Perrin for the title of youngest circumnavigator. Mike from the UK is five months younger than Zac. The two met in Cape Town after Mike had to make an unscheduled stop for repairs to his auto pilot.

March 5, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Yo, Cap'n Zac!

So, there you are in St. Helena...WOW! Sounds like a party might be in full swing when you arrive and new friends are waiting to meet you! Get some rest, have some fun, find a cheeseburger, meet and greet your newest ZacPac members!

Jen - please post lots of pictures!

All the Sunderlands - YEA! more least THIS time!

Fellow ZacPac'ers...check out this website for a beautiful view of what I'm guessing is the harbor Zac just sailed into at Jamestown:

Waiting to here about your latest adventures, Cap'n!

WOOHOO! Hot food!

March 5, 2009 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Gosh, I hate to miss a party! It's definitely to early here in California to start, so I'll leave that idea til later in the day LOL!

I have to admit that I awoke about 2:30 AM (PST) and logged on to see if there was any news. My husband was not pleased, to say the least, until I explained what I was doing. So, this morning when he was a little more awake, the first words out of his mouth were, "So, where's your boy?"

March 5, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listening to Saint FM from here on the upper Gulf Coast of Florida- waiting to maybe catch an update to Zacks arrival in the harbor. It is really cool how a journey like Zack's shows us that the entire world is really just one small neighborhood - and we all work to take care of our neighbors as ourselves. Thanks to all who participate in this community - your comments and insights always offer "something of value".

March 5, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were thrilled this morning to see the news at the LA Times that Zac has arrived safely. Cheers, Sylvia

March 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mom and Dad, your post helps an anxious Zac Pac for sure. Thinking of and praying for Zac in calm seas is a nice way to spend another snow day in Central Oregon. Yuk !

Are you ever able to contact local churches to rally around Zac while in port? Just curious.

Well, back on my knees for each of you and may the phone ring soon.
Bend, OR

March 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac Packers =
Jen has a great update and photos from St Helena on her blog. Go check it out - Be Here Now is the blog name, address is

Bend, OR

March 5, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Well, I see Zac is on FB in St. Helena as of 1/2 hr. ago. Woo Hoo!

March 5, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger "Summershine" said...

We are praying for Zac! This is so amazing to watch what he is able to accomplish with God right by his side. Thank you so much for the updates!!!

March 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Nick and Lynn Clevely said...

Awesome to meet Zac this afternoon - he arrived safely here in St Helena around 2 pm. Felt privileged to witness the arrival on this young history-maker on the island

March 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep the faith! You have a lot of people praying for Zac! Margaret

March 5, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to listen to St FM the St. Helena radio station, you do not need to download the plug-in. If you are not using windows you get the hint to point your favorite asx file interpreter (vlc works for me, but I guess any player for Internet streams might work) at the following URL:

If there is an interview with Zac, let us know ahead of time.


March 5, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger rbwilson said...

local news on Saint FM comes on at 11AM PST, according to an on-air announcment

March 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger rbwilson said...

Just heard the 11AM PST news from SaintFM in Saint Helena - we even got an interview with Zac! I'm sure that Marianne must have been listening too! He sounded just great, even though he's been up for 56 hours with no sleep! He said he just drifted enroute for a couple of days (some engine problems, and no wind), that was why he was late in arriving. Get yourself a new sat phone charger (or repair the broken one) - it's too stessful for Mom when she can't hear from you daily!

Bob Wilson
Laguna Niguel

March 5, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

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