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Birthdays are different on the seven seas.

There are no stores in which to shop for gifts, which is fine, because birthdays are not about things.

Most of us don’t need more stuff in our lives.

What we really need are priceless memories that stick with us forever.

Mother Nature is more than willing to bestow great memories on those who are willing to do their part to make those memories happen.

Yesterday was Dito’s birthday, and Mother Nature gave him a special treat.

We were anchored off Yellowstone Beach on Isla Monserat, and a pod of at least fifty porpoises swam by performing an aerobatic display.

I wish I could get in a porpoise’s brain and see what makes some of them into jumpers. A few of those porpoises made gravity defying leaps into the air, and occasionally two of them did it at the same time. The highest jumpers were also the biggest porpoises.

Dito and I got into our dinghy and joined the romp.

The day before in Mordor Bay, three sedate porpoises swam in the bow wave of our dinghy. The Mordor Bay porpoises were laid back and definitely not addicted to speed. They chased our bow wave when we motored at 5 to 6 knots, and after about twenty seconds they broke away and went about their business.

The Yellowstone Beach porpoises were more of a gang than a pod, and clearly they were addicted to speed. When we motored through the Gang of Fifty at 12 to 15 knots, our dinghy became a porpoise magnet. Dozens of these speedsters raced with us across the Yellowstone Beach anchorage.

We put our Go Pro into the water, and took pictures of five or six porpoises at a time in front of our bow. These powerful swimmers flicked their tails in the ocean as easily as I wave my hand in the air, but with a difference. Their tails rocketed them through the water at ten to fifteen knots.

Getting up close and personal with these large porpoises reminded us of several facts.

1. Fully grown porpoises are as big as we are - some of them bigger.

2. If the porpoises had wanted to hurt us, they could have done it with a flick of their tail or ramming us with their nose.

3. If the porpoises jumped out of the water and landed in our dinghy, I have serious questions about whether we would survive the encounter. They were definitely in charge, and we were visitors in their domain. They played nice with us and dazzled us with their beauty and power, but if they wanted to dominate us, it would have been easily within their power.

I have read of sharks being disabled by porpoises when the shark demonstrated behavior deemed threatening to the porpoises and their young. The porpoises would rocket toward the shark and t-bone the shark behind his head giving him a lesson in good manners that he would never forget. A pod of enraged porpoises could easily pummel a shark into submission.

Our porpoises show lasted twenty minutes before we broke off and returned to Exit Only. In a lifetime of sailing the seven seas, I had never seen so many porpoises close to shore cavorting with Team Exit Only.

When we got back to the beach, there were smiles all around.

Later we launched our DJI drone and photographed the porposes from above.

The Go Pro and drone footage of our porpoise encounter was the best birthday gift that Dito could have had in the Sea of Cortez - until he gets the opportunity to swim with the whale sharks of Bahia de Los Angeles.

Dr. 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.

Patreon - Maxing Out

Captain Dave and his family spent eleven years sailing around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. During the trip, the crew 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.

And don't forget the two Music Videos: "The Red Sea Blues", and "Captain - Save Our Souls".

The Red Sea Chronicles is a first class adventure that stokes the sailing dreams of both experienced and wannabe sailors alike.


    Team Maxing Out Sails Around The World On Their 39 Foot Catamaran

    Join Team Maxingout as they sail through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea


    Give your dream machine a shot in the arm

    See what it's like to cruise on a catamaran before you spend a bazillion dollars purchasing one


    View the storm management video to learn how Captain Dave dealt with storms at sea

    After watching the Red Sea Chronicles you will be able to see yourself sailing on the ocean of your dreams

Red Sea Chronicles

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.