Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Sleepless Night

Position: 06/11/09 1719Z 15 20.858N 97 04.512W

I managed to get everything sorted out in Huatulco and was out of the marina by about 1:00 in the afternoon. I weaved my way out of the tricky entrance by following my old track on the chart plotter. When I got out of the harbor I got slammed by 15 knots on the nose once again keeping me from where I wanted to go.

I tacked out to sea and picked out some way points to route me around the maze of sea mounts about 8 miles offshore. After a couple of hours of sailing along, my radar started to pick up a huge patch of squalls about 10 miles off of my bow. I went into the cockpit to take a look and the whole horizon was blackened by the approaching squalls and the lightning was lighting up the sky.

About half an hour later the squall hit with about 25 knots building to 35. I don't really care about the wind - it is just a matter of putting a reef or two in the sails. The part that is really dangerous is the lightning. If Intrepid got struck, all of the electronics would die. That would mean no radar or AIS to tell me when ships are coming too close and no chart plotter to easily route myself. It would have to be done with a hand held GPS with paper charts.

I started seeing the lighting strikes get closer and grabbed my spare, hand held GPSs and Sat Phones and put them in the microwave for protection. Somehow the microwave's insulation will save them if I get struck.

I had to hand steer through the storm that brought some short, sharp swells that if not taken right would have buried the bow nearly stopping Intrepid and give time for the 2-knot current on my nose to spin Intrepid around.

The squalls lasted about 3 hours. Three hours of watching lightning strike way too close to the boat. A friend of mine, Mike, who is a crazy sailor himself, had told me that lightning doesn't see the mast as a conductor unless it is 50 feet above the water. I did the mast is 45 feet from the deck and I don't know how high the deck is but it must be 4-5 feet off the water. I was right on the edge.

Luckily, I managed to get out unzapped, but as I made it to my first way point I found that the wind was now blowing 20 knots dead on my nose to where I wanted to be going. I tacked over and headed out to sea.

The current was ripping down the coast at about 2 knots and this was really killing my boat speed. I kept altering course and trying to get some kind of decent speed going but without much success. By now I was pretty well exhausted so I did some final sail trim just in time to see the sun rising marking another sleepless night.

I grabbed a couple hours of sleep and then called home to ask about the weather and wind. The forecast for shifting winds for the next few days. There are a few systems brewing in the Eastern Pacific this week. One is about 1000 miles south west of Baja California. It has a 50% or greater chance of becoming a tropical depression thought it does not appear to be as organized as was once thought. There is one model suggesting that a system may develop at around 13N 97W in about 3 days. This could be bad but hopefully it will just give me some wind from the right direction for a change!

Running on 2 hours sleep - gonna get a few more hours here before the sun sets.


@Anonymous: My wisdom teeth haven't bothered me again since I was off of Grenada!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac's the Man :-)

Even got time to answer Anon's while battling storms.


June 11, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Diane Wilkinson said...

thinking about you and your trip every day. you are doing a wonderful job of dealing with alot of stressful issues. I pray for daily.

June 11, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous M.H said...

Hey Zac,
Glad your doing great. When is the Welcome home party!!!! Im trying to be there.

Hey everyone I read the ESPN article and if you look REAL close you'll see that JEN did the inside photos(and here I am asking for more pictures from her)Jen AWSOME PHOTOS keep up the good work.

June 11, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I'm sorry you're being battered around out there Zac. At this moment to weather off the Redondo Beach Coast is quite ugly, looks stormy. It's a most unusual June, not the usual gloom, but cold and drizzly at times.

I continue to pray for your safety and strength. You're almost home. Don't forget to feed your body and spirit and you'll find your way.

I understand that there's a whale inside the MDR breakwater that is apparently interested in your journey as well ;)

June 11, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you get hit by lightning and lose all the nav , you can always go back to the basics right? sexton , paper charts etc.

June 11, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to hear from you again. I've followed your travels from the start but have never posted. Hang in there buddy we are all praying for your safe return. You amaze me.
David from Boise Idaho

June 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything and everything you want to know about lightning and yachts:

As for the microwave it acts as Faraday cage. It's the electro-magnetic field that zaps the electronics, like how static electricity can zap the chip of a computer when you open it up and don't clear any charges or ground it. The inside of the microwave is shielded (so the microwaves can't get out), and like wise, nothing can get it :-)

Pretty sure Laurence knows how well Intrepid is grounded and where and where not to hide or touch things when in these lightening storms.

