Friday, June 12, 2009

Working It

Position: 06/12/09 at 1500Z 15 28.337N 98 08.733W

If ever on this journey I've been doing the work of two men, it is these last days. All last night the winds were shifty which meant I was altering sails a bunch and didn't get much sleep. The wind just kept on shifting throughout the day. My track looks like a snake's path across the desert. I must have changed my sail arrangement 7 times today. My progress is pretty pathetic. I passed a couple of ships today. I must be in a shipping lane. I'm sailing as close hauled as I can, beating into the current and swells that run up along the decks all day and night.
I'm carefully working my way offshore to try and reach more consistent wind. If the weather turns nasty, I can duck into port in a few days.

On a happier note, there have been a few of you that have been asking about Jen. Jen Edney has been following Intrepid and me for the past year testing her wings at photojournalism. We last hooked up in Panama. She has updated her site recently. Check it out at She will be in town when I return and is expected in Cali next week.

Someone asked about how to order my book and DVD. I am working with several publishers at the moment on the details of my book which won't be out now until the spring. As many of you know, from the beginning one of my goals besides having the adventure of a lifetime has been to document my journey with film and to make a documentary upon my return. We have had some major hurdles to overcome in getting this done and now I am happy to say that part one is due to be released in July 2009. We are accepting preorders in my store. Links to the store are in the margins of my main site

Click here for a taste of what the DVD will be like:

Another question that has come to me is what you all will do when I finish my trip? I have spent a lot of time out here thinking about what is important and what I'd like to do with my life. I don't have all of the answers but I know this...without God in your life, you have nothing and I don't want to spend my life reading about what other people have done. I want to be the kind of person that people want to read about. I believe that my solo circumnavigation is just the beginning of many more adventures to come. Documenting them and telling others and hopefully inspiring others at the same time is what I want to do.



Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...


You constantly amaze us with your wisdom. There are many parents and grandparents who lack the perspective that you've gained in your 17 years.

Your rough beat up the coast reminds me of riding horses. When you're riding home, your mount will often want to run home, knowing that a rub and rest await. It is the job of the rider to keep his horse to a walk, maintaining a chain of command and discipline. If the horse is allowed to run home, then it will be forever difficult to control. Maybe G-d is teaching you the same lesson here?

Still praying Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

Buy "Death and Coffee" here!

June 12, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, It has almost been a year since you left MDR. Sometimes it feels like you have been gone a long time and sometimes it feels like yesterday. What are your thoughts?


June 12, 2009 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger BritDee said...

I'm glad to see your post before turning in for the night. You certainly are doing the work of many and have the courage beyond what most men are called to have. So, you are inspiring all of us already.
I hope you work with teens because - from experience - they look up to people like you who are young and make a difference early in their lives. You know exactly what you want and that is so rare.

June 13, 2009 at 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac - I have been following your blogs since "the pirates" near Australia. Your adventures have been exciting to follow.

Your comments about your future remind me of a poem that my friend Tim Hansel, published in the book, Holy Sweat. I have pasted it into the post.

The Road of Life
At first, I saw God as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn't know Him.

But later on
when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable . . .
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains,
and through rocky places
at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord's and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away;
they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says . . . "Pedal."

-- author unknown

Copied from Holy Sweat by Tim Hansel (which by the way is an excellent book).

I can attest in my own life that it had been "an exciting ride!"

June 13, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Anonymous mark CA said...

great, but without us "readers" you wouldn't have anyone buying your DVD or book......


June 13, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger John Gezelius said...

The future. . .

If you could somehow combine sailing and teaching and kids . . .

June 13, 2009 at 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome blog!

Gosh, does this mean that I am forever more going to be biting my finger nails wondering if you are safe??? Lol!
Whatever and wherever you are...I know you are destined to do Hard Things so why should I be surprised.
You have the world before you.
One thing I would love to do is to come to MDR and charter a sail boat and Zac as the captain....I would trust him 100%! I have learned to see life differently, through this blog but I would still be cautious of going out on the ocean in a boat!

Keep on keeping on...
You are nearly home.
Stay safe

UK friend

June 13, 2009 at 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca Ziegler said...

Zac, you are such an inspiration to so many teens! Your perseverance through this past year has been simply amazing! God loves you so much! Keep the faith :)

Still praying,
~Rebecca Z

June 13, 2009 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Tim Harding said...

sermisoHi Zac,

"Without God in your life, you have nothing"

Wow! I'm an atheist and believe that I have a great deal. Maybe I'm just imagining that I have.

