He returned 13 months later on July 16, 2009, after sailing 25,000 miles around the the globe.
Sunderland was age 16 when he left and 17 when he returned.
Sunderland set a record as the youngest solo sailor in the world to accomplish that feat.
Ironically, a British teen, Mike Perham, beat Sunderland's record just last month.
Percham is also 17, but a few months younger.
Sunderland's younger sister Abigail, 16, is planning a similar quest.
She plans a solo circumnavigation adventure in about two months.
City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.