June 11, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Well it sounds like to had a challenging departure from Huatulco. I'm glad it all turned out fine and you did not get struck by lightning. That might have ruined your day!!!

It's amazing how quick things can turn around on the ocean. In this case you really didn't really get our before meeting the challenges.

I'm glad you decided not to spin Intrepid around. That might be another bad day also.

I hope you get plenty of wind so you can make some good time coming into MDR. I'll be thinking of you and also praying for your safe return.

Sail On Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

June 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Landlubber said...


I just came across your blog and wanted to say hi and wish you luck - you're almost there!

I came across your blog in a typical internet roundabout way. I read about the ITCZ in an article about the recent Air France crash, then Googled ICTZ to learn more about it and your blog was one of the first items.

Anyway, I'm amazed at your courage and mental toughness to make such a trip. I've always dreamed about sailing around the world but live in the midwest, so the Ohio river is about as close as I get.

Keep it up!

June 11, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same about getting back to basics. Do you actually have a sextant on board. My hubby who was with British Merchant navy and spent over 50 years at sea from the time he was a boy cadet, used to shake his head in wonderment at new cadets coming on board cargo ships and who had no idea how to use a sextant and the basic navigation aids. So he would haul them out onto the bridge wing and teach them and by the time the were well into their trips they were all proficiant navigators with no electronics. I learned right along side them.
It sounds a bit "doomsday" but if all those Satelites were disabled, your GPS and other electronic Nav aides would be useless, nothing like good old Celestial navigation.
However, all that being said, you are doing a wonderful job Zac. Do you have the "channels" yet? Cheers, J.

June 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

WOW Zac...very exciting and perhaps a bit frightening that lightning! Kepp up the good work....God speed home Captain!
Waterloo NY
Captain SV Wombat

June 11, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having done that run, there's a lot to say about powering straight up. It's a rough trip because the prevailing winds are approximately 12-15 on the nose, you are moving at 6, which makes it close to 20 on the nose, straight into swells that had a long way to build.

Not an easy passage at it's best, and this time of the year isn't the best.

June 11, 2009 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Wow! Quite a dispatch!

Would love to hear your description of what a lightening strike looks like. Do you see a huge strike of lightening dead end into the water? Does it make the waves glow? Explode? What does it look like?

Think it is cool you were out there steering by hand to work around the bigger waves. Glad you are staying away from the sea mounts which could stack things up.

Hope that the weather systems brewing get just big enough to generate lots of 15-knot wind off your beam or transom, and that they don't build into storm systems.

We sure appreciate your taking time to fill us in, even when so busy and sleep deprived.

As always, stay safe.

-- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

Post Script: Was fun to see @DaveH over on Mike Perham's site, weighing in on the wisdom of the canal. Just mention that because there have been folks nudging him toward the Horn -- with its 6 hours of daylight this time of year and endless possibilities of rogue waves and storms.

As always, Mike is fun to follow. He's a fine writer and has a great spirit of adventure. The other day he posted an interview in which he talks about the fun he's had surfing down big waves in storms, and of how alert he has to be.

Why the big rap about Mike? His path is a lot like Zac's. And the other day his Dad posted a note on the site saying that his son really appreciates hearing from folks. And maybe some folks from here would enjoy saying hello over there. For whatever reason, his blog doesn't get the traffic that Zac's does. So if you'd like to see how another young kid is doing out there on the lonely ocean, you can give a look over to

June 11, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Brenda F. said...

Zac, glad you're resting...seems you're running on sheer adrenaline. 2 days on land, no thing. 2 days on water, no sleep? Quite another. (Hope you didn't mean you have a toothache...the worst) You stay in such close touch with everyone...knew it had to probably be weather. Mother nature is definitely female gender...doesn't mind kicking up a storm if she's not noticed on occasion. Hope you get at least little naps tonight. Atlanta sends you lots of luck. Bonne nuit...Mimi & Desi

June 11, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Rachel Marie Byrum said...

Hey Zac,

Storms sounds like they could be pretty scary. But I'm sure you can haddle them just fine. :-)
Well, we are praying for you the whole way back. Your going to make it fine!! God bless! :-)


June 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


The electrical phenomena you related sounds a bit scary. I know about electrical storms having frown up on the Gulf Coast and now living on NE Florida's Atlantic seaboard -- even if my observations were made from the back-porch!