Notwithstanding your relegious comments I still have great admiration for your achievements (especially now you've ditched the gun ;-)). Keep it up!


June 13, 2009 at 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, I so appreciate your thoughts about what you are going to do with the rest of your life. . .a very excithng subject to be sure! But I, on the other hand have been sitting in front of my computer reading your blog night after night now for almost one year, and low and behold now I am begining to wonder what the heck I am going to do when there is no more "Great Captain Zac Sea Adventures" to read about. I compare my delema to reading a really good book, knowing you are nearing the end of the story. You want to know how the book will end. . .but on the other hand you don't want it to end either because you are going to miss the story and all of its characters so much! Well that is exactially how I feel about your blog and the story you have been telling us for the past year. Dosen't this week almost mark the one year point?! Thank you Zac, Laurence and Merianne for all of your time and for sharing your amazing story with us.
Peace - J.

June 13, 2009 at 2:14 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Hey Zac,

Was just reminded of your journey when my ESPN magazine arrived. I remembered hearing news of your departure last year. Read the article and logged on to your website to see how you were doing. Sorry to hear you're having a rough home stretch, but this chapter in your life is almost ready to close.

I am inspired by you and your family. I am a father of 3, and I can't say I would be too willing to let my son do what you are doing, but I would seriously consider adventurous requests now after learning about you and your family.

Stay strong, thanks for sharing your journey on your blog. May blessings continue to flow to you and your family and I wish you the very best in your endeavors upon your return.


Tom Gundred

June 13, 2009 at 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, sorry to hear the winds are not cooperating. You're up to the challenge so sail on along.

Mike P finally admits he's heading to Panama.


June 13, 2009 at 3:49 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Tough beat up the coast Zac! NO worries mate.... you'll be right!
I have written before that God has special plans for you; it's good to know that you are aware He needs to have control and that you will follow His plan. At 17 that's a mile stone as many adults (sometimes me included) forget that and usually "the plan" if not God endorsed is usually a bust! It's hard sometimes to be still and listen, but the rewards of doing so make that time worth more than gold as it shapes who you are and who you will become <><

Sorry looks back
Worry looks around
Faith looks up

Blessings Zac
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV Wombat

@ Mouse I truly enjoy reading your posts.....and your music!!

June 13, 2009 at 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Axel said...

Mike is going to Panama :-)

June 13, 2009 at 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beating into the wind can seriously wear you down, but you're almost home, just s little bit further. If anyone can handle it, you certainly can; you've proven that time and time again. I hope the conditions improve (a little a least) and I'm really looking forward to your book, and the DVD.

June 13, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Zac, after reading this post, I know you already have figured out the most important thing in life. As long as knowing the Lord and serving him is central in your life He will lead you on. The beauty of it all is that He doesn't let us see that far ahead or know all the answers. There in is the discovery part that you will have for the rest of your life. How great is that? You are blessed and you are blessed to be a blessing! Steve

June 13, 2009 at 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl in San Diego said...

Hi Zac,
You just brought tears of joy to my eyes, in fact it is a little hard to type this. You are so so right about the importance of having God in our lives! Even I have felt His presence in your life during this trip.
May He continue to shed His Grace, Love Peace and Blessings you and your family Zac!
I am looking forward to having you sail by me here in San Diego. Gee I remember how difficult it was just to sail from here to Catalina and the Channel Islands, so I do have some sense of your frustration in 'slogging' along a blinding slowness!

June 13, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Arcticfamily5 said...

Sounds like you have your hands more than full at this time, but when you have time for personal devotions, check out I Cor 9 (whole chapter) and II Tim 4:1-8. You have an intimate understanding, a depth of knowledge, regarding the topics of freedom and choice linked with discipline, perseverance, running the race and reaching the goal. You, like Bethany Hamilton, now have your own story of courage. And this date's blog in particular brings joy to our hearts as it seems to indicate your understanding that the mantle of strength rests not on your own shoulders, but on the One who is greater! Keep trusting Him for each next step! He made you and knows His purpose for you!

Thank you, Anon, for that beautiful poem by Tim Hansel. That's one I'd not heard of, but, as my kids have been in Mighty Bikes (a mountain biking program), makes much sense to them.

Marianne and Laurence, thank you for the example and role models you have been! I can't begin to imagine the sweeping highs and lows of this past year, combined with trying to maintain some semblance of sanity in commonplace, everyday life for the rest of your sweet family! Will be praying in regards to Zac's re-entry time. One suggestion if you haven't already thought about it, you might want to speak with someone who has been involved with foreign exchange students, particularly how to handle the transition and debriefing period. Might help in anticipating unexpected adjustments.

