Wednesday, July 1, 2009

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:


Blogger alec said...

Excited to hear about the news piece tonight. We will have it on for all to see. Hope we can make the trip from Tucson to MDR when you get in. The best to you as you travel this last leg.


July 1, 2009 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone please try to capture that ABC news piece and post it on youtube or something?

July 1, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Uncle Hectic said...

A scholarship to Pepperdine? That would be sweet. Perperdine has a lot to offer. But even if the scholarship doesn't come through, I sure hope you still go to college, (somewhere). You're obviously a pretty smart guy, and a degree would only help you on your journey through life. Not only that, but college is blast!

July 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

I remember moving from Alabama to Chicago during the summer and the first thing I did was turn on the heat! Maybe your blood has thinned a bit. Sounds like you are having a good sail...hope this leg isn't too taxing so you can enjoy your welcome home party.


July 1, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are significant (and distinct) sea water temp. changes exactly where Zac is going through, which should account for the changes felt in the air

22N+ and 111W+

July 1, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Bill Jamison said...

Hey Zac,

Just like with your voyage around the world, college is about the journey not the destination! You will probably be amazed at what you learn in college and most of it isn't during a class.

I guarantee you you'll never regret going to college, but you might regret not going!

Your around the world adventure combined with college would give you a huge advantage in life no matter where it leads.

Something to consider...

July 1, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hiya Zac....sounds like the miles are slipping away under Intrepid!

I do hope that you attend college, a must as it's another adventure you can tack on to your list of things to do :)

Prayers being sent all the Sunderlands and my Zac Pac friends!!

Waterloo, NY
Captain SV Wombat

July 1, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Zac, I know that all of us Packers will be watching. I wish we could put together a picture album to show you exactly how supported you are. Now and for a lifetime.

Pepperdine is a great school. I know you will find a degree that will be fun to obtain. College is soooo different from HS in all the right ways. I will be praying.

Fair Winds to ya,
Bend, OR

July 1, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Zac, part 2 -
Also know that you never get too old to go to college. Having myself become a bit of a thermometer (lots of degrees), I went and pursued a degree out of HS. Then 12 years later went back and got another degree in Nursing and that pursuit I think was the absolute most fun.

College is a blast at any age!!!!!

TTFN - Kathy Bend, OR

July 1, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

I was wondering when those southern winds would stop. I was hoping they wouldn't but we know better. Watch the weather and make your decision. I almost feel that you're so close it might be better to take the safe but longer tacking route. Storms always come in fast around the area you're sailing in. If you're closer to shore it might be a good option. Always better to be safe than sorry. My personal opinion.

It was great to read all the answers to those questions. Thanks for taking the time and answering them. Please keep us posted on the rest of your journey.

Stay Warm Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

July 1, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Joy on Journey said...

Hey, Zac! You are doin' great!! WHAT? ALMOST OVER?! (pout for a moment) I will miss the excitement! Please keep us in touch in the future!
I, too, would like to know you thoughts on "it being almost over." Truly, only a beginning... You have your whole life ahead of you - wow - did I get old or something?? Anyway, I think you should go to college too. But my vote would be distance edu. through NW All on-line from anywhere in the world. It might be more in line with the home-schooled mindset you have for formal education. I can't exactly see you in a lecture theatre or a dorm! :P But this way, you would still get it, with a Christian world-view to boot. Who knew school could actually HELP prepare you for the real world?! HA. Truly, though, MA - I am *SURE* you are an excellent teacher. It is evident in your students.

A-nony - thanks for the passage weather! FASCINATING! image being that close to shore, look how the temp areas are so small, it must have seemed to drop RAPIDLY for him. Crazy.

Missed the piece on the news during my commute, but tonight, I hope to catch it on Nightline.
Hey more and more blessings on ya! So glad it is going smoothly for ya. Hope people don't swarm you too badly the minute you step on shore...gotta body guard?

Take care man, we may not know what the future holds, but we know the One who holds the future.
Trusting Him,

July 1, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger James said...

Just learned of your journey, and became intrigued. You have renewed my desire to refit my 33' irwin ketch and do some travelling. Perhaps not around the world, but there are a million places, dreams, and adventures close by, if only we open our eyes to see them. Good winds and full sails, Zac. And thank you for helping me find the spark I needed.

July 1, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous The Writer said...

I started reading your blogs from last June until October. Tomorrow, I'll continue...
I can't imagine how you've done it! In my own life, I recall what I did last summer and fall (on the local school board), through the college football and pro football seasons. Man, that's a long, long time. I love college football and have lifetime seats at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh at NC State. Football is a long season in itself, and that's a lot of driving back and forth to Raleigh on home game weekends.
Then one remembers Christmas, the bowl season, Super Bowl and the entire college baskeball season! And now we're in the middle of the 162-game baseball season and you're still not back. I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THIS ALONE!
You are to be commended for just the endurance, much less the problems, pitfalls!
Just think, YOU HAVE ENJOYED THE JOURNEY -- and that's the most important aspect of it....And you've enjoyed the challenge, the unknown!
I recall a quote from the late and infamous Vince Lombardi:
"The many hurts seem a small price to pay for having won, and there is no reason which is adequate for having lost.
"To the winner goes 100 percent elation, 100 percent victory, 100 percent fun...To the loser only 100 percent resolution, 100 percent re-dedication...
"And all of the rings and all of the glory and all of the color and all of the display, they linger only in the memory.
"But the will to excel and the will to win will never die and are more important than all of the other events that occasion them.
"And I'd like to say that the quality of any person's life is the full measure of that person's commitment to excellence regardless of the field of endeavor they may be in."
You would make Vince smile!
Can I ask you a question? What were the moments you found yourself weak in spirit the most?....I bet the prayers going up of Christians everywhere gave you an inner peace!
Godspeed ahead!
George Cox, Wilmington NC