Please tell us what procedures and equipment are in place to minimize the probability of Intrepid taking a lightening hit. With such precautions in place, is it possible to calculate such probability!

Sounds as though the prevailing winds at this time of year are less than ideal for this leg of your trip. We will still continue to pray for winds that are fair to your purpose.

If it continues to be an uphill slog, hand in there. We're still with you! We have the little Captain who can!

The Croaker

June 11, 2009 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Grant

Actually it's Mike's dad and their weather router who are egging him on. The one wouldn't let his son go get stuck off "windless" Panama route and the other thinks he can hop around the Cape and tuck into port's as required if he can just sneak in between the weather systems.

Oh well, what can you do.

Have a look:

June 11, 2009 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Oh, we have thunder here!

I'm praying you get some wind to push you forward instead of always trying to push you back. I hate to see your journey end because, for me anyway, it has been a great year following you around the world; yet at the same time it will be such a relief to see you get safely home.

Sail on...


June 11, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

In ck'ing latest position vs how var to go, noticed that you're "riding" the edge of the continental shelfs. Which caused me to ck the latest USGS site info for the latest on plate tetonic shifts in your area. Looks somewhat quiet for now, tho' the recent "shift alignments" further north may reach down that far. so beware "rogue waves".

Also see that you're nearing Acapulco. Me Grandmum loved anchoring there (not so me Granddad, The Capt!, nearest anchor was 100' that w/20 peeps on board in "choppy" harbor waters. Grandmum says was good "shooping" if a bit pricey.

Just some thoughts to keep in mind.

Still keeping y'all in me prayers!


June 11, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Michael Sheetz said...

Sounds like you have been fighting a lot of different things lately. When do you think you will be in Marina del Ray? I really would like to come to your welcome home party but if it is after the 29th then I won't be able to come :( I want to get a picture autographed and maybe pick up a DVD.
Trusting in God,
Michael Sheetz
Mission Viejo, CA

June 11, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger BritDee said...

Way to go, Zac! you continuously amaze us with your grit and discipline.
Be safe and know that so many of us are thinking of you.

June 11, 2009 at 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac you are doing a great job. Be safe and enjoy your time at sea while you can. You will come home to being a senior/graduate and all of the stress that that entails. Be happy that you did not have to participate in the college rat race that your peers - one of the largest classes in the last several years - had to endure. The competition to get into college this past spring was crazy. Think about your future and what that may be.

I am curious about the ANONs on this blog. Seem to be experienced sailors and quite possibly people who post regularly but might want to post ANON. . . .?

Don't get me wrong, I have followed you from the beginning and have always posted ANON. I have sailed in the BVI's and Mediterranean but I am would not consider myself an experienced sailor.

Keeping you in my thoughts.

June 11, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Grant Fjermedal... I didn't know Mike had a public blog on his site... I'll look for it. He really is a good writer, and his enthusiasiasm for the trip is quite infectious. I just hope he has the good sense to take it carefully when the time comes. If he does head for the Horn, maybe he can take Slocum's route through the islands instead of into the deep blue of the Southern Ocean. I would also advise him to head for Panama, but who am I? Nobody.
Meanwhile, our Zac is only 2000 miles from LA! (Only...?!) The last time I was out there with lightning and my family on board it was high anxiety the whole time. The mast felt 1000 feet tall.


June 11, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Zac's entire voyage going to be like this all the way to Marina del Ray? Or is it just this particular region?

At what point is it back to normal sailing?

Jeeze, what a way to come home. A fight to the end.

June 11, 2009 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger MD said...


I don't know how I didn't know about your voyage until the last week of May, and although we do not know each other I just wanted to say that I am proud of you Zac, you have provided an invaluable service to those of us not in position to take a year off from our lives to pursue a love such as you have, and by reading the bits and pieces of about your voyage that I have, along with the innovation's that are required to create when nothing else will do to avert catastrophe, You have provided a vehicle by which we landlubbers are able to live vicariously through you, and experience the drama of a day at sea.

warmest regards,

Zach Van Draden
Fort Worth

I thought this quote from Thoreau might say something to you of import;

"He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles."
~Henry David Thoreau

June 11, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger ponyscott said...

Stay strong Zac!


June 11, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger JBo said...

Zac, we are praying for you every day. I will be praying for favorable winds and NO lightning strikes! Praying that you can continue to praise HIM in the midst of the chaos. :-)

June 11, 2009 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

I suppose a lightening strike would truly be an enlightening experience!

