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.



Blogger Becky said...

The interviews will wind down; and I bet it does get tedious saying the same thing over and over again! :-) My boys never like that either...been there, done that...NEXT! Yet it's all for something. Every interview gets more 'views' so to speak. Perhaps you will be able to travel all over the U.S. and abroad promoting your book and and of course, autographing books. That should put your adventure right up there with Harry Potter, eh!? Well, you had to do what seemed like real magic at times I bet!

I'm sorry to hear about Mary Ellen. Good grief, the pain she must be in. I'm glad to hear she is up walking some. That could have been so much worse, yet I'm sure what could have been does not help her deal with what is. Is there a card shower for her?

Hopefully, Mom and Dad and family are settling into some kind of normalcy day by day.

In between those interviews...chillax!


July 29, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Rick Bauer said...

Hey ZAC.
Hope your friend Mary Ellen is doing O.K. 45 Feet is a long way down, thank goodness she`s able to walk.Give her my best next time you see her.
A Zac Packer from DAY ONE.

July 29, 2009 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Uncle Hectic said...

Oh man, falling form 45 feet, that's a real bummer. I hope she gets back to 100 percent. I need to go up my mast in the near future, I'm gonna to make extra sure everything is safe.

July 29, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Hey Zack

Neil Kahn here from Costa Rica, the link is an account of the kayak crossing from Cali to Hawaii by Ed Gillette. I'm glad you made it safely home, personally, I think you were probably safer on your trip than thinking about becoming famous. Be careful. I will think about your next voyage but if it's going to be for TV they, TV people, will probably think it up for you. I guess thats the trade off to a life of funded adventure. Might be worth it for a while, enjoy the ride but always remember there is no free lunch, Say hi to your folks.
Neil Kahn
Kayak Jaco

July 29, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Oh wow i didn't know about your friend Mary Ellen..all my best to her.

Glad to hear all went well with WME.

Any word on Geraldo dates? yeah i hear ya about the repetition thing...on your next talk show you might tell them about your Panama canal crossing and how your crazy blogers were watching and talking to your mom the whole way threw..i think we broke a record too hahaha i think it was like over 200 post in an hr? That was great..your mom was giving us up dates as you got closer until we were able to see you tied to the cat.. don't give too much info away..tell them they'll have to get the DVD lol.
Well have a good visit with your friends Zac and thanks for the post..

July 29, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca Ziegler said...

Good to hear you are doing well back on land! There is no doubt that what ever you decide to make your next adventure, you will have a steady group of followers/fans. Unfortunately, with fame comes the haters... Don't let them get to you. Just keep your heart on God and your mind focused on the goal ahead! Stay strong.

July 29, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hi Zac...

My gosh... I'm so sorry to hear about Mary Ellen's fall. I so hope she has a full recovery.

You said, "I've been doing tons of interviews all day. They get really old saying the same thing over and over again."

Let what you said be a beacon for you as to which direction you head. It's kind of similar to the phrase, "Be careful what you wish for..."

It is great to hear you say that you are navigating slowly with much guidance.

No doubt you couldn't have done better than meeting with the William Morris agency.

Please keep in mind there is absolutely no rush to decide what adventure you want to pursue.

Take your time, let it flow... It will come together!

You just accomplished what so many of us wish we had done or could do. No one can ever take away from you that you, Zac, became the first 17 year old to solo circumnavigate the world.

You're 17 and going on the rest of a long, long life. Take your time, and keep your head as you have been, and make good choices.

Life is like an onion, Zac... Peel and enjoy !!!

Jim - Redwood Man - Boulder Creek, CA

July 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't written anything . But I have followed you since Hawaii last year. I was totally enthralled during your entire adventure. I even got my mom , Velda, to follow your adventure around the world. You are truly a person to admire, even if I am old enough (47), to easily have a son your age. But I don't. Anyway, I look forward to following your wordly adventure's for a long time. Keep up the excellent job.

Kent Davis
Here in Lancaster , Calif.

July 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger MindWalker said...

