Positive Thinking Doctor

Expeditionary Handbook

Positive Thinking Headquarters

Overland Defender 110

Defender Offroad



Once upon a time there was an eye surgeon who decided to live his dreams.  His particular dream was to practice medicine in underdeveloped countries and to sail around the world on a yacht.  Such a radical dream meant he would never become rich or famous.  Because this was such an important decision, the surgeon knew that he should spend a large amount of time looking into its pros and cons, and he should closely examine the impact it would have on his life.  Therefore, he totally dedicated five thought-filled minutes to this decision.  Those five liberating minutes were all he needed to start walking on the path to his dreams.

The surgeon now knew where he was going, and what was he was going to do with his life.  But there were still several important lessons he had to learn, and those lessons focused on security, survival, and stuff.

He learned that when you travel on the path to your dreams, there is no such thing as security.  It just doesnít exist, and it makes no sense to worship at the altar of security, because security is a false god.  Life is inherently risky, and the bigger your dreams, the more risk you have to take to make them come true. 

He also learned that in the long run, we are all dead.  Life has no survivors.  Since you only get one life which is far too short, he decided that he should make his life into what he wanted it to be, and that it should count for something good. 

Finally, he learned that no matter how much stuff you accumulate on your journey through life, you canít take any of it with you when you die.  Therefore, he decided to not spend a lot of time and effort in piling up a mountain of money and other acquisitions that would slip instantly from his grasp at the moment of his death.

Once he realized that there was no security, that there were no survivors, and that you canít take it with you, he became a free man.  He was liberated to live his dreams.

Deciding to live my dreams was one of the smartest things I ever did.  Hmm.  Perhaps it wouldnít be a bad idea for you to do the same.


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.



In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes seem fairly insignificant.  In a global sense it's easy to feel as if my life counts for nothing, or at most, counts for little.

I've had several earnest people tell me in no uncertain terms that I was wasting my life as I sailed around the world on my yacht, and  I can understand why they felt that way.  Those people thought I was on a prolonged vacation, and they didn't understand that I was making a life and doing things that were important to me.  They couldn't see that I was giving my children a multicultural experience that made them into citizens of the world.  We didn't just sail around the world, we sailed around the world as a family.  In the age of single parent families we were doing things the old fashioned way - we were a real deal family unit in which every person on board had responsibilities that contributed to a safe voyage.  My children survived without cell phones and a dreaded peer group to complicate their lives, and they grew up to be good citizens of the world who actually cared about other people - even people from the third world.

During that eleven year voyage, I maintained the yacht, wrote five books, started three web sites, and paid for my children's college education.  There weren't enough hours in a day to do all the important things that demanded my attention.  Now that I have sailed around the world, I can finally take a real vacation from all of that work.

A long time ago I learned that what other people think of me is none of my business, and I focused on doing what was important to me.  Life is an inside job that works best when I start from the inside and work my way out.  When someone tells me that I shouldn't be doing things that are important to me, and that I'm wasting my life, they are really saying that my dreams don't count in their scheme of things.  My dreams aren't important, and instead, I should live dreams that make sense to them.  These people are Outside-Inners because they are taking their outside dreams and trying to cram them down my throat, and that doesn't work.  It's the recipe for anger and frustration, and is a terrible way to make a life. 

In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes are supremely important to me and to me alone.  I have a choice.  I can either live my dreams, not worrying about what other people think, or I can forget my dreams, and let them wither.  If I do that, my spirit will wither as well.  Joy will no longer spring up in my heart, and each step I take will echo the dull thud of dread I feel in my heart that results from not living my dreams. 

The handwriting is on the wall, and the message is clear.  There is simply nothing more important than living my dreams.  Even if I don't rock the world, I can still rock my world and that's what counts. 

Someone much smarter than me said, "What you do isn't important, but it's important that you do it."  Those words have the ring of truth, and you can build your life on them.  So fire up your dream machine and have a few grand schemes of your own, because that's why you're here on planet earth.  God gave you the capacity to dream, and He gave you a lifetime to make those dreams come true.

Please excuse me.  I must go now because it's time to work on my grand schemes.



You are never safe from negation.  Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain.  Negativity is an ever present and unwanted companion that continually invites you to abandon your dreams.

Everyone moving in the direction of their dreams will suffer defeats and sometimes feel their dreams are impossible.  Negativity will attempt to derail them on the path of achievement, and the temptation to quit will be strong.  Everyone wants life to be easy.  They want either no opposition at all or opposition to politely step out of the way as they move toward their goals.  This is unrealistic.  People who achieve their dreams arenít strolling through life; they are climbing the mountain of difficulty, and hard work and perseverance are the only way to reach the top.

If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation.  You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.