On a serious note it would not be a good thing at all! How well does a fiberglass hull deal with a strike with respect to delamination, cracking, etc?

June 11, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

If I were so lucky as to make it to the Welcome Home Party for Zac, I would certainly be looking for name tags that said: Anonymous.

Some of the most interesting posts seem to come from these modest folks. ;-)

@Anonymous who provided the Yachting Monthly article link. All I can say is: "Yikes!"

I hadn't seen that article. It explains a lot. But: "Yikes!"

Especially with only 6 hours of daylight at Cape Horn this time of year, I'd hate to see Mike try to go through the Magellen Passage, as the closer to land he got the wackier the waves would be, and the greater the danger of his ending up on the rocks.

Oh well, no need to fret, I suppose. But the odd thing is that all of us Armchair Sailors, following Zac and Mike, get kind of attached to them just via the magic of the written word after all of these months. And so you sure don't like to see them in danger.

This is why we all cringe when we read about Zac bashing into adverse seas with lightening exploding all around him. And this is why we fuss about Mike considering Cape Horn in Winter.

(If he does round in Winter, I'll be the first to say Hooray! And I'll just feel like the grandfather in Peter in the Wolf who all the way through the happy ending kept muttering: "But What If!"

@Anonymous J: Your Hubby who spent 50 years on merchant ships, pulling young cadets up onto the bridge wing to teach them how to use a sextant and do the math of real navigators. All I can say is that he must live on and on and on within the hearts of a very great many people. I bet he figures in all sorts of great stories.

And that Thoreau poem that Zach Van Draden posted shows that Thoreau must have either been a sailor or known a helmsman. (Maybe unbeknownst to the world he kept a sailing pram out at Walden Pond). ;-)

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

June 11, 2009 at 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is people like you that give us the older generation hope. With strong, God loving people like you I know planet earth will remain in good hands for many centuries to come. Thanks for renewing my faith in youth and in God's power to watch over you on this special voyage you have undertaken.In the future young people will look at your strenth and faith as a guide to allow them to accomplish great things.

Key West, FL

June 12, 2009 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger smclean150 said...


Just read the article about you in ESPN the Mag and checked out your are incredible and your parents have to be the proudest parents in the entire world! Congratulations on your progress, I wish you God's speed for the remainder of your journey.


Scott McLean
Buffalo, NY

June 12, 2009 at 4:17 AM  
Anonymous aillen c said...

hi zac!
when do you think u will dock at marina del rey? i live in the area and i want to be there to see you and cheer you on.
im prayin for your safety and success. ur amazing!
read about you in therebelution you apparently was wearing a DO HARD THINGS shirt. so so proud of you!!!!
god bless you

June 12, 2009 at 4:52 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Oh Zac Zac Zac
I'm so bummed bummed bummed that i might miss your homecoming:{
I hoped and prayed you would come in next week or the weekend of the i will be at the river for my husbands 50th sticken luck!!

I ordered your DVD the day it came out and picked up the magazine too....what are the chances of sending it to you for your autograph?

Well Zac i must agree with have your self a fight till the end with this crazy weather. Here in the desert, we would be baking with 110+ temps by now but instead were are enjoying the dry mid 80-90's!! Great weather for everything.

I told your mom in an e-mail last week that i want you and your family to consider us as one of your host family's if ever in the Palm Desert, Palm Springs area..we have great mountains to hike and sunshine ever day.. the closest we get to water is a lake at one of the many golf courses haha.

So Zac, your almost sweet it's going to be to see your family again..i'm tearing up just thinking about it.

I know your probley getting tired of hearing this but please please be safe as you come into the home stretch.
Hurry home!
Bermuda Dunes CA

PS anyone have a number of Zac followers yet? Just wondering.

PSS almost bought a pair of hiking shoes that were called "INTREPID" but they didn't have my size..see how my luck is lol

June 12, 2009 at 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy Zac....I just wish you could have some respite and enjoy this last leg home. I don't like to think that you are having to worry about lighning and other stuff!
Stay safe.
You are nearly home and doing a fantastic, awesome job...

UK friend

June 12, 2009 at 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Oh my, Zac, you're not going to have it easy this last leg, huh? But you know how to do the hard things :)
As I've thought many times reading your blog, I can't fathom what you're going through, so I really appreciate your great descriptions! I get nervous just driving through a thunderstorm! (which I avoid as much as possible)

Anyway, glad you're making progress of some sort, and as always looking forward to your next blog.

