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 50,000 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.
If you are a die hard city dweller living in New York, Paris, Rome, or London, I suspect you would say nowhere. After all, we didn't go to a single Broadway musical, or watch the new year change over in Times Square on December thirty-first. We didn't walk down the Champs D'Elysee, walk under the Arc de Triomphe, visit the Sorbonne, or munch croissants at a sophisticated Paris cafe. We didn't go to the Vatican or tour the Roman Coliseum. We didn't ride gondolas in Venice or view the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We didn't see Buckingham Palace, ride the tube, or visit the Millennium Dome on the River Thames. So there you have it. Hard core city dwellers are right. We never went anywhere.
But before you pity our pathetic plight or heap reproach upon our clueless heads, let me tell you where we went. We went everywhere most city dwellers never go.
We sailed through the Panama Canal, and spent the night on Gatun Lake in the land between the seas. We swam with the penguins, seals, and white tip sharks in the Galapagos. We watched lizards eating cactus blossoms and marine iguanas swimming along lava encrusted shores.
We sailed into Kontiki Land - the high volcanic Marquesas Islands - the land of ancient Polynesian warriors, and we walked through the ruins of their long abandoned villages. We swam beneath a waterfall that was more than 1200 feet high, jumping off rocks into cool Polynesian pools. We sailed the crystal clear lagoons of the Tuamotu Archipelagos, exploring the motus of Apataki with its pearl farms scattered across the lagoon.
We Med moored downtown on the Quay in Papeete and shopped in traditional markets. We anchored in paradise in Moorea and hiked up to the Belvedere. We visited Polynesian ruins in Raiatea and anchored in Beautiful Taaha. We visited Michener's Bali Hai, Bora Bora, a Pacific crown jewel and personal sailing mecca that proved I was living my dreams. In Bora Bora we explored a tabu motu where "extraterrestials" established a now defunct French new age cult.
We visited Suvarov atoll and met the family that watches over this remote patch of paradise. We restocked our yacht in American Samoa and then pointed our bows south to the Kingdom of Tonga. We visited my favorite named island on planet earth - Malafakalava. We snorkeled Mariner's Cave, and shopped in Niafu's narrow streets. We sat around bonfires on the beach and made plans with other cruisers whether we would sail south to New Zealand or west to Australia.
We dodged uncharted reefs and undersea volcanoes on route to Fiji, and finally turned south to the land of the long white cloud, New Zealand. We toured from the North Cape to Wellington, and rode the Lynx across the tempestuous Cook Straits to the South Island of New Zealand. We visited glaciers, mountains, drove down Skipper's Canyon and up the Remarkables, and shot river rapids in jet boats. We visited Christchurch with its Antarctic staging center and visited Milford Sound in Fjord Land.
Next stop was New Caledonia and the Isle of Pines, a tiny Pacific paradise with clear water and beautiful reefs. There were hikes in Prony Bay where jumping Spanish mackerels land on your boat and into your frying pan.
Next stop was Australia and the Great Barrier Reef with a ten thousand kilometer side trip into the Ozzie outback. Then on to Brisbane, Sydney, Cairns, Townsville, Lizard Island, Thursday Island and Darwin.
Next stop Bali and remote Borneo, traveling up remote rainforest rivers to commune with wild orangutans in the jungle. We moved on to bustling Singapore and the Malaysian paradise of Langkawi. We fed Eagles at the hole in the wall on Langkawi's north shore and cruised among the immense limestone pinnacles of Malaysia and Thailand. Next came Phi Phi Island and Phuket in Thailand with a global tsunami that wreaked havoc in the Indian Ocean.
Then came the Maldives in the middle of the Indian Ocean - a clear water paradise, and the last outpost before entering the Gulf of Arabia. Don't forget the adventures in Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt. There was a Nile River cruise from Luxor to the High Aswan Dam visiting the ruins of the pharos' domain. There were Pyramids in Giza and a two day passage through the Suez Canal.
We made an overnight sail to Israel, running the Israeli Navy gauntlet. We toured the ancient glory of Nimrod's fortress, the Holy Land, the Dead Sea, and Mitzpah Ramon crater. Then we made a visit to Jordan's Wadi Rum and Petra's hidden kingdom.