Finally, a set of related questions for Zac -- what do you smell? Do the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific each have unique smells? How far off land are you when you can generally catch the scent? Is it overpowering? Pleasant or not? Strange questions we've been pondering . . . . :0)

Gayle, Brian, Xan, Riley and Jesse

June 13, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

I don't want to take any of the focus off of Zac, our magical sea captain. His circumnavigation is pretty clear cut, since he's returning to MDR, where he departed, and he hasn't crossed his path along the way at another point. However, I do have a question about the challenge, and I wonder if anyone knows the answer to my question below:

Now that Mike P. is going through the Panama Canal, what is the point that will complete his "around the world solo circumnavigation?" Does he have to return to the point from which he first departed (Portsmouth), or can he return to one of the points where he stopped along the way, such as Grand Canaria or Cape Verde, which would be closer to where he exits the Panama Canal than Portsmouth? It would appear from the map that he would have made it around the world at one of those points. Or, if he did go around the Cape, would his circumnavigation be completed when he crosses one of the points he sailed in the South Atlantic? Or, more simply stated, what is the technical definition of completing the circumnavigation?

Marilyn in Woodland Hills

June 13, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically the "rules" include:

" Start and finish at the same point, traveling in one general direction "

Theoretically he could have started in say Cape Town and if he had't have had to stop in Hobart and Auckland and if he could have sailed around the Cape, he could have sailed straight across back to Cape Town.

Theoretically speaking of course :-)

June 13, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, You are right on course with your thinking. I do hope to read much of how God has spoken to you and taught you along the journey in your book. You will have an awesome ministry if you can combine Jesus and your adventuring/sailing.

Many people will be interested in your story and many can come to Christ through it. We Zac Packers are far more than just "readers", we are extended family who will continue to pray for you even after you set your feet upon the land.

Fair Winds dear Zac,
Bend, OR

June 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous craig schreiber said...

Well son,

I can tell you this. You have got a great platform from which to do all the things you hope to do with your life. Sharing your story is just the beginning. It is great that you have realized early in your life that God does play an important role and he will guide you toward those things that he wants you to do on his behalf.

It has been my pleasure to lead my students in daily prayers for you and your family throughout this past school year. Now that school is out for the summer I continue that vigil alone, but know that it continues.

Sail on, sailor.

Craig Schreiber
St. Gregory School
Houma, LA

June 13, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Captain Zack, you are The Man..
what an awesome tribute to your FATHER in heaven and your Father on earth....
you attest to TRUTH...
...Happy Father's day Laurence....
and Team Sunderland...
Congratulation on the one year anniversary...from the beginning..
mark n adino Vicksburg, Mississippi

June 13, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Michael Sheetz said...

Hey Zac,
Sounds like you have been having an even harder time than your last blog. When do you think you will be in port at Marina del Ray? I would love to come to the welcome home party but if it is after June 29th then sadly I won't be able to come :( On a lighter note, your almost home!!!
Trusting in God,
Michael Sheetz
Mission Viejo, CA

June 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

Zac, I think you are the coolest. So who does someone as inspirational as you look up to? easy - she was 4 1/2 when this happened. God bless this sweetie: "Valor" Victoria.
She will bless you SO MUCH!!

June 13, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Zac, I'm a year younger than you, and you constantly inspire me. Thanks for being someone who actually takes action with the talents God has given them, it's hard to find teens today who will do something about what they want in life.

Prayers for a safe return for you!

-Halle S. in Oregon

June 13, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Capt Zac! & A. Nony Mouse - your posts simply amaze me. The wisdom & knowledge you impart are fenominal. Thank you both.

@ ZacPac -
thank you for the heart warming posts :)

Stay Strong in Faith Capt! (& Team Sunderland/ZacPac).

Bear HUGS!

June 13, 2009 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Hi, Zac. Sounds like Mother Nature is going to make you work for every mile you make to home. Perserverance! :)

Channel 28 reran your news story for their pledge break. It's that time of year where they are raising money again so they are running all their excellent human interest stories--including yours.

Slowly but surely you're making it, Zac. Hoping for the best!


June 13, 2009 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Uncle Hectic said...

