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For twenty-eight years, I have lived, traveled, worked, and cruised outside the USA.

My global adventures have sometimes been a source of confusion to my family and friends.  Some of them have even suggested that I have wasted large segments of my life.  After all, if I had gone mainstream professionally, I could have been rich - maybe even famous.

They are probably right.  I could have been rich and famous, but I also would have been miserable, maybe even depressed, because I would not have been living my dreams.

I worked as an eye surgeon for eleven years in Saudi Arabia, and then I went sailing around the world with my family on my small yacht.  When I stopped doing ophthalmology and started living my cruising dreams, many of my professional friends acted like I fell off a horse and hit my head.  They thought I was throwing everything away when I moved on to different things.

They had a problem with their vision.  They had a form of inner blindness that prevented them from seeing my dreams.  To them, it looked like I was wandering, even lost.

Well, I have news for all the naysayers, disbelievers, and critics.  Even though I am wandering, I am not lost.  I am on course, and I am exactly where I want to be, because I am living my dreams. 

In one of my books (unpublished) I have a term that I use to describe a group of clueless people;  I call them the Life Long Disoriented.  These folks don't know who they are, and they don't know where they are going. They are adrift on the ocean of life.

I am not a member of the Life Long Disoriented because I know exactly who I am.  I am Captain Dave, circumnavigator of planet earth.  I am Landroverman, an expert in expeditionary travel in Land Rover Defenders.  I am Dr. Dave, a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service flying out to Indian reservations to deliver health care in Arizona.  I am also a speaker, writer, podcaster, webmaster, and photographer.

I also know where I am going.  I am traveling in the direction of my dreams.  Wherever my dreams take me, that's where I will end up.  Although it may look like I am wandering, I definitely am not lost.  I have been living my life on purpose for the past 59 years, and I plan to continue living the same way.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that if you aren't living your dreams, you are wasting your life.  So go ahead.  Live your dreams.  You'll be glad that you did.
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This picture is taken from the top of the mast of Exit Only.  This is what your life looks like when you go cruising.

Now, put a blindfold on, close your eyes, and stare into the black void.  That is what your life looks like without going cruising.  It's a life without ever seeing the spectacular beauty that's yours for the taking when you drop you dock lines and set sail on the ocean of your dreams.

While I was working in Saudi Arabia saving up freedom chips for my voyage around the world, I kept a picture of Bora Bora on the wall above my computer desk.  Every day that I worked in Arabia, I burned that picture into my consciousness, because I wanted to have Bora Bora on my mind.  That picture constantly reminded me of who I was and where I was going.  Although my colleagues and patients thought I was Dr. Dave, I knew my true identity.  I was captain Dave, master and commander of Exit Only, and I was on my way to French Polynesia.  Although my body was in Riyadh, it was just a matter of time before my anchor would be down in Paradise.  I had Bora Bora on my mind, and I knew where I was going.

For more than ten years, I kept Bora Bora on my mind, because I didn't want to miss out.  I knew that as long as I focused on my dreams, I would be willing to do whatever it takes to make them happen.  Living dreams is mostly about focus and persistence.  If you have a positive focus, and if you're endlessly persistent, it won't be long before your dreams come true.

You only get one life, and it would be a shame to miss out on living your dreams.  Go ahead.  Live your dreams.  You won't regret it.

There's no limit to how good your life can become.


People are always asking the wrong questions about sailing around the world.  The most frequent question is how much it costs to buy a yacht and do a circumnavigation.  The second question is about how much time it takes, and the third question is about pirates and hurricanes.  I understand why they ask those questions, but there are other more important questions on which they need to focus.

Questions like the following:

How many lives do you get?
If you aren't living your dreams now, when are you going to start?
How many years are you guaranteed to have perfect health?
How many years are you going to be alive?

These are the questions that really matter.  It's easy to forget the facts of life.

Here are the facts of life.

