Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Uncharted Waters

I've been going through Intrepid and emptying out all of my stuff. It is strange pouring through all of my things from the past year.

We had an interesting meeting at WME (William Morris Endeavor) talent agency. I met a bunch of their agents who should be great helping me decide what I should do next and possibly with getting someone to pick up my next adventure as a TV show. It is new territory for sure and we are navigating slowly with much guidance.

On the way back from our meeting we stopped at UCLA Medical Center to visit Mary Ellen, the rigger who helped me out a bunch getting the rig ready to sail around the world. A few weeks before I got back, she fell 45ft from a mast and broke her back, all of her ribs and much of her face. She has actually been able to walk some with assistance but will be recovering for a long, long time.

I've been doing tons of interviews all day. They get really old saying the same thing over and over again. A friend of mine just got back from China so I'm gonna go chill with him tonight and get ready for another busy day tomorrow.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

On the Water Again

Racing C-18s on the lake in Westlake

Another busy day today with a welcome home cake at church and then I went racing at the Westlake Yacht Club. It was actually my first time racing on fresh water but there's a first time for everything. The wind was pretty light for the first two races but built as the afternoon went on and we had an awesome last race.

My younger brother Toby, entered the race as the only sabot contender and came in first! This was pretty impressive as he has only sailed sabots for two weeks at sail camp which ended last week. He was out there dodging all the older kids in their lasers but did really well.

Geraldo at Large got canceled again but will reschedule.....there were a couple news cams and a photographer from the local paper watching me race this afternoon.

Anyway, thanks for the intersting ideas for more adventures. Please don't get too serious on me - I've only been back a week. Still if any one has any ideas for a good adventure for me to do next, let me know.

Toby's first race

Toby (with trophy), Carol Amenta (head of junior sailing program) and sister Jessie

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Doing Hard Things

Alex, Me, Brett, Aly and Abby at the Do Hard Things Conference

Great day today with Alex and Brett Harris and family at the Do Hard Things conference. A lot of young people were fired up not to be limited by other peoples' low expectations. Check out their web site at

Thanks for all of the great ideas for my next adventure. I have a lot to do before a venture out again so don't worry about me jumping into something too quickly.

One thing that I am happy to be a part of is an auction to raise money for the Surfrider Foundation. They are an organization that is dedicated to preserving the oceans of the world. The following link will take you to the Ebay auction. Basically, we are auctioning off a 1 on 1 conversation with yours truly and all of the funds go directly to the Surfrider Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is included in the auction?
A: The high bidder will enjoy a 1-on-1 video conference conversation with Zac Sunderland, the date and time of which to be determined after the auction closes.

Q: Who can bid on this auction?
A: This auction is open to anyone 18 or over. Do NOT bid if you are not over 18 years of age and able to enter into a legal contract.

Q: Where does the money go?
A: All of the proceeds goes directly to the Surfrider Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity.

Q: Is my winning bid tax deductible?
A: We are not able to provide tax advice, so you should contact a professional tax advisor about this.

Q: Do I need to travel to the session?
A: No, the conversation is conducted over the Internet, so you can participate from your home, office, or anywhere that has a broadband Internet connection.

Q: How long will this conversation last?
A: Approximately 30 minutes.

Q: What do I need to participate in this live conversation?
A: You'll need either a Mac or PC, a broadband Internet connection, a web cam, speakers and a microphone. If you don't have all of these, Humanety can suggest some products that are readily available over the Internet or in local computer stores. A Humanety representative will contact you to test the connection in advance of the conversation.

Q: Can I get a recording of the conversation?
A: The entire conversation will be recorded and available for a limited time via the Humanety web site. The winning bidder must agree to allow Humanety to use their name, voice and likeness in the replay of this recording without compensation. Also, the winning bidder agrees to not make their own recording of the conversation and will not attempt to rebroadcast or syndicate the session in any way.

Q: How many people can participate in the conversation?
A: Due to the limited range of most web cams, it is best to limit the in-room audience to 1 or 2 people. However, your friends and relatives are encouraged to watch the replay of the conversation on the Humanety web site.

Q: Can I ask Zac questions?
A: Absolutely! We want this experience to be just like you were meeting Zac in person. As such, we expect the winner to conduct themselves in a polite and friendly manner and we reserve the right to terminate the conversation without notice if the auction winner is rude or abusive.

