Monday, June 22, 2009

In Paradise - Village

Good News!
Zac arrived safely in Nueva Vallarta this afternoon. He had secured the area around the cracked bulkhead well and with calmer winds and seas, he was actually able to have a decent night's sleep despite the shipping and concern over his rig.

As it turns out, Zac would probably have had to pull in to port anyway due to Tropical Storm Andres that has stubbornly persisted in traveling north up the coast. All being perfect, Zac hopes to catch the tail end of the system with it's favorable wind direction to push him north some before the customary northwesterlies fill in again.

Although Zac was more than a little disappointed at the setback, he was pretty happy when he learned that the only available slip was in Paradise Village Marina. We stayed there on our boat Amazing Grace years ago when we cruised the area as a family. Zac was about ten. We had just crossed the Sea of Cortez towards the coast of mainland Mexico. After a few days sweltering in the humidity and a Red Tide condition that left rotting, smelling fish all around the boat, we pulled into Paradise Village Marina and their 5 swimming pools, laundry mat, Internet cafe and grocery store. Paradise on earth it was! Laurence was doing some rigging and had the bosun's chair rigged to the mast to pull him up the mast. He was offering to pull the kids up but none of them got past the first spreaders out of fear of the height. Laurence, obviously looking for a laugh, offered me $100 to go to the top of the mast. I immediately thought of the local shopping and realized that there was nothing at all that I wanted to buy (this was before seeing the batik sarongs for sale). $200. "No". "I'll go Dad." said Zac. Hmmmmm... "OK"

Zac made it to the top of the mast and back down again with out a word. $200 in hand Zac, always the savvy consumer, approached a nearby cruising boat that was selling an electric scooter that could not fit aboard the boat. He purchased it and set about wowing all of the cruising kids for the next week. And you can be sure that Laurence never let him forget what you can do if you have the right attitude!

Sorry to go on and on. I really love that story. :) I'm going to get lots of emails now telling me how I need attention and that I need to get a life!

They don't know that I have the best life in the world.

I'm sure we will get the inside story from Zac as soon as we can find a reliable Internet or phone connection.



Blogger Sally said...

So glad to hear Zac is in port, and the rig made it without further problems. Hoping all goes well with the repairs and he can catch that favorable wind on Andres' tail to push him closer to home!

June 22, 2009 at 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thaks be to God!
And that storm is heading right across his recent path while he is safe in port. His ways are mysterious.


June 22, 2009 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Mama Lamba said...

Marianne, you *have* an amazing life and wonderful family! As Mr. Gilbreath in the old "Cheaper by the Dozen" film boasted: "Pioneer stock!" We're a homeschooling family of 7 and are praying for Zac and all of your family.

June 22, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Marianne,

Thanks for the great update. I loved the Zac story and taking $200.00 from Daddy. I'm sure Laurence won't pull that one again.

Please keep a close eye on Andreas and make sure everything looks good before Zac leaves. I'm sure Zac didn't like the set back but everything happens for a reason.

Let us know what happened to Intrepid and the extent of the damage as soon as you know something.

Marianne, thanks for keeping us informed. One more time "SUPER MOM" posts again.

Diagnose Intrepid & The Weather,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

June 22, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Tricia in Vancouver, BC said...

Thanks Marianne for letting us know Zac's safe. That is a great story. It's really good to know too that he has you and Laurence and all the siblings to come home to. I can only imagine that coming back to urban life and all the attention he'll be getting will be a shock to the system.

My best to you all.

June 22, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia in Cherry Valley said...

Wonderful, wonderful news. What a relief. Prayers will continue.

Sylvia in Cherry Valley, CA

June 22, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

Another big problem corrected by the young man on the sea. You never cease to amaze Zac with your ingenuity and ability to see the end result. Even 10 years ago, you knew how to get that scooter.

It sounds like Marianne is breaking down into a younger time with fewer worries. Signs of stress relieved I hope.

Looking foward to a swift journey up the coast with no further problems.

Enjoy your short stay and get back here. You cannot keep us waiting forever. Besides, I am cutting so much fabric that my shears are getting dull.

Bill Mann

June 22, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank God he made it. I've been checking back every 15 minutes hoping to get news. Thank you Marianne for the update and the story. I believe all of us ZacPackers will be sleeping better tonight.

June 22, 2009 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the story! Thanks for sharing it.

I hadn't caught the blog for a couple of days and noticed the reports of the tropical storm tonight, so I quick checked in to see where Capt. Zac was now. Glad to find he's in a good place to sit out the storm.


June 22, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Pam said...

