Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update from Mom

Latest Position: 04/27/09 2315Z 11 4.805N 56 59.744W (280 miles from St George's, Grenada)

From Mom (Zac taking a day off):

It is a huge relief every morning when Zac calls to check in. He is doing really well. He is more than in the groove - he's in the zone now. When we ask what we can bring him from home, he can't think of anything. When I tell him that we are planning a hero's welcome for his return, he replies, "Why? I'm just sailing." Laurence and I figured it was probably best to let him stay in the zone where he doesn't quite realize the dramatic difference between our lives and his. Or maybe it is we who don't realize that he really is content out there.

Laurence left for Grenada today after meticulously loading and unloading his bags to keep the weight down. At one point he took a tiny bottle of Ibuprofen out of his bag saying that he could just take some of Zac's if he needed any. (He is always bringing Zac's home with him, thus the bottle in his bag.) That is when I knew it was time for bed. :)

Laurence, Jen and Mike Smith (electrical engineer) all met up in San Juan, Porto Rico for the final flight into Grenada. They just Skyped us to let us know that all was well with them. All of Laurence and Mike's parts and tools passed through with no problem. Jen, who while running late, had to pound on the door of her flight out of Chicago, will have to pick up her baggage tomorrow.

There has been some talk of the repair to Zac's RayMarine radar. Laurence has been on the phone with Ray Marine and the local experts at Maritime Communications in Marina del Rey to troubleshoot Zac's radar. There is an error message. It appears to be a power issue. Although it is an interesting theory to try to disassemble the dome while at sea, I'm sure that it would be impossible considering the dome is some 20 feet or more up the mast and Zac is in 15-20 knots of wind with a 10' swell. I'll get Laurence to comment on that repair when he gets to it.

There were also a few comments this morning that sounded confused. I accidentally posted Zac's blog before checking my typos. The only way to remove it was to re-post a blank blog in its place. Then I got busy helping Laurence pack and didn't re-re-post til much later. Sorry for the confusion. Zac got a good laugh out of it this morning and commented, "Man!! You can't leave those guys alone for five minutes!" Spoken like a true older brother.

Some business:

1. KCET will be airing their segment on Zac called The Year of Living Dangerously on Thursday night at 8pm. I'll find out when it will go online at their web site www.kcet.org/socal You can go there now to see the trailer they put together.

2. Don't neglect to sign up for Zac's Newsletter. It is the red star-shaped icon on the margin of the blog and the main page of his web site. You will receive an email asking if you really want to sign up that you must answer in order to finish signing up. We will be sending out a test message soon.

@Tim: I haven't heard that Rudyard Kipling poem in ages. I'll read it to Zac in the morning.

@Grant: Great advice to remind Zac to think twice before doing things. Pray that nothing serious goes wrong.

@Birgit: Nice to here from you! I will never forget the kindness of the people at Rodrigues Island in Zac's time of need. Awesome! Post the link to our blog when it is up!

@Everyone: Thank you for continuing to support Zac.


Zac's proud mom


Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Zac if U look over to your left U can see hot Trinidanian Tropicana Beach Girls in bikinis. That will definitely keep your eyes open!

Ok Lil Buddy time for the "hard yards" now that you are on final approach to Grenada. Be Safe.

April 28, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Trevor Leslie, London UK said...

"Why? I'm just sailing."

"Man!! You can't leave those guys alone for five minutes!" (Spoken like a true older brother.)


April 29, 2009 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger john said...

Sounds like Zac's really enjoying himself, despite having to take his sleep in catnaps.

I think you've mentioned this before, but I can't find it. When, (ballpark), are you anticipating the triumphant return to MDR?

April 29, 2009 at 4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac's proud mum....and you have every right to be.
I'm so proud of him and he isn't anything to do with me!
But...he has captured my heart.
He is an amazing young man.

So glad that all went well for Laurence and co-travellers.I hope that they have a fruitful time in Grenada, get all their jobs done and that they get time to enjoy one anothers company.

Thanks for the update Marianne, with everything else that is going on. You are amazing too!

UK friend

April 29, 2009 at 5:23 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Marianne,

Thanks you so much for that great post. It's great to hear that Zac is really in the zone now.

We'll pray that Laurence has a great trip and that radar gets repaired without incident.

I can't wait to see the KCET special tomorrow night. I'm sure all the Zac Pac will be tuned in and watching. Let's make sure the Zac Pac brings up the KCET ratings tomorrow night.

Sail On Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

April 29, 2009 at 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This second leg of this leg, after crossing the equator seems to have flown by. Very exciting. In 24 hours Zac will be in Grenada. Amazing. Seems like only yesterday he was all the way back on St Helena. Google Earth's aerial of the port in Grenada looks awesome. I'm guessing Zac will feel just like ancient Mariner's who sailed days on end finally to sight land and a safe harbour when he finally gets there.