Q: Can I suggest ideas to Zac?
A: Again, this experience should be just like you were talking with Zac in person, perhaps at a party or some other public, social occasion. Please be aware that just like saying something in public, your words are not private at all. Also, Zac is not under any obligation to use, or not use, any idea or concept you present, and you completely forfeit any rights you may have to any intellectual property you choose to share as part of the conversation. So, do not mention any thoughts or ideas unless you want to completely and forever give them away.

Q: Will I need to sign anything?
A: The winning bidder must sign a release that, among other things, allows Humanety to share the recording of them on the Internet.

Q: How do I pay for the auction?
A: We accept Cashier's Checks or PayPal eChecks. MissionFish guarantees the payment of the winning bid to the charity. Please visit for more details.

My spot on Geraldo at Large was postponed until Sunday evening at 10pm. I'm hanging out with Will tonight and racing at the Westlake Yacht Club tomorrow afternoon. Enjoying what is left of the summer for sure!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

The last couple days have been pretty crazy over here. I have been doing tons of interviews - Jimmy Kimmel, all the news and a bunch of morning show stations, ESPN's Jim Rome is Burning, and a follow up story for ESPN: the magazine (with Chris Jones - due out next Friday), oh and Mark and Brian radio show and tons more. I've also been chilling with my friends and cleaning up Intrepid. I still haven't finished doing my laundry!

I have been talking to MTV about possibilities of them doing a series on my next adventure which has been very cool. By the way, if anyone has any good ideas for my next adventure, either comment on the blog here or email it to me at

Tonight, the Westlake Yacht Club hosted a 'welcome home' party that was a blast. A lot of people showed up just to say 'hey' and welcome me back.

My family and I are going to the Do Hard Things conference tomorrow in Costa Mesa which should be great and then on to the Giraldo at Large show tomorrow night.

Lots happening here. I'll try to keep ya all up to date with whats going on over here.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Note From Mom

Hi All,
Mom here for an update from the home front. Please forgive the lack of blog posts of late. It has been an interesting time for sure and we are all adjusting to A LOT of changes.

First off, last Thursday was an incredible day. We had been busy for months preparing for Zac's return and, like a kid on Christmas Eve, I could hardly wait nor believe that the day had finally arrived. We set off for the marina early and dropped by the Fisherman's Village to check on the set up. Richard Meyers was hanging signs, Christian Pinkston, Gary Calaroso and Michael Broggie were checking in the press and all the other millions of details surrounding an event like this. The place was abuzz with press crews and people showing up early to welcome Zac home.

We had to run over to the Del Rey Yacht Club who graciously offered the use of over 20 boats for our friends, family, sponsors etc to go out and see Zac coming in. We met there and found our ride and set off with our immediate family, Jen and her family, Lisa Gizara and fiance Eric, Pete and Al from the LA Times and the film crew. We actually had a surprise guest, Ron Kilgore from KNX 1070 radio who were just awesome that day broadcasting live throughout the day.

It was grey and overcast which was strange but at least the seas were calm. Yes, I get seasick! We set out and headed off in the direction we thought he would be coming from. After a few minutes we were able to make out a herd of boats in the distance. As we made our way I realized that the herd was surrounding Zac and following him in. That really got me chocked up to think that all of those people would take their boats out to see my son.

We made our way closer, being careful not to get in Zac's path or in anyone else's path. There were a few near misses that morning! We finally got close enough to see Intrepid and Zac at the tiller. It is hard to explain how it felt to actually see him again in person and not in a photograph as I had done for so many months. I waved and shouted and he saw us and smiled and waved. All of the kids were so excited! It was the successful completion of a journey for our whole family. I am only now just beginning to realize the effects of that on our lives.

We followed Zac for a good while watching as people shouted, blew air horns and even played trumpets. A boat load of his friends veared close and shouted and screamed. It was an incredible time and my most favorite of the day.

Wanting to be able to be there to meet Zac at the dock, we had to pull ourselves away and head back to Fisherman's Village. We got parked and waited while Zac slowly made his way in. It was pretty busy but Zac managed to weave his way in with the help of Boat US Towing that stood by to fend off if necessary.

Zac got in to his slip and after literally fighting off a news person who didn't care that he was interrupting our special moment, got to give my boy a big squeeze. Zac was ecstatic and beaming from ear to ear. Just awesome!