The voyage continued on to Cyprus and Turkey, land of Crusader castles, Ephesus, Heriopolis, and waterfalls frozen in time at Pammukale. Next, we sailed on to Greece, Italy, the Balearics, and Spain. Then we explored the pillars of Hercules at Gibraltar, the staging ground for our transatlantic adventure.
Next, we jumped off to the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, and across the Atlantic to Barbados. Finally, there was the Caribbean with dozens of unique destinations before crossing our outbound track in Fort Lauderdale, eleven years after starting our global adventure.
Along the way we saw thousands of sunrises and sunsets, dozens of green flashes, and we watched the Milky Way make it's nightly journey across the sky. Orion, Taurus, and the Pliades were our constant companions as we sailed on through our nights at sea. We breathed clean air and swam in crystal clear waters for eleven years. Those were the best eleven years of my life.
Perhaps die hard city dwellers are right. Maybe we never went anywhere or accomplished anything. After all, we didn't visit New York, London, Paris, or Rome.
I'll let you decide. Where did we go? Nowhere or everywhere? What did we accomplish? Nothing or everything?
Many times I felt like I had taken things to the limit, but on further examination, it was clear I simply had enough. I was done and was unwilling to do whatever it takes to continue. Hitting the wall of absolute limits has never been a problem. The envelope of possibility is infintely large, and the likelihood of encountering absolute limits is infinitesimally small. There are no limits. There are only limiting beliefs.
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. 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.
I am a daktari without borders. I am not sure when and where borders disappeared from my mind, but sometime in the last quarter century, I became a citizen of the world. Wherever I am on planet earth, I feel at home in my borderless world. Find out what it's like to live without borders.
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 is guilty of living his dreams.
You are never safe from negation. Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. 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.
Faith isn’t something that must be present before you move in the direction of your dreams. Rather it’s something that develops after you start moving. When you start out, you don’t see how your dreams are possible. Nevertheless, the moment you take the first step, faith instantly comes into your life. Never look at faith as the path to a life of leisure. God gave you faith so you could see things other people can’t see and do things other people can’t do.
I could write an entire book called, "Things I Feared That Never Happened," and follow that up with a second book entitled, "I Feared The Wrong Things." Almost always, fear is a waste of time. Most of the things you fear will never happen, and you fear the wrong things. When the hobglobins of fear start dancing in your mind, it's time to refocus on other things. Learn how to squelch the voice of fear with a positive focus!
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.
The first step in moving toward your dreams is to doubt your limits. Once you doubt your limits, it's almost as if you are born again. You get an entirely new life with radically different rules of engagement. You enter the Promised Land of Imagine, Believe, and Receive. I know this to be true because I have been there.
WHO IS DR. DAVE AND WHY IS HE BLOGGING?
More than two decades ago, Captain Dave (aka Dr. Dave) started writing and creating websites as he sailed around the world on his sailboat, SV Exit Only. Those early websites and books evolved into the Positive Thinking Network you see today.
Captain Dave lived overseas for twenty-eight years in his globe trotting lifestyle until he became a Flying Doctor with the Indian Health Service working for ten years in the American Southwest flying out to deliver health care to the Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Havasupai, and Colorado River Tribes.
Dr. Dave completed his work with the Indian Health Service in Arizona, and now runs the Positive Thinking Network full time either from his catamaran or his Land Rover Defenders as he travels around the world
The Positive Thinking Network has a global outreach sending a positive message to 196 countries, and it is your definitive source of positive thinking on the World Wide Web.
With hundreds of positive websites, and more than a million pages and podcasts downloaded each month, it's where you come to learn everything you want to know about positive thinking. The Positive Thinking Network focuses on positive self-talk, positive spirituality, winning the battle against depression, PTSD, and positive adventure.
Hundreds of family safe websites stand ready to fill your mind with positive things.
Dr. Dave and the Positive Thinking Network work around the clock to change the world, one person at a time, one web page at a time, and one podcast at a time.