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.


Anonymous Audrey said...

To those concerned about the web cam status; it has developed a hardware problem. We are sourcing a replacement and expect to have it up and running again within a few days. Rest assured we are doing all within our power to get the the video feed back online before the BIG day!

July 9, 2009 at 3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Laurence. 3 messages in 1 or just 1 ? :-)

People Magazine article about Zac:,,20290119,00.html

Time for Time ?

July 9, 2009 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

I want to leave a note for you Zac without seeming like a turncoat.

When I saw that you were coming in on the morning of the 14th, my heart sank as I cannot be in MDR that morning.

Although I feel for everyone who has made plans to see your sail break the horizon near MDR on Tuesday morning, I for one would be relieved to have the Baja Bash slow you down at least a few hours.

Every cloud has it's sliver lining. Your struggle with the winds maybe have been influenced by my struggle to juggle my schedule for you.

With prayers that your final dash will smooth out.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in their email address to receive my newsletter

The 2nd newsletter will probably go out this weekend as my cat is no longer pregnant and she can take care of her 5 kittens all by herself. She has pretty much told me to stay away so I am.

As always,
Bill Mann

July 9, 2009 at 5:36 AM  
Anonymous Lisa from Mt. Juliet, TN said...


I want to thank you and your lovely bride for the examples you have set as loving, encouraging, praying parents. The world is watching and what they are seeing and hearing is a testimony to your love as a couple, a family and as people of faith. What a powerful testimony the Lord will use for His glory. I am proud to be a part (no matter how small) of the Zacpack and all that I have gotten to witness through the internet and your stories. I am so grateful for this journey I have gotten to take with you. Thank you for inviting us all in to partake. This has been a joy.

Psalm 91

July 9, 2009 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger SVBillabong said...

I had a feeling the date might change ;)

My tribute post to Zac.

Enjoy the silence, while it lasts!!

July 9, 2009 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Mimi & Desi said...

Well Laurence, You're right. Prayer is the most powerful thing in heaven...on earth. The only thing that keeps us from holding our breath for Zac, is prayers slipping out, going up! He'll be fine. He's doing great! God's gotten him all this way with Zac's faith, tenacity & drive, & your family's support. Can life be any more wonderful...except for Intrepid in her slip & Zac asleep in his own room!!!! Praying you all have a peaceful & great day! Mimi & Desi, Atlanta

July 9, 2009 at 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Thanks, Lawrence -- appreciate the update and your (as always) insightful words. I just keep wondering if you all can just hardly believe this moment is just on the horizon? I find myself holding my breath just thinking about it -- I can't imagine what you must feel! Zac and your family will continue to be in my prayers... Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

P.S. I do hope someone records or the web cam is recorded and posts the homecoming to be viewed later if needed -- I was just going to be able to watch Zac and then head out of the country later that day, but if the return is delayed, it may be a few days or longer before I could get back in touch and watch anything. Even if I miss it live, I don't want to miss it completely! Thanks for considering!

July 9, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Anonymous J A GIbson said...

You must all be so very proud! This is an incredible feat and something that life stories are made of. Congrats to Zac and everyone involved!

July 9, 2009 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

What a beautiful post!
Thanks for updating us.
Tucson, AZ

July 9, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I wish you would give Zac more credit for his accomplishments. The weather and wind conditions are exactly as they would have been with or without prayer. It's Zac's amazing skill, perseverance and fortitude that will get him home safely and triumphantly. That's the real truth, and that's what inspires us.

July 9, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Went to your site and checked out the "TrackZac Map". Very cool!
Tucson, AZ

July 9, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger JBo said...

We will keep praying for him...right into port!!!

July 9, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patience, although so hard to come by, is such a virtue. Hang in there! Fitting comment by Billablong in their blog about sailing into port, "you can pick a time or a place, but you can't pick both."

