Skip to comments.Teen Sailor Nears End of Round-the-World Solo Voyage
Posted on 07/10/2009 10:48:33 AM PDT by La Enchiladita
Like a lot of 17-year -olds, Zac Sunderland can get a bit tongue-tied at times. Only for Sunderland, it's not on account of hormones or nerves.
"I've been out at sea for a long time," says Sunderland, who has nearly reached his goal of becoming the youngest sailor to single-handedly circumnavigate the earth in a sailboat. "You kinda forget how to talk. Sometimes I'll get into a port and it'll take a week before the words I'm wanting to say can come out of my mouth the right way. It's annoying."
Sunderland, who has yet to get his driver's license, has spent the past year braving treacherous seas, outrunning Indonesian pirates and being bloodied by hailstones during his 26,000-mile voyage. He is currently working his way northward to California, sailing up the coast of Mexico's Baja peninsula. "If I catch a good wind, I hope to be there by July 14," he says, speaking by satellite phone from the cabin of his 36-foot Intrepid.
Sunderland left on his voyage June 14, 2008, from Marina Del Rey, Calif., heading toward the Marshall Islands in Micronesia. Asked if he thinks his parents (who live in Thousand Oaks, Calif.) are nuts for letting him embark on such a high-risk adventure, he can be heard laughing over the static and crackle of his phone. "I've been sailing all my life," says Sunderland, who grew up on boats with his shipwright father, mother and six siblings. "This is a natural thing for me to be doing. I feel comfortable out at sea, but things can get crazy at times."
Sunderland met up with pirates last October off the coast of Indonesia...
(Excerpt) Read more at people.com ...
Latest updates available at Zac’s Blog: http://www.zacsunderland.com/blog/index.html
He must have wealthy parents.
That was my first thought.
Wow! What an amazing young man. I can’t imagine doing what he’s doing at any age. My limited sailing is Pensacola Sound
in Fla. and Lake Martin in Ala. and I still stunk at it.
God bless him and his parents and family.
From what I have read, he and his family sunk their life savings and all resources into this venture and are now in debt, were not that wealthy to start with.
COOL! Hey, thanks for the ping, thanks for remembering!
Good for them, I guess.
Ms Watson is a
What COULD these peoples folks be thinking?!?!?!?!
They are not thinking in terms of personal limitations, as I do, that’s for sure!!:)
I think I heard of Jessica... it’s all Zac’s fault she has this idea, of course.
He is in Panama right now waiting to go through the Panama Canal. That should cost him (his parents) a lot of money.
He will then sail up the west coast up to his parents home in California.
I think think he’s nuts. It is a wonder he is alive.
Thank you, SonnyBubba, I’ll tell him if I get a chance.
His adjusted ETA is now 16th July, next Thursday.
Did you stink enough at sailing that you stopped, or do you still go out?
Oh no, honey, it’s been a while since he sailed through the Panama Canal... that was our last thread.... He’s been sailing alongside Baja California (Mexico) for a week now and will be re-entering U.S. waters (woo hoo) at any moment:)
It is truly a wonder he is alive.... absolutely.
Oh...okay...We got the news late here. Very late!!! I didn’t realize it was that old.
The person who printed it sometimes has trouble knowing what day it is.
Thank you for the correction.
I want to know how much it cost his family to go through the Panama Canal. We are talking thousands and thousands of dollars.
They aren’t poor that’s for sure if they reside in Thousand Oaks , Californy . Median home prices around 750,000 bucks . Supposed to be one of the best places to live in the USA .
You know, I didn’t think of cost re the Panama Canal. Um, what would the expenses specific to that be? May I ask: Are you a sailor also?
You are from Panama, aren’t you?!! (I just came across the name Lake Gatun) Maybe even the Canal Zone?
Here is the passage from Zac’s blog re passage through the canal, quite a complicated affair to say the least!!
I haven’t followed the blog throughout his journey, but I gather many expenses are handled by “sponsors.”
I read somewhere recently , possibly here on FR , that his family was $ 140,000 in the red at this point in time . I’m sure they’ll more than re-coup that once he is back and the book / DVD / etc. deals are made . Got to spend $ to make it !
Yes, I was born in Ancon, Canal Zone.
I used “Gatun” because I couldn’t think of anything else.
Thank you for the article. I didn’t know it was only going to cost him $1500. I thought it be in the thousands.
Years ago somebody swam through. He was measured and then charge $.59.
Thank you for that correction.
I also noticed the article you enclosed was dated 25 May rather than the article I read which was dated today.
Gads. What can I say!!!
When one is wrong, one is wrong, and admit to it.
Thank you again.
They are Christians . Check out the vid :
Here: I must have been half asleep or more this a.m. and for the past few weeks.
They were talking about some British kid who is even younger than the American kid. The British kid just arrived in Panama in his sailboat. I had the two confused for several weeks. It is obvious I am not a big sailing fan...something about getting seasick.
