17-year-old homeschooler sails solo around the world

Until recently, Zac Sunderland‘s solo circumnavigation of the world in a sailboat was a record-setting feat. In July, the 17-year-old from Thousand Oaks, Calif. became the youngest person to sail solo around the world. On Aug. 27, Britain’s Mike Perham eclipsed Sunderland’s record because he is a few months younger.

Taking nothing away from Perham, Sunderland’s journey was quite remarkable. Sunderland is a home-schooled, Christian whose faith and family have clearly played a huge role in his success. It’s clear by reading his remakable and articulate accounts of his journey that he is no ordinary high schooler.

When Sunderland was just 300 miles from home–on July 8 of this year–his dad wrote on his blog: “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.”

Zac’s blog is a great read, and he is planning to write a book about his journey. It’s encouraging to see adventurous young people making a statement for the Lord, as Zac did in this blog entry on Apr. 1:

“There was the time between ports off of South Africa when I was sitting up in the cockpit at night watching and waiting for a ship to pass off of my radar screen so I could reset the alarms. I had fallen asleep without resetting the alarms. I felt someone grab my shoulder and shake me. I woke up and looked around but there was no one there! I sat up and realized that I was on a collision course with a ship. I was just able to alter course in time. If I had not been woken, I might not be writing this today. I guess you could say that Someone is looking out for me!”

While we may not be embarking on a 13-month voyage, these kinds of stories are good for us to hear and remember. After all, someone is looking out for all of us, and we just need the courage to share Him with the world.


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  1. Thanks for sharing, Dani. I had heard about him on the radio a few weeks ago. It’s a neat inspirational story.

    September 4, 2009

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