Thursday, August 27, 2009

Congratulations Mike!

I haven't had time for much sightseeing since touching down in New York this time. I have been in meetings since I arrived. It's all good as I am navigating my way through a major change in my life since returning from my solo sail around the world.

I hear that congratulations are in order for fellow solo sailor, Mike Perham. Good on ya Mike and all the best for you and your family upon your return. I know how you feel not wanting the trip to end but end it must. There are so many opportunities that will open up for you now. Who knows, if we could meet by chance in Cape Town while traveling opposite directions and virtually completely different courses, perhaps we will meet again. All the best and heartfelt congratulations.

Meanwhile, Abby and Dad are in Newport, Rhode Island checking out a possible boat for her trip. I won't ruin her news so that is all I'll say for now.

One more meeting tomorrow and then I'm back to Cali. Looking forward to getting back and getting to work on some school, speaking engagements and, yes, more meetings!




Anonymous The Writer said...

Hi Zac,
Boy, your lifestyle has certainly taken a 360-degree turn, hasn't it?
You've got to take advantage of your new opportunities. Just don't get in too much of a hurry. Be patient, take time to list priorities, plan effectively and move forward!
That was a nice quip for Mike. You're a class act!
By the way, I'm going to be blogging for Raycom Sports this fall on the NC State blog site!
Godspeed Zac Sunderland!
George Cox
Wilmington, NC

August 27, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

oh see how you are Zac haha..does Abby have a blog yet?
Wouldn't it be cool if she & Jessica crossed paths too..
I hope NY is treating you well..don't forget to use your hand sanitizer if your on the subway again and get those 3rds out when you get home!!
Looking forward to the DVD.

August 27, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering why Zac's circumnavigation around the globe was not recognized by Guiness World Record?

August 27, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Will/East London S.A. said...

Hi Zac,

pls don't forget to stop in East London, on your way to Cape Town.
Your second succulent T-bone is ready for the "braai"



August 28, 2009 at 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Love this post, Zac - so much oppotunity for you, Mike, Abby, and many other young people (and us a little older as well!) - you all serve as inspiration that determination and support from others can take us many beautiful places in this world. Keep it up, Zac - what a ride it continues to be! Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

August 28, 2009 at 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Zac,
With all the young sailors in the news recently,whats your take on all of it?
You've seen the loneliness from 34 days out at sea.
Can a 13 year old in a much shorter boat sail around the world with VERY little contact from others,no pulling in for a weather-window to open,OR to rest.
Is it damaging?
Your opinion "holds-water" sort of speak. LOL

Straight Wakes,

August 28, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abby's Blog can be found here:


August 28, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Did you see this story? About a 13 yr old girl trying to solo-circumnavigate, but Child Protective Services stopped her. I wonder if they would have done that if she were a boy?

August 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

PS: how old is Abby? Based on that article, don't let her touch down in England!

August 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hi are a busy man! Good on you to Congratulate would know what it takes to make that trip! Looks like you started a trend!

Enjoy yourself....don't forget you're always welcome to come visit the Fingerlakes region of NY! We have some great sailing here too!

Waterloo NY
Captain SV "Wombat"

August 28, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Laffing Dawg said...

Hey Zac,

I'm sure it is a bit of culture shock taking care of the business end of getting the print and dvd media out. But it is all good, for sure. So much to see and learn. I will start following Abby's blog in support of her.

It was fun to see Mike accomplish his goal. It would be fun to read about a meeting of you two again. What a great testament you two are to the youth of the world.

Carry On Mate,
Bend, OR

August 28, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Mike Gregg said...

The article regarding the 13 year old being prevented from attempting her solo navigation mentions that "Mike Perham, 17, had a support team sailing alongside him during the trip." Did I miss something? I don't remember reading that on his site or in his blog entries. Just one more reason why I think what Zac accomplished is greater. Not to mention that Zac made his journey quite an adventure with all of his extended stops along the way. What a great time!

August 28, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Tray said...

I think someone has already spilled the beans, but I won't post a spoiler (on your sister's trip)...


August 28, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Grant Fjermedal said...

@ Mike Gregg -- No, Mike Perham didn't have a support team sailing along with him.

That was just an example of a writer doing a story on sailing and not knowing anything about it.

They were probably trying to say "he had support along the way" just as Zac did when he hit port to get something fixed.

Both boys were very much alone out on that great big huge ocean. And Mike was almost always alone when he had to go into a port to get something fixed. His dad might have flown out one or twice, but I'm sure he's not nearly the asset that Zac's shipwright father is.

Zac posted a nice congratulatory note on Mike's Web site (as well as here) on the day Mike crossed the finish line. (Mike had extended the same courtesy to Zac, too.)

Since crossing the finish line, Mike has been zig-zagging back and forth in the English Channel (you can see the crazy tracking marks at his Web site: as he waits for the huge party that awaits him Saturday morning when he lands back at his home port.

Hope to see some video footage of that from somewhere on the Web.