Wow...somehow the past year escaped without me hearing your story but I just want to tell you how inspiring it has been to everyone I've told, from me, an ordinary middle-aged businesswoman with my own teenage daughter to my dearest friend's children who are in elementary school to my very elderly friends at the nursing home. It's not the journey of your sailing - remarkable in itself, to be sure! - but the freedom of your spirit and your courage to put unwavering faith in yourself and your maker, that have touched me the most. Congratulations on your journey and may you continue to explore and inspire!
And don't forget to thank your parents for ALSO having the faith courage to let your dreams unfold. Their gifts to you cannot be measured. Way to go, Sunderlands! Well done all!

June 22, 2009 at 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Marianne, thank you SO much for posting that story, I absolutely love it!

I'm glad Zac is safe and in a familiar and very nice place to ride out the storm!

This is all for the good!


June 22, 2009 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger David W said...

Thank G-d that he reached shore safely. He and the other "kids" circumnavigating and one young British girl, rowing from OZ to Mauritius are always in my prayers for their safe return to their families.

June 22, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous The Kittiwake Kids said...

"They don't know that I have the best life in the world" Amen! Thanks for the glimpse of the Sutherland family. Godspeed Zac!

June 22, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Rory Gogan Singapore said...

OK time for some levity...
MA, Class move to say, "No".
I live in Asia where woman, poles, and $100 bucks takes on a whole different meaning...Not sure about the bosun chair..that probably costs extra.
((Back in your cage Rory))

June 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...


Thanks for the update and that very
insightful story. No criticism from

I am so glad that Zac made it to a
familiar port. I will be looking fro
his update soon. I hope he gets some

God bless and Godspeed.

Glenn in Wash State

June 22, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger ponyscott said...

way to go Marianne and your great quest to keep us all posted on Zacs whereabouts...let him sleep and rest and repair things.....we are all waiting on baited breath on all that entails in the coming weeks or so..

Take care!

Scott in Dallas

June 22, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Anonymous JiffyLube said...

I like those little stories Marianne! Good to hear all is fine with Zac and the boat.

June 22, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Brenda F. said...

Hey Zac!!!!!! The sun'll come out tomorrow! If it doesn't, maybe there's room service, & a laundromat! Patch &'ll be back on the super sea soon. In the meantime, luxury in paradise. You certainly deserve it. Wishes worked. You're safe at dock...prayers answered, especially since Mother Nature forgot you were a sailboat, not a spaceship. Rest easy, keep a weather on the horizon.
Brenda F.
PS-Sorry I missed the letter in the email address earlier. Good letter Marianne.

June 22, 2009 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Praise the Lord, and thanks for the post. On pins and needles all day. (Who needs to get a life? Goodness, you've got a very full life.) Thank you for sharing the cute story about Zac. Maybe his book will need a prologue of sorts with lots of such cute stories, though he might think otherwise!

Your sailor will be home in due course. Blessed be!

Woodland Hills, CA

June 22, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

Marianne -

Could sense your joy and relief in the message you posted. ;-)

Hooray for safe harbors!

May we all find shelter from the storm when needed . . . and the courage and strength to go onward when the journey time comes.

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

June 22, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such an awesome God.
Good Rest, good food, good people to help fix Intrepid and then back at it in calmer weather.

Stay Safe one and all,
Bend, OR

June 22, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Bless you, Marianne, for letting us know that Zac is safe and in port. You are the best!!!

Blessings -
WA St.

June 22, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Well done Zac, Well done indeed!
Bob in OKC

June 22, 2009 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what happened to the bike when you left there? Did Zac go inland and flip it for $400 or did you take it with?

June 23, 2009 at 3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh Marianne -- I love that story, too! What a wonderful start to my day.

Your messages are always captivating and it is so nice to "hear" from you again. CindyinCincy

June 23, 2009 at 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If I were Zac's mom I would feel the same way and do the same thing as you are. You go, girl! Be proud of that son of yours!

June 23, 2009 at 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Great update, Marianne! Thanks for letting us know about Zac and for sharing that great story from your family from the same spot he's in today... Looking forward to the next update... Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

June 23, 2009 at 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone been watching the progress of Mike Perham lately? Seems he's on his way to Panama and nearly at the equator (01° 44.7093 S, 117° 59.6440 W) which puts him a *mere* 1800 miles from Zac! Weird really when they both set off from Cape Town not so long ago in totally opposite directions!


June 23, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marianne, you don't need a life! Stories must give you comfort waiting for Zac to come home. This is an amazing venture and I can't wait to see how it ends - we've even come up with a new name for our boat out of this story!
Watching from Ontario, Canada to see how this unfolds!

June 23, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Thanks for the update Marianne. Glad Zac can revisit a port that has such fond memories. Hope the repairs can be made in time to take advantage of the favorable winds.


June 23, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Kodiak Mike said...

