OK everyone - think back to when you were 16. What was the first thing on your mind? (Skippy, no reason to share, this is a family blog).
Toby Sunderland declared Thursday "Zac Day" in honor of his older brother -- and that it was.And yes Anne, he is home schooled.
Hundreds of admirers could not wait for Zac Sunderland, 17, to guide his 36-foot vessel into Marina del Rey on Thursday morning, completing a 13-month quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.
So they formed a conspicuous armada that included skiffs, sailboats and yachts, and greeted the mariner offshore. There were lifeguard boats, police boats and news helicopters, which buzzed in a light fog that gave way to sunshine as the shaggy-haired adventurer rounded the breakwater.
Once ashore -- Sunderland's first steps as a figure of sailing lore -- he looked the way he generally has when reaching port: casual, as though he'd just returned from a Sunday cruise.
This despite the magnitude of what he'd accomplished: Fewer than 250 people have sailed solo around the world, according to the American Sailing Assn., whereas more than 300 people climbed Mt. Everest just this year.
Hundreds of people had lined the waterfront at Fisherman's Village. They clapped their hands and shouted, "You did it!" and at one point broke into a chorus of "God Bless America."
To be sure, if sailing is a pastime purely for the wealthy, that was not evident on this historic morning.
Sunderland, who departed Marina del Rey when he was 16 on June 14, 2008, not only broke a record held by Australia's Jesse Martin, who was 18 when he finished in 1999. He became the first person to solo-circumnavigate the planet before turning 18 -- a mark he'll never relinquish.