I have met many sailors in my life time, and many of them are Real Ocean Cruisers.

Sailing is their way of life. It’s who they are and what they do.

They live and breathe sailing. Real Ocean Cruisers are a hardy lot, and they can’t be compressed into a mold.

They are the closest things yet to true citizens of the world.

Real Ocean Cruisers can sail anywhere on Planet Ocean and still feel at home. Their boat is their home and the world is their playground.

Real Ocean Cruiser are cultural chameleons. Wherever they go, they fit in.

They don’t moan about what they gave up to go sailing, and they don’t miss it as well.

They don’t try to replicate a shoreside lifestyle as they sail the seven seas. If they wanted a shoreside lifestyle, they would sell their boat and go home.

The first Real Ocean Cruiser I met was in the Navy in Puerto Rico. He had a thirty foot boat that he was preparing to sail around the world.

He was the first person I knew who was totally committed to making a circumnavigation. Come hell or high water, he would sail around the world.

He was a naval aviator, and he was the most positive person I have known.

He taught me the meaning single-minded purpose that ignored opposition and defied the odds.

I helped him prepare his small sailboat for his global adventure. I assisted him in installing his RVG self-steering wind vane on the stern of his boat and helped him attach his life raft on deck.

He had a tiny Avon Redcrest dingy that he rowed without a motor. His dingy was powered by positive thinking.

He did not tiptoe through life. He did everything with gusto giving it all he had.

One day he took me up in an S2 Navy plane, and we did a range run over the Island of Vieques to make sure it was all clear for Navy pilots to drop practice bombs. After the short range run, he showed me what it was like to pull Gs, and then we flew over to the BVI to check out all the anchorages. He pushed the limits.

His boat was not a floating condominium.

40 years ago floating condos didn’t exist.

Back then, you sailed by the seat of your pants. It was celestial navigation, compasses and paper charts all the way.

There were no watermakers, solar panels, internet, or EPIRB.

If your boat sunk at sea, you got into your life raft and drifted for weeks or months before being rescued if you were rescued at all.

You carried flares and hoped a passing ship would see you and render assistance. You couldn’t turn on an emergency satellite beacon and have someone show up to rescue you in a few hours.

When he set sail from Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, I watched him from high on a hill as he calibrated his compass sailing different courses in the harbor. It was the first time and the last time I have seen a mariner swing his compass before setting out on a circumnavigation. You don’t swing the compass until the boat is fully loaded because some of the items you put on board could deviate the compass. Once everything is stowed, you swing the compass so you know your headings are true.

A couple of days after he set sail, his mast was struck by lightning blowing the wind indicator off the top of his mast. Since he had no electronic navigation devices or radar that could be destroyed by lightning, the strike was only an annoyance.

His only electronics consisted of a VHF radio and an Atlas 210X high frequency radio.

It was in Panama that the moniker REAL OCEAN CRUISER was born. He took a Panamanian call sign in which he called himself HP1ROC. The HP1 indicated it was a Panamanian call sign, and ROC meant Real Ocean Cruiser. He was proud to be a Real Ocean Cruiser living his sailing dreams.

It took him four years to sail around the world, and those were some of the best years of his life.

He was a Real Ocean Cruiser, and he did it without bells and whistles.

He was a self-sufficient sailor who was willing to do whatever it takes.

There are fewer Real Ocean Cruisers these days fully committed to the sailing life.

Most folks are on a sabbatical that lasts a couple of years. They still have awesome adventures, and some of them even sail around the world. But for these sailors, the adventure is simply a notch on their belt. One less item is on their bucket list, and they move on to different things.

For Real Ocean Cruisers, sailing is not a fashion statement. It’s not something they do while looking over their shoulder to see if someone is watching.

They do what they do because they love it, and most of them hope no one is looking.

They like deserted anchorages in far away places and a life without bells and whistles.

They have a simple existence in an uncomplicated vessel, and they are free.

Real Ocean cruisers have tasted freedom, and nothing else will do.

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.