Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog



Take a look at the wind and waves. 

The wind is blowing forty knots and Duetto, Balmacara, and Exit Only are anchored at Ras Terma in Eritrea. 

There is a white out from blowing sand lifted high into the air by a sandstorm. But at least the anchors are down and holding, and we are no longer being hammered by the seas of the Bab Al Mandeb. 

Two days earlier, we left Yemen and sailed through the Gulf of Aden until we arrived at the Bab Al Mandeb which is the southern entrance to the Red Sea. 

The Bab has a ferocious reputation because the winds in that area frequently blow at fifty knots. Everyone sailing up the Red Sea must run the boisterous gauntlet as they sail through the Bab.

When it was our turn to sail those treacherous waters, we experienced first hand why the the Bab al Mandeb is called the Gate of Sorrows. 

We pointed our bows north, pushed open the Gate, and before long, we running downwind in a fifty knot gale with turbulent steep seas crashing into our stern. 

We went through the Bab in the morning, and so we had plenty of daylight to work our way north at about eight to ten knots. 

We hoped that if we got far enough north, the winds would moderate, and the seas would lose their punch, and we would have a more enjoyable and less risky sail up the Red Sea. Unfortunately, the Bab showed us no mercy. 

The wind persisted at fifty knots all day long, and it was apparent that it was going to be a long night at sea if we didn’t find shelter. We wanted to continue north as fast as possible, but we also wanted to do it safely.

We had talked on the radio with other people who had transited the Bab in similar conditions, and they reported strong winds for up to thirty six hours. 

That was bad news, and we didn’t want to take a beating for that long. 

Our other option was to head for Ras Terma, which was a deserted anchorage behind a high headland in Eritrea about fifteen miles away.

We decided to go to Ras Terma and hopefully ride out the strong winds in a sheltered location. 

We tacked over on to a beam reach and headed for land. 

I turned off the autopilot and steered by hand. I was afraid that the wild seas might overpower the autopilot and strip its gears. 

Hand steering the yacht for half a day in rough conditions was inconvenient, but at least I would be sure to have an autopilot that was working when the weather moderated. We needed the autopilot to comfortably steer Exit Only for 1700 miles up the Red Sea.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog

t took three hours of extremely wet sailing to arrive at Ras Terma. 

We were beam on to the steep seas, and the waves that struck the side of the yacht relentlessly dumped gallons of salt water over me as I steered at the unprotected helm. Each new wave deposited more salt into my clothes until my shirt and pants became stiff from the accumulation of salt. My clothes turned into a pillar of salt.

Ras Terma proved to be a secure anchorage, but the winds still blew at thirty-five to forty knots for at least a day and a half before they abated. 

We hunkered down and waited for conditions to improve. 

While we were anchored there, a sandstorm came through and covered our boat with red desert dust. We shut up the boat to keep sand from coming inside and creating a huge mess.

At least we had survived the Bab without damage.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog

Caked on salt spray mixed with desert dust is a small price to pay to escape from the clutches of the Bab Al Mandeb. 

Once again, Exit Only had proven that it was a strong and seaworthy vessel. It took a licking and kept on ticking.

While it’s true that adversity had paid visit, it didn’t 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.

Dr. Dave




Pushing back the limits in your life

Pushing Back The Limits In Your Life

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.

Grand Schemes and Other Important Things

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. 

Daktari Without Borders

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.

Guilty of Living My Dreams

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.

Negative Thoughts Are A Dream Stealer

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.

Everything Possible Nothing Impossible

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.

Fear Doctor

Things I Feared That Never Happened

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.