When you decide to sail around the world on a sailboat, you encounter an ocean of opposition.  A crowd of naysayers and critics freely offer unsolicited opinions and advice concerning your proposed circumnavigation of the globe.  Friends are sure you are having a midlife crisis.  When you write the check to pay for your yacht, they inform you that you have made a down payment on an expensive funeral at sea.  They tell you all of that money could have been spent on a nice house, 100 channels of cable television, and the help of a good therapist to get you over this foolish desire to sail around the world.  The easiest thing to find on planet earth is someone to tell you why your dreams are too expensive, too dangerous, and a waste of time.  With cheerleaders like that, itís amazing anyone pursues their dreams.

Itís not just family and friends who question your judgment.  During moments of adversity, you wonder whether you are heading down a one way street in the wrong direction.  The voice of fear starts a powerful negative chorus that repeats itself thousands of time, and if you start listening to its message, your dreams will evaporate.

What would happen if you fall off the boat at night at sea?  What happens if a whale rams your boat?  What happens if you hit a floating log, or if a ship runs you down at night?  What happens if a hurricane strikes?  What happens if you meet pirates or drug runners?  What if your boat is struck by lightening?  What if your boat runs up on a reef and is destroyed on a remote deserted island?  What if you get sick when you are at sea?  What if you have appendicitis when you are one thousand miles from land?  What if you hit your head or break a leg?  What if your boat turns upside down?  What if there is a fire or explosion on board?  What if you collide at night with a floating container that has fallen off a ship?  What if you become seasick?  Who will stay awake at night and stand watch while you sail offshore?  What if your boat sinks and you lose all of the money you invested in the yacht?  What if you loose your medical skills while you sail around the world?  How will you ever be able to return to the practice of medicine? 

I experienced all of these negative thoughts many times before I purchased my yacht.  Those thoughts could have stopped my voyage before it got started.  My dreams would have been stillborn if I listened to the voice of fear.

If I listed all of the reasons why I shouldnít sail around the world in a small sailboat, I could write a hundred page document full of disaster, difficulty, and despair.  I know dozens of reasons why my dreams are too expensive and involve too much risk.  If I listen to the voice of fear and negativity, I will sit at the dock and watch everyone else sail on the ocean of their dreams.

Once I hoisted my sails in Fort Lauderdale and started my voyage, I had dozens of opportunities for negativity to sink the ship of my dreams.  On my first night at sea, I experienced the most powerful thunderstorm I encountered on the entire trip around the world.  Surely, that must have been a sign sailing around the world is a bad idea.  It was a message to stop the voyage in the Bahamas, anchor the boat in Chicken Town, and check in to Hotel California where I could never leave, but at least I would be safe.

When I reached the Panama Canal, the voice of fear again tried to cancel my dream of sailing around the world.  There is no need to transit the Panama Canal and sail in the Pacific.  Just stay in the Caribbean and have a wonderful cruise.  The Pacific Ocean is a vast body of water with reefs, cyclones, and killer whales that could destroy my yacht.  The voice of fear told me to stay in the Caribbean forever.

After I arrived in the Pacific, the voice of fear started a new verse with the same fearful chorus.  Itís three thousand miles from the Galapagos Islands to French Polynesia.  You are at sea day and night for three weeks.  You donít see any other humans for twenty-one days, and thereís no one to rescue you if you get into trouble.  Donít go.  Stay in Nowhere Land where youíll be safe.

After I arrived in French Polynesia, the voice of fear said to skip sailing to the Tuamotu Archipelago.  You will hit a reef as you sail through the atolls.  The passes through the reefs into the lagoons are too small, and once inside you will be trapped.  A storm could easily destroy your yacht when itís inside a potentially treacherous lagoon.  Sailing in the Tuamotus involves high risk.  Skip them and sail directly to Tahiti.

After I sailed across the Pacific Ocean, it was necessary to sail twelve hundred miles south from Fiji to New Zealand.  Itís a big trip into higher latitudes and the voice of fear again rippled through the cruising fleet.  The talk was of storms with special emphasis on the recent Queenís Birthday storm in which lives and yachts were lost.  Sailing in the higher southern latitudes presented new and unfamiliar risks.  The voice of fear filled everyone with a sense of foreboding.  Sailing to and from New Zealand is scary.  Some mariners left their yachts in storage in Fiji to avoid the sail south.  Other sailors loaded their yachts on freighters and shipped them home.

Several weeks after I arrived in New Zealand, I rolled the car I was driving.  I broke both legs, fractured five ribs, punctured one lung and had internal bleeding.  I was transfused seven units of blood, had three surgeries, and spent two months in the hospital.  Surely, this disaster proved sailing around the world was a bad idea.  The sensible thing would be to sell the yacht, buy a plane ticket to Nowhere Land, and start watching cable television where I would be safe and secure for the rest of my life.