Congrats to Jen Edney for People magazine credit -- I noticed your byline and am so happy for you:)

@ RKlein/UK -- Just tried the webcam connection and found it to be "temporarily offline." Am hoping someone will post a video so those of us who can not connect live will be able to view Zac's homecoming.

@ Zac -- It has been an incredible year for you and your family and I, too, wonder what you will do "day after day in a normal life."

Point to ponder: Is there any such thing as a "normal life?"

Am really looking forward to buying and reading your book:) Writing and publishing it will be another "hard thing" and a tour to promote it could also be an eye-opening adventure. Best wishes always to all! CindyinCincy

July 9, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Laurence and Marianne,
I feel so much that your family has become a part of my family. The connection we all share as part of God's family makes this possible. Though I'm in Colorado and not able to see Intrepid and Zac as they hit the horizon in MDR in a few days, know that I will be there in spirit. Give your wonderful son a big hug and hearty congratulations from my family. May all the Sunderland's continue to experience the joy that you've given us in allowing us to be a part of this incredible adventure.

July 9, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Marie said...

As always, it was good to hear from you Laurence. How proud you and Marianne must be!

As we keep praying, may the "Wind of Angels" continue to be with Zac.

Blessings always,
WA St.

July 9, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay Laurence, now I have chills as all of last night until I fell asleep at midnight, I prayed for wind for Zac.

We do serve a God who listens, and one who cares.

Sail on Zac.
Bend, OR

July 9, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ those w/sailing experience....Please explain "offshort tack."

Zac! You're almost at the border, buddy! It truly won't be long now.
Enjoy the solitutde, write down your thoughts before you transition to the busy nature of our lives here on land.

I hope that you will have time to decompress a bit. After reading the People article, it touched on something I have some concerns about and that is your ability to find words when conversing with people. Your ability to get out of your own head so to speak. When you don't use certain areas of your brain for a while, it is like a muscle, it weakens. You can and will restore it, with time. I hope you take care when you return to immerse yourself slowly rather than subjecting yourself to sensory overdose by doing and being pulled by too many demands. Okay, I'm off my soapbox...

@ Laurence - you wrote so eloquently of your feelings and I sensed your gratitude as well as your wistfulness as Zac closes in on his goal. I also appreciate your professional/technical expertise and all the hard work you did. I just realized as I was writing this, that I'm sure you could have paid others to do the repairs and adjustments made to Intrepid. However, as a parent, I'm sure you wouldn't dare trust that another would conduct and oversee them (repairs) with the same caring and passion that you could as his father.

July 9, 2009 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Karyn in Simi said...

Tall ship sailors refer to it as "the bash north" rather than sailing!

July 9, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hi all.. any info on the new shirts i heard about a few days ago?
I just got news that i didn't want to hear from my husband..he may not be able to take Thurs hoping that Zac makes it in by Wed otherwise im gunna go stand out on the I10 and catch a ride from "AZ Mona" hahaha..just kidding Mona..heck i might just come a day early & take an extra day off lol.
The MDR Hotel said we could ca up to 24 hrs. in sure we will know more b4 then??
Thanks every one!!

July 9, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Marie said...

@Kathy in Bend... Me too! Hmmmmm...

@Melanie... I feel the same way. I hope Zac takes whatever time he needs before making his final approach to really wrap his head around this past year. A quiet and introspective time before all the craziness!

Blessings -
WA St.

July 9, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Tomi said...

Thx Audrey for the update :)

July 9, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen in Palms said...

Thank you, Laurence, for your watchful and informative update. I am standing by for adjusted ETA, while Wind of Angels brings Zac Home.

10-4 guys...:o)

July 9, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

@ Laura -
Escape the Dunes heat and come early and stay later! I so hope you'll be able to make it. I'm looking forward to meeting up with some wonderful folks that day.

July 9, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous carly nyc said...

