Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pacific Ocean: Chapter 2: Light & Fluky

Position: 06/06/09 1500Z 12 12.161N 94 38-715W

Another hot and frustrating day out here in the Pacific. Wind is fluky and light. I change from sailing towards my way point off shore and then the winds shifts and I am heading for Acapulco. I'm not sure what I prefer: light & fluky or squalls and ships. They have been like chapters of a book here in the Pacific. Did I mention how hot it is? It is so hot. If I had an egg, I am sure I could cook it on the deck!

I have had some distraction today with the many sea turtles that are bobby around out here. It is strange to see them just hanging out 200 miles off shore. Sometimes there will be a seagull or Booby Bird perched on top of the turtle as if it were a little island. I would be very interested to know where the turtles are going or do they just hang out out here?

I passed a container ship a few miles off today, the first in a few days. I must be out of the main shipping route to Panama now. It's just me and the big blue sea (and my friends the turtles).

Have been thinking a lot about the trip and the places I have been in the past year. It has been an incredible year for sure. It will be strange to not have an ocean to cross when I get back. What next I wonder?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Sounds idylic! . . . so much so I just got goose-bumps!

OK - the heat is less than idylic, but still - I'd happily swap southern England on a wet weekend if it gets too much. :)


June 7, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be incredibly hot out there! Have you taken any photos of the turtles?


June 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

What next?

College? But where?

June 7, 2009 at 2:28 AM  
Blogger Flavor Eaters said...

excellent Zac have a safe trip home God Bless were praying for your safe return.

PS Thanks for the wonderful memories all year long...

June 7, 2009 at 2:52 AM  
Blogger Rooster said...

Just found out about your trip. You are an inspiration to me.... keep your head up, dude.
thanks, Andy

June 7, 2009 at 3:35 AM  
Blogger the Belafonte said...

Dude! I just read your ESPN article. My father sent it to me. I'm 28 now and just starting to realize the things you are. I have found my life at sea and find it hard to sit still or to sleep on land. Thank you for this inspiring life you are leading. It seems like we re going down similar paths.
Here is my boats site, . If your in Hawaii sometime your welcome aboard.
Hold fast,

June 7, 2009 at 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Brenda Fontaine said...

Zac! It's morning again. Breezes are on the way. Your Mom & Dad are planning the big welcome home. That feeling of home, friends, what's up next, is in the air. It's good to hear you feeling moe @ home in familiar waters. We're watching each day...have a cool one for a change. Mimi

June 7, 2009 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Stu said...

Yo, Zac, You're proving The Magic is in the Madness. Congrats and good luck.

June 7, 2009 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Que maravilloso, solo estas tu en medio del GRAn Pacifico Azul rodeado de calma, paz y la tranquilidad de Naturaleza

Se pasiente, todo llega..

Ya tendras Otros OCEANOS en tu vida que Navegar y Cruzar !!!

PS: si la ves a la tia de Maxwell Smart (en acapulco) mándale saludos. jajaja

Fuerte Abrazo
Glen Ingouville

June 7, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac..Just read your story in ESPN, I'm making both my 14 & 20 yr old boys read it. ALL the best...Steve..Fairfax, VA

June 7, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Vanish said...

Awesome stuff brother. keep up the good work, we are all jealous.

June 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The turtles are probably headed to Clipperton Island. They can swim 1500 miles with ease from their feeding grounds to their nesting grounds.

What to do next?

One to two things :-)

1. Hop in a racing yacht and do a unassisted single handed non-stop circumnaviagtion via the Capes. All before you turn 18


2. Start training to be an astronaut. Since you got an in with NASA it seems, commence training when you get back. You can be the youngest astronaut in the record books. Doubt many will challenge that :-)

June 7, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not being a sailor I don't think one can fully appreciate this voyage until a sailor puts it into perspective. As one who is not a sailor following along daily Zac's blog makes it all appear exciting and doable. "Easy" wouldn't be the right word, rather being along for the ride with Zac just makes it seem a matter of just doing it - that is, sailing solo, and / or sailing solo around the world.