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

June 12, 2009 at 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac is a true inspiration to us all! I will never again be afraid of the dark or a thunderstorm, because I'll think...if Zac is brave enough to be out in the middle of the ocean, in the dark, in a thunderstorm, in a little boat, well then I have nothing to be afraid of.

By the way, to see the comments on Mike Perham's blog, you have to click on Blog in the header on the home page, and then click on the title for that day (appears in blue). The comments are below the blog entry. It's a little more difficult to find than Zac's comments, which could be why he doesn't get as many.

June 12, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Lisa in Mt. Juliet, TN said...


I can't hardly stand that this is almost over and I can't hardly wait for you to get home!!! I can only imagine what your family is feeling at this time. What an adventure. My boss set me on the path of the Zacpackers last year when you were just getting started on this trip (about two weeks out) and I've been hooked ever since. I find myself praying for you in the evenings as you pop up into my heart. I know the power of prayer and agreement and I've been joining in with the rest of the Zacpackers to get you home!

Be safe young Zac and Psalm 91!!!

June 12, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your latest...with the fight uphill and wind on the nose. Zach Van Draden from texas provided some interesting words from Thoreau.
Sail on, buddy.
Kodiak Mike

June 12, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have not found how to buy your book/dvd. Where do I order it?


June 12, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been following your journey since your interview on Mark & Brian. I really enjoy your daily posts... it's the first thing I read every morning.

I pray that this last leg of your adventure will continue to be a safe one.

Mission Viejo

June 12, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the article in ESPN last week and have been reading your blog often. Wow, what you are doing is truly amazing. Good luck - sounds like you are on the home stretch! I just wish I had started reading your blog earlier!

June 12, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger rockonmc said...

First wanted to say that I'm happy you're safe after that crazy lightening business and that I hope you get a decent amount of sleep soon! Also, I've been following your blog since you left California, and wanted to wish you congrats on making it this far. Can't wait for your next blog update!

Keep up the awesome work!


June 12, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Big Arnie been invited?? I'd expect he'd be very interested and fully appreciative of the task,knowing the mental fitness and challenge to push one's self from his weight training days!

That and he can spread the positive message to the youth of today.

All that and he may be so interested he would want to make a movie about it all :-)))

Someone send him an invite and details ASAP of everything if he doesn't already know.

June 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...


Lightening is not really the kind of show that you want front row seat. Tighten that harness!

Birmingham, AL

June 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Steve in CA again--Couple of thoughts here:

I post under Anon just because I'm 62 and (while pretty computer savvy) get VERY tired of opening accounts, registering passwords and such...its got nothing to do with hiding my identity!) OH, did I mention just lazy as well?

@ Grant and Axe1, Daveh- you guys are clearly experienced sailors and, your disclaimers aside, its great for everybody to hear your observations and suggestions. (Of all of us you guys know that where the rail hits the water, you make your own decisions...the rest is just chatter. -)

@ Mike's trip and blog: Clearly the guy has got what it takes, is no fool and I doubt if he'd take serious risks when the decision point comes. Unless he ommitted the part about having pee'd his pants when he woke up with the boat on beam ends, he has a clear head in tight spots as well. I'd sure have some serious muscle tightening issues surfing 20+ knots down 30+ swell in the dark...I'd have it even more in something other than a full keeled cruiser!- Give me a little Westsail in that stuff)

re: His blog activity...I do check in there often, but my sense is the same from the first...his trip is same but VERY different. Here Zac is in his OWN boat, and a modest boat at that. While Mike has a rented racer, water ballasted, twin rudders and all.

Sure, I appreciate the fast, sail flat out -"hope my technology holds together" racing, but Zac's more basic approach is closer to my heart. Both of them have had gear failures, but Mike's corp team flies the expert down from Spain or the rudder bearings (twice?) from France. Zac gets his spares by the grace of plain old folks, his Dad and a few professionals who chip in when needed. Zac's attempt feels to me more like his own, while (to me) Mike's venture feels like he's just the driver of the fast car with the full pit crew waiting in the wings.

Steve in CA

June 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are we all gonna do once you are home?? No more blogs, no more adventures about you. I feel like I have been on the boat with you and I don;t want to go home.

June 12, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has just occurred to me what Zac was getting at in one of his interviews, or it might have been one with Mom, where asked about the so-called record, with two people on the water right now, his answer was that he wants to be the first one home. And that there is nothing he can do about the record. He "just wants to be the first one home". It makes perfect sense. Totally understandable. Because what that means is thathe will be the first 17 year old to have completed this.