Negativity can overtake you anywhere on the path to your dreams.  I could have stopped my trip around the world a dozen times before I reached New Zealand.

Surrendering dreams is easy.  You can do it anywhere or anytime.  Most people will tell you that you are doing the right thing when you sell your dream machine and join the ranks of the Life Long Disoriented.

Negativity is a stalker that never goes away; itís your unfailing and unwanted companion eternally inviting you to abandon your dreams.

Negativity is a dream stealer.  Don't listen to the voice of negativity.  Instead, listen to the sound of your dreams.


Dead dreams are called regrets.

If you let your dreams die a slow and painful death, your life becomes a cemetery full of regrets.

When you live your dreams, they never die.  Even if you live to be a thousand years old, your dreams will  still be alive because once you breathe life into them, they live forever.

Regrets are also forever.

Eternal dreams or  everlasting regrets - which will it be?  The choice is yours.

Take a look at these fish.  They belong to a group called "Everyone Anonymous".  Almost all the fish in the sea belong to this not-so-exclusive group.  They distinguish themselves by always doing the same thing as everyone else.  They swim in the same direction, they turn together, dive together, and surface together.  They look exactly alike, and when the fish police put them in a line up, they can't pick out the good fish from the bad.  There's nothing to distinguish one fish from the other since they all look and act the same.

Being a member of "Everyone Anonymous" does have its perks.  There's  apparent safety in numbers, and that may keep them from being eaten.  On the other hand, their clone-like behavior may actually attract predators who have a sixth sense that allows them to detect weakness and easy prey.

If being like everyone else guaranteed a great life, then membership in "Everyone Anonymous" would be a good idea, but the opposite is true.  These drones lead dull predictable preprogrammed lives.  The script for life has already been written, and the outcome is sure.  They will never have a real life because they are always doing exactly what everyone else is doing.  They will never think an original thought or dream great dreams.

Every time I see a school of fish, I think about my life.  I ask myself If I am a member of "Everyone Anonymous."  When my life is over and on judgment day I stand in the final line up with all the rest, I hope millions of people can point their finger at me, pick me out of the line up, and say, "He's the one.  That's definitely him.  He's different from the rest.  He didn't conform, and he lived his dreams.  He's guilty as charged."

That's my master plan.  I want to be guilty of living my dreams.











Join Team Maxing Out for their sailing and off-road adventures.  They may be wandering, but they are not lost.  So where did they go?  Some people would say nowhere, but I would say, everywhere their heart desired.  They went everywhere they had the courage to point the bow of their sturdy catamaran Exit Only, and everywhere they turned the wheels of their Land Rover Defenders.  They sailed more than 33,000 miles around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran including a trip through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea.  Their Land Rover Defenders took them to Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, New Zealand, and Australia.  Soon the adventures will continue with a driving trip around the world and a sailing voyage back to Australia.

Join Team Maxing Out as they sail around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. chronicles their adventures during an eleven year circumnavigation of planet earth.  Experience their adventures as they sail through pirate alley and up the Red Sea.  Find out what it like to sail through a global tsunami in Thailand and the Indian Ocean.  Sail up the Kumai River in Borneo and visit the endangered Orangutans of Kalimantan.  Explore the crystal clear waters of southern Turkey and sail through the Corinth Canal of Greece.  Ride out a storm at sea as Exit Only sails from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands.  Discover what it is like to sail on the ocean of your dreams.

Home Is Where The Heart Is - The first home I ever owned was sailing vessel Exit Only.  The dream of house ownership never appealed to me, and I have steadfastly resisted any passing and weak urges to buy a house.  On the other hand, all of my adult life I have had an overwhelming desire to own and cruise on a small yacht. When I arrived in Phoenix, I couldn't tell whether I was in a 45 caliber zone or a 38 caliber zone.  That made finding a place to live somewhat difficult. If I wanted to be safe working in this section of the world, I would have to buy a tent and live in the desert with the rattlesnakes and coyotes with an hour long commute, or I could buy an over-priced house in a seemingly safe area. The over-priced safe house seems to be working fine.  This must be what it feels like to be living in a witness protection program.

Dave Abbott wears many hats.  When he is on board Exit Only, he is known as Captain Dave.  When he is driving Land Rover Defenders, he is known as Land Rover Man.  When is working as a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service, he is know as Dr. Dave.  Captain Dave, Land Rover Man and Dr. Dave have all gotten together and written twelve books including Maximum Strength Positive Thinking and Owner's Manual for Your Mind.

Maximum Strength Positive Thinking tells you what to say when you talk to your mind, and what to say when your mind talks to you. You have a lot of things to discuss with your mind, and Maximum Strength Positive Thinking tells you what you should be talking about. Maximum Strength Positive Thinking is now available in eBook Format at Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble. Make your life better today by putting Maximum Strength Positive Thinking into your mind.  If you want to have a positive mind, nobody can stop you.