1.  You only get one life.
2.  Life is short and death is long.
3.  There is virtually no reason that you should not be living your dreams.

On the wall above my computer, I have a large chart that shows the timeline of human history.  It goes from neolithic and paleolithic times right up to the present.  It shows the major empires that for a time spread across and ruled planet earth.  Some of those civilizations lasted for more than a thousand years, and now they are gone.  Billions of anonymous people had their shot at life and then disappeared leaving hardly a trace.

When I traveled in the Saudi desert, I sometimes found arrowheads lying in the sand.  The last person who touched that arrowhead lived in neolithic times more than eight thousand years ago.  That arrowhead reminds me of the shortness of life, and that I should be living my dreams.

Your short stay on planet earth is frighteningly brief.  It's like a puff of smoke or the flash of a meteor in the night sky.  The facts of life are very clear.   Life is way too short to not be living your dreams.

Go ahead.  Live your dreams and make every day count for something good.

Even though your life is short, there is no limit to how good it can become.




Captain Dave and his family spent eleven years sailing around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. During the trip, the crew of Exit Only shot 200 hours of video with professional cameras to show people what it's like to sail on a small boat around the world.

The Red Sea Chronicles is a one hour and twenty-two minute feature film showing their adventures as Exit Only sails through Pirate Alley in the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea.  The professional footage documents their experiences in Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, and the Suez Canal.  It chronicles the rigors of traveling in a remote section of the world rarely visited by cruisers.  Exit Only dodges Yemeni pirates, fights a gale and sand storms in the Bab al Mandeb at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.  The crew explores deserted islands on the western shores of the Red Sea, and learns to check the cruising guides for land mines before venturing ashore.

The Red Sea Chronicles also has outstanding Special Features including an Instructional Video on Storm Management that tells sailors how to deal with storms at sea.

And don't forget the two Music Videos: "The Red Sea Blues", and "Captain - Save Our Souls".

The Red Sea Chronicles is a first class adventure that stokes the sailing dreams of both experienced and wannabe sailors alike.  Order your copy of the Red Sea Chronicles and experience the adventures of Exit Only as they sail around the world and up the Red Sea.

Meet The Crew

Dave Abbott - Captain

Captain Dave always dreamed of sailing around the world on his own sailboat, and his eleven year circumnavigation with his family made his dream come true.

Donna Abbott - First Mate

Donna earned her stripes the REALLY old fashioned enduring the rigors of passage making for the thrill of exploring exotic ports across the globe.


Sarah Abbott - Deck Swab

Sarah is the newest member of the family and crew. Despite her limited sailing experience, she jumped right in to life on the high seas. Her fresh and enthusiastic perspective on cruising help make the Red Sea Chronicles so special.


David Abbott - Cameraman/Director/Editor/Narrator/Composer

David shot over 170 hours of footage on the voyage from Australia to Florida. He then spent a year and a half on dry land editing and producing the Red Sea Chronicles DVD. In addition to the narrating the film, David also scored, performed, and recorded the entire soundtrack for the project.


Wendy Abbott - Voice of Ninja Crab

Wendy is the daughter of Capt Dave and Donna. She sailed on Exit Only from Florida to New Zealand. Wendy guest stars as the voice of a Ninja Hermit Crab in the Red Sea



10. The Red Sea Chronicles is an affordable CHRISTMAS gift for the sailor in my life.  Where else can I get a totally awesome gift for only twenty bucks?  
 9. I work hard for a living, and I deserve to reward myself with the Red Sea Chronicles.  
 8. My Dream Machine could use a shot in the arm, and the Red Sea Chronicles will give it the boost that it needs.  
 7. Every minute spent watching The Red Sea Chronicles extends my life by a full year.  
 6. I want to see what it's like to cruise on a catamaran before I spend a bazillion dollars purchasing one.  
 5. I want to see how a catamaran handles in heavy weather.  
 4. I want to see the Storm Management video so I understand what I need to do when I get in a storm at sea.  
 3. If I buy The Red Sea Chronicles, then Maxing Out Media will start production on two new DVD's - Australia to the Red Sea, and Med Sea to the Caribbean.  
 2. I like the Maxing Out web site, and I would like to support the website by purchasing their DVD.  
 1. After watching the Red Sea Chronicles, I can finally see myself sailing on the ocean of my dreams.


