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Lot’s of people like grass.

Me, not so much. In fact, I hate grass.

Grass causes problems when I am anchoring.

When I put my 66 pound WASI Bugelanker out with 150 of 3/8 inch high test chain, and it does not set in the seabed, the problem almost always is grass.

This picture illustrates the problem.

The anchor is perfectly placed in a patch of grass, and the grass prevents the tip of the anchor from digging in. The anchor lies on its side doing nothing useful except killing seagrass.

If I back down on this anchor, it will slide through the grass like it was on a log flume ride at Disney World.

It helps to have a sharp point on the tip of the Bugelanker as it might help penetrate patchy thin grass, but odds are not in my favor.

When I back down on this anchor, the Bugelanker will drag through a five foot patch of sand before encountering more grass, and if I’m extremely lucky, it might dig in and set properly in that small patch of sand.

In the old days of sailing ships, people put tallow - a greasy substance - on the bottom of a lead or iron sounding weight, and when the tallow hit the bottom, whatever was on the seabed floor would stick to the tallow. When they pulled up their sounding weight, they examined the tallow to discover the makeup of the seabed.

If sand came up on the tallow, it was a sandy anchorage and likely a secure place to drop anchor.

If mud came up on the tallow, they chose an anchor appropriate for mud.

If gravel came up on the tallow, they chose an anchor that worked best in gravel and rocks.

If grass came up on the tallow, they started drinking Red Bull to stay awake on anchor watch all night long because there is a good chance the anchor would not hold in a grassy bottom.

When we come into a bay with a grassy sea bed, we cruise around the anchorage looking for patches of sand. When we find a good size patch, we drop the anchor on the windward edge of the patch, and we back down on our anchor to set it firmly in the middle of that patch. Usually that gets the job done and we sleep well at night knowing that our new favorite patch of sand will keep us safe through the night.

When we anchor in a sandy patch, it’s important that we have an anchor that resets easily and swiftly with changes in wind and current.

Our catamaran has lots of windage, and I shudder to think of the number of times my 60 pound CQR did not reset properly with shifts in wind and current. Anchoring behind Frazier Island in Australia drove me crazy with the wind and current shifts. I was uncomfortable leaving the boat without having someone on board to make sure the anchor did not drag when the current shifted 180 degrees.

An anchor that does not reliably reset with shifts in wind and current cannot be trusted when you anchor in small patches of sand. When the anchor drags out of the sandy patch and into the weed, you can have a real problem.
One of the best aspects of the Bugelanker is that it quickly resets with changes in wind and current. The anchor simply rotates with the wind and current. We have never had a problem with reseting or dragging out of our sandy patch.

When we drop our anchor, if it does not give us a big jerk when we are in full reverse with two engines, then the anchor is not secure. We pull up the anchor and start over again.

I am seriously thinking about taking a file to the tip of my stainless steel Bugelanker to create a razor sharp point. Maybe that would make it possible to penetrate a grassy seabed. That’s probably wishful thinking, and betting my boat by anchoring in grass seems like poor seamanship.

That’s all I have to stay about grass.

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.