Owner's Manual for Your Mind

The Owner's Manual for Your Mind contains thirty-one Change Principles that empower you to make a life. You no longer worship at the altar of security, content to only make a living. The Change Principles show you how to make a life. Don't timidly tiptoe through life waiting to go for your dreams. You have only one life. The clock is ticking, there are no timeouts, and there is nothing to wait for. Today is the only day you can make your dreams happen. Seize the day. Live as if you are a great person. Renew you mind with positive and empowering thoughts. Achieve excellence in at least one area of your life. Adopt zero tolerance to negative thinking. Don't accept any limitations. Never quit working on your dreams. The Owner's Manual for your mind is now available in eBook format at Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble. Don't just make a living. Instead make a life using the thirty-one Change Principles found in Owner's Manual for Your Mind. There are no limitations. There are only limiting beliefs.

Storm Management For Cruisers - What do you do when you are sailing offshore and you find yourself in a storm?  How can you deal with storms so you don't break expensive gear and people don't get hurt?  Storm management for cruisers is mostly common sense and is within the ability of ordinary people who venture offshore in seaworthy yachts.  Storm management is all about energy management.  Large storms have lots of energy, and you need to learn how to deal safely with all that energy if you want to stay out of harms way. If the energy in a storm gets transferred to your yacht - coupled to your sailboat - then you have to safely dissipate all that energy so that nothing bad happens.

Exit Only - Offshore Dream Machine For Sailing Around The World - Dreams come in all different sizes, shapes, and packages.  I had a dream of sailing around the world on a multihull, and I chose a Privilege 39 Catamaran, an offshore Dream Machine that can take you anywhere you have the courage to point the bows. Dreams machines must be honest.   They must deliver the goods when you are sailing on the high seas.  Too many boats look great while they sit at the dock, but when you take them offshore, a demolition derby begins. Our Dream Machine is a Privilege 39 catamaran.  It's thirty-nine feet five inches long and twenty one feet wide.  It has a draft of about four feet fully loaded with cruising gear.  It's built for offshore sailing, and will take you anywhere you want to go in the world.

Cruising Disasters That Never Happened - Before we left Florida to embark on our circumnavigation, I talked to everyone I met who had cruising experience at length and asked a myriad of questions.  I read books and articles about what it was like to cruise.  We had done a lot of sailing, but we were not blue water cruisers.  We are grateful to those people who took time to share their experiences with us and encourage us then.  Now, I would like to join their ranks and be a source of information and one of the ďencouragersĒ to everyone who is contemplating going cruising. To those of you who are making plans to go cruising on your own boat, I want to assure you that I was afraid of everything you are afraid of today and I worried about everything you are worried about today.  I could list 50 things I was afraid of, but will limit myself to talking about the top 10 things I was afraid of and tell you what really happened.

The Facts Of Life - 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?

Never Surrender Your Dreams We had survived the Bab Al Mandeb without damage.  Caked on salt spray mixed with desert dust is a small price to pay to escape from the clutches of the Bab.  Once again, Exit Only had proven that it was a strong and seaworthy vessel.  It took a licking and kept on ticking.  While itís true that adversity had paid visit, it didnít move in and become a permanent member of our crew.  We are careful about such things.  When adversity pays a visit, we modify our plans, stick to our purpose, and never surrender our dreams.

Almost Never Fail Catamaran Anchoring System - Exit Only performed the first half of her circumnavigation navigation using CQR anchors, and the second half using a Beugel anchor.  We started our circumnavigation with a 45 pound CQR, and we dragged it all over the Pacific Ocean.  By the time we reached Tonga, we were tired of dragging anchor, and we moved up to a 60 pound CQR.  We thought that the additional weight would keep our CQR from dragging.  Unfortunately it didn't work out as hoped.  Even our 60 pound CQR was difficult to set securely in the seabed, and often we would have to make three attempts at anchoring before it held fast.  Unfortunately, if there was a wind shift or current shift that reversed the pull on the anchor, we could not trust it to reset in a secure manner.  That made it difficult to leave Exit Only to go ashore with confidence, because we didn't know whether the anchor was going to drag while we were away.

Far Horizons - Horizons have a salubrious effect on my mind.  When I look at the horizon, I feel my world expand.  Not only do I have the pleasure of watching the sun come up in the morning and set in the evening, I realize that I can point the bow of my yacht in any direction and sail over the horizon to a new life. The horizonless world is unnatural.  It's a world of man-made wonders that don't do much for me.  A widescreen TV is a poor substitute for a real horizon that extends as far as the eye can see.  What I'm really talking about is freedom.  If your world has no horizons, then it's likely you aren't free.  You have mortgages, cars, and endless infrastructure to support in your horizonless world. When I'm on my yacht, the horizon continually beckons me onward.  I don't know what will happen over the horizon, but that's ok, because I am sailing on the ocean of my dreams.  I'm living in a world of far horizons, and life is good.