I read the piece of Zac in People Magazine today and immediately looked him up on the internet hoping to find information about his amazing quest/adventure. I am happy to see the blog and the daily updates and have noted on my calendar his tentative return date and hope the webcam is working so I may view from my workdesk here in New York City his homecoming. A part of history is in the making by a young man with the with fortitude, dream, intelligence and heart to carry out such an amazing feat at such a young age...a warrior, explorer and a carrier of dreams thought by others yet accomplished by him. Amazing.

July 9, 2009 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Lakes Observer

This comment will bring some backlash I’m sure. It’s not intended to offend anyone.

As I had mentioned some months ago, “Lessons of the seas can only be learned through experience on the seas”. Your travels have taken you from the realm of story listener to one of story teller. You are now a speaker with the tone of knowledge on a subject.

Could it be said however, with all the scattered personal connections, modern transportation and electronic communications, that you truly did not sail around the world alone? With “Zac Pac support at virtually every port, daily internet communications and the hand of God on your shoulder all the way, when can you say you were ever really alone?

This is not meant to reduce the considerable effort of your single handed adventure. I know the challenges are great and the concerns real. Ships in the night are an ever looming danger on the high seas and a thief of rest. The trip however was not taken alone, as evident by the comments of your following Zac Pac fans. They also were with you every day all the way.

It is with great admiration of your fortitude and efforts under some stressful conditions that I congratulate you on your success. You do deserve well earned round of applause from all who followed your travels. Thank you for the year long novel and the exciting chapters along the way.

A fellow mariner

July 9, 2009 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

@ Laura,
I think I remember from one of your posts that you're in Palm Springs? Which we'll definately be passing through. We're coming over on Sunday the 12th and leaving Friday the 17th (hopefully Zac's in by then) or I may have to extend my stay. Let me know if we need to be on the lookout for a hitchhiker in the PS area????
Tucson, AZ

July 9, 2009 at 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Kaye Kittrell said...

Zac, I was really hoping you'd make it by Tuesday (I'm sure you were too!), because we leave for vacation on Wednesday. I had planned to be there to meet you and welcome you home. I've been reading every blog post for months, and praying for your safe return. Congratulations on an amazing journey, and for inspiring so many people with your courage, ability and passion.

Still hoping you make it!

Kaye Kittrell

July 9, 2009 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Tray said...

Good evening, Laurence! I just read your eBook, California Dreaming...nonstop. Now I understand where Zac gets his writing talent. What a wonderful description of a once in a lifetime family trip. My family was also close, with 3 boys and 1 girl (I am the oldest by 6 years). We had many adventures together! I am praying for Zac's safe arrival at home port next week. You and Marianne have raised a fine son in Zac, and I'm sure your other kids are as outstanding in their own ways. God Bless you all, every one!
Tray M.

July 9, 2009 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Mouse on a Motorcycle said...

@ Melanie

The word 'Tack' is used in four primary ways on a boat, two nouns and two verbs.

First, and almost completely unrelated to this conversation, the tack of a sail is the bottom front corner, where it is attached, in the case of the mainsail, at the intersection of the mast and boom. In headsails, it is the corner of the sail that is attached to the stay, closest to the deck.

Tack is a verb when a sailboat is sailing upwind. Obviously, a sailboat can't sail directly towards the wind. The best that it can do is approximately 45 degrees away from the wind. The boat sails for a while on one angle, then turns to the other angle for a while. This process of turning back and forth in order to make oblique progress to windward is called tacking.

Just to be a bit more confusing, each time the boat turns with the bow pointed into the wind, that is also called tacking.

The way it's used in "offshore tack" is a means of describing a boat's direction relative to the wind. You know that the right side of a boat, if you're looking towards the bow, is called starboard, and the left side is called port. If the wind is coming over the right side of the boat before hitting the sail, then the boat is therefore said to be on a starboard tack. If the wind comes over the left side first, the you're on a port tack.

When you're tacking upwind, you're always either on a port tack or a starboard tack, unless you're actually tacking, which is an important part of tacking. (confused yet?)

