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Bees are awesome. The pollinate our food chain and make it possible for all of us to survive.

There are at least 220 species of stingrays many of which are endangered. Some species are found in salt water and some in fresh water.

They are relative of sharks - believe it or not.

They come in different sizes and shapes and the coloration is highly variable. Some species change color for environmental camouflage when they move to a new location.

Stingrays are fish, and so they breathe through gills. When they are actively swimming the water comes in their mouth and goes out through their gills to oxygenate their blood.

When the stingrays bury themselves in the sand hiding and waiting for prey to come by, they cannot breath through the mouth because it is buried in the sand. They need a snorkle to get fresh water to their gills so they don’t suffocate waiting for prey.

Their snorkle is called a spiracle, which is a hole in the upper part of their body just behind their eyes, and this small hole is their snorkle that supplies just enough water to their gills so they get enough oxygen to survive.

When they are buried in the sand, the only thing visible is their two eyes and two spiracles through which they breath - their snorkle.

Here in the Sea of Cortez there are dozens of camouflaged stingrays in the white sand in shallow water, and when you walk in the water along the beach, you are supposed to shuffle your feet to kick up sand and scare away the stingrays so you don’t step on one of them by accident. Stepping on a stingray could result in a painful sting on your leg from their barbed stinger.

Stingrays buried in the sand wait for their prey to swim by, and when a delectable morsel shows up in front of them, they raise their head and arch their body upward creating a vacuum beneath the stingray sucking the prey under their body and into the stingray’s mouth.


Stingrays are wonders of creation.

They are a giant swimming pancake with a stinger for self defense that has a snorkle to make it possible to breathe while waiting for prey. And when the stingray is ready to eat, he arches his body to create a vacuum to suck prey into his mouth.

Who would have thought