You have all heard the press conference (if you haven't - go to the media page and watch all of the great videos) so I won't go into detail there. It was a fabulous day.

Zac came out to dinner with us and then home and out with friends for a few hours. We were up again the following morning to do a few morning shows down in the marina.

As the days have worn on I have been able to hang out with Zac and enjoy just having him around. One of my favorite memories of Zac is when he gets out of bed in the morning and shuffles out of his room. I just stood there on his first morning home staring at him. Very silly perhaps but if you are a mom you will understand!

Zac has been pretty busy with interviews, renewing friendships and working on the details of his trip - bething Intrepid, unpacking, writing his book etc. I have noticed some changes in Zac. He is the same easy going, funny guy but all the more gracious and kind. He is not one to philosophise about things, at least not out loud, but the wheels are turning up there and he is full of life and passion and plans for his future. It has been an immeasurable pleasure to watch him.

We plan to continue the blog and are hoping to have a more regular routine soon. We are so thankful to so many people who have come together from day one to make this happen. We are thankful for your support and encouragement.

Laurence and I have spent the past few days in the studio at Praxis Universal working on the final edits of part one of Zac's documentary. This experience is so deep on so many levels. We are working hard to convey that to you all and from what we have seen, know that you will really love it.


aka Zac's mom

PS A special note to the folks at Mike Perham and Jessica Watson's camps. The level of sportsmanship among the 3 of you young people is an inspiration all of its own. It has made this experience all the more meaningful to have like-minded people who really understand what this is like and how and why it is done.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zac News

It has been a pretty crazy time since I’ve been back with tons of press and interviews keeping me really busy. It has been great to sleep in my bed, hang with my family and also been having an awesome time seeing my old friends.

The night before I got back, I stopped in Emerald Bay. I had lived there for two summers before our family cruise to Mexico and had stopped there before heading over to Hawaii last summer. I met up with Harbor Steve, the same harbor patrolman that worked there when I was a kid. I arrived in the early afternoon and after I pulled up a mooring next to Steve’s boat, I got some sleep. I had been up the whole night before sailing through the shipping lanes on my way up the coast from San Diego.

I woke up a couple of hours later and jumped off the side of Intrepid into the frigid California waters which, though they were 70 that day, still felt freezing to me as I was still used to the tropical warm waters I had been in for the last months.

Later on in the afternoon my dad, Jen Edney, Christian Pinkston, Lisa Gizara and Peter Kokelar came out to take care of some last minute things. My dad brought me the shirt with my sponsor logos that I was to wear the next day. Christian and I went over some last things on my speech. Unfortunately, at the arrival I forgot most all of it and ended up just going for it - but hey I tried! Jen mounted cameras all over the boat and Lisa was snapping pics of all the action.

We had an awesome steak dinner over on Steve’s boat (also an Islander 36) and went over to the Boy Scout camp to say a quick hello to our friends, the people who run the camp, Brian and Judy Peirce. After that, they were all off back to Marina del Rey. I told Steve I’d be out of the bay by 3:00 am and on my way to Marian del Rey, a 6 hour sail in light wind. I went over my speech a couple of times, set my cell phone’s alarm clock and fell asleep. At 3:30am I heard a banging on the deck. It was a wake up call from Steve. I flipped open my cell to see what time it was and it was dead, probably from searching for service all night.

If it wasn’t for Steve, I’d probably have been 3 hours late getting in to Marina del Rey! It was a cold, dark sail across the channel and I guess you can see the rest on YouTube!

Seriously though, it was great to get in. One by one boats began to come out and meet me until there were so many boats around Intrepid it was getting a bit crazy. There were a few near misses but for the most part, it was just awesome. There were a lot of pleasure boats, a Life Guard boat spraying water, a Sherriff’s boat with siren running, 3 or 4 helicopters in the air and once we entered the harbor we all sailed through an entire Junior Sailing class headed in the opposite direction!

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. There were speeches and awards and interviews and autographs to be signed. In the midst of it all Christian got a call from Arnold Schwarzenegger and so I spoke to the Governator for awhile as well!

The Del Rey Yacht Club hosted a party at the club afterwards which was packed with well-wishers. It was an amazing day for sure. So thank you to Sherrie Barone who coordinated a lot of that.

The web cam died in the end of unknown causes. The good news is that Velodia Media had an entire crew out that day to document the return and even took the time to capture interviews with Mom, Dad, and I. This footage will be up on the site soon.