Thanks for taking time to update us, Zac. Good to know a reputable agent is looking at your circumstances. Just keep Mom and Dad tight in all your deliberations.

Best of everything.

(Oh - has your Mom located that watercolor that I bought?)

July 30, 2009 at 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Mimi & Desi said...

Hey Zac, Uncharted would certainly cover what's going on. Maybe more so than the waters you sailed all your life. All the world is hungry for adventure...shows that offer entertainment. I was wondering how the Surfriders was coming? I personally think you should get into politics, add a breath of fresh air to the mess out there, clean it up, along with the seas! How's the documentary coming? We miss our 2 time a day chats. Hope everything goes as you wish.
Friends from Atlanta, Mimi & Desi

July 30, 2009 at 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Joyce said...

Nice to hear from you Zac. Thanks for sharing your "return adventures". ;) Always interesting to think about how life plays out and moves forward and how we grow as we move through phases. So proud of you and how you are adjusting and evaluating new territories before you! Thanks for your example and know that your notes are appreciated even though they may be quite different from the play by play of ocean life. fondly, a Zac-packer since beginnning of June.

July 30, 2009 at 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Lisa from Mt. Juliet, TN said...

Good morning Sunderland Family!

If God is truly faithful to complete what He in Him. If your steps are truly ordered by Him....then rest in Him. He is faithful. I know alot of prayers are going up for you and your family to make good decisions and alot of people are concerned which is wonderful, in Him.

Be blessed and Psalm 91

July 30, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Anonymous captnmarvel said...

Zac, I have been following you since the start and have really enjoyed reading about your adventures. This might be one of the smartest things that you have done, retaining the William Morris folks. Thanks for keeping us in the Zac-pac updated.

July 30, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut ur hair please.

July 30, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh bless your heart. Must be quite something....eventually, if you keep it long enough,it will be like a treasure chest...full of memories of adventures past.
Do you know anyone from the BBC UK....who knows, they may like to 'buy' one of your adventures but I guess you have more than enough to chose from, your side of the pond!
How sad to hear of Mary Ellen...please tell her that at least one Zacpacer sends her encouragement in her recovery.
Enjoy your 'chill' sessions with friends, as much , no, more than your interviews etc!!

UK friend

July 30, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hey Zac,

It's great to know you're working on the next adventure already. That would be great if you could pick up a TV show.

I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully you'll get Intrepid cleaned out sometime soon.

Let us know when something will air on television or on the radio. I would have never guessed that your around the world adventure would have turned out so BIG. Thanks for continuing to blog with everyone here.

High Hopes for Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

July 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger johnnyBgood said...

zac- congratulations on retaining the good folks at William Morris. think every decision through before moving forward. remember, you make the calls. we are keeping Mary Ellen in our prayers.
God Bless us All.
john baker/w hollywood/ca/USofA

July 30, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous chip goebert said...

Zac,I have followed your adventure all year but missed your arrival at MDR. Where is "Intrepid" moored??? I am dying to see the boat and have gone up and down every basin and cant find it!!!

July 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers for Mary my friend Zac. Don't know if you have heard from our President yet, but I have a feeling you will be getting a call soon. All the best.

Chris Carnaghi
Alhambra, CA

July 30, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
Thank you for walking us through your life-after...

I know you will proceed with much thought and prayer and listening. It is still such a privilege to feel connected to your journey through life.

Keep us posted so we will know how to pray.

Bend, OR

July 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...


So very sorry to hear about Mary Ellen's accident.I knew her while I worked in MDR. She is very strong willed person. If she makes up her mind to recover from this, then she will. Going up masts, especially those with wire halyards, single crimps and snap shackles is the most hazardous thing a boat worker can do.

The greatest adventure a young person can embark on is simply the rest of his life. You have no idea of where it wll lead you to or what is in store for you.


July 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Janis said...

Praying for your continued safe navigation of all waters (literal and figurative.) Praying, also, for healing and hope for Mary Ellen. Rehab is a lot of work. Prayer works, too. And, she is in extremely good hands at UCLA -- amazing trauma team!
Woodland Hills, CA

July 30, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Mimi & Desi said...