All the others were 18 years old plus.

Makes complete sense. The first in his age group one can call it. No one can ever take that away from him. The youngest may come and go change hands from time to time, whether it's by months of the age or routes or type of ships whatever. But Zac will always be the first 17 year old to have completed a circumnavigation of the world solo. And thereafter the next bracket would be 16 years old. Which of course includes the youngest. Even so, that person would only be the first 16 year old and the chances of any 15/16 even being allowed to "try" this are very slim. Let alone making it.

So I can fully understand and appreciate Zac's reply to that question. Makes complete sense. The youngest to do this will always change hands, but Zac Sunderland will always be the first 17 year old to have accomplished that. To me that's a cooler record than all the others. It will remain forever.

That has a very very nice ring to it :-)

June 12, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Alpha Otter said...


I'm an ESPN reader up here in Santa Barbara, CA. and was blown away by this adventure you are on. That ESPN article was truly inspiring and encouraging. My brother lived in Marina Del Rey for years, so I thought that was cool that was your launching point. I'm praying for you and am asking the Lord to be your guiding pillar of cloud by day, and your protective wall of fire by night. Here is an encouraging verse from the Psalms:

"I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in spacious ground." -Psalm 31:7,8

God speed!

June 12, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

@ Steve.
You brought it right down to the point.
Zac's boat is a lot smaller but has already proofen to be the right boat for that trip.
Mike's boat type already had a lot of problems in previous races so in my oppinion that thing is a suicide machine for a 16 year old especially going around Cape Horn this time of year. (Please don't butcher me for that phrase). I really wish Mike all the best for his trip.
Yep - what are we going to do once Zac is back home :-(? I hope we will be informed about the next trip so we all can jump aboard again.
Finishing school will be a piece of cake and than into the boating/yachting business.
@ Laurence.
Your business homepage is really great. Putting the family pictures on the hp is even better.

June 12, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds pretty challenging mate. We're thinking of you.

Chris and John
Moana 4

June 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Squeak_Toy said...

I think....if Zac wants to mush dogs over an icy tundra...he needs to come up here to wisconsin and test the weather by snowboarding with us first! otherwise, I don't think the Caly kid could make it. =P hee-hee...

Squeak Toy & Caleb

June 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Squeak_Toy said...

I think....if Zac wants to mush dogs over an icy tundra...he needs to come up here to wisconsin and test the weather by snowboarding with us first! otherwise, I don't think the Caly kid could make it. =P hee-hee...

Squeak Toy & Caleb

June 12, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray Mike's heading to Panama!! One less thing to worry about :-)

Actually they inadvertantly revealed that the other day when they said only 10,000 miles (which is the max) to go till home, because via the Cape it's 12,000 miles (which is the min) :-)

Somehow the surprise was reserved and just announced in some yacthing mag today :-). Just as well, Saito is STILL stuck down there !!! Now more than a month. If you look at the weather streams, its been constant 50 kts winds constantly whipping around Cape Horn for the past 4 weeks, and continues to do so. Aside from paying for his rescue, I don't think he can sail out!

June 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what was the "Governator"'s response to the invite?

Hustle people hustle :-)

He needs to be there for the arrival.

Forget the tug boat, Arnie can pull Intrepid in with one hand :-))

June 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat surprised by the lack of creative marketing by corporate America at this juncture. Not being from the US, I had to look up thiks "in-out-burger" Zac has been mentioning through out his trip. Turns out to be a family owned SoCal "hip" simple burger joint with a legion of fans and followers. (look it up on wiki for the full picture). If I recall correctly Zac's mentioned the burger at least 3 times spread out over this year. And that's a genuine desire for "home food cooking" whenever asked what he eats etc. At the same time I recall reading something somewhere, where either a pizza place or some food place, guaranteed delivery to anywhere and someone took them up on that guarantee and many many miles later, they did in fact deliver the food as promised. Seems to me that once Zac hits US waters, all he needs to do is make a call to some fast food place with delivery, and give them his coordinates. Let us see if they in fact do deliver it! Air-drop or M/V. Come on Corporate America, wake up and deliver :-) Pity Nike doesn't do sails and rudders and sailing things. they "get it" seems everyone else doesn't :-(

June 12, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Lee/MDR said...

I'm so glad you didn't get a cat.

June 12, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

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