They are both crazy/nuts.
Sorry again for my confusion. And thank you for correcting me.
Hi Dita :)
Thanks for the ping! Brave young man is almost home. I hope to see him doing an interview.
I can’t understand why someone would go into debt, especially nowadays, to do this.
Sponsors maybe ..
Apparently wealthy Christians, with a really lucky son that gets to sail all over the place.
That’s probably it.
it’s a blast...I sailed my 33 ft Hans Christian sloop from Ventura/Oxnard (Channel Islands Marina) to Hawaii and back single handed. Took 17 days to get there and 25 to get back
..Even tho I was alone, All I kept sayin was ....did you see that !
first this comment that he must have wealthy parents and then the snide comment “good for them I guess”
this a conservative forum, why would anyone have issue with people sponsoring their kid to fulfill their dreams...plenty do it all the time....we call it college, law school , med school etc
none of which takes away from this remarkable achievement by such a youngster singlehandedly
just that leg from Kali to Mariannasis 6000 miles....alone in the rolling Pacific
not to mention the Southern Oceans and roaring 40s....not for sissies
Amelia Earhart had a rich much older husband, do we remember her any less benevolently?
man..class envy on a conservative forum...that's just great
I didn’t understand the angst either
you see this all the time here on some threads
there is a resentment of wealth from some here that permeates some topics like business threads and you get left with this populist tone which is a poor fit with a site that believes in liberty including the liberty to pursue wealth
many FReepers just spout platitudes on business...on most TARP threads most folks will claim that TARP money is a giveaway and it went to dead banks, neither of which is true
i’m not sure what to make of it, but it’s been here since my day one 9 years ago
i am happy for rich folks, don’t much like rich do gooders liberals but I love success for anyone...and especially this boy because as a former sailboat middle ocean sort myself once upon a time I know how perilous it can be
and no, my folks didn’t pay for it
did you see my post 32 ?
I’m not big on stink pots and this kid will money up because of his adventure...
it was a People interview so of course a movie is comin
as for FR....hey it takes all kinds and a FR thread always runs long enuf to correct the less accurate
You’re absolutely correct. I must be projecting all the negativeness that most of FR represents lately and that seems to be surrounding us daily, and took it out on these people. Besides, I’ve always wanted to do the smae, so a bit of jealousy is also involved.
Not class, individual. See my #38.
my bad stuart...fair enough...i get jealous too
i always wanted to be Steve McQueen
it’s all good !
At least we’re human. cheers
Hey, glad you all worked that out. I also was puzzled re stuart’s obsession with cost, and ... wardaddy ... your point about class envy is noted and well taken. I have seen this also, it’s so .... leftist. I wanted to put up the picture of the guy going “Geez, not this (headache) again.”
There is plenty of information on Zac’s website re the sponsors who have been helping out financially.
Anyway, the Sunderlands are Christian and put that out front in an admirable way. It’s not my business to know what the father’s profession is. Living in Thousand Oaks, although it is a nice suburb, is not proof of wealth by any means. And the family is now admittedly in debt.
So, can we get back on topic? LOL. Zac’s most recent leg of the journey, which he blogged last night, is a real hair-raiser: http://www.zacsunderland.com/blog/2009/07/ship-in-night.html
He came within 1/4 mile of being totalled by a Danish freighter and USCG, out of San Diego, intervened in his behalf (while still in Mexican waters).
Awesome, advertising guy! Hugh High Five!!!!!:)
Don't know your location, whether you can be in Marina del Rey next Thursday 7/16 but hopefully the webcam will be up and running.
Gatun, May 25th was just a little over a month ago... time flies, as we all know. Zig Zag Zac is on the homeward tack, latest update linked in post 43 if you are so inclined.
Thank you, but you did not read my post to you yesterday where I have been confused for all these couple of months.
I got that little guy confused with another little guy who was right behind him. He is a few months younger. Please read the following, and please give me your take on it: (Thank you.)
They are very biased against Zac and for Mike. I don’t see the need for that.
Not really, not if his dad is a shipwright. You can get a 20 year old 36 footer for under 30K, and put some sweat equity into it, and have a very capable world cruiser. As a "book deal investment" it's a pretty good bet.
I know plenty of "non-wealthy" folks who have rehabbed older (but sound) fiberglass boat. The worse the initial condition, the cheaper they can be had, if your skills are up th the rehab project.
In fact, I know somebody who built a 48' steel world cruiser from scratch in a horse pasture in Virginia. No single materials "payout" between long boatbuilding stints was over $10K. That guy has crossed several oceans in that boat. That guy is me.
Why? A sailboat crosses oceans at 6mph, and you can see ships etc miles and miles away. (Or your radar alarm when you are sleeping.)
What is death-defying is driving on two-lane highways, with tractor trailers going 65MPH the other way, six feet across a yellow line from you. That is instant death in one second, with no chance to avoid him. Give me the ocean any day.
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