I'm wondering is sailors get attached to their boats. Just reading here daily Intrepid keeps reminding me of a faithful loyal reliable dog getting Zac home. Other than bolted on third party accessories, she's been rock solid in her task and hasn't wavered to date. Earlier there was talk of what to do with her when this is all over, the mere mentioning of selling her or discarding her made me feel sad. As though she were a pet or a reliable doggy. :-( Or is it all business for sailors love 'em and leave 'em :-)

April 29, 2009 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger crazynaruto55 said...

u are aesome to me and my little bros i know u can make and well see u when u get here peace man u real from the heavens above aj thompson

April 29, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


Thanks for the post. Sounds like things are going extremely well considering the equipment malfunctions, catnaps, etc. Zac is an incredible son! He is bold. Laurence is a tremendous father and protector; however, I think we all have a pretty good idea of where is the linch-pin and who is the pivot point who is keeping it all running!

It is also very encouraging to see that Zac's sense of humor is as alive and sharp as ever. If that characteristic is still functioning, he must have everything else in good perspective.

Our faith has never wavered.

The Croaker

April 29, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger km said...

When I look at my own boys 7 & 6, I can't imagine all this. Zac. My boys have been following your trip since the beginning. We loved your article in God's World News. Mom. You are amazing. I'm so glad that God as your Rock has gotten you through this far. Prayers for safety to the end.

April 29, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, Chris here Bill Manns neighbor. I have not posted in awhile but still check in twice a day. I have been busy putting my web site together and doing a lot of personal and spiritual growth. Thanks in large part to Zac, who is an inspiration even to us non-sailors who one day aspire to the magic of our worlds oceans. When Zac says that he is "simply sailing" He does not see the bigger picture of what he is really doing, the age is a big thing, and yes records are another. I guess because of what we have all been going through as a nation, the romantic idea of escapism sure is at the forefront of everyones dream. Not just to dream, or escape from problems but to accomplish goals as part of realizing those dreams. Would still love to coordinate efforts to get Zac a visit to the Whitehouse when he returns. You may want to get your local house senate rep for Thousand Oaks to write a letter to the President on your behalf. I have already written two. Or we can all coordinate a wrting campaign or e-mail campaign to the Whitehouse. Zac is certainly deserving and has proved himself to be a great American ambassador and all American hero for never giving up. I know he flies that flag proudly.

Chris Carnaghi
Alhambra, CA

April 29, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Just checked the "SoCal Connected" website. Zac's story will air Thursday night at 8 p.m. & Friday night at 8:30 p.m. Two chances to see Zac & Dad. What a great story!

Rory...let's not refer to Zac as "Little Buddy." Look what happened to the S.S. Minnow. Then again...Zac doesn't have Gilligan as his First Mate. :-)

Sail on, sail on, Sailor!


MDR via Santa Clarita

April 29, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot, Zac must be in Eastern Time Zone now? Beautiful sunny warm 88 deg. 20 KM winds. Still sunny out longer day light. Glorious sailing in through. Must be a cool feeling for both Mom and Zac only 3 hour time difference apart. For Zac must feel like being back in the hood in a non-foreign time zone LOL.

April 29, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's the Zacster's news today? Still a beautiful warm sunlit day @ 8:00 pm on the Eastern Time Zone.

No longer have to wait till 3 am for updates :-)

April 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anon

about Intrepid being rock solid and doing her job to bring young Zac home, very true and very touching etc.

However he should have named Intrepid 'Lady Marianne' :-)

April 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Marianne: Zac most certainly knows the difference between his two existences.

The final stages of Zac's journey are coming together. With each tick of the list the energy builds as we look forward to his safe and timely return.

@ Zac: enjoy some much needed R & R and lots of ice-cold Gator's! Get the hard stuff done first and enjoy your visit with electrical engineer, Jen, and most of all, your Dad!

Looking forward to hearing from you once you're in.

April 29, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

PS from Melanie:

OMG, I almost forgot to mention the KCET show featuring Zac on tomorrow night. I just auto-tuned it and I can't wait to see it!

April 29, 2009 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

I've just been reading through the archives, and it is still an amazing story.

I remember so well the feelings of disappointment as the departure day kept moving later and later. But I also remember the thrill of the first few days, the short stop at Catalina, and the initial leg across the Pacific. It seems like yesterday when the decision to go to Hawaii was made. And here we all are now, reaching for Grenada, and back in US time zones.

So incredibly much has happened, some thrills, some scares, some incredible friendships, and connections.
So many miles have passed under her hull, and breezes over her sails.
So many prayers sent, and so many prayers answered.
And through it all is one boy grown to a man, one family brought closer and focused, two parents sharing in the joys and the tears, the pride and the concern, and not soon enough to feel the arms wrapped in love around them, from a son safe at home, now belonging to the world.