Until I came across this the other day. :-) It puts it into perspective just how difficult or challenging or even crazy it is considered by other sailors to sail solo anywhere. The entire log from this sailor is very interesting, bit dated, but they have been sailing around the world for 15 years!!, just basically floating around whereever whenever. So to read their input having been sailing so long all over the place, about solo sailing, gives me a much better understanding and appreciation about what is going on here with Zac.

Perhaps other non-sailors might find this interesting. It sure struck me hard getting this perspective having been spoilt reading along each day with Zac's adventure, just how incredible his doing this really is.

Scroll down to single-handing:

June 7, 2009 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac - SoCal native Kimo wife and I just became aware of your trip (ESPN mag at the auto repair shop yesterday). Wow! We regret that we just learned of your journey...will follow closely from here on in. Wishing you only safe travels home to your family and friends--and 20 kts on the beam by this afternoon!! You, young man, are an inspiration. Thank you.

June 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

just sitting outside on a beautiful day in Georgetown, KY and was riveted by your story in ESPN magazine. I seldom read it, but glad I read about you. Also wish I had found out about you sooner. More young people should think like you do. Your story makes me think of happy vacation times in the Caribbean, and I'll be thinking about you from here on out.

Best of luck with the rest of your journey, and I hope you get the record doing it the right way.


June 7, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger BritDee said...

Hang in there! You are doing so well!

June 7, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac, sounds like it isn't the best weather you have seen. Environmentalists are always saying that there are not any sea turtles left, whats the deal with that...They also continue to mention the Pacific "island of garbage" which seems to be invisible to everyone but themselves. Go figure...

By the way, heard turtle was pretty good eating, well at least if you are a south pacific islander. Good thing you are still making fair time. Hopefully it will continue like this.

Nathan Schaefer
P.S. Don't let your feet melt to the deck...

June 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... that the Artic ice is breaking up a group is planning an "around the Americas" venture.

Here's an article about it in the Northern Cal sailing rag Latitude 38-

Maybe this is one for you too Zac

Hope the breeze fills in for ya,

Steve in CA

June 7, 2009 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just learned about you in your ESPN article. WOW! You go Zac! Prayers for your safe return home and tons of good luck mojo heading your way.

June 7, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Well Zac, the ESPN magazine has brought loads of new readers to your blog. I hope they see on the blog home page that they can read all the previous blogs in the archives!

It has been a very interesting year reading about your 'World Adventure' on your blog! A bit stressful(understatement)for us all at times.

A hugh thank you to the whole crew behind the scenes (Dad and Mom Sunderland, the Sunderland Siblings, Jen Edney, Marilynn, and too many others to name...)who have made following your journey possible!

The Newsletter we can subscribe to is wonderful. I've already ordered a copy of the first DVD, thanks to the Newsletter letting us know we can do that!

I hope to meet you someday if you go on a book tour and come to Colorado.

Weather is wicker here. Tornado warnings, severe thunderstorms warnings, the works. I pray that the weather holds up for you as you still have some serious sailing to do!


June 7, 2009 at 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Zac, your words, "It has been an incredible year for sure." Yes it has my friend, yes it has.

Blessings -
WA St.

June 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Willyboy said...

Always good to check in here and see your comments, Zac! Sounds like you're seeing a good bit of sea life - I still think the dolphins are nothing but good omens. I've traveled quite a bit in the area of Mexico you're off coast from - I can imagine the heat is pretty bad.

Stay hydrated! And sail safe, Zac...


milford, ohio

June 7, 2009 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Dolphins, whales, sea turtles. Welcome back to your home, the Pacific!

Whatcha' say you put a line out and try your luck catchin' some more fish?

