GO AHEAD, LIVE
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.
I MAY BE WANDERING, BUT
I'M NOT LOST
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
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
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.
GRAND SCHEMES AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS
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.
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.
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.
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
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
DON'T LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF NEGATIVITY.
LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF YOUR DREAMS!
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
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
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
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.
GUILTY AS CHARGED - GUILTY OF
LIVING MY DREAMS
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
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
EXIT ONLY ON AN ELEVEN YEAR VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD.
MY AUSTRALIAN DEFENDER LAND CRUISING IN THE OUTBACK.
MY NEW ZEALAND DEFENDER LAND CRUISING IN MILFORD SOUND.
MY ARABIAN DEFENDER LAND CRUISING IN THE EMPTY QUARTER OF
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA.
LIVING DREAMS AND
STAMPING OUT REGRETS
JOIN CAPTAIN DAVE AND
TEAM MAXING OUT
AS THEY LIVE THEIR
DREAMS AND STAMP OUT REGRETS ON LAND AND SEA
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.
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
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
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
First You Think It, And Then You Do It -
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
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Arno's Wall - Everything Including the Kitchen Sink -
Ozzie Outback Murals - Life Before Cell Phones, Texting,
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
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
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.
Positive Thinking Sailor on facebook.
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