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.
When we were children, one of the first fears we conquered was fear of
the dark. Nevertheless, people who haven't been afraid of the dark for
fifty years sometimes go catatonic when they sail offshore at night.
They simply can't bear the thought of sailing into the inky blackness.
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.
It dark outside, and it's easier to fall asleep when you're off watch.
2. Your bunk is cooler after the hot tropical sun goes down,
You might even need to use a sheet to keep warm.
3. We slow the boat down at night so the ride is more comfortable.
There's less bouncing around to cope
with than in the daytime when we sail with more intensity.
4. We reduce our sail before sunset. We don't go on deck at
night to raise or lower the main. When the
sun goes down, we put one or two reefs in the mainsail. Safety is
our number one priority on Exit Only,
and even with reduced sail area at night, we still get our 150
miles per day. On Exit Only, when the sun
goes down, the main goes down, and when the sun comes up, the main
goes up. It's safe, it's sensible,
and it's comfortable. After all, we aren't racing through
5. It's easy to see navigation lights from oncoming ships when you
check around the horizon. It's much
easier to detect ships at night than in the daytime. Their lights
warn you of their presence. Our closest
encounters with shipping always occur in the daytime when ships
sometimes blend in with the horizon.
At night, their lights pierce the darkness, and it's easier to
detect their presence.
6. Navigation lights quickly reveal whether a ship is coming
directly at us or will pass by at a safe distance.
When I first sailed at night, I found the different patterns of
navigation lights to be confusing. I tried to
memorize all the different patterns of navigation lights like I was
preparing for a test in medical school.
Fortunately, I quickly discovered that ships have fore and aft
white steaming lights that instantly tell me
whether I am in harm's way. If the fore and aft lights are
vertically aligned with each other, then the
ship is coming directly toward me. If the white lights are
vertically separated, then the ship will pass
safely to one side. The red and green running lights are much more
difficult to see than the white lights,
and I can see the white lights farther off. That gives me more
time to change course if the white steaming
lights are vertically aligned. In the day time, there are no
lights to see, and it's harder to tell the ships
course using only my eyes. In daylight, I may need to turn on the
radar to see if a ship is coming down an
estimated bearing line on a collision course.
7. Night vision binoculars let you see the loom of lights from ships
even before they come over the horizon.
If the weather is bad or if there is substantial haze, we may use
our night vision binoculars to detect ship's
lights at night. The light amplification available with night
vision binoculars mean that during the night you
may be able to detect ships easier and farther away than you could
in the same conditions during the
8 We run radar at night to track squalls and monitor nearby
shipping. You can easily detect rain
squalls and follow shipping in your small patch of paradise. Radar
levels the playing field and keeps you
honest. In the daytime you sometimes rely on your eyeballs when
you should rely on your radar. At night,
we turn on the radar when there is reduced visibility or squally
weather. The radar makes us more aware
of our surroundings and keeps us out of denial. If there's
something out there on radar, we deal with it.
9. After sunset, we view a DVD and eat popcorn as a family activity
before night watches start in earnest.
Rather than dreading the darkness, we look forward to a couple of
hours of entertainment after the sun
10. Our night watches are civilized. The most sleepy person
climbs in his/her bunk and instantly falls
asleep. The person who is the most awake and alert takes watch
until he becomes sleepy, and then he
wakes up a rested crew member to assume watch.
Sailing offshore at night is both restful and safe. Give offshore night
sailing a try. It's safer than you think, and you might even enjoy it.
Click on this button to
tell your friends about "Why Night Sailing Rocks".
WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME?
Landlubbers often ask, "When are you coming
home?" What they really mean is, "When are you going to buy a house,
settle down, and live like most other people?" Although this is a fair
question, it overlooks the obvious. Real ocean cruisers are already
home because their boat is their home.
Most ocean cruisers are middle class people who sold their house so they
could purchase a boat. They simply traded a terrestrial home for an
Sailors have homes just like landlubbers. The big difference is that a
cruiser's home moves around, sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot.
It doesn't matter whether the anchor is down or the sails are up, a real
ocean cruiser is still at home. Every day that I sailed on my yacht -
33,000 miles around the world - I always felt like I was home.
Sometimes my home was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and at other
times it was in Australia, Thailand, the Caribbean, or hundreds of other
destinations. No matter where I was, as long as I was on my yacht, I was
Yachts are an excellent way to travel because they permit you to take
your home with you. There's no need for mountains of luggage or
expensive hotels. You simply need a bay in which to drop your anchor.
When I flew around the world by air, never once in the month long trip
did I feel like I was home. Airplanes, airports, and hotels never feel
like home. Contrast that with my sailing voyage around the globe. For
eleven years I sailed the high seas, and every single day and in every
destination, I felt like I was home.
When you talk to sailors who cruise full time, most of them will tell
you the same thing. Their yacht is their home. Although some cruisers
can afford a house and a yacht at the same time, usually their house is
rented to produce income, and their home is on the yacht.
Cruisers have a special understanding of the old saying, "Home is where
the heart is." They made a choice to move their home from land to sea,
and it was a decision of the heart. They did it because that was what
they wanted to do.
So when exactly will cruisers come home? When will they move their home
back from the sea to land?
The answer is simple. When land is where
their heart is, they will do it. They will step off their small ship
onto dry land, start a new life, and make a new home.