Mary Ellen, Desi & I want to say we hope you heal well & swift. All the best for your recovery! Hi Zac!
Atlanta wishes, blesses Mary Ellen, God Bless, Mimi & Desi!!!!
PS - We love your hair!

July 30, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen in Palms said...

Very sorry to hear about Mary Ellen's fall. I believe this happened shortly before you returned, Zac, and a call was put out at the homecoming to pray for her...??

Oh, how wonderful that you visited her in hospital. It makes a world of difference.

Mostly, I am still in awe of your incredible accomplishment, Zac, and incredible YOU. I came across another LATimes Pete Thomas article in the BrandX section and Pat Reynolds did a great wrap-up in last week's Argonaut.

William Morris is top of the line. Wow. Would love to see a meeting between you and General Chuck Yeager. He was another "first" and is still adventuring at age 80.

July 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


I'm chortling at the thought of you cleaning up and clearing out Intrepid after she has harbored a teen-ager for 1 year, one month, and 2 days during which there was no mom monitoring the situation. I'm sure that you have found some giggles, some misty eyed memories, and been grossed out a couple of times with the floatsom and should-have-been jetsom (or is it floatsam and Jetsam?).

Anyway, life goes on and reality must be confronted. Sounds to me like you're getting it under control! Don't be in too big a hurry to begin another project guided by those who are more concerned with profits than the experience. Why not consider another voyage that is more a voyage of discovery than a record breaking feat. You meet and interact well with the 'natives', so sail to them, live with them, run naked in the jungle, and compare their lifestyle and their value systems with ours. Whose has the best nonmaterial qualities, etc. Maybe you could be another Margaret Mead.

In the meantime, you should be interviewing psychologists and planning a near term career of 'motivational speaker' and lecturer on your adventure. I'm a bit long in the tooth to be motivated by a 17 year old, but I'd be there anyway as a supporter. (no jokes there, please)

I laughed at your comment about answering the same questions with the same answers over and over. A few years back, I had two major surgeries withing a 90 day period. My family and friends were genuinely concerned about my condition and my progress. Same questions with the same answers over and over. Finally, resignedly, I'd just say, "Gather 'round. I'm going to perform my 'organ recital'". ... and there it went.

My friend, you have a long life ahead of you. Don't try to live it all at one time. I instinctly realize that such as you've accomplished can create an addiction to action and adrenalin. Just stop sometimes and smell the flowers. Formally educate yourself, make a family - hopefully like the one you're now a part of. Share your life with them. They'll support you in your quests.

God Bless,
The Croaker

July 30, 2009 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inquiring minds want to know.....

1. Do you have to give back all electronic equipment that was donated to you for the trip, now that it is over?

2. Have you heard from Robin G, Tania , or David Dicks?

July 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Zac, there's not anything much better than witnessing a young man "cleaning house"! :)

@Croaker...I'm thinking there are many of us here that hope to meet you someday!

WA St.

July 30, 2009 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous The Writer said...

Hi Zac,
I wrote you an email....Glad to hear from you! And am very sorry about Mary Ellen, she will be in our prayers! Remember, God's grace is sufficient in all circumcstances....
Please go VERY SLOW on what you are planning now!!! Agents are vultures (sports agents and general agents)....You need to do "due diligence" on agents before you sign anything on a dotted line!
And have your own lawyer with you in any important meetings!
Yes, go chill with your friends. Don't be in a hurry to do anything now. ENJOY your family and friends and youth group!
I know the interviews are boring by now, because you can't say something but so many times. You are so kind to grant all of them!
Take care, and Godspeed!
George Cox
Wilmington, NC

July 30, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger STEVE B said...

Hey Zac,

Great to hear from you. Glad you are taking things one step at a time. I always wonder how bands play their hits night after night without going crazy but try to keep up your enthusiasm.

Prayers for Mary Ellen and her recovery.

College can be a great adventure and if you stagger your class load it can leave a lot of time for adventure. A kind of co-op program for the restless?


July 30, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Ben, Becky, (Noah) & Caleb Bacheller said...

