Around the World... Alone.
by Jessica Miller  



There has never been a race like this before.

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 Josh Clark from Panama, Zac Sunderland of Southern California, and Michael Perham from England all shared the same dream when they set sail in 2008 for the open oceanÖ 

     That dream was to be the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe. These boys have all sailed the seas for as long as they can remember and have set out on the same mission. To complete such an adventure without setting any records  would be an amazing accomplishment all by itself! It takes a person with sailing experience, knowledge of their equipment as well as the sea, and a huge amount of self-confidence -- which each of these young people seem to have plenty of.

Let me introduce them to you in the order of their departures...

The Elusive at sea

Josh Clark:
age 16
Home Port:
Panama Bay, Panama
Departure Date: 
May 31, 2008

     "I left Panama on my adventure , heading only a few short miles to Isla Taboga. but still a great moment, one I have been waiting for, for years. The feeling of sailing away, not turning back... maybe one day joining the circle of the circumnavigators."

     Josh has been around boats for as long as he can remember and was home schooled until age eight. In his younger childhood he enjoyed frequent sailing trips to local lakes, rivers, and the ocean with his family. He has been working toward his goal for a very long time.

     He has been learning boat maintenance and other skills since third grade and has built a good 95% of his boat. He found her as a wreck in a shipyard and spent three years re-building her. With no need of sponsors, he set sail from Panama in May on the Elusive. Itís a 32í One-of-a-Kind!

The Intrepid at sea

Zac Sunderland:
age 17
Home Port:
Marina Del Rey, California
Departure Date: 
June 14, 2008

     "...the point is to have a dream, pursue it and don't give up. It helps to have your parents behind you like I do. If you really believe in what you are doing, you just accept that people will criticize you. Answer your critics but then keep going."

Zac Sunderland was born in California. He is a straight A student who has been home schooled all his life. His first home was the lower bunk bed on a 55í sailboat in Marina Del Rey, California. He has joined his family on adventures to New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and most recently, Mexico.

He has been preparing himself for his dream by sailing with his father on his own vessel and crewing for marina yachts and delivery captains. He has also been working hard to make sure that he is in top physical condition for his journey. Zach bought a 36í Islander with his life savings and the help of sponsors. In June he set out on the Intrepid from California.

The Totally Money at sea

ael Perham: age 16
Home Port: Portsmouth, England
Departure Date: 
November 15, 2008


"Just me and 24,000 miles of ocean.... Iím sure Iím
going to have plenty of adventures!"

     Michael, has already become the youngest person to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and he did it at the age of 14. He was born in Hertfordshire, England and has been sailing since he was six. His interests are anything that moves on water, music, drumming, and skiing. He has a very positive attitude and is naturally determined. With the help of sponsors, Michael was able to launch a chartered 50' Open racing yacht in November. The Totally Money (named after one of his major sponsors) is ready to go!

Mike's goal is a bit different than the others, in that he is also out to break the world's record for a non-stop, unassisted (under sail, with wind and muscle power alone) circumnavigation that is currently held by Australian, Jesse Martin. That means he must cross the equator and every single line of longitude on the earthís surface without stopping.  He will be at sea for four and a half months. Since Mike will spend over half his journey in the Southern Ocean, he will have to face freezing conditions along with some of the strongest winds on the face of the earth.

 Where are they now?

Josh is in Costa Rica, getting ready for his long Pacific Crossing. Zac is nearing his halfway point, and just docked in Mauritius (an island country in the southwest Indian Ocean). Mike is sailing south on the Atlantic Ocean, having just left Portsmouth, England, this week.  Big challenges ahead for all, so weíll keep you posted with our next installment of this adventure: Trouble on the High Seas. Until then, you can visit their blogs to follow along with them. Just click on the pictures of their boats to go there.

 See you next time, and remember,...

 ďLive your dream!Ē-Josh Clark

Last minute update: Watch out guys... 16 year-old Jessica Watson, from Australia, will be jumping into the race in March of 2009, also trying to break Jesse Martin's record. We'll be keeping an eye on her, too!



Hey everyone!
My name is Jessica Miller.

 I wrote an article for the Wilderness Kidís Club a few years back, if any of you remember me. I lived on a boat for five years and sailed around the world with my parents. Iím back in the good old U.S.A. now and itís not half bad! I am skiing a lot during the winter as I race for Loveland Ski team (which I am loving by the way).  I am also doing gymnastics and riding with Westernairs, a mounted drill team. We ride horses every other Saturday. I LOVE all animals and have a dog and a cat. The next animal I plan to obtain is a horse. That is, if I can get Mom to say, yes!

I am very excited for these three sailors and am eagerly following their journeys to see who reaches their destination first! I have written this article with hopes that you will be as riveted as I am. So, stay tuned for further updates and highlights of their adventures right here on the Wilderness School Magazine Young Adventurer page.

Need more adventure? Here are some of the stories that inspired today's young sailors...

  At 17, Jesse Martin departed Melbourne, Australia on December 7, 1998 to begin his journey around the world in his yacht, Lionheart.

He arrived back in Melbourne on October 31, 1999 and (literally) sailed into the record books at age 18. The entire journey covered 328 days and 27,000 nautical miles.

In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham began a solo around-the-world voyage from San Pedro, California, in a 24-foot sloop he called Dove.

Five years and 33,000 miles later, he returned to his home port with a wife and daughter and enough extraordinary experiences to fill this bestselling book.


Would you like to ask Jessica Miller a question,
or make a comment about this article?

Just type it into the box below, and she will answer you right here on this page.  

Dear Jessica Miller...

Our last Young Adventurers were...

The Ruder Guys
Brothers With A Mission
(click on the picture to go there)

"Look deep, deep, deep into nature... then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein                                           

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Last updated: December 03, 2015.