Also, I am working with Humanety, a non profit organization that raises money for various causes. They have arranged an Ebay auction of a 1 on 1 video conference with yours truly. All proceeds to benefit the Surfrider Foundation.

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide.

Follow this link to the auction for more details:

There is also a link to the auction on my web site on the left margin. Check it out and support a great organization that helps protect our oceans.



PS If you are up late tomorrow night, I will be on the Jimmy Kimmel Show at midnight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photos of the Day

Photos courtesy and copyright 2009 of Lisa Gizara:

It was a wonderful day. So many boats and people came out to see Zac return it was amazing!

Everyone is exhausted here and Zac, Laurence and Marianne will be up at 3:45am to head back to Intrepid for interviews with CBS: The Early Show, CNN American Morning, FOX 11 Good Day LA, CBC World News (Canadian), and the CNN Campbell Brown Show.

We all have a lot to say but may not have time for a bit - please be patient and enjoy these shows in the meantime.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Return Day Info

Zac's last night at sea was interrupted by a lot of shipping and contrary to light winds so he spent his afternoon today sleeping and pondering words of wisdom for his speech tomorrow.

We do have some good info on coverage of tomorrow's events for those of you who will not be able to make it out.

For those of you who will be able to make it...

Zac will be pulling in to Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey at the end of Fiji Way at approximately 10:00am. There will be photo opps, speeches and some time to mingle with Zac and the family.

If you are watching from home, Fox News will have a live interview at 12:45pm and a live interview at 1:00pm with CNN. You may be able to see these online.

Also, KNX 1070 AM Radio will be broadcasting live from Fisherman's Village. You should be able to hear this online as well.

The live web cam on Zac's site is up and running. Audrey from Bandacorp sent over a response to the many questions that have arisen concerning the web cam:

There have been a number of questions and suggestions with regard to the video feed from the Zac Cam. Working in conjunction with Raven Computer Systems, we have replaced every scrap of hardware within our control, updated all the firmware/software and replaced all associated cables, but we still have intermittent interruptions in the transmissions from the Zac Cam. Since the camera doesn’t actually shut off, but only loses contact with the network, tomorrow we will have someone stationed at the cameras location to reset if needed. Barring any other unexpected issues, there will be a video feed when Zac arrives. We will also record it and post it to the website after the event. Thanks to all for the suggestions and feedback.

There will also be video coverage of the return arranged by Velodea Media that will be edited and posted to the site within a few days.

All for now. Going to try to sleep!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Last 100 Miles

Zac is busy dodging submarines off of San Diego this evening and preparing for his arrival on Thursday in Marina del Rey. He will give a final blog from the sea tomorrow. Don't worry though, he will continue blogging regularly so you can all see what happens after a young man sails around the world!
One of his goals of stopping in San Diego besides clearing Customs and not getting stuck in quarantine for 6 months, was to get his engine repaired so he has maneuverability in the harbor upon his return. Thanks to Werner, Klaus and the ultimate hero Jim Wilson for their tireless efforts there.
Zac was able to propel himself out of the harbor and out into his familiar So Cali Pacific. He will go where the wind blows and stop either in a local harbor or possibly in Catalina Island tomorrow for his last night at sea.
I know you don't come here to hear mom talk so here are some fabulous photos from Lisa Gizara. Thank you for your incredibly epic comments. They should be in a book of their own!




Another well-written article by Sail World Mag:!---youngest-round-world-solo/59043

Zac arriving in San Diego - Shelter Island

Happy boy!

With cold feet!

Look out Toby - Zac is back!

Zac with Christian Pinkston

Jen on the other end of the camera!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Zac in US Waters

Hi All,
Zac is indeed back in US waters as of this morning.

He is still on for a Thursday morning return to Marina del Rey's Fisherman's Village at 13755 Fiji Way at 10:00am. There is plenty of parking in the lot at the Village as well as across and down the street.

It has been an absolutely incredible year and we look forward to celebrating Zac's outstanding achievement together with you all.

Any questions about Zac's return can be sent to:

Team Zac

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Then & Now

Many thanks to Jen Edney for this stunning photo showing the contrast between Zac in Majuro, Marshall Islands nearly one year ago and Zac a few weeks ago in Puerta Vallarta. I hope it has prepared me some for when I finally see the son I have not seen in so long!

