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Zac Sunderland sails into sweltering Mexican port to provision for home stretch

June 9, 2009 |  9:20 am

So close never seemed so far for Zac Sunderland, who for the last several days has been mired in a near-windless and sweltering part of the Eastern Pacific south of Acapulco, a distant 2,000 miles from home.

Early this morning, Sunderland, 17, who has been sailing for nearly a year in an endeavor to become the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the planet, cruised into Huatulco to check into Mexico, clear customs and provision for the home stretch.

Beforehand, he wrote on his blog, "I just dumped my gun and all of my bullets over the side as Mexico has a zero tolerance policy on firearms. If customs finds it they could seize my boat and throw me in jail which is not really worth the risk."

Zac had hoped to arrive in Marina del Rey June 25-26, but his homecoming probably will occur at least a week after that.

Meanwhile, he and his parents have begun advance sales of Part 1 of the documentary, "Intrepid, the Zac Sunderland Story," available via his website.

The above video clip is a trailer from footage in the Indian Ocean, during perhaps the most perilous portion of his journey, when the forestay -- rigging to keep the mast in place -- of his 36-foot yacht separated from the chain plate at the bow while he was battling fierce wind and 15-foot seas.

While attempting repairs, he risked losing his mast and being swept overboard during an ordeal that played out over three days.

Smartly, the Thousand Oaks adventurer totes a video camera, and his father has been collecting footage in various ports. The family says it isn't seeking to profit from Zac's odyssey, but Laurence Sunderland said they hope to recoup some of the $150,000 spent to fund the project.

-- Pete Thomas

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