Double Headsail Down Wind Sailing Dreams - Multihulls are superb yachts for sailing downwind around the world. They are an extremely stable sailing platform that does not roll as the yacht sails directly downwind. The big question is, "What is the best sail rig for downwind sailing?" Cruising multihulls making offshore passages haven't been around that long, and many people carry their monohull biases into the multihull world. The fact is, multihull performance and behavior are so different from monohulls that you need to have a new and different way of thinking about how you sail a multihull offshore. Catamarans are excellent trade wind yachts.  They can sail directly downwind without the rolling that plagues monohull yachts.  Catamarans travel like they are on railroad tracks when sailed like a square-rigger downwind.

The Sea Is So Big And My Ship Is So Small - I have more than 33,000 miles of offshore sailing under my belt, and I can unequivocally say that size has little to do with seaworthiness.  A sturdy small yacht that's sailed well is far more seaworthy than a large vessel sailed poorly by an inexperienced crew.  Yacht designers and salesman worship at the altar of speed, while most cruisers worship at the altar of safety and comfort.  If you are a mariner versed in the ways of the sea, you know the truth about seaworthiness.  It's not the size of the vessel that matters; it's how you sail it that really counts.  So don't let anyone tell you that your vessel is unseaworthy because of it's size.  Just look them in the eye, and wave good-bye as you start your voyage around the world.

Space Travelers - Sometimes when you sail offshore, the horizon disappears, and you can't tell where the water ends, and the heavens begin.  You feel like you are floating in space.  Once you're out of sight of land and the sun goes down, there's blackness beneath you and the Milky Way above.  Billions of galaxies twinkle in the darkness and surround you on all sides. A feeling of mystery and oneness with the universe descends on you as your yacht sails on through the night.  Although most people don't think of themselves as intergalactic travelers, all of us are living on spaceship earth.  Our planet hurtles through the galaxy at  thousands of miles per hour.  When city folks look up in the sky at night they can't see the stars because of the light pollution, and they forget they traveling on a spaceship.  Sailor are different.  When sailors look up in the night sky, they know that they are space travelers immersed in the Milky Way.

Dreams Do Come True - Dreams are dangerous things.  Sometimes they take over your life. Dreams do come true, and making them happen is within the capability of ordinary folks who have extraordinary dreams.  A positive attitude and unstoppable persistence allows anyone to sail on the ocean of their dreams.  All they have to do is do it.  All you can do, is all you can do, but all you can do is enough.  It's a lot of work to live your dreams, but that doesn't matter, because when you live your dreams, your life is worth living.  Your life keeps getting better, and before long you realize that there is no limit to how good your life can become.

Survive The Savage Seas With The Abbott Drogue - Once upon a time there was a small catamaran named Exit Only.  Although it wasn't a large yacht, it was big enough to sail the seven seas - the reason was simple.  Ninety-five percent of the time the seas were small and the winds were light.  In fact, in an eleven year voyage around the world, Exit Only never saw winds in excess of fifty knots while on passage, and only three or four times saw winds up to forty knots.  Most storms at sea are not survival storms, and you don't need to put out a parachute sea anchor or use a Jordan Series Drogue to survive.  What you need is help controlling your yacht in non-survival conditions. Even though most yachts don't experience survival storms, many still get out of control and broach because they sail in an uncontrolled  manner.  These yachts need something to slow them down and impart directional stability to their vessel to remain in control in bad weather.  On Exit Only, we use an ABBOTT DROGUE to control our speed in storms.

Storms Come And Go, But Dreams Last Forever - Itís all too easy to focus on the storms of life and worship at the altar of fear.  Itís easy to forget that storms come and go, but dreams can last forever.  The Apostles of  Fear would have you believe that we live in a dangerous world, because fear is big business.  Capitalism has embraced fear and wants you to buy their particular antidote to fear.  I have figured out that when people tell me that I should be afraid, they either donít know what they are talking about, they are trying to control me with fear, or they want to sell me something as an antidote to the fearful world that they are trying to cultivate in my mind.  I have been tested in the crucible of life, and I know the truth.  There is nothing to fear, and focusing on the storms of life is a waste of precious time.  Storms come and go, and they are few and far between.  Dreams are different.  They go on forever.  Thatís why I focus on my dreams.