Anyway, since Zac is beating upwind, he's either on a port tack, which in his area will send him towards land, or a starboard tack, sending him further offshore. As long as that explanation is, that's the meaning of "offshore tack". He's staying, for a while anyway, on the tack that will take him farther offshore.

Now you know why my kids hate to ask me questions...

Still praying Numbers 6:24-26
Mouse in Whittier

Buy "Death and Coffee" here!

July 9, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Sheila Bair said...

Just wanted you to know you've got another prayer partner "behind" you (even though I'm sitting in Newbury Park). PRAISE GOD! May He SMILE on you! (TPCS Alumni Mom)

July 9, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Tomi said...

No new news from Capt Zac! or Team Sunderland - which means am sending up prayers for safety/comfort for those waiting (Team Sunderland..., k' ZacPac too ;) ).

Again, a hearty thx to those manning/hosting the webcam. Please keep the ZacPac informed - maybe one of us might be able to provide the "hardware" that is in need of being replaced - just a thought.

Again (another plug for my Hero's store), if you haven't visited Capt Zac!'s Store yet - please do so. If you have, please consider another stop to donate $10-$15. Really, any amount is appreciated - whatever it takes to reduce the debt this most fantastic circumanavigation has cost (yes, I did toss a few more my Hero's way w/out a t-shirt/poster/calendar purchase this time). :)

Keep the Faith/white candles lit/positive energy flowing toward Our Hero!

Bear HUGS!

July 9, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Tray said...

I find myself refreshing the constantly open web page to see if new progress has been posted...Zac's getting close!
Tray M.

July 9, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

God Bless you Sunderlund Family! This has been an incredible journey for you all..
God speed to Zac!

July 9, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

@ Mona..Thank you so much for the offer..i am in Bermuda Dunes that's about 15 miles east of Palm Springs..i wish i could take a week off work but a few days is all i can do.
I will for sure make Zac's homecoming with or with out the husband lol.
@Zac..keep up the "Zac-a-tacking"!I know, that was bad haha.
See you all there!

July 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger valntim said...

@Melanie- "offshore tack".
Tacking is basically zigzagging. It seems until today Zac has been making tight zig zags up the Baja coast, not making much progress. He is basically sailing into the wind. Now he is conducting an offshore tack. He is sailing northwest (away from shore). Now instead of sailing directly into the wind, he has the wind coming across the right side of his boat, pulling him north. I believe he will continue this direction for a few hundred miles. Then he will turn northeast, bringing the wind across the left side of his boat, still pulling him north. At the point he turns NE, he will be 200 or so miles southwest of MDR.
I hope all of this is correct. I am a novice. I have learned a lot over the last 13 months. @everyone: If I made any mistakes ....please be nice!
I have had my two days off approved, I have a room reserved for the 13th. I will be in MDR. I hope Zac makes it in on time. I am a AC tech in the desert. It is hard for me to get time off in July. I need to give at least a weeks advance notice to get any time off. I may have jumped the gun a bit. If I can't meet Zac, maybe I will able to connect with some fellow Zac packer's.

July 9, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Trevor Leslie, London UK said...

"dirt-biking across Africa"

I'd join you for that one - besides sailing, motorbiking easily rates as one of my other biggest passions!


@Audrey - thanks for the situation report regarding the webcam

July 10, 2009 at 1:21 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Hello Laurence,

Please do not worry about when Zac returns. We know he's doing the very best he possibly can. I know you feel the pressure from everyone wanting to ge there when Zac arrives but it's out of you control.

Thank you so much for the great post. The day is almost here. Hopefully all your gray hair will disappear now. Just so you know that never worked for me!!!

Sail Home Zac,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

July 10, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see. Zac's looking for something to do?

How about a world circumnavigation on the equator: combine, sailing, biking and hot air ballooning.

You have to stick to 0 degrees the entire way around.

Don't think that's been done.

July 10, 2009 at 7:26 AM  

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