Zac, Marianne, Laurence & Zac Packers:
Great story! This morning on NPR
they're talking about Andre and it's sweep up the coast. I was relieved to
hear Intrepid is in port. Loved the story. Two hundred bucks wouldn't have had me up that mast, but, then again, I'm not fearless like Zac.
Kodiak Mike

June 23, 2009 at 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi Marianne,

Thanks for the update and sharing your memorable story. Enjoyed it!

Zac, keep safe!

Dick & Gin

June 23, 2009 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been passing the ESPN magazine article around our marina to all the sailors. Way to go Zac!

June 23, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks for letting us know that Zac is safe and sound, loved your story too.

@Grant, thanks for the explanation yesterday about the damage Intrepid has taken. It helped me understand the severity of what Zac (and Intrepid) had to deal with.

Wishing you some well deserved rest, good nourishment and successful repairs.
Stay safe.
Tucson, AZ

June 23, 2009 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Scott Purdy said...

I have been following Zac's adventure since before he left home port and I must say he seems to have the most uncanny ability to calmly keep himself out of harms way. I haven't beeen able to sail for over 3 months because of ongoing repairs to my boat! Godspeed on your final run home!

June 23, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your life with us Marianne and for allowing us this to share in this wonderful adventure. You're an amazing family.

June 23, 2009 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I would really love to get details for the proper "fix" on the bulkhead situation.
Maybe Dad or Zac describe what needs to happen to be seaworthy again.


June 23, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Trevor Leslie, London UK said...

Uh-oh... isn't that where the waterslides are?

Remember - DON'T GO HEAD FIRST... remember what happened last time?!


June 23, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Arcticfamily5 said...

Marianne, thank you, thank you, thank you for the update! So good to know Zac is safe once again! PTL!!!

As Zac gets closer to home we are praying even harder that he not get distracted or complacent, but remains focused in the present moment and the task-at-hand. However, we are on tenderhooks until he reaches MDR and your arms!

Thanks for the deviation from the current issue with the scooter story! Precious memories . . . should be a kick for Zac to be in "Paradise," with things familiar around him -- maybe even people he remembers and who remember him! Even with all the business of repairs, seems Zac always manages to incorporate some fun and social time :0)

Gayle, Brian, Xan, Riley and Jesse

June 23, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Been super busy here, just catching up on the blog... Quick thinking by Zac by depowing and using the halyard and topping lift.

Good to be in port for that and the storm...

June 23, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...


I'm so pleased to wake up this morning to find that Zac made it safely into port. When I watched the news last night and saw the weather map showing TS Andy, I prayed that Zac had made it in safely and Intrepid wasn't too beaten up.

Your story about your families visit to that Mexican port brought a huge smile to my face. I truly sensed your joy in your retelling the story. It was clear to sense that you were at peace with where he and Intrepid were docked.

Has Laurence joined Zac to oversee the repairs? It does sound that he's in the perfect place for repairs of this type, however, and perhaps Laurence was able to coordinate things with Zac from here.

I hope Zac gets an opportunity to take his board into the water while he's there. There should be some good surfing conditions that he could take advantage of.

@ Rory - your remarks to MA had me in hysterics. I'm still laughing....I'm sure Laurence and MA got a huge kick out of your post, as well as many others.

@ Grant - thanks for the 411 on the importance of the bulkhead and all things nautical.

@ Pam - Welcome aboard! Your post was beautifully written. Keep it up!

@ Daveh and Peter - I miss you guys! I'm sure you're lurking in the shadows somewhere, I just miss reading your posts. Give us all a shout, will ya?

June 23, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Trevor: Too true! I told Laurence to remind him not to go down head first! I hope he listens!!
Marianne :)

June 23, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Edward Teach said...

Very relieved to learn you made port Zac - that was a dicey spot you were in. Congrats on the way you handled it like a pro. Meeting unexpected challenges like that is the true test of a sailor.

Hope repairs go smoothly.

June 23, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb photos of Zac's arrival at PV posted by Jen on her blog. Way to go Jen! Of course, way to go Zac!

Here's the link:

Woodland Hills, CA

June 23, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking a little rough there today:

Maybe Zac can go for his third pizza in a row at Cafe Roma tonight and wave to everybody :-)

BTW- I take it should Zac ever sail to Italy, no doubt he'll be scoffing Mexican food over there?


June 23, 2009 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures Jen!!! Seas look pretty darn rough. Talk about just in time.

Looks like a silhouette of Lawrence on the rocks with the big camera?

Is that a private yacht in the parking space next to the one Zac is pulling into? Wow. Maybe he'll befriend them and camp on that.

Here's a working link to the Cafe Roma cam. Y'all can sit at that table it is focused on.

And the young lady busting Zac on the cheek is?

