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When we sailed for 21 days from Galapagos to Baja California, I did not understand that we had to sail through the Northeast Pacific Cauldron.

I have named this region the Cauldron because it generates a large number of cyclones (hurricanes) each year.

When we set out from the Galapagos, I didn’t know that we were entering the Cauldron. I only knew that we would have to spend five to seven days navigating through the doldrums (Intertropical Convergence Zone) during the voyage north.

I didn’t know that the Cauldron oscillates north and south during the year, and I didn’t know that it expanded and contracted on a daily basis. One day the Cauldron might be 400 miles wide and the next day it might be 600 miles wide, and it just might shift north with us as we sailed toward the Baja.

Nobody knows exactly why the Cauldron generates so many cyclones, but it’s clear that winds collide and converge there.

Zones of convergence experience lots of convection, and if the upper level winds are favorable, rotating storms get created in the cauldron.

The converging winds of the Cauldron come from many different directions.

The gap winds that blow across Mexico and Central America can be extremely fierce.

The gap winds are called gap winds because they blow across geographically defined gaps.

Gap winds occur in southern Mexico in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, and the Gap winds are referred to as Tehuantepecers.

Gap winds blow across Nicaragua in the area of Lake Nicaragua. Gap winds blow between the mountains of Costa Rica as well as across the Isthmus of Panama.

When the gap winds of Mexico and Central America enter the Northeastern Pacific, they mix with the Northeast and Southeast trade winds.

A strong North Pacific High pressure area with strong clockwise wind can stir the Cauldron even more.

I am now older and wiser, and I have no interest in sailing once again in the Cauldron. In some seasons it’s just unpleasant, and in the summer it’s downright dangerous.

Captain Dave

Captain Dave - David J. Abbott M.D.





Exit Only

See what it's like for a family to sail around the world on a small catamaran

Captain Save Our Souls

Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.

Red Sea Blues

Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.

Red Sea Chronicles Trailer

If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 1 - When Flying Fish Attack

Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 2 - Pirate Alley

Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 3 - Aden, Yemen

Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 4- Gate of Sorrows and Sandstorms

After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.

Save A Tree Bookstore

Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.