We're still on for a Thursday return to Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey at 10:00am.
More details to follow!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just Another Saturday on the Sea

I'm still fighting light winds on my way back to Marina del Rey. The weather has warmed up a bit. I guess I have passed out of the cold current I was in. It's been really nice to not be so cold. As I get closer and closer to home it is getting really exciting to be finishing up this year long adventure. It is going to be strange getting back but awesome to see my friends from Southern California.
Just a few more days.

Someone commented on the blog about the white nave lights on the container ship. Even though you can tell which end of the boat is the front and what general direction it is traveling, it is still hard to tell at what angle the ship is heading and how close it will actually come.

I will address some of the other comments tomorrow.

I've got to go adjust some sail for the night.


Friday, July 10, 2009

A Ship in the Night

Position: 07/10/09 0456Z 29 53.5N 118 35.1W

Photo of Guadelupe Island taken in 2001 from our family boat 'Amazing Grace;

Last night as I was sending off my blog my AIS alarm went off showing that I had a ship 30 miles off. It's track looked like it would pass a few miles off. I finished sending off my blog just as the 16 mile alarm went off. The track still showed that it would pass well clear so I set the alarm for 4 miles and went to get some sleep thinking that it would pass clear of Intrepid.

A few minutes later, the alarm went off again. The ship must have altered course after passing Guadalupe Island and now was headed directly at me. I hit tha data button on the AIS and saw that the ship's name was Maersk Kure and it was going 19 knots which is really fast for a container ship.

I hailed them a couple times on the VHF but got no answer so I tacked over. With the light wind, I was only making 3 knots. They didn't have their nav lights on - only two white lights at the bow and stearn. It was impossible to see their exact angle.

I tried to hail them a couple more times and then the San Diego Coast Guard heard me and they tried to hail the ship. Still no response. By now the ship was less than a mile away. I grabbed my flare gun out of the chart desk and watched the blip on the radar screen hit the half mile mark.

The Coast Guard was still hailing the ship but with no response. I told the Coast Guard that if they came within a 1/4 mile I would start shooting off flares and went back in the cockpit to stare at the lights trying to make out the silhouette of the ship.

The ship crossed the 1/4 mile mark I put a flare in the gun. Just then I saw the silhouette of the ship so I altered course a bit more and the ship passed less than 1/4 mile off. It is pretty crazy to have a ship with no one on lookout. It only took about 15 minutes for the ship to pass me after the 4 mile alarm.

To their credit the San Diego Coast Guard were totally organized and helpful. They had notified their cutter that was in the area what my position was and I am certain that had anything happened they would have been right on it.

After the ship, the wind stayed light all through the night and into the morning but now I've got a nice 13 knots that is predicted to stay steady so I am officially on the homeward tack!


Guadelupe Island - can you see Amazing Grace in the bottom left corner?

Zac's Arrival in Marina del Rey Postponed to Thursday July 16th

Hello All,
After weighing all of the variables surrounding Zac's last miles home, we have decided to postpone his arrival in Marina del Rey until Thursday July 16th - same time and place. We waited as long as we could in making the determination in an effort to preserve the date but felt we could not wait any longer to make an official change. This will give him the flexibility to arrive when the winds blows him in and not to be stressed out with a schedule to meet.

He had an exciting night last night which he will blog about today. Other than that, he is well and excited and seems to be savoring his last days at sea.

The Sunderlands

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So Close Yet So Far

Position: 07/09/09 1810Z 29 02N 117 43.9W

Thank you Mouse for the very detailed description of tacking. I am currently on a starboard tack and headed north of Guadelupe Island. Some time tomorrow I will be making a tack towards California which will bring me back to the USA. It has been relatively calm out here with light winds and calm seas. I am making decent progress - beats bashing any day.

It is still freezing cold out here all the time and I am wearing all of my foul weather gear.

After going over David's forecast and evaluating the progress I make tonight, we will make a decision as to whether or not to postpone my official return to Thursday. Sorry for the drama.

I made it to People Magazine (online). They wrote a great article with some new photos from Jen.,,20290119,00.html


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wind of Angels

Position: 07/08/09 0411Z 28 47.551N 116 57.352W

From Dad:
Only those of us who have ventured out on the west coast headed to ports south realize the complexity of heading back up the coast from Mexico.

Most will rely on their motor and slam into seas that barrel down the coast along with the prevailing current, making for a very arduous passage that we very accurately refer to as the Baja Bash. That is not to mention the bitter cold after about Cabo san Lucas that seems to eat its way right through any foul weather gear made.

