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Zac Sunderland stops in Hawaii on circumnavigation

by Sail-World on 13 Jul 2008
Intrepid under sail off Diamond Head. Photo: http://www.zacsunderland.com/ SW
Zac Sunderland is 16 years old. He is currently sailing across the Pacific Ocean attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world alone by yacht.

Zac is currently in Ala Wai Boat Harbor, Waikiki.

Read Zac's latest blogs:

Friday, July 11, 2008 - Welcome to Paradise

Current Position: Ala Wai Boat Harbor, Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu. Will get the coordinates tomorrow off the boat.

Ok so last night I picked up some wind about 30 miles out of the Kawiii Channel, the passage between Mokakai and Oahu which is notorious for bad sea conditions. The wind built up to about 15 knots by the time I reached the channel. I reached the channel at 12:30am and set my course for Diamond Head.

The channel was a little choppy and I got a couple waves in the cockpit. At around 2:00am one came over the side of the boat and soaked me. It was a warm night so it wasn't bad actually- helped me stay up. I was up all last night navigating around ships and studying charts. I reached Diamond Head around 4am and called my mom who told me I was going to have to stand off the harbor till the reporters got there at 9am....... just what I want be doing after being out at sea for three weeks and not sleeping all night!

O well, so at around 9:30am a boat packed with camera crews and reporters came out and got some footage of me sailing (well if you can call it that - the wind pretty much stopped after I got around Diamond Head). They guided me in to the Ala Wai Harbor. I docked up and hopped off the boat, got my lay(purple flower necklace). I did a few interviews, locked up the boat and headed off to my parents hotel. We hit the lunch buffet where I ate a little of everything (amazing pineapple!) and slept for a couple hrs. The shower was awesome.

Tonight we just hung out at the hotel and watched some of my video log and ate some more good food. Lots of talk about plans, work and fun. We'll figure it all out tomorrow...

Just a quick note from mom:

Zac has been standing off the harbor here in Waikiki since about 6:00 this morning. He is waiting for the press crews to arrive. I'm sure it seems ridiculous to him that we need our 8 hours of sleep, a shower and coffee before we can get to work!

He had a wild ride throught the Kaiwi Channel last night with a few waves breaking into the cockpit! He is in good spirits and is looking forward to the all-you-can-eat buffet at the hotel.

For any of you here in Waikiki, Zac will be pulling in at 9:00 this mornng if you want to come down and shake his hand!

CHEERS!
Marianne

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Land Ho!

Current Position (as of 4:56 UTC): 21.28N, 156.56W

Note from Mom: These posts are getting later and later as Zac travels across the Pacific! I post his blogs for him and copy, paste and forward many of your comments and emails to his on board email. We have had some technical difficulties on our travels but will do our best to get these blogs posted most days while he is here in Honolulu. I was pretty excited this afternoon to get a call from Zac on his cell phone! I looked down and there was his photo ID.

From Zac:

Okay...now I am excited. I spotted the outline of the island of Molokai early this afternoon. I hadn't really thought to be looking and was up on deck securing some lines with the constantly shifting winds I've had today when I looked up and there it was! No, I couldn't smell land as some people have done. That is probably because the wind is coming from the seaward side not offshore. I am currently about 10 miles off the shore of Molokai, 50 miles from Diamond Head and 55 miles from The Hawaii Yacht Club.

I was busy most of the day changing sails. I'd just get the sails set wing and wing, which is when the wind is directly behind you and you set one sail out to port and the other out to starboard. It is a tricky point of sail if the wind shifts so you have to tie down eveything. I'm sure I looked like a three ring circus up and down all day long. I've been studying my charts and cruising guides to know the best route into the marina. There is a lot of coral around Oahu that can do serious damage to your boat. The channels are all well marked as long as you know what you are looking for. I've been less careful about using power and microwaved some oatmeal today. It was my first breakfast at sea besides my bacon and eggs in Emerald Bay. I was saving the rest of my bacon and eggs for later in the trip but then ran out of alcohol for my stove!!

Mom and dad have been busy in Honolulu. They went to the chandlaries today to pick up my list of supplies: 3 gallons of stove alcohol, a gas tank for my outboard motor, 2 DC powered fans, a wind scoop which is a nylon 'sock' that attaches to your boat hatch (little door/window in the deck) to pull wind into the boat while at anchor and a few other minor things. can you tell that it is hot here? We will shop for food in a few days.
Don't know how much sleep I'll get tonight. There is a lot of boat traffic tonight and, wouldn't you know, the wind is finally picking up.

Cheers,
Zac


Wednesday, July 9, 2008 - A Visitor

Current Position (as of 5:00 UTC): 21.35N, 155.22W

Hey All!
Sorry for the scare yesterday. I think it would have been pretty hard to have had a tradegy at sea yesterday with the light winds and calm seas that I had. Thank you for all the concerned emails and comments.

You may have heard already that I had a visitor last night! In the middle of the night a Booby bird (not a blue-footed) crashed into my main sail and landed in the cockpit. I went up to see what the noise was and noticed the poor stunned thing crouching in the corner of the cockpit. Being half asleep and not realizing how many times a Booby bird can poop in 6 hours, I decided to let him rest there for awhile. When I woke up in the morning he was sitting on my tiller having a ride with the wind vane steering! I thought he would leave when he saw me but he just acted kind of bored with me and kept grooming himself. After awhile, I began to make threatening motions at the stubborn thing. He just screached at me like it was his boat. Not knowing what else to do I went below and grabbed my fog horn. You know the canned compressed air that pops your eardrums when you sound it? I shot theat thing of and no more Booby bird. Made for some great photos though.

After cleaning up after my guest I got to work with my boat chores and tried to take a nap. There are so many squalls that my radar alarm is constantly going off. I can't turn the radar off and sleep, so, no sleep. Have been reading Josh Slocum. I'm still in the part where he is preparing the boat for sea. I skipped ahead to the sailing part and read that he was trying to design a self steering device. In the end he learned how to balance his sails just right so the boat would keep itself on course. I wonder how often he still had to steer himself?

I made 55 miles today In 12 hours). That puts me about 150 miles from port. At this speed I probably won't make it in tomorrow but Friday for sure. Mom and Dad met with the Vice Commodor of the Hawaii Yacht Club today. He and the powers that be will welcome me as their guest for a few days when I arrive. Many thanks to everyone there who are preparing for my arrival. I am really looking forward to seeing Hawaii as I have never been there. Not sure what we will do there besides eat, sleep, laundry, shop and film but I'd be pretty happy to just do that.

Cheers,
Zac

Monday, July 7, 2008 - Feast or Famine

Another slow day today. The wind was so light at night that it was hard to steer other than by hand. Usually I sleep down below in the salon (main room of the boat). It is more comfortable there and I have a good view of the radar. I have rigged up some lines to the wind vane so I can pull them and adjust the course and not have to get up.

The wind was light all day - barely
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