Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog



Sometimes good things happen when you least expect them.

When we sailed around the world on our 39 foot catamaran, Exit Only, we had more than a few surprises during the eleven year voyage.

It was 6 am in the morning in New Caledonia in the South Pacific. We were sound asleep in our bunks when a massive bang on the hull woke us up. It sounded like someone hit the deck of our catamaran with a hammer. 

We were under attack.

We were anchored in a remote corner of Prony Bay with only one other yacht, and we could not imagine what was assaulting our small yacht this early in the morning. 

There aren't any pirates in New Caledonia, and vandals are still asleep at 6 am.

I listened to the commotion on deck, and I had no choice but to get out of the bunk and see what was happening. I quickly climbed down the bunk ladder, walked through the galley and up into the salon. I unlocked the companion way door and stepped into the cockpit. I quickly scanned the deck looking for alien invaders, and none were seen. 

Very mysterious.

I left the cockpit and hurried forward to see what had caused all the commotion.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog

Much to my surprise the only thing I discovered was a Spanish Mackeral lying on the trampline. 

Exit Only had been attacked by a mackeral that was nearly a meter long.

It had jumped high out of the water chasing some hapless small fish that it intended to have for breakfast, but the mackeral miscalculated its trajectory and landed on our deck just aft of the trampline. 

After thumping on deck for a short time, it ended up marooned on our trampoline where it gave up the ghost.

Holy mackeral. 

Dinner had now been served to us, and we did not have to do a thing except clean the fish.

But before we ate the fish, we called friends in New Caledonia to make sure it was safe to eat a mackeral this large. 

In New Caledonia, Spanish mackerals greater than a meter in length frequenly have ciguatera, and if you eat extremely large ones, they can make you sick. In rare cases you can even die.

Our mackeral was a few centimeters less than a meter, and our friends assured us it was safe to eat this gift from the sea.

So we cleaned the fish, and had our neighbors in the anchorage over for supper.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog

But that is not the end of the story.

Take a look at those razor sharp teeth.

Those teeth are weapons of mass destruction.

While we were in New Caledonia, a fellow sailor caught a mackeral and left it lying on deck. When the boat pitched in the seas, the mackeral slid across the deck with wide open jaws, and the jaws engaged the sailor's heel severing his Achilles tendon.

I visited the sailor in the hospital after he had surgical repair of the Achilles tendon. His leg was in a cast below the knee to immobilize the tendon, and he was getting daily subcutaneous heparin injections in his abdomen to prevent blood clots from forming in his injured leg. That's a big price to pay for not being situationally aware

How often does that type of injury happen?

More often than you think.

One of my cruising friends told me it happened to a colleague on a fishing expedition in the Marshall Islands. I heard of another case happening in Tonga while I was cruising in the South Pacific.

Situational awareness is paramount when you are sailing around the world.

A Spanish mackeral is a tasty feast, but it can also put you in the hospital with ciguatera or a lacerated Achilles tendon. 

PS: Imagine the chaos that would have ensued on board Exit Only if the massive mackeral had come down an open hatch and landed on our bunk. That would have been more than a rude awakening. Words like catastrophe and disaster pop into my mind.

Now you know the rest of the story.

Dr. Dave




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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. 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. 

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Living Without Borders

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.

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Guilty Of Living My Dreams

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.

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Negative Thoughts Are A Dream Stealer

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.

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Impossible Should Not Be In Your Vocabulary

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.

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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!

What Woud Steve Do?

What Would Steve Do?

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.

Imagine, Believe, Receive

Imagine, Believe, Receive

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.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog - Positive Thinking Doctor - David J. Abbott M.D.


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.