April 29, 2009 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger kenintoronto said...

There is an article about Jessica Watson's upcoming attempt at solo circumnavigation.

The artcle also mentions Zac's quest, but has his route wrong.



April 30, 2009 at 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Could we get the AIS ID number for Intrepid. That way we could track Zac online going through the Panama Canal

April 30, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger kenintoronto said...

Correction to link for article on Jessic and Zac.


April 30, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh davejb851....do you supply Kleenex with your blogs....what wonderful sentiments, so eloquently stated, so very true....thank you.

UK friend

April 30, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

@ Anon UK Friend

You pretty well analyzed the comments of davejb851. I'd add that he almost committed poetry there!

I appreciate the way he summed up the experience we've all had over the past many months. Zac, Marianne, and Laurence have certainly kept us involved in a way I'd not have expected without actually being physically there. It's been great!

The Croaker

April 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeze, the suspense is killing ... Zac in port yet or what

April 30, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Anonymous LAURA said...

@ davejb851 wow that was good.. now i have to explain the tears running down my face to my co-workers...good tears though lol ..thanks :}

April 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Glen said...

Buenas noches a todos!!!
Hace bastante tiempo que no escribo en el blog de ZAC.
Aunque lo sigo leyendo y en más de una oportunidad me han nombrado, aprovecho la ocasión para disculparme por no haberme hecho presente y/ o agradecer algún comentario,
Bueno, el fin de este Post es simplemente para mencionar una vez más, de cómo ha CRECIDO y MADURADO ZAC en su Aventura. De las cosas que ha aprendido y de las cosas que HA ENSEÑADO de una forma u OTRA a TODOS los que de una forma están a bordo (aunque en forma Virtual) del INTREPID.
Por ello, YO agradezco haber tenido la oportunidad de seguir su viaje alrededor del mundo, y haber aprendido mucho, MUCHO de las cosas que le sucedían y como las solucionaba, de cuanta tenacidad, perseverancia, amor, continuidad y pasión pone en las cosas que hace, en este caso la navegación a vela, y lo que me ha enseñado particularmente a MI día a día, por eso y mucho mas … MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS ZAC!!!
Con respecto al señor de las tijeras; aun recuerdo sus bromas y esbozo una sonrisa, Si , hablo de ti Bill Mann, ! pobre Zac!, no sabe lo que le espera..
Douglas Pistones, realmente Admirable tu asistencia en el blog y siempre manteniendo tu buena onda y tu positividad.
Anita siempre genial como el primer día….
A Uds. LOS SUNDERLAND’s, solo podría decir lo siguiente, que de la GRANDEZA y FORTALEZA de UDS solo podía Salir un hijo como ZAC…
FELICITACIONES, han engendrado, criado y educado un EJEMPLO A SEGUIR.

Por todo ello y mucho mas , MUCHAS GRACIAS..

Glen Ingouville.
Buenos Aires

April 30, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Machine text translation (apologies to Glen)...

Good night to all!
For enough time I have not been writing in blog of ZAC.
Although I continue it reading and on more than one ocassion they have named me, I take advantage of the occasion to excuse to me by to me not to have made present and/or to thank for some commentary,
Good, the aim of this Post is simply for mentioning once again, of how IT HAS GROWN and MATURED ZAC in his Adventure. Of the things that have learned and the things that HAVE TAUGHT of a form or ANOTHER ONE ALL those that of a form they are on board (although in Virtual form) of the INTREPID.
For that reason, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to follow his trip around the world, and to have learned much, MUCH of the things that happened to him and as it solved them, of whichever tenacity, perseverancia, love, continuity and passion she puts in the things that do, in this case navigation to candle, and what she has taught particularly to MY day to day, for that reason and much more… VERY MANY GRACIAS ZAC!
With respect to the gentleman of the scissors; even memory its jokes and outline a smile, If, I speak of you Bill Mann! Zac poor man! , he does not know what he hopes to him.
Douglas Pistons, really Admirable your attendance in blog and always maintaining your good wave and your positividad.
Always brilliant Anita like the first day….
To You SUNDERLAND' s, single could say the following thing, that the GREATNESS and single STRENGTH of YOU a son like ZAC could Leave…
CONGRATULATIONS, have generated, bred and educated an EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW.
By all it and much more, Thank you very much.

April 30, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when will he get home????????

April 30, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please, please do not apply the term "hero" so freely.
Too many troops, only slightly older than Zac, in Iraq and Aphganistan jumping on I.E.D.s to save their buddies.
Adventureous, maybe, hero, ?

April 30, 2009 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree- Adventurer - YES

Hero is in a different category.

Adventurer is still admirable.

April 30, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

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