Yeah..those Media people are real fun...hang in there Zach, it's all part of it.

July 30, 2009 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hi Zac,
Glad to hear that you are "navigating slowly with much guidance" the offers coming your way. Have some fun with your a 17 year old!!!

@ Croaker: I got a good chuckle from your post...if Intrepid looks anything like my daughters room after 2 days well one can only imagine what lerks...YIKES!!!

Please let your friend Mary Ellen know prayers are sent her way as she heals from such a terrible accident!

I'm sure repeating the same thing all day gets old...I do it..."you really should consider establishing a daily flossing routine because........" but here's the wonderful thing at least the things you repeat may inspire someone to "do hard things"... :)

Keep the faith, be still and listen, go out and have some fun. Oh and whom ever had the idea to raffle off a sailing lesson from you....THAT is an awesome idea!!! Or a cruise aboard Intrepid...I'd travel from NY to CA for that too right!!!

Anita M. Miracle RDH
Waterloo NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

July 31, 2009 at 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac,
Is there any way you could autograph your DVD BEFORE they ship out to the Zac-pac?

Now that sure would be neat! :)
Straight Wakes,
Mike S.

July 31, 2009 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Hey Zac – I’m back from my own little family adventure abroad, so have been away from posting during this crazy time of yours returning to “regular” life and the media storm… When we were in the Chicago airport, there’s a hallway with various country flags and a large, Christmas-lighted globe hanging from the ceiling – my two 4-year olds were ooing and aaing about the striking appearance of the globe (they are so interested in learning about the world, space, etc.). I looked up at it – all of the ocean parts of the world on that large globe are blank space, and I immediately thought of you and how you had crossed over all of that blank space, and what an absolutely incredible thing that was. Huge congratulations – what a trip it’s been, I’m so glad I tuned in for the ride. I really look forward to the DVDs and (hopefully!) book. I think it’s great that you’re weighing options and opportunities and thinking about the next big adventure. I understand some people’s concerns that have been voiced on here, but you and your parents proved consistently and constantly throughout your around-the-world travels that you’re weighing decisions carefully, thoughtfully, and faithfully – I can’t see that changing. I only wish that some TV entity had gotten on your bandwagon sooner, so that the adventure you’ve already completed would have been on TV… I guess there’s a lucky few of us that got to follow along on that one!

Also, hello to Marianne, Lawrence, the other Sunderland kids, and fellow Zac Pac!

Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

P.S. What about some adventure that takes you to all of your Zac Pac, as we are across the country and world? :-) Could be interesting…

July 31, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Betty E. said...

Hey Zac,
Good to hear from you....sorry about Mary Ellen,our prayers go out to her for a speedy recovery also if you give us her last name we can send cards in behalf of the Zac-pac for encouragement.
As usual you have received a lot of good advice from your Zac pac...and continued prayers. Hope all goes well for you with the Morris Agency.
When you finish cleaning up Intrepid, will you be taking her out again? Oh yeah, What happened to the Newsletter?
Take care,
Betty E., Lomita, CA

July 31, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A raffle for a sailing lesson/trip on Intrepid from "yours truely" from MDR to Santa Catalina Island and back again sounds like a great idea! You will have to limit the sale of the tickets to the supporters from your first adventure, but there's a lot of them and I'm sure it would help raise some $$$.

July 31, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Yogurt said...

Welcome back and good luck with your next adventure. Hope it is just as successful and rewarding as this one has been for you and your family.

Is there a complete and detailed route that is downloadable from anywhere, and if not could you post something on your web site? Thanks very much.


August 1, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I've been following Zac since shortly after your departure from MDR. Have to still check back on the blog every few days, out of habit. Here's a suggestion for Zac's next adventure...cross the U.S. by waterway. (I refer to a book called Blue Highway by William Least Heat-Moon. The author used a number of different craft to travel from NYC to Oregon, following for a while, the route Lewis and Clark took.)

August 2, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Zac

im from milton keynes and im learing about you and survival.did you really face pirates when you went around and where,this would really help fot reserch


April 6, 2011 at 6:02 AM  

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