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If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.

Plans are great when they work out, but usually they are a trip to fantasy land.

The universe does not care about your plans or mine, and setting plans in concrete is the formula for disappointment.

Although I am the Master of my fate and Captain of my soul, no amount of magical thinking on my part is going to move the universe the slightest in any direction. The universe will do what it wants, and the sooner I get used to that fact, the better off my life will be.

Voyage Six of Exit Only is proof positive that plans are just an aiming point and not a final destination.

Voyage Six started with total refit on our Privilege 39 catamaran - Exit Only.

Our plan was for a three month refit before setting sail, but the universe had other plans, and our refit stretched into six months and more than twice the amount of money than we planned to spend.

Our refit included new engines, shafts, props, through hulls, cabin liner, trampolines, life lines, head sail, and code zero. We replaced all standing and running rigging - new halyards and sheets. New Profurl roller furler, new turning blocks. We pulled the mast for painting and painted the crossbeam as well. We purchased a new Beugelanker and 400 feet of 3/8 inch high test chain. We replaced all the electronics with new radios, wind speed and depth indicators, new tricolor light, new running lights, AIS, Iridium Go, New Pactor, New multifunction display, and new radar. New batteries, solar panel and panel controller. We rebuilt the wind generators. The list of updates goes on and on.

By the time the refit was complete, Exit Only was essentially a new boat ready for another circumnavigation.
And then the fickle finger of fate intervened.

Just before we were ready to set sail, I had urgent surgery to remove an inflamed gall bladder - actually four surgical procedures with more than a few complications along the way. Recovery from this medical misadventure required more than six months - delaying the start of Voyage six
When I was healthy enough to return to Exit Only, we made final preparations for sailing from Florida to New Zealand and Australia.

Then the fickle finger of fate intervened once again.

Four days before we were to set sail, I tripped on a line on board Exit Only, and I broke my hip socket. That misadventure put me in the hospital, and then into a nursing home. After ten weeks of healing and convalescence, I got back on board Exit Only, and about ten days later we set sail - crutches and all.

We did an overnight sail across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas and our shakedown cruise began. We spent a couple of months sailing in the Bahamas, and Exit Only performed flawlessly as we sailed south toward the Caribbean Sea.

We sailed through Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba, and we had our first big test once we entered the Caribbean south of Haiti. 25 to 30 knots winds with steep 10 foot seas baptized us in the enhanced trade winds of the Caribbean. After a rough eight day passages to Shelter Bay in Panama, we once again knew that Exit Only was up to the task.

Voyage Six continued on to Cartagena, Colombia, the San Blas Islands, and Bocas Del Toro in Panama. Next we transited the Panama Canal, and then we cruised the Perlas Islands in the Gulf of Panama.

Exit Only made a fast 6 day passage to the Galápagos Islands, and we planned for a two month stay in Galapagos before sailing on to French Polynesia.

Then the fickle finger of fate intervened once again.

After 3 weeks in Galapagos, Coronavirus stuck the islands, and we went into 40 days of quarantine in Puerto Ayora on the Island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. We did not get off the boat for 40 days except for Dito who went to the grocery story every couple of days for groceries.

After 40 days of Galapagos quarantine, it was obvious Covid 19 had shut down the islands of the entire Pacific, and it made no sense to sail to French Polynesia where our situation would be worse rather than better.

We decided to sail for the Sea of Cortez in Mexico which was still open and welcoming sailors from around the world. We checked out of Galapagos and sailed across the monsoon trough and eastern Pacific for 21 days and nights to arrive in La Paz in Baja California Sur.

Baja California was locked down, but it still welcomed us to its shores for which we were grateful. We cruised in the southern Sea of Cortez for several weeks before starting our journey north. The distance from La Paz to Puerto Penasco was only 450 miles, and there were hundreds of anchorages to visit on the trip north.

We spent four months cruising in the Sea of Cortez dodging the Covid 19 bullet in ports along the way. We cruised with other like-minded sailors who took the Covid 19 pandemic seriously and who maintained a quarantine that significantly reduced the risk of our small armada becoming infected with Coronavirus.

Then the fickle finger of fate intervened once again.

Hurricane season started, and the first hurricane passed within 150 miles of our anchorage in Conception Bay. It clearly was time to head further north, and we made the jump to the best hurricane hole in the northern Sea of Cortez at Puerto Don Juan. A pleasant overnight passage took us to Bahia De Los Ángeles where we dropped our anchor, and we were secure in the knowledge that hurricanes would not be a problem for Exit Only in Puerto Don Juan.

We explored the Bay of LA planning to spend at least a month exploring the anchorages in Volcano Land. We made two expeditions to swim with whale sharks, and the crew had the privilege of swimming with whale sharks on both occasions.

In preparation for more adventures, we refilled our propane and topped off our provisions from the stores in the Bay of LA.

And then the fickle finger of fate intervened once again.

We received an urgent message via Iridium Go from the person watching our house in Phoenix. The message said there was massive water damage to our house in Phoenix that we needed to tend to immediately. A pipe had burst upstairs in our house, and the drywall downstairs was wiped out. The furniture was drenched in water, the ceilings had come down, and the dry wall was ruined. The downstairs was down to studs in the wall. It was a mega disaster.

We contacted our insurance company who immediately began water mitigation, and we quickly set sail for Puerto Penasco to get the boat hauled out so we could go to Phoenix. We did an overnight sail, and when we arrived in Penasco, we began the arduous process of hauling out Exit Only and preparing the boats for long term storage until the problem with our house was sorted out.

We hired a vehicle to take us to the border where my sister picked us up and took us to Phoenix.

After one year, the reconstruction of our house is nearly complete, and it’s possible to think about doing other things.

But I am careful to not tempt the fickle finger of fate by announcing any plans.

Voyage Six of sailing vessel Exit Only has been successfully completed. It was a great adventure in which we explored new worlds, and we dodged the Covid 19 bullet.

We have no idea what the future holds, and we don’t know where Voyage Seven of Exit Only will take us, and that’s OK.

We are still not used up, and we will keep moving forward.

This is not the end of the world. It’s only the end of Voyage Six.

I can hardly wait to see what happens next. The adventure continues.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Captain Dave

Still Master of my Fate and Captain of My Soul

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.