TAKE THE PLUNGE AND
THE RED SEA
CHRONICLES. DIVE INTO A GREAT
MULTIHULL CRUISING DVD. YOU WILL BE GLAD THAT YOU DID!
A FIRST CLASS SAILING ADVENTURE
A FIRST CLASS CHRISTMAS GIFT
and his family spent eleven years sailing around the world on their
Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. During the trip, the crew of Exit
Only shot 200 hours of video with professional cameras to show people
what it's like to sail on a small boat around the world.
The Red Sea Chronicles is a one hour and twenty-two minute feature
film showing their adventures as Exit Only sails through Pirate
Alley in the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea. The professional footage
documents their experiences in Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, and
the Suez Canal. It chronicles the rigors of traveling in a remote
section of the world rarely visited by cruisers. Exit Only dodges
Yemeni pirates, fights a gale and sand storms in the Bab al Mandeb at
the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The crew explores deserted
islands on the western shores of the Red Sea, and learns to check the
cruising guides for land mines before venturing ashore.
The Red Sea Chronicles also has outstanding Special Features
including an Instructional Video on Storm Management that
tells sailors how to deal with storms at sea.
The Red Sea Chronicles is a first class adventure that stokes the
sailing dreams of both experienced and wannabe sailors alike. Order
your copy of the Red Sea Chronicles and experience the adventures of
Exit Only as they sail around the world and up the Red Sea.
Meet The Crew
Dave Abbott - Captain
Captain Dave always dreamed of sailing around the world on his
own sailboat, and his eleven year circumnavigation with his
family made his dream come true.
Donna Abbott - First Mate
Donna earned her stripes the REALLY old fashioned way...by
enduring the rigors of passage making for the thrill of
exploring exotic ports across the globe.
Sarah Abbott - Deck Swab
Sarah is the newest member of the family and crew. Despite her
limited sailing experience, she jumped right in to life on the
high seas. Her fresh and enthusiastic perspective on cruising
help make the Red Sea Chronicles so special.
David Abbott - Cameraman/Director/Editor/Narrator/Composer
David shot over 170 hours of footage on the voyage from
Australia to Florida. He then spent a year and a half on dry
land editing and producing the Red Sea Chronicles DVD. In
addition to the narrating the film, David also scored,
performed, and recorded the entire soundtrack for the project.
Wendy Abbott - Voice of Ninja Crab
Wendy is the daughter of Capt Dave and Donna. She sailed on Exit
Only from Florida to New Zealand. Wendy guest stars as the voice
of a Ninja Hermit Crab in the Red Sea
TOP TEN REASONS TO BUY THE RED SEA
The Red Sea Chronicles is an
affordable CHRISTMAS gift for the sailor in my life. Where else can I get
a totally awesome gift for only twenty bucks?
9. I work hard for a living, and I
deserve to reward myself with the Red Sea Chronicles.
8. My Dream Machine could use a
shot in the arm, and the Red Sea Chronicles will give it the
boost that it needs.
7. Every minute spent watching The
Red Sea Chronicles extends my life by a full year.
6. I want to see what it's like to
cruise on a catamaran before I spend a bazillion dollars
5. I want to see how a catamaran
handles in heavy weather.
4. I want to see the Storm
Management video so I understand what I need to do when I get in
a storm at sea.
3. If I buy The Red Sea Chronicles,
then Maxing Out Media will start production on two new DVD's -
Australia to the Red Sea, and Med Sea to the Caribbean.
2. I like the Maxing Out web site,
and I would like to support the website by purchasing their DVD.
1. After watching the Red Sea
Chronicles, I can finally see myself sailing on the ocean of my
quality, music, people, boat... Just excellent."
got the DVD yesterday and watched it last night (we had no problem
with the different format at all), what a great adventure and well
put together DVD it was entertaining as well as informative and
funny at times, a great combination. Well done you guys are natural
movie stars, Laura and I watched the DVD twice and I am sure we will
watch it many more times in the future."
hope you guys are going to make more DVDís of your previous sailing
trips for us to enjoy."
"Amazing...Just watched your dvd The Red Sea Chronicles for the
third time today...I called my boss at home and turned in my
notice...I'm going sailing!"
"The best cruising video to date
from any source and should be on the shelf of every one who shares
the cruising spirit even if only in dreams."
"...a great video that transported
me from a damp, cold day in Wales to cruising aboard Maxing Out in
the Red Sea - pure nectar."
"The only "problem" is that this has left me wanting more of the
same stuff, just from some of the other places Maxing Out has
"Thumbs up. I also wish the entire circumnavigation was documented,
but this small portion in the Red Sea is excellent. Well done."
"I just watched the
Red Sea Chronicles and second what all the others have said. I'd
love to see a whole series of Maxing Out DVDs...Good job!"
Red Sea Chronicles DVD Previews
The Red Sea Chronicles is now available!
We are attacked by flying fish as we cross the Indian Ocean on
our way to Salalah, Oman. When we make landfall, the local suq
(market) helps us regain our land legs.
The riskier side of world cruising. In this episode we prepare
to sail through "Pirate Alley" in the Gulf of Aden
We arrive in Aden with a damaged alternator and are delighted to
find a superb local machine shop. As we prepare to leave, fellow
cruisers are attacked by pirates.
We must sail through the notorious Bab el Mandeb (Gate of
Sorrows) to enter the Red Sea. 50 knot winds and relentless
sandstorms are ready and waiting on the other side
$19.95 + $5 shipping/handling
$19.95 + $10 shipping/handling