How come there are so many religious people posting about Zac? Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it seems a little odd to have so many devout Christians posting about some kid sailing around the world.I read lots of blogs everyday, and the percentage of religious posts on this page is at least 10 times that of most others sites. Do you all go to the Zac's church or something? Do Zac's parents post on some other religious site? Seriously, what's the deal?

June 13, 2009 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL @ Uncle Hectic.

Zac's a 'cult' :-)

Reality is there's the t-shirt that Zac wears "do hard things", the title of a book written by two young Christians, who are following Zac's voyage:

That plus the the family are faithful practioners of the faith, and many unseen or unknown interviews with Mom (and Dad) are within their Church group publications.

All that and take a looksee at what is painted on Zac's keel :-)

June 13, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac and others,

There are a lot of posts here
tinged with religion because
the sea takes no prisoners!

You have to have respect for
the sea, and to a great extent,
you have to have a God of
some sort to get you buzzed
to brave the elements.

The sea will swallow you
if you so much as take
your eye off the crap that
can come at you.

I am just happy for the
fact that there are a lot
of very humble, loyal, eloquent,
knowledgable, and deep-spirited people
posting here on Zac's blog.

You can always go to and
get bored to death!

I beg your pardon. Some of Zac's
Pack are posting there
too, but they seem to
add a few
comments that are not in
anyway like
the usual 'brit-talky'
stuff that I have read

Just my useless
2 cents,

Vaya con Dios!!


June 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Uncle Hectic - Good to see you again here. It's actually great to see many bloggers that have been here from early on in Zac's journey.

I wanted to remark on your comment about the number of "devout Christian's" following Zac's journey.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I don't view myself as a "devout Christian" but rather a person of faith. I also have never met the Sunderland family.

I have observed our regular bloggers, and find them to be quite diverse. We have Jewish, Christian (all kinds), Agnostic, Muslim, etc., all here sharing and witnessing Zac's amazing journey and the multiple trials that have come his way. This is the one thing that unites us all.

I do realize the spirit in which you posed your question and I can only offer my perspective.

I will say that it is wonderful to be hearing Zac's excitment as he sails this last stretch. It is also wonderful for him to remember those things that were constant sources of strength as he endured many hours alone; and that is his love for his family and his faith, not only in himself, but in God.

June 13, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

@ Uncle Hectic

Regarding religious people posting...
It has been no secret from the very beginning of Zac's Adventure that Zac and his family are believers and place their faith in God. The very first photo I saw of Zac was with him standing in front of his bon Voyage banner which had Phillipians 4:13 displayed, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". See it at the link:
As a Christian myself, that photo impressed me that Zac was someone to watch and see how God was going to bless him and use him as an encourager and inspiration to others as well as myself. And I have never been disappointed in the year of reading his blog and the posts being made to it. Throughout his voyage there have been numerous occasions that prayers have been offered up and answered over and over again. There have been many involved behind the scenes that have had special prayer requests sent to and we have seen the hand of God move to answer these specifically. I can't answer why there are so many relegious people post here, but it may have something to do with just who Zac is and how he has inspired so many, and even those that might not ever post on someone else's blog are drawn to be a small part of what Zac is doing and what he stands for. Or maybe that's who he stands for. I don't see that anyone here has ever tried to push religion on others, but that everyone is welcome here and Zac and the Team welcomes support from all. Zac, like each of us will have choices in life, and one of those choices is what he decides about God. Being alone at sea probably affords ample opportunity to reflect and meditate on such things. And it sounds like Zac gladly gives credit where credit is due. May each of give thanks in our own ways for the blessings Zac has been given throughout the journey. Zac has given me hope for his generation, as long as there are young folks like Zac that do hard things and walk upright, there is hope for our world. Blessings to you all.

@ Zac, keep it real! As has already been said, many are watching. You da man! Sail on...

Bob in OKC

June 13, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do hard things by going to college It's a great adventure that few regret.

June 13, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. My friend, you speak with great wisdom. I hope you realize how special of a guy you are. You are a leader, a dreamer, and a go-getter. That is a killer combination. Keep it up. Such an inspiration. Most people could never even do half of what you have already done.

June 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger RK said...

I completely second Tim Harding's comments!

All the best,

June 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi zac efron i am a huge huge huge fan i love you so so so so so so so so so much i love all your movies so much you rock i have seen all your movies love miss and i have one question for you will you come to victoia in august you can stay at my place love you bye xoxo

June 18, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Damon said...

I love reading all of your posts and if you didn't reference God and praying every other time I would be a lot more into it... but best of luck to you I look forward to reading about your return..(sans the superstitious God references hopefully!)

June 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home