Zac is currently sailing and making steady progress up the coast on an offshore tack. There is a possibility that his arrival will be delayed a day or even two if the conditions remain light.

Zac is in good spirits and so excited to be a little less than 300 miles from his home port after traveling over 27,000 nautical miles. The weather models that we use at home (Ugrib and Clearpoint) show little wind but Zac has had consistent enough wind to make good progress.

Our prayer warriors have been faithful and as they continue to pray others marvel at the answers that inevitably come. Just awesome! As Zac sails tonight with what would appear to be the wind of angels, I want to thank those who have faithfully prayed for Zac and his safety this past year.

Thanks also to those who are helping to plan for Zac's return to make it a momentous occasion for all to enjoy. Updates on any changes to be made will be given as soon as reasonably possible.

The Offshore Tack

With the light winds I have had lately, I am unable to make my small tacks near shore worth anything so I have set my course for a long offshore tack for now. Last night I made all of 30 miles which is painful considering how much more distance I will need to cover with this sailing strategy.
I may go as far offshore as Guadelupe Island or beyond before tacking on port tack towards San Diego or Long Beach. I had hoped with this strategy to get more sleep and rest but last night I passed near five ships which meant very little sleep.
I have been reading some interesting books and thinking a lot about what I will do next after, of course, seeing friends and family and doing all the usual things that I have missed.

Q & A:
@ Uncle Bob: Does your boat heel over? Absolutely yes! Unless there is no wind and I am not going anywhere but even then it rocks side to side in the swells. The only place a boat may not move much is in a slip or a quiet anchorage.

@Anon: Do your brothers or sisters sail? My sister Abby loves to sail. She is 15 and has wanted to sail around the world since she was about 12. She sails with my dad whenever she can. Since our family does not own a boat right now we don't do much sailing. Toby and Jessie are doing a sailing camp at the Westlake Yacht Club this summer. Ben has never been sailing ever!

@South Dakota Clan: If I had to pick a place to live where would it be? Again, Cape Town South Africa was a place that is very beautiful with amazingly friendly people and lots of sailing.
The scariest place I have been would have to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Lets just say armed guards patrolling the breakwater with AK 47s is an everyday way of life there.
Did I have to learn another language? I did take a few years of Spanish but didn't use it. I tried studying some French language tapes between Mauritius and Durban but didn't use that much either.

@Anon: Do I have any apprehensions about being home? It will be good to be home again and have the comforts of home but I wonder what I will do day after day in a normal life. I will be busy with my book and documentary and then planning my next adventure.

@Scott: Would ever like to meet Jessica Watson? For sure, if we are ever in the same town that would be great. She has a great campaign that reminds me a lot of my own. Smaller boat, grassroots support. I wish her all the best and a safe passage.

Dodging ships here so I've gotta go.



Monday, July 6, 2009

Inching My Way

I left Turtle Bay and have been tacking my way slowly up the coast. The wind has lightened which is good and bad. It means that the seas are more calm but my speeds aren't as good either. I cannot believe how hard it has been to get up this coast. I cannot believe how cold I have been all the time. It has been cold and grey and so incredibly frustrating!

I know that I am getting closer but it seems an eternity away at times. Though the Baja coast is barren the seas are full of life with dolphins and sea birds around me a lot of the day. They somehow help me not to go crazy with frustration.

Pete Thomas' article in the LA Times today:,3,3765582.story

Be sure to check out the links to Al Seib's video and photos as well.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Zac's Return Info

Hello All,

There have been a lot of questions regarding Zac's return lately. This post is meant to get everyone up to date. Zac is scheduled to return to Fisherman's Village, Marina del Rey on Tuesday July 14th at 10:00am.

Fisherman’s Village
13755 Fiji Way
Marina Del Rey

There is ample parking around the Village which is one of the reasons why we chose to have him return there. Not only is there parking outside the Village but also across the street and down the street as well.

Brief Overview of Schedule:

10:00 Zac arrives

10:30 News Conference

11:15 Zac mingles and meets public

12:00 One on one media interviews with Zac

All media inquiries should go to

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Turtle Bay

Position: 07/04/09 0300Z 27 41.449N 114 52.904W

After my tacking marathon of the past few days I decided to turn into Turtle Bay and let some wind pass by and get a good night's sleep. I dodged my way through the rocks and sea weed around the entrance to the bay and dropped the anchor.