Will be interesting to see when Jessica Watson takes off. She has a great boat. Although two feet shorter than Zac's, her Sparkman & Stephens 34 is a tough boat. In fact the S&S 34 has been used by a number of circumnavigators, including Jesse Martin, the Aussie who still holds the record for being the youngest to sail around the world nonstop and unassisted. His path included rounding Cape Horn.

If Abby decides to go, she might consider an S&S34. They don't cost much and they are proven to be safe, although it seems as if she is looking for something faster, more similar to what Mike Perham had. (Mike used an Open 50, and I've read that Abby is interested in an Open 40.)

Should be an interesting year. ;-)

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

August 29, 2009 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Just to clarify the situation with Mike Perham. At the age of 14 he sailed solo across the Atlantic. His father, Peter, followed him in another boat 30 miles apart as backup in case Mike came to any harm.

As far as Mike's circumnavigation is concerned he did that solo. Like Zac Mike's Dad flew out to meet him when he had problems with the boat in New Zealand I think it was.

A google of Mike's adventures would give you the truth of what he has achieved.

August 29, 2009 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

@ Mike Gregg
Just to clarify, Mike Perham DID NOT have a support team following close by. There was an erroneous report that his father did follow which was later corrected. During Mike's solo cross Atlantic trip when he was 14 his father DID follow 2 miles behind in another boat. If one reads the blogs it is quite evident there was no support team following during this adventure.

I think both young men deserve a lot of praise and support for their accomplishments. Both are GREAT in their own right and to try to diminish one or the other for what ever reason is counter productive. Both deserve the highest accolades.

August 29, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Now that was a great post Zac. Contradictions to Mike for also finishing his trip around the world. It's amazing to see how so many kids want to make this trip now. It looks like you started a new fad here.

Great to hear about Abby. I can't wait to actually hear the news. Please keep us posted and let us know if this trip will actually happen.

Enjoy the Attention,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

August 29, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous who is wondering about Guinness World Records: I would recommend reading the FAQ on Zac's site, particularly the page devoted to Records.

Eric H.
Southern CA

August 29, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The "Brits"
are fighting back!!
A few of them lobbed
cannonballs at your
blog this week. Haha.

(Guess from media
confusion over Mike's
preliminary assisted sail
over the Atlantic at 14)

Sounds like you and Mike
started a little mini-naval
battle between two
nations! (Just kidding)

Now we are going to have
two young girls from
Holland and Australia
"battling" it
out on the high seas!!

In about 20 years you
and Mike may compete
as skippers in an "America's Cup" competition!!!

I congratulate both of you
for your successes.

It was great to follow both
your adventures.



August 29, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Colie Brice said...

Good form Zac. Both young sailors deserve high accolades. Congratulations to both of you.

August 30, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hi Zac,

It's nice to come here and see updates on what's happening in your world. :-) Did you go to New York alone this time?

I know you are busy juggling all manner of things right now. Well, meditate sometimes. Get still for a few minutes if possible.

Is that possible? :-)

I may not post much now; however, I am reading. Thanks again for keeping us informed. It was great seeing you and Mom Marianne on Huckabee.


August 31, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Kodiak Mike said...

Sounds like a busy, busy schedule. That relentless heat in Calli is still hanging round,huh? Heard about all the wildfires. Take Care.
Kodiak Mike

August 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is nice that Zac held the record for at least a month. What is worth noting here and I think we can all agree, that Mike had much bigger sponsorship, a bigger and faster boat and he also did the trip much faster and did not spend a lot of time in various ports like Zac did. Now most of the time it was due to failures on the boat and the need to replenish supplies. But I think Zacs accomplishment and the fact that he completely redid and retrofitted his boat is in fact a bigger accomplishment. He also did this with his own money. Not the actual sialing fundamentals and fortitude needed, my hat goes off to both young men. And testament to human peresrverance and will! Way to go both of you.

Chris Carnaghi
Alhambra, CA

September 3, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

Tania Aebi on NPR 9/3/09 commenting on the recent and upcoming potential teen circumnavigators, including Zac, Mike, & Abby.

September 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher said...

The transcript of the same NPR interview with Tania Aebi as I posted earlier.

September 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

@ Chris..yes Mike now has the youngest record but Zac has and always will have the record for being the first under 18.
And if all goes well for the Sunderlands, Mike will be handing the record back..this time to Abby.
Go Girl!!!
Laura BD

September 4, 2009 at 10:16 PM  
Anonymous vivien said...

hi Zac! I'm a Chinese and I read about your story on my english class.
it's really cool!

September 5, 2009 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Mann said...

It is with heavy heart that I read that the Station Fire has consumed the Vetter Mountain Fire Lookout Tower near Mount Wilson.

I had spent many many memorable days and nights in the tower pulling fire lookout duty there.

The solitude, just 35miles away from the masses in Los Angeles. The wildlife, the trees, the occasional visitor hiking up the trail are memories I will treasure.

A little black bear looking through the window of the tower.

the tower in happier days.

My next newsletter will contain some of the memories of my days at Vetter Mountain.

Bill Mann

September 6, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

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