Clouds Are A Sailor's Friend -  As long as there are clouds in the sky, you have a good idea about the type of sailing conditions you will experience for the next couple of hours.  They won't necessarily tell you what's going to happen tomorrow or the day after, but if if you listen to what they say, it's not too hard to stay out of harms way when you are sailing offshore. Thunderstorms don't last forever, and squalls pass quickly by. The real problem isn't the wind and waves.  It's the storm of thoughts blowing though your mind that gets you into trouble. If you listen to the voice of fear, your sailing adventure becomes a nightmare.  But if you listen to the clouds, you will recognize the voice of fear for the imposter that it is.  People who sail offshore in a well-found yacht have little to fear from the weather ninety-eight percent of the time, and the clouds usually tell you what to do.

Debriosaurus Rex - The Tree That Wanted To Eat My Boat -Once upon a time there was a tree that wanted to eat my boat.  At least thatís the way it seemed to me.  You have a right to be skeptical about trees eating boats, but after you read my story, you will come to believe in this dastardly denizen of the deep called DEBRIOSAURUS REX.  This monster evolved in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Everywhere, Everything - I've been sailing around the world for eleven years on Exit Only, and what a trip it has been, full of agony and ecstasy, and everything in between.  I nearly died in a car accident in New Zealand, and I reckon that qualifies as agony.  In the ecstasy department, I sailed 33,000 miles around the world, and have seen the things sailing dreams are made of.  So where did we go?  Some people would say nowhere, but I would say, everywhere my heart desired, and everywhere I had the courage to point the bows of my sturdy catamaran.  It's all a matter of perspective.

Trust Me - There Aren't Any Pirates In The Malacca Straits - Pirates and terrorists are at the top of my list of things that I want to avoid.  When I talk to non-sailors around the world, they usually ask me two questions.  What about storms and pirates?  Hollywood and the media have convinced everyone that storms and pirates rule the lives of everyone who sails on the seven seas.  Alas, Hollywood and the media have it wrong once again.  The average cruiser has never seen a pirate or a storm with winds over fifty knots.  That isnít to say we donít have bad weather from time to time, but, usually itís only an inconvenience rather than a true threat.  And itís not to say that pirates donít exist.  Rather, itís that most pirates are living in metropolis preying upon their victims through internet, muggings, subway assaults, and armed robberies Ė all the typical things you see in large cities around the world.  Pirates are on the doorstep of everyone who lives in big cities.  But pirates on the seven seas Ė itís way too much work and too uncomfortable, and too dangerous to do old fashioned acts of piracy. 

Getting Connected - After living outside the United States for twenty-eight years, I am finally connected.  At least that's what everybody tells me.  You see, I completed my circumnavigation around the world on my sailboat, I'm back in the USA, and I now have a cell phone.  Don't feel sorry for me because I wasn't connected for all those years.   I was connected to other things, and I didn't need a cell tower to feel my life was good.  What exactly did I get when I got connected?  I got an overpriced handheld fit-in-the-palm-sized plastic gadget that I have to carry around with me wherever I go, and whenever it makes noise, I have to pay money.  It's like a slot machine, a no-armed bandit, and every time the cell phone rings, I lose, and the cell provider wins.

Ten Reasons Why Night Sailing Rocks - The thought of sailing at night frightened me until I actually did it.  I never sailed offshore at night before I started our circumnavigation.  Daytime sailing wasn't a problem; it was nocturnal hobgoblins that stirred up fear.  For those of you overwhelmed by fear, there's good news.  Sailing at night is easier and more comfortable than sailing in the day - at least that's the way it is on Exit Only, and here's some reasons why.

First You Think It, And Then You Do It - During Gulf War One, we were hunkered down in Saudi Arabia playing Riyadh roulette.  Nearly every night after the sun went down, the air raid sirens would sound, and Scud missiles came into Riyadh.  We would head for our "safe room" just in case one of the scuds hit nearby.  The first scud that came into Riyadh made the windows in our house rattle, and that was enough motivation for us to take a six week vacation from the war.  After eleven nights of scuds, we were evacuated out of Riyadh to Torrejon, Spain by military aircraft.  From Torrejon, we flew on commercial aircraft back to the USA. Things have a way of working out in my life.  I explain it to people like this: it's as if I fall through a trap door backward and blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back, and I land on my feet and keep on walking.  That's exactly what happened to us when we arrived in the USA. We took a war and converted it into a family adventure.

Discover the meaning of Positive Overlanding Sand driving teaches you about your limitations. The first lesson you learn is that appearances are deceiving.  Traversing a sea of sand may look like a piece of cake, but fifteen seconds later you are monumentally stuck with sand up to your chassis. You can't tell ahead of time how hard the slogging will become until you get into gear and start moving.   Appearances truly are deceiving. The second lesson you learn is that the only way to find out if limitations are real is to test them. If you want to live your sand dreams, you have to test the sand all the time.  You must allow yourself the luxury of testing your limitations many times each day.  When you do that, you discover that you can do many things you previously considered impossible.