July 1, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

590 miles as the crow flies, eh? All the crows around here are flying pretty crooked paths. Maybe they are "tacking". I am looking forward to celebrating your arrival, vicariously.
Cottonwood, CA

July 1, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just to let you know ABC in Minneapollis did not show anything on you this evening. I wrote ABC and asked them to please show it.


July 1, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ABC piece was bumped, probably because Karl Malden died. Supposed to be on Nightline....

July 1, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

BUMMER! Hopefully you won't get "pre-empted" for the Nightline interview tonight as well...!

Wow. Only 590-ish miles left. Would love to know what thoughts are going through your mind right now. Maybe "bittersweet" might be a good word.

Sail on, Zac! Hopefully the winds will be kind and you'll have a glorious sail into MDR!

Blessings -

July 1, 2009 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger pigpen said...

If you have an idea to be an adventurer, how about heading to college and getting a degree in journalism or film . Travel the world, see and do amazing things and write about them.
Have followed you from the start. Thanks for the crazy year

PigPen in Japan

July 1, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


California Maritime Academy

Cal Maritime offers six undergraduate degree programs, all of which are tied to a nautical curriculum

In 2008 the U.S. News and World Report ranked Cal Maritime as the 6th best Baccalaureate College on the West Coast

July 1, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Zac! Happy to hear how close you are to Marina Del Rey. You must be so excited to be close to home, but sad to end your journey. Will you go on more trips around the world (or to specific places)? What does it feel like to be nearing the end?
I read the blog whenever I have time, which isn't very often, but whenever I do read it, I am so blessed to see someone so young do something so big. and it's not just the fact that you can say "i've been around the world", but it's what you learned and accomplished, and all the lives you've touched during your journey. God bless you for all that you've done, and I am continually praying for your safe return home.

Elissa R. Walther
Houston, Texas

July 1, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Parker Fritsch said...

Hi Zac,

It must be so exciting getting closer and closer to home. Sorry your boat broke. I'm glad your dad could fix it though.

I can't wait to see you on T.V. I was on T.V. tonight too. You can see it on if you want. Not sure how to do a link yet. Just learning.

I'm going to cooking school this summer. It's so fun. We are learning how to make breads around the world. Tomorrow is my last day. Kind of sad about that.

My mom checks on you every day and tells me what's going on.

I only have 2 more skin burning treatments. I hope they don't do any more. It really hurts. We go to San Francisco in August and the doctor will tell us if we have to do more.

I went fishing at Jeff Gordon's dad's house when I went to Duke for my big checkup. I caught 23 fish! It was more like catching than fishing. He feeds the fish every night from his deck. When I put my hook in 3 seconds later I'd have a fish. It was totally awesome!!!

I gotta go to bed now. Hope the ocean is good right now. My grandpa always sees flying fish down there. Have you seen any of those?


Your Buddy Parker

July 1, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I cannot describe how insanely jealous I am of you. I saw the story on ABC news and had to read more on it. I am kind of sad I am just now hearing about it, but I think it’s awesome how far you’ve gotten. Best of luck!

July 1, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger ponyscott said...

I missed the news piece tonight but am sure it will be on u-tube for viewing. Thanks for taking your valuable time to answer questions from us. im sure that cool weather is a relief actually from all the heat you haved endured.

Take care!

Scott in Dallas

July 1, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to your map you just past West of Magdalena Bay, Baja.

19 years ago (my gosh, that was before you were born!) my Brother and I sailed a Hobie Cat from Mag bay around Cobo and up to San Felipe, beach camping the whole way.

It was a six week journey that forever changed our outlook on life.

I can only imagine what your journey has been like and how it has forever changed you :-)

Good luck, maybe I'll drive down and see you arrive!


July 2, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the ABC report.

Funny, I was thinking a few weeks back that if Zac ever did go to college, he could teach sailing/adventuring someday ... and as a Pepperdine grad, that was where I was picturing him doing it. (But of course, do what's right for you, Zac.)

--Jack Mulkey
in the South Bay

July 2, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's parkers link: TYPE parker f in the search. there is a multimedia link to a vid. GOOD JOB, PARKER!

July 2, 2009 at 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Mimi said...

Hey Zac, My Mom just called from Lakeland, Fl...30 miles from Disney. She heard your name on TV & ran to watch the news. She was so excited because of all I've shared with her! I'm on the big steel bird to her tomorrow for the weekend. I'll look for the broadcast tomorrow night, & am showing her the web. Yeah Zac! Atlanta, Mimi Fontaine

July 2, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Christian Kane said...

Really got to admire what you are doing, that's pretty kick ass and amazing. Give us a wave when you pass by San Diego (however far off the coast you are).

p.s. My aunt works in the admissions office or close to it at Pepperdine. For someone of your Calibur I'm sure some strings could be pulled, if your interested i'll see what I can do.

-Best to you

July 2, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

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