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Real Ocean Cruisers always have a plan.

We don’t just do things. We are situationally aware.

We know that every choice we make has consequences, and if we make good choices, we don’t run out of options.

Our biggest risk is not from sailing offshore and crossing oceans.

The biggest risk we face is when we are close to land. Reefs, rocks, and land have a voracious appetite for boats, and they eat them all the time.

When we put our anchor down in a rocky anchorage without good holding, the rocks start licking their lips - if a wind comes up it will be feeding time.

When we drop our anchor in a grassy seabed with poor holding, the reefs rejoice because dinner is being served.

When we ignore the weather, and anchor on a lee shore, it won’t be long before the land gorges its belly with our boat.

There’s a lot more to anchoring than lowering our anchor and hoping for the best. That’s the hope of fools.

Real Ocean Cruisers know that anchoring is all about reefs, rocks, seabeds, wind direction, and oncoming weather for the next twenty-four hours.

There is no room for hope and optimism in the world of the Real Ocean Cruiser. If they are not reality based 100% of the time, they won’t be out cruising very long because they won’t have a boat.

That’s why Real Ocean Cruisers always have a plan.

When I enter any anchorage, the first thought that crosses my mind is how will I be able to get out of this anchorage in the dark of night when I can’t see the rocks and reefs all around.

If I can’t come up with a reasonable escape plan, then I will not use that location for an overnight anchorage, and if I use it as a day anchorage, I will keep a weather eye.

The problem with marginal anchorages is that Sastrugi Happens.

Your anchor starts to drag, and you can’t get your engine started - disaster happens.

Your anchor starts to drag, and a line gets wrapped around the prop - disaster happens.

Your anchor starts to drag and your anchor hooks on someone else’s anchor rode - disaster happens for two yachts.

I have seen all of those things happen.

Real Ocean Cruisers sail year after year because they always have a reasonable contingency plan.

In the age of digital navigation, I have a track function on my navigational tablet, and if I need to leave an anchorage in the middle of the night, I simply reverse my incoming track. I precisely follow that track - it was safe when I came into the anchorage, and it will be safe when I leave the anchorage in stormy weather in the middle of the night.,

If you don’t have digital charts with tracking function, it will be more challenging making your escape in marginal anchorages with lots of reefs and rocks.

Without digital charts, there are anchorages I could not safely leave at night in adverse conditions.

Digital charts have many shortcomings, but the tracking function is worth its weight in gold. I keep my digital charts on four different devices - an iPad, a Samsung tablet, an android phone, and an iPhone. If I drop a device and break it, I will still have my digital charts available.

Having a catamaran with two engines makes it easier for me to sleep at night. If I need to motor out of an anchorage at night, I know there is a 100% chance that at least one engine will start, and if I wrap a prop with a line in the water, I can still make my escape using the second engine.

An escape plan is incomplete without an alternate destination.

That destination can be another anchorage or it can simply be standing five miles offshore until daylight comes.

Standing offshore in a hove to configuration is safe and easy to do, and I have done it many times in many places around the world.

So there you have it.

Real Ocean Cruisers are situationally aware, and they always have a plan.

That’s why they live long and prosper.

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.