Landrover Defender Overland - When things don't work out as planned, what should you do?  Put a for sale sign of your Defender and hope that a Bedouin with lots of cash shows up to put you out of your misery?  Sit around and feel sorry for yourself because you are high-sided on the sand dunes of life?  I don't think so.  If you don't have a snatch strap, and you are alone in the dunes, then it's time to get out the shovel and start digging.  Once the sand no longer touches the chassis, you will be on your way. When plans don't work out, you keep on digging, keep on fixing, keep on navigating, and keep on driving.

Expeditionary Sandbook - My first trip into the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia taught me the most important lesson of desert exploration that I ever learned:  DON'T DO STUPID THINGS!  The desert is unforgiving and doesn't treat fools lightly.  Here is how I learned that lesson.

Freedom Overland - For me, the dream is all about adventure, freedom, and being really alive. Although I like seeing the sights wherever we go, I think it's the sense of adventure coupled with the freedom to do what I want to do with my life, seasoned with a pinch of adrenalin that makes it all worthwhile. It doesn't matter whether I drive down a hundred foot sand dune, sail through pirate alley, or voyage across an ocean, I still get the feeling that I am really alive and am accomplishing something that's important to me. I'm living my dreams, and although it's a lot of work, costs lots of money, and spends the currency of my youth, that doesn't matter, because I'm doing what I want to do with my life as I live without regrets.

Defender Offroad - Daydreams are easy.  Just sit back and let them happen.  Daydreams are effortless adventure.  It's easy to be a legend in your own mind.  Real dreams are hard.  You can't sit around making bun prints in the sands of time if you want to make your dreams come true.  Real dreams aren't a trip to fantasy land.  They are rock solid adventures purchased with blood, sweat, and tears, and the most precious commodity of all, time.  I have always been something of a dreamer.  I have gone walkabout in my mind for thousands of hours, and that's ok, because I have spent even more time going walkabout on planet earth.


Maxingout Overland - Each expedition into the Arabian desert is special for different reasons.  Some trips are simply to get away from it all to experience the solitude and stark beauty of the Arabian shield.  Other trips have a specific destination in mind, and the destination defines the adventure.  The U.S. Geological Survey worked with the Saudi government to create a set of maps of the geology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  My favorite survey map is the Southern Nejd Quadrangle.  A smorgasbord of sand dunes, wadis, granite fields, metamorphic mountain ranges, and archeological mysteries abound in this quadrangle.  When I think of this area, the word "awesome" comes to mind.  Take a trip with Team Maxing Out to the Tombs of Bir Zeen.

Maxingout Offroad - Travel with Team Maxing Out to the Hadida Meteor crater in the middle of the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia. On the trip back from Hadida, I had my opportunity to lead the expedition into a sea of soft sand.  It was high noon, and I had no clue that in a few seconds I would be up to my chassis in golden sand.  If I had a thousand dollars for every time I have been stuck, I would be a millionaire.  I'm grateful for all the times I've been stuck over the years.  That's what happens when I live my dreams. I've been up to my axles in sand hundreds of times.  That's terrific because it means I am living my sand dreams.  I've been stuck too many times to count, and I hope my good fortune continues.

Maxingout Expeditions - Travel with Team Maxing Out on the Darb Zubaidah from Iraq to Mecca.  More than a thousand years ago, Queen Zubaidah from Iraq built an eighteen meter wide pilgrim road from Baghdad to Mecca. The road was called the Darb Zubaidah, and millions of pilgrims walked this road on their journey to perform Haj. We calculated the distance and felt we could complete the trip in a week in our Land Rover Defender 110 expeditionary vehicles.  We carried enough fuel and water for the entire trip.  Our Defender carried 430 liters of fuel in long range fuel tanks and thirteen jerry cans.  We had two hundred liters of water and enough food to last for weeks.

Positive Thinking Headquarters -  The home of positive thinking on the world wise web.  I am grateful for all the times I have been stuck over the years.  That's what happens when I live my dreams.  I've been up to my axles in sand too many times to count, and that's terrific because it means I am living my sand dreams.  Positive Thinking Headquarters is where you come to get unstuck. There is nothing wrong with getting stuck as long as you don't stay there.  It's time to recover.  It's time to become an Unstoppable, Consistently Positive, Endlessly Persistent, Doer of Dreams.

Overland Defender 110 - Join Team Maxing Out as they make an expedition to the white volcanoes of the Arabian shield.  We decided that we wanted to visit the white volcanoes of the Arabian shield just north of Medina. The volcanoes are in a no man's land with lava fields stretching for hundreds of miles.  We would be foolish to make a solo trip to this area in the heat of summer.  But if it's the cold month of December, if we have two spare tires and enough water to survive for a couple of weeks, and if we are willing to burn one of our spare tires to make a smoke signal in an emergency, then a solo trip is not crazy.