I caught a local panga into shore and got some groceries and fresh food. Weather permitting, I will head out at first light tomorrow. Today is the second 4th of July I have spent out of the US and being anchored alone in Mexico in no way compares to burning off my eyebrows with friends.

I am only 400 miles from Marina del Rey now. This is really beginning to feel like the last leg.

I'm going to grab some sleep now. I've been running on 4 scattered hours of sleep per night and bashing seas for the past week.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Pressing On

Position: 07/03/09 1633Z 26 16.151N 114 01.632W

The last couple of days have been pretty crazy around here. I have been battling a 2-3 knot current and a 25 knot wind from the NW. I have been tacking every few hours day and night trying to make headway which has been exhausting.

Yesterday morning my radar alarm went off and I saw a white boat heading towards me. I tried hailing them a few times but got no answer. As they got closer I saw it was a Coast Guard cutter so I waited as they approached and launched an inflatable. The side of the boat said US Coast Guard which was strange because I was only 20 miles off of the coast of Mexico.

I dropped the sails and 4 armed officers boarded the boat and did a customary search for anything illegal. They checked all of my safety gear. I didn't have a fog horn or a life ring but after explaining to them that if I fell in there would be no one left on the boat to throw the ring to me they decided not to write me up.

After checking my paperwork and passport they asked if parents knew I was sailing around the world alone and which was pretty funny. They were from Ventura but must not read the newspaper or they have been out of town for awhile. They got back in their boat and left me with a fix-it ticket to get a fog horn. Must be getting closer!

I pulled up the sails and was off again. The wind and current built in the afternoon and into the night. I ended up staying up all night tacking back and forth in 25 knots. As the sun rose the wind died and I tacked one last time and crashed for a couple of hours. The conditions have improved some now and I am able to make better head way. I am thinking of heading into Turtle Bay for a day or two depending on the weather.


ABC Nightly News:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ABC World News Update

Zac's piece was bumped due to a breaking story. It will still be on Nightline at 11:35pm tonight and will likely be on the World new at 6:30pm Thursday or Friday. Sorry for the trouble!

A Cool Breeze

Position: 06/30/09 1648Z 24 07.473N 111 57.316W
07/01/09 1535Z 25 07.012N 112 56.956W

Yesterday afternoon the wind shifted on the beam and gradually shifted to the north west on the nose from my waypoint. I tacked slowly through the night and have just tacked over to a starboard tack heading off shore. I've got to go over the weather forecast to see if I'm going to head far out to sea or continue short tacking up the coast.

Other than the wind change yesterday I felt something I haven't felt in a while - it is called cold! It is freezing out here! I've been wearing board shorts for the past 6 months so I had to dig through my clothes cabinet and find jeans and a jacket. I thought it was supposed to be summer?

Other than that I am 590 miles from Marina del Rey as the crow flies which is about half the distance between Puerta Vallarta and MDR. If I stay on this off shore tack, it will add a few hundred miles to my course though.

I have had time now to go through your questions and so here we go:

@Arctic Family 5: Does land smell after being out at sea? My normal answer is does water taste? But yeah, actually it does kind of smell like dirt or grass depending on where you are. How far off shore I begin to smell land depends on wind strength and direction.

@Phil: What were the best and worst times on the trip? Worst was when the fore stay broke in the Indian Ocean and the best is kind of hard to choose just one time. I had a great time in South Africa because I was able to stay for awhile, make some good friends and really experience what the place was like. The best part of solo sailing has been when everything is working well and the boat is doing what she is supposed to do. That freedom is one of the best parts of what I am doing.

@Bilgerat 101: What is my favorite piece of equipment on the boat? My radar/chart plotter is something that I use everyday all day. Followed very closely by my Monitor Windvane steering system.

@John Gezelius: What about college? I am working with my highschool counselor to make sure that I have my college prep classes under my belt so if that scholarship to Pepperdine comes through I am prepared! I am inclined to continue adventuring but would go to college if there was a degree that could benefit me in the direction my life is taking me.

@Rodney Birdett: Do you turn on your running lights at night? Always. They take very little power and there are more boats than you would think out there.

All for now...

ABC News has been working for awhile now on a piece about Zac that will air tonight on the ABC World News and Nightline News later in the evening: