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.


Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Zac,

Thanks again for letting us take this journey with you. We've been by your side the entire way in spirit and prayer.

I will very much miss the great tales of your adventure, but feel I have grown through it also. I've learned a great deal about sailing from my armchair post.

Even though these last days are rough sailing, enjoy the solitude because the minute you tie up to that long awaited dock, you'll be an instant celebrity and life will never be the same.

Thanks for the ride.

Boise, ID

July 6, 2009 at 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Hi Zac. Look at it this way...enjoy the remaining time on the water because once you're home, you'll find yourself dreaming & wishing you were still at sea. You're just about there, my friend.

See you at MDR.


MDR via Santa Clarita

P.S. Are you stopping in San Diego to clear Customs or sailing through to MDR?

July 6, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger david ginopoulos said...

Zac you are a true modern american took your Eticket to life and sailed it around the world. this is something that will help you in ways later in life in the smallest and biggest ways .I tip my hat to you and wish you a safe trip as your days count down .enjoy the ride!
David G

July 6, 2009 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hang in there Zac..
awesome article & pictures in the LA Times!!! I almost had heart failure when i saw the boom..for a sec i thought it was my message lol... very cool for the Nash family though.
Hey Zac, nice shorts...I think you should auction them off on Tue....well maybe you should wash them first haha.
My husband and i will be coming out on the evening of the 13th and staying at the MDR hotel...i feel a fever coming on for Tue so we took the day off lol can't wait!!
Laura Bermuda Dunes

July 6, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger attokojeff said...

Sail on Zac! In just a few more days it'll all be wrapped up. The other night at dinner with friends we asked each other whether we'd let our kids (we have 1 3 yr old, they're close to one) do what you're doing at your age. It scared us sh**less but of course somewhere inside me I'd understand.

Keep it together - you've come so far!

Jeff H.
Seattle, WA

July 6, 2009 at 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Will/East London S.A. said...

Hi Zac,

the last leg is the most difficult one "in the head". It is the thought of coming home to your folks that plays in the head. Like getting a little bit nervous...

Keep your strength buddy !!

July 7, 2009 at 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

What will I do with my time when your journey ends? I can't tell you how many times a day I click on my "Zac's Blog" shortcut to see if there is news from you. I knew nothing of sailing before your journey began...and to be honest, can't even remember how I heard about your quest. But I've been with you from the start and I will miss the updates on your journey.

As a parent of 3, your parents are much stronger people than I. I don't know if I could do oldest is 14 and I don't think I could let her go! (although she's a girl with no interst in sailing....maybe a quest to conquer every shopping mall in the world??) Anyway, I commend your parents on their dedication to your dream. They are amazing people. You will forget that from time to time.....but they are!

And are amazing! You are mature beyond your years for sure. I wonder how it will be for you living back on land...with parents...and brothers and sisters...all the time! have definately learned patients over the last you will learn to live it!

Follow your dreams, follow your heart, and continue to do amazing things. You are a true inspiration to young people and old. People are watching, continue to inspire, keep "doing hard things"!

Lafayette, OR

July 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Anonymous Bill Jamison said...

Zac, just remember that patience is a virtue!

You've come so far and I understand your frustration but I think now more than ever you need to relax and enjoy the journey as it nears the end. Take in all of the sights, sounds, and smells of this last part of the journey and full experience them so they'll be with you the rest of your life. Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and what an amazing voyage you've had. Focus on the positives and truly relish these last days at sea! Soon enough you'll be longing to be out on the wide open ocean.

It reminds me of the opening lines of "A Pirate Looks at Forty" by Jimmy Buffet:

Mother, mother ocean,
I have heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all

July 7, 2009 at 2:32 AM  
Anonymous Cap'n Sandy said...

Do you expect TS Blanca to affect you?

July 7, 2009 at 4:36 AM  
Anonymous Michael Tims said...

Zac, I have been following you since day one after hearing about your adventure a national radio broadcast. Every morning the first thing that I do is read "Zac's Blog" to see how you are doing. That will be missed for sure! I hope the rest of your life goes well and to see more news about you in the future! Have a great and rewarding life!!! Oh, and by the way, where did you get the shorts/bathing suit that has the world map on them. The ones that you are wearing in the L.A. Times photos. I must have a pair of those. They are killer!!

Thanks for the great memories!

Mike Tims
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

July 7, 2009 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger brian said...

I know you want to finish but remember this quote "Rushing through life adds no time to the end." I remember that on light air days. Enjoy what you can, where you are, while you are there. Tacking quickly will get you up the coast faster. Longer tacks will take you longer but give you more time to rest. Find the sweet spot and stick with it. The people at MDR will wait. Just enjoy the wildlife around you.


July 7, 2009 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger doulos said...

Hang in there, Zac! Even by car, the longest leg of a trip is the last.

July 7, 2009 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

Hey Zac – Hang in there… You’ve had the wind at your back for most of the trip… Now you know why my friend Bruce Vansant wrote the book “Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather”… ha ha.. Hang in there, you are almost there, optimize each tack as best as you can, that’s all you can do. Think about what is behind you more than what is in front of you to help your frustration…

Daveh & Skipper

July 7, 2009 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger MathDadd said...

Would this be a good time for fishing?


July 7, 2009 at 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Zac -- Glad you got some rest at Turtle Bay and are back out there, inching your way back home. How nice of the creatures to keep you company! Soon enough you'll have throngs of people around you, so maybe you'll enjoy this last week of solace. I can't imagine what you're thinking, just one more week after a year and one week shy of a month out there, around the entire earth! Amazing...

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

July 7, 2009 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Chela said...

Zac - remember to live in the moment - BE in the moment. These particular moments may seem boring and frustrating, but see them as an opportunity for reflection about what you have accomplished. As Maureen said, soon enough you'll be embroiled in the frenetic, frantic pace of society and you'll think back to the quiet moments and wish you had them back.

July 7, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger valntim said...

Hang in there, you (we) are almost there. I hope in those moments of solitude, you could feel the "Zac pack" right there with you. We are all so proud of you. We will all be in MDR, some of us physically, some in spirit.
See you soon,
Tim Burns
Palm Springs, CA

July 7, 2009 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Joyce said...

Hey Zac,
Just became aware of your story in
early June after catching the ESPN article. I am so extraordinarily proud of you!

And now I am drawn to comment for the first time since following your story from the June posts forward. What I know is that it is common to be most tested as a goal approaches. So your comments are not coincidental. Frustration is part of the journey, as you know by now, and is a sign that you are Doing Hard Things!

My prayers are with you for peace and joy in the process as you work so hard. And I thank Him for His mercy in caring for you with His creatures to give you company.

And Maureen (previous post) is right; life is getting ready to go full throttle!

Enjoy and thank you!

July 7, 2009 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Great to hear your update Zac. The end is near and you're getting a little anxious. With light wind at your back the frustration level increases. Always keep these thoughts in your mind. Think how far you have come and how little is left. Think about the days at sea when you never moved a mile or even a couple hundred feet. Think about all those squalls, 30+ knot winds, forestay breaking, boom breaking, autopilot problems, Yanmar problems, fuel tank problems, bulkhead problem, and countless others.

Zac my friend, you have come a long way and the distance back home is very short compared to the distance you have traveled so far. Make those tacks, keep a positive attitude, and right now you must "Do Hard Things". The last leg just before getting home is always the hardest mentally. I know you'll be up to the challenge like everything else you have done so far. In typical Zac Sunderland fashion.

Keep MDR on the C80 and daily you'll get closer. Thanks for the incredible adventure you have given the whole Zac Pac family. We look forward to seeing you on the 14th and having a celebration of Zac's Around the World Adventure. You had so many people with you even though you did this solo everyone here knows otherwise. This chapter is almost closed but another one will open soon. Look towards MDR and hold that chin up high because you will arrive!!!

Sail to MDR,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

July 7, 2009 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Hey Zac,
I, like many others in the Zac Pac Family, have followed your journey from day one. We are all incredibly proud of you! I've cried, prayed, felt joy in your accomplishments and worried through the difficult times which caused me to pray all the harder. Your adventure will be used in the lives of many young sailors to come as they read of your courage, your quick-thinking actions and of your faith in Jesus. Be blessed dear Captain! And remember to contact me if you ever want to do a book signing in Colorado Springs.

July 7, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger kwip said...

The last leg of any trip is always the longest! Keep the faith, brother, it's not far now. I very much agree with everyone above - enjoy the solitude while you can, because once you're back it's going to be a whirlwind of activity!

I hope the last part of your journey is as smooth as possible and thank you so much for letting us all share in it. Can't wait for the dvd!

July 7, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Mona said...


The reality of this great adventure coming to an end is hitting everyone it seems. The comments from the last few days all seem to share two things. The EXCITEMENT building as you close in on MDR and the realization that this GREAT ADVENTURE is almost over.

This has been an amazing year Zac. I'm so thankful to have sailed vicariously around the world with you. I've learned alot about sailing and also I've had one heck of a geography lesson. I found myself researching places that I never would have otherwise. I've laughed and cried, worried about you as if you were my own son and felt relief when good news came.

I can't imagine what this past year has been like for your parents. They are truly special people. Their love and faith are inspirational.

So, one last week to enjoy an adventure that has touched so many.

Thanks Zac and stay safe on this final stretch.
Tucson, AZ

July 7, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

So Zac,

I can't say anything that has not already been said. Just soooo happy that you are so close and that you and the Intrepid will soon come to the journeys end, both still together. Prayers have been answered!

I can add that I was watching the 'Zac cam' one day, and a ladder appeared. I got so excited and told my husband I thought they were going to 'tweak' Zac's web-cam; and sure enough, pretty soon...there's a guy's head! Oh, I hope I don't miss seeing you sail into MDR!

Can hardly wait for you to get home safely; and can hardly wait for the DVD's.


July 7, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Being cold and working hard probably makes it difficult to savor these last few days at sea. How fortunate you have been to have a supportive family that has allowed and assisted you in the pursuit of your dreams. What fun it has been to travel the journey along with you!

Hope you have dry socks on board.


July 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

I would echo what Daveh has said about reflecting on what is behind you instead of what is ahead. You are the Lance Armstrong of Sailing!! Endurance, Endurance, and Endurance..
These last miles are a reminder of this being more of a marathon and not a sprint.
My son Brandon is preparing to do some big wall climbing at Yosomite over fall break in October, just in case you need some climbing experience before Everest.... Problem is, I get more white haired with every climbing trip...
Hey, finish strong! Be humble! And Give Thanks....
I'll be watching and cheering from the web dock.

Bob in OKC

July 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So near yet so far....but that's ok, it won't be long.
We will miss you when this is over but grateful for all the times we have shared with you.
Thanks are one great young man.

UK friend

July 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Diane Wilkinson said...

The Baja Bash is very appropriately named! not fun but a means to an end.

July 7, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost there....don't let the final
push frustrate you. Think of the last year and all of its challenges. The home stretch doesn't even compare. Sail on, dude.
Kodiak Mike

July 7, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Glen said...

Calma brother, calma... ya llegarás, disfrúta de lo que te queda de tu TREMENDA travesía...

Recuerda los buenos y malos meomentos pasados y los sustos que has causados,eso te hara reir un poco y se te acortara el tiempo de arrivo.
Saludo cordial apra ti y para el resto d elos Bloggers, que aunque sé que prefieren que escriba en Ingles, hoy no tengo ganas. jajaja
Glen Ingouville
Buenos Aires

July 7, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

As many have already stated...enjoy the quiet for now Zac as your life will never be quite the same. I will continue to pray that God grants you great wisdom in the days weeks and months ahead as you will be faced with many new decisions to make, and I'm sure some will be hard ones. Be true to yourself, and your God and you will always take the path intended for you.

With love and great admiration,
Anita M.Miracle
Waterloo, NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

July 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Chris & Jennifer said...

Don't be discouraged, keep trusting that God will keep giving you joy and peace of mind.

Following your journey and praying for you!

PS. I heard about you through the Rebelution website quite a while ago. I've been checking your blog when I can, but haven't commented till now! God bless!

July 7, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

¡Hola Glen
¿NinguÌn deseo de escribir en inglés? NinguÌn gran poste de las preocupaciones en español.

Good to see your post, how have you been? Isn't it exciting to see Zac so close to home?

Take care my friend!

July 7, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Hi Zac,
It looks like everyone here today share the same thoughts. That's what families do, and this certainly feels like one ginormous family!

It must be incredible, Zac, to know that there are so many people out here thinking about you, praying for you, and talking about your journey. You have touched many lives!

To all the long-time posters, thank you for all your thoughts along the way! To the "newbee's, welcome aboard! I don't think we have heard the last from Zac!!!

Would love to be on that dock next Tuesday, but am very thankful that I'll be able to see your arrival via webcam. I think there will be many of us closely watching our monitors with a fresh supply of tissues handy!!! :)

WA St.

July 7, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Here is the translation from Glen in Buenos Aires.

Glen said:

Calm Brother, calm. . . you are going to arrive. . . enjoy the test of your tremendous crossing.
Cordial greetings for you and for the rest of the "Bloggers". Although I know they would prefer for me to write in Enghish. . . today, I do not feel like it, Ja, ja, ja.

Glen Ingouvielle,
Bs. As. Argentina
July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

FYI If Mike hasn't already informed everyone already, i booked a room for $118.00+tax with a AAA discount..that is the starting rate for the peninsula view rooms at the MDR hotel..not bad?

July 7, 2009 at 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is so good! He has brought you this far and He will bring you home I'm sure. I wish you every good thing as you go forth to your next adventure. If you put your trust in the Lord, I promise that you will not be disappointed. May God continue to bless you and your wonderful family.

Grandma in Hemet, CA

July 7, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Just a quick note to those who're manning the servers of Capt Zac!'s Webcam. Please remember what happened at Miraflores Locks. It was estimated there were over 10k of us trying to view his passage. I am praying your servers can handle 2x that load all in a short period of time for a lengthy couple hrs. We ZacPac'ers are very devoted & many would be disappointed if all of us crashed the servers when our onslaught arrives to view his Home Coming.

@ Team Sunderland/Capt Zac! -
It greatly saddens me that I will not be able to be there. Had a budgetary choice to make - my heat in the winter (gotta repair me chimney :( ) or going out to be there to witness history. I chose me winter warmth.

I among several thousand of we ZacPac'ers will be diligently keeping the ZacCam up on screen from the minute I arrive at w*rk until the last glimpse, when I switch to start ck'ing the media for news :) Boss has already given me approval to stop w*rk for a couple hrs to watch (thx Boss!).

Looking forward to catching a distant view of history in the happening.

Thx again to y'all for your letting us follow along in Capt Zac!'s historic circumnavigation!


July 7, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Anonymous The Writer said...

What a great story the reporter from the LA Times wrote. It was so well-written and displayed some knowledge of the content!
Once again, I say, what a feat you are accomplishing! I know by now you have a different perspective on life than you had when you left.
When you get back, football season will be right around the corner as well as you surfing the waves, etc.
My prayers, along with others, are still with you. You are to be a very special instrument of the Lord Christ.
Cheers until next time!
George Cox, Wilmington, NC

July 7, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Mimi & Desi said...

Hey Zac out there inching along!!!I can only imagine what you must be feeling. But try to savor every second. You have the rest of your life, & when you sail into that slip, it's going to be grand. I'm thankful you have the dolphins & sea birds. I think they know you're headed home...maybe they want to keep you company on this last leg. They say animals, I'd imagine mammals too, if you will, can feel the things we feel...know your're excitement. God's speed, Zac. Stay warm & well. It's been so much fun talking to you. Friendship from Atlanta...Mimi & Desi

July 7, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May the wind rise from the South and bring you home in style, Zac!
You have given us all a tremendous geography lesson, among other lessons, this year, and I really enjoyed seeing all those new places... especially Majuro and the delightful people you met there, and Cocos Keeling's incredible lagoon, and Rodrigues Island and the elephants near Cape Town, and the astonishing colony on St. Helena, and all the nail biting silences during your solitary emergencies... It really has been quite a first in many ways, not the least of which was the real time involvement of your readership, or audience as it were, able to offer our own assistance at times in some ways, but mostly just being there all year long, caring. For some of us it has been a difficult year, or a year of changes, and for our fellow Zac Packer, Martha, who went along for your ride as long as she was able, it was our sorrow that she did not live to see the conclusion of your saga, but she knows you forever as her sailor only at sea on your endless quest.
I can't resist using the machine translator to read Glen's Spanish comments, because the translation is so bad... but somehow endearing (like the time he cautioned you about the Gentleman of the Scissors, whom you should probably avoid if he shows up).
I look forward to your book. Thanks to all the Sunderlands for sharing your family with the world this year. You are the salt of the earth.


"Calm to brother, calm… you will already arrive, enjoys which you have left of your TREMENDOUS passage…
It remembers the good ones and bad last meomentos and the scares that you have caused, that you hara to laugh a little and used excessive respect the time to you of arrival.
Warm greeting apra you and for rest d elos Bloggers, that although I know that they prefer that it writes in English, today I do not have desire."

-With further apologies to Glen

July 7, 2009 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger valntim said...

I just secured my reservation @ the Marina Del Rey Hotel! I put in for my 2 days off this morning (mon. and tue.). If it isn't approved, i guess i will have to come down with the 48 hr. flu. I can't wait, not only to meet Zac, but all of my fellow Zac Packer's!
@ the Sunderland's: have you thought of printing a couple hundred 8x10's of Zac and having him sign them. I would easily give $20 for one.

@ everyone: I am working on a special project. I would like someone to verify the following info.
29 jul 08 crossed international date line 9.20 n latitude?
15 aug 08 crossed the equator @ 170.35 e longitude?
18 - 19 may 2009 Panama Canal
Does all of this info seem acurate?
Tim Burns
Palm Springs, CA

July 7, 2009 at 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious ... since through the "miracle" of a furlough day off I'll likely get to be there ... does anyone know if we early arrivals should bring a chair for lounging while we wait? Will there be room for that? A very minor question, I admit.

Thanks, Jack

July 7, 2009 at 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zac, please tell us how your feeling, tell us more please, your so cloce, cant think what you muct be thinking!! injoy your last days, home soon wow, your amazing!!!!! going to miss your blogs, liz

July 8, 2009 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger shan said...

Zak!! You're definitely the topic of conversation at the "water cooler" this week!! Amazing how many people have jumped on Intrepid's amazing a great book that is coming to a close..and we can't wait for the sequel! In the meantime - we will all savor the memories of your great story..each chapter filling us to the brim!!You are the hero - who- with his wonderful energy, passion and perserverence, has brought us all hours of joy, sadness, fear, amazement!! The last pages are about to be turned..and we all have smiles on our faces!! Congrats!! as your travels come to a close!!

July 8, 2009 at 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zac,

I know it is hard to be patient but perhaps this piece of scripture will bring you peace. This is a prayer I have prayed for you. "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a live worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Colossians 1:9-12.

God speed Zac! We will see you on the 14th!

July 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many inches to go, 2 days on now :-)

Past Isla Guadalupe yet?

Looks like even less wind along the coast than before, but good winds a little bit to the west.

Can't we make one long tack west then swing back East straight into MDR?

Please :-)

How short are the current tacks?

July 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe its been a year since we followed our young friend Zac out the main channel of MDR. I think it has flown by for all of us here on the website, how about for you Zac? Can you believe that just months ago you were in Australia, South Africa, Grenada (just to name a few). And the people that you made friends with along the way!! Amazing...Take this time to reflect back on where the great Intrepid has carried you, the challenges you have faced, the beautiful moments out there just between you and God. Thank you so much for allowing us to sail along with you.
All the best to an awesome young man!!

July 8, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete Thomas' LA Times article was also published in the Bend Bulletin with photo and all. I was quite impressed.
I am on my knees for wind at the right speed and direction to speed you home Zac. I know you are more than ready for that.

Bend, OR

July 8, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

For some of us, there is nothing as peaceful as sailing on a calm sea, with a warm breeze, at 2 am on a clear night. And there is nothing as nerve-racking as sailing through breaking seas, in howling winds, at 2 am on a stormy night. I hope my children can experience just some of what you have in the arms of Mother Ocean. And I hope I can be as brave as your parents when my kids ask for support in following their dreams. Thanks for the inspiration. Congratulations Zac.
s/v Sea Otter
Westport Pt. MA

July 8, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

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