Expeditionary Handbook - Let Team Maxing Out show you the art and science of expeditionary navigation in the Arabian Desert.  Not all expeditionary navigational problems are created equal, and your approach to navigation varies with terrain, capability of the vehicle, and degree of access to the land.  Limited access makes navigation more challenging, and unlimited access gives you hundreds of options when you plan your expedition.  Situational awareness forms the foundation of successful expeditionary travel.  Situational awareness means that you know yourself, your vehicles, and the desert in which you travel.   You must know your vehicle well and understand its capabilities and limitations. 

Hubbard Glacier - Team Maxing Out goes on a photographic safari to the Hubbard Glacier by way of the Inside Passage of Alaska.  We thought of sailing Exit Only through the Inside Passage, but we quickly dismissed such notions from our mind.  We had gone through several winters on board Exit Only in New Zealand, and we discover that Team Maxing Out has thin blood.  Our personal thermostats definitely have a warm bias.  We would rather be hot than cold.  The only way we would see Hubbard Glacier was on a ship, because Exit Only is a trade wind warm weather boat.

Positive Thinking Handbook -  When everything goes wrong, you discover who you are.  You have a defining moment.  If you don't face challenges, and if things don't go wrong frequently, something is wrong.  You are not really living.  You are drifting.  You are alive in name only.  It's time to get in the arena and engage life head on.  It's time for things to go wrong so you can discover what you are made of and who you are.  It's time to have a defining moment.  The Positive Thinking  Handbook will help you win the battle of the mind during the defining moments of life.  It's your handbook to a positive mind.  If you like the Positive Thinking Handbook, you will also love Positive Thinker's Handbook and Dr. Dave's Positive Handbook.

Arno's Wall - Everything Including the Kitchen Sink - Winton, Queensland

Ozzie Outback Murals - Life Before Cell Phones, Texting, and Twitter.

Rock Wall Journal - Team Maxing Out conquers a sand ramp in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia and then studies the petroglyphs of the Rock Wall Journal.  The ancient people who created the Rock Wall Journal were not simple-minded cavemen waiting to evolve into real human beings.  These highly intelligent people had an appreciation for the natural world in which they were immersed.  They displayed their focus on the natural world with stylized drawings that are still pleasing to modern eyes.  Although they had a limited palate and only a few tools with which to work, they created unforgettable panels of rock art.

Sudanese Boatyard - Traditional boat building is alive and well in Sudan.  As we toured the waterfront in Suakin, we visited a boat yard where craftsmen build wooden fishing vessels.  They used an adze to shape tree limbs to the curvature of the hull to create ribs for their  boat.  Next, they attach rough sawn planks to the vertical ribs.

Cruising Sudan - When cruising sailors visit Sudan, they all stop at Suakin.  This modest port is a much better stopover than Port Sudan which is the main commercial port in the country.  Suakin has a large well protected harbor with good holding in relatively shallow water.  You could sit out a real blow in this harbor without much risk of dragging anchor.  The ruins of old Suakin occupy a small peninsula north of the anchorage.  This town was reputed to be the last place in the Red Sea where there was an active slave market.  On a more positive note, the town is unique because its  white buildings were constructed out of coral.

Sudanese Children - Someone once said that the birth of a child proves that God hasn't given up on the world yet, and I'm inclined to agree.  After living outside the USA for twenty-eight years and traveling twice around the world, I find that children are my greatest reason for hope.  I can see it in their eyes and hearts.  They have no axes to grind, they ignore hardship, and they love life.

Orangutans of Borneo - Travel with Team Maxing Out as they visit the Orangutans of Kalimantan.  Borneo is off the beaten path and sailing there on your own yacht is a big deal.  It's not around the corner and up the street.  It's your reward for a long hot passage across the Java Sea. In order to see the endangered Orangutans, you must sail  up the Kumai river which takes the better part of a day if all goes well.  Sometimes things don't go well, and you run aground.  That's exactly what happened to the sailboat that traveled with us up the Kumai river.

Exit Only Survives Global Tsunami - In Thailand, Exit Only survived the most destructive tsunami of modern times without a scratch, but we didn't escape scot-free.  The arm of the tsunami was very long, and out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the tsunami made a lasting impression on Exit Only's starboard bow.

34 Things I've Learned in 33,000 Miles - Find out the lessons learned by Team Maxing Out as they sailed around the world on Exit Only.  You find what youíre looking for. The cruises who talk about the dangers lurking in each location are invariably the ones who find trouble. Cruisers who make smart decisions and keep a positive attitude somehow manage to find good stuff in the same places and enjoy themselves much more.

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