You say the winds keep blowing you towards Acapulco....hmmm

June 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ all the ESPN readers:

I strongly urge you to go back and read the entire blog (minus to comments) and you'll be amazed at what an amazing journey this has really been!

Also, welcome aboard as the excitement continues to mount and we prepare for Zac to entire the Santa Monica Bay...Woo Hoo!

LAPD better be ready for a BIG crowd!

June 7, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger punkcichlid said...

i stumbled upon the ESPN article and I'm in awe. Godspeed and safe travels to you. -norm from sfbayarea

June 7, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the Pacific Zac!

The ESPN mag article is most interesting read that I've encountered outside of this blog. Definitely captures the essence of Zac's adventure. Good job ESPN!

@ESPN readers, welcome to the Zac Pac! That's what we call ourselves, those who've been following Zac's trip closely through his blog and otherwise. He has been definitely an inspiration for all of us. Stick around and read through the previous blog posts if you haven't already done so.

Maui, HI

June 7, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Ptolemy said...

Been 'round Robin Hood's Barn looking for the magazine... Anyone want to buy an extra copy and I'll be happy to paypal the cost plus postage? I *have* seen it online, but it's excellent enough to want to keep!

June 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I hope that the wind there does it's stuff it needs to do :)
Have fun with your turtle friends!

God bless

June 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Jamison said...

Zac, just read the "do hard things" article on and all i gotta say is props man. i envy your freedom and i look forward to the day that i can embark on such an adventure as you are enjoying now. way to go man

June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just another admirer of you and your parents. Saw the story on ESPN and spent nearly the whole night reading your blog and other related media. What a great story and inspiration you are.

I was wondering if you keep in touch with Carla from the Majuro? Reading between the lines it seems like she may had a small crush on you. :)

Best of luck to you and your family.

P.S. Kudos to Jen Edney, she is also an inspiration, not to mention a great photographer.

June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Mike Feldman said...

how's the fishing that far out to sea or is there not time or energy for that?
hope winds pick up, but not too much?
is voyage completion still on track for june 26?

June 7, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Thank you Zac for your amazing journey!

June 7, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Eden Myers said...

I read the ESPN article and it mentioned briefly you were homeschooled. I posted a link to it to all the local homeschool listservs. You are the kind of kid I hope my kids grow up to be. Thanks for sharing your journey, it is an inspiration. To me specifically it confirms my decision to homeschool my kids! Try not to fry...

June 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Arcticfamily5 said...

Haven't posted for quite some time, but the prayers haven't stopped. Zac, we are incredibly proud of you and are so thankful for the day and age in which we live -- the technology to follow you through this great adventure! Has it really been almost a year?!!!

Just wondering, do the turtles move out of your way as you sail through?

Gayle, Brian, Xan, Riley, Jesse

June 7, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac - you are my hero. Take it on home and start right back again.

KRM, Virginia

June 7, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

@ Glen

Necesito preguntar, cuales oceanes ya hay para el a cruzar? Ha cruzado los todos, no?

Still praying Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

Buy "Death and Coffee" here!

June 7, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

@ESPN readers:

Welcome, but for the most part, you've missed being on a great adventure. All Zac's, Marianne's, and Laurence's blog entries are in the archives. I guarantee you a good read. What you'll have missed is the immediacy of reading them as they were current and timely. We of the Zac-Pac experienced the emotional impact, the uncertainty, and shared the stress of what was going on. It was not like being there, but as close as one could come.

Zac has been, and remains, an inspiration to many. He's a young man who dared to dream a dream and had the courage and the skills to follow through. He has shown us that things are possible to accomplish if one is willing to do "Hard Things". Due to him, some young men and young women are likely to try things and succeed where they otherwise would not have tried. Many mothers and fathers have likely loosened up the apron strings being confronted with the possibilities of what their young people may accomplish.

If I sound like a 'cheer-leader', so be it. I've been on board since prior to Zac's departure from Marina Del Ray last year. It has been an amazing journey to this point and I'll be here until it's "Mission Accomplished!" All the King's horses and al the Kings men couldn't keep me away from this computer!