June 23, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like they have a web cam there. Scary storm though. Connection will get wiped out.
Looks like a nice place albeit the horrible weather. At least we will be able to get repairs and make a window soon.
Chris Carnaghi
Alhambra, CA

June 23, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

Thanks for the heads up about Jen's photos. Great timing on Jen and Laurence's arrival. That water looks pretty rough.
Does anyone know who the woman is who is welcoming Zac with a kiss?
Tucson, AZ

June 23, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger myramir said...

Sorry I write as I can in english cause I am belge , I fallow time to time Zac , why ? because I use to go to Rodrigue's island,By plane ;-)
Félicitaions, un peu de repos ?


June 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear Laurence is down there. Hopefully we'll get some more M E G A sized posts and pictures from him when he has a chance.

Did Laurence bring a chunk of teak down with him?

Save the cracked bulkhead of course. Can't get a better momento of this voyage.

June 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I finally got around to reading my ESPN Magazine today and found out about Zac's journey. I'm bummed that I'm late to the party, but I'm glad I didn't miss his homecoming! I've spent the better part of my day catching up on Zac's last 2 months since the interview. What he is doing is so inspiring and I'm looking forward to keeping up with this last leg of his journey! You must be such a proud momma!

Jean Morgan
Long Beach

June 23, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Mimi & Desi said...

Hey Zac, It's winding down for the day, sun's setting. We were hoping all's well aboard the Intrepid, or well on it's way to being. Wishing for all the stars to realign...Zac to be on his way, repaired, safe. The story of your tenacity is spreading like peanut butter. We're stuck on you...telling everyone about you! Yes, I agree with an earlier blog...another tale to add to the already amazing journey. Even though I've been out there for days, way alone. Definitely not. And where are the gentle breezes, anyway!!!
Enjoy your village. Admirably Atlanta, Mimi & Desi

June 23, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Kaye Kittrell said...

Hurrah!! Very relieved to hear your news and enjoyed the $200 scooter story. Zac was brave and smart at 10.

June 23, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I am happy to hear he is staying in port. I live in cabo san lucas and was worried about him due to the now hurricane andrew.
I hope he enjoys his rest.

June 23, 2009 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Captain Rick said...

Hey Zac,
I have followed you since you left MDR. You are inspiring. Really have enjoyed your adventures especially the Panama Canal.

Sail On... Be Strong...
Captain Rick

June 23, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Andres is swinging out to the west and just brushing by PV.

Its blowing right up the track that Zac would have taken!

Can someone post the URL to Jen's PV pics....when I google I get her artsy pages and can't find the new pics.


Steve in CA

June 23, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

If memory serves me correctly, and after correlating the photos with some I found here on the blog.....
the woman who was seen welcoming Zac to PV with a kiss, is none other than G-Ma (Marianne's mom)!

Wow! I'm sure she is floating on a cloud after seeing and squeezing Zac a bit!

@ Chris C. and Anonymous - thanks for the links!

@ all the new folks here - Welcome to the blog. It's a most awesome ride!

June 23, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous lee/mdr said...

So Zac, it occurred to me that this is the first port that you have put into that you have actually been to before. Is that right? Just think. You've spent the year visiting new places. Now you're going to get to see a few places you've visited before. But just a few.

June 23, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous CovingtonKat said...

Yo, Cap'n Zac!

Just checked out Jen's blog to see the excellent pics as you come in to Paradise. I tried to post a comment there but couldn't so I'm going to post it here in hopes that she'll see it:

Great timing and pics, Jen! So many questions - who is the person on the rock in the first pic, do you know? And the kisser? And dontcha just wonder if those two guys on boat watching Zac throw his line know that they are witnessing history and the famous AND infamous Cap'n Zac Sunderland on the last leg of his history-making solo sail 'round the world?

Do other sailors know (of) him? Does knowledge of his arrival preceed him?

Anyway, thanks as always, Jen, for the wonderful action shots!

And, Cap'n Zac? I hope your Intrepid is all fixed up real soon (Master Repair Dude Laurence to the rescue!) and that you are soon homeward bound. Keep on keepin' on!

June 23, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool to see Jens pictures..i think that's Zas's grandmother who's kissing him?
Marianne, your next!!
Are you going to meet him in a chase boat when he comes in?

June 23, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia in Cherry Valley said...

@ Marianne
You must be so relieved that Zac safely made it to Puerto Vallarta. Nice that he has family near him now as the repairs are made. Intrepid was aptly named! It is not just Zac that has taken a beating, but Intrepid has also been thru a lot.

@ Bill Mann
After looking at Jen's beautiful photographs, it looks like Zac still has a bit of hair. So not to worry about loosing an opportunity to use your shearers.

@ Zac
Godspeed on your leg home.

Sylvia in Cherry Valley

June 24, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

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