"Story, quality, music, people, boat... Just excellent."

e got the DVD yesterday and watched it last night (we had no problem with the different format at all), what a great adventure and well put together DVD it was entertaining as well as informative and funny at times, a great combination. Well done you guys are natural movie stars, Laura and I watched the DVD twice and I am sure we will watch it many more times in the future."

I hope you guys are going to make more DVDís of your previous sailing trips for us to enjoy."

"Amazing...Just watched your dvd The Red Sea Chronicles for the third time today...I called my boss at home and turned in my notice...I'm going sailing!"

"The best cruising video to date from any source and should be on the shelf of every one who shares the cruising spirit even if only in dreams."

"...a great video that transported me from a damp, cold day in Wales to cruising aboard Maxing Out in the Red Sea - pure nectar."

"The only "problem" is that this has left me wanting more of the same stuff, just from some of the other places Maxing Out has visited!"

"Thumbs up. I also wish the entire circumnavigation was documented, but this small portion in the Red Sea is excellent. Well done."

I just watched the Red Sea Chronicles and second what all the others have said. I'd love to see a whole series of Maxing Out DVDs...Good job!"

Red Sea Chronicles DVD Previews

The Red Sea Chronicles is now available!

  We are attacked by flying fish as we cross the Indian Ocean on our way to Salalah, Oman. When we make landfall, the local suq (market) helps us regain our land legs.


  The riskier side of world cruising. In this episode we prepare to sail through "Pirate Alley" in the Gulf of Aden


We arrive in Aden with a damaged alternator and are delighted to find a superb local machine shop. As we prepare to leave, fellow cruisers are attacked by pirates.

  We must sail through the notorious Bab el Mandeb (Gate of Sorrows) to enter the Red Sea. 50 knot winds and relentless sandstorms are ready and waiting on the other side




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Blue Water





Storm Management Offshore
Parachute Sea Anchor Chainplates
When To Deploy Chutes and Drogues

The Almost Never Fail Catamaran Anchoring System
How Big Should Your Anchor Be?
Far Horizons
Tsunami Damage - The Starboard Bow Takes A Licking
Everywhere, Everything
Go West Young Man - Seasteading
Beam Me Up Scotty

Ten Reasons Why Night Sailing Rocks
When Are You Coming Home?

Sailing to Borneo to See Wild Orangutans
Double Headsail Downwind Sailing
Grand Schemes And Other Important Things
Rigging Emergency Prevented - Listening To Your Boat

Dreams Do Come True
I Have A Dream

I Am Wandering, But Not Lost
Missing Out
The Facts of Life

Red Sea Rigors and Rumors
Never Surrender Your Dreams
Red Sea Sunsets

Exit Only Survives the Global Tsunami
The Sea Is So Big and My Ship Is So Small

34 Things I Learned in 33,000 Miles
Space Travel

Ten Disasters I Was Afraid Of That Never Happened
Kissing Cobras

Pirates of The Malacca Straits
The Tree That Wanted To Eat My Boat

Offshore Dream Machine for Circumnavigation
The Facts of Life Rafts

Surviving the Savage Seas
Abbott Drogue - Adjustable Medium Pull Drogue
You Must Know The Sea

Listen to the Sound of Your Dreams
Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend

Exit Only
Life Is Good
Getting Connected

First You Think It, And Then You Do It
My Addiction
Cook's Look at Lizard Island

I've Got Trade Wind Dreams
Storms Come and Go
Go Ahead.  Live Your Dreams.
The Next Step

Take Care of Your Autopilot So It Takes Care of You
Danger Zones On Board Exit Only

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