The Croaker

June 7, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac, I just started reading today about your trip, I see espn is popular with this crowd too haha, and I think I know a bit about how you feel - once you've had that taste of traveling and the adventure that goes with it, it's hard to go back to normal life. We just moved back from France to northern CA this year, and it was so strange trying to re-adjust to the lifestyle, because hardly anyone has had even close to the same experiences. I see that you just stopped by costa rica, and I was wondering if, over the course of this year they're been anything you wished you'd had more time to see or do? Places you wish you'd had time to stop by or stay longer? I can guess at what you might be missing from home at least :) Anyway, if you get a chance after catching up on sleep, hopefully you'll get a chance to answer, in any case, all the best, and hopefully the rest of your trip goes as smoothly as possible home, since it seems there's just a few weeks left!


June 8, 2009 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Brett Barlow said...

Awesome, you are an inspiration to all ages... young and old alike! I think it is great that both your parents were so supportive of your choices and that you had the drive to keep going, even after all the pitfalls. Please keep everyone up to date on all your future endeavors as we are all expecting great things from you!

June 8, 2009 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Kodiak Mike said...

Attention Zac Pac'ers
Planning on being there to welcome
your favorite circumnavigator home?
The Sunderland's would like those who are travelling into the area to welcome Zac at the end of June to RSVP with contact info at We plan a gathering of Zac's supporters on his blog, Hotel rooms may be booked in blocks if there is enough interest.
RSVP today!
Kodiak Mike

June 8, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

living on the MExican caribbean, we get turtles laying starting in May. I have found that the years we have many many nests we have little to no hurricane activity. So I'd take your turtle sightings as a really good sign.

Mexican navy is MUCH more active over here (where the drugs land coming from SA).

June 8, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Craig Schreiber said...

What's next, you ask? It should be obvious. I am sure you have received many invitations to be a guest speaker (motivational speaker, I should say)at numerous schools throughout the country. I, myself, have offered you and your family accomodations to come and speak in Houma, LA. Please consider sharing your gift of courage and determination with the world. Public speaking should come easy for someone who has conquered the world already.

Craig Schreiber
St. Gregory School
Houma, LA

June 8, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

It's amazing, the amount of traffic on this blog generated by the article in ESPN. I wonder what percentage of the folks reading it have posted comments. Actually, I wonder what percentage of the folks reading it have NOT posted comments!

I'm sure that Zac is happy with the additional exposure of his adventure. He already has built a market for the book that is certain to result and it must be growing. I've read many books by voyagers and no way will I miss this one!!

The Croaker

June 8, 2009 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Curt Bonk said...

Hi Zac:

I am a professor at Indiana University in the School of Education.

I caught your video on ESPN yesterday. I am writing a book on how people can learn from anyone else online. Actually, that book is written and comes out next month. It is an educational extension of Thomas Friedman's book called "The World is Flat." My book is called "The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education." You can read more about it here:

I would love to interview you for the free e-book extension I am writing (finishing soon) that is intended for people who cannot afford to buy the book or that want more information after they read the hardcopy. I would love to include a little insert from you. Can you answer these questions:

1. Do you look at yourself as a teacher through your blog? What role does it serve?
2. What has been the most interesting feedback you have gotten from it?
3. Do you learn online while on the book? Are you taking high school classes? If so, from where and how is it going?
4. Do you maintain contact with classmates and peers? If so, how?
5. What has been the most interesting thing you have learned using online technology this year?
6. How does the Web connect someone at sea like you? Can it? Or only when in port?

Anyway, if you want to respond to any of my questions, send me a note to:

Thanks so much! Enjoy the journey!


Curtis J. Bonk, Professor
Indiana University
Instructional Systems Technology Dept.
School of Education: Room 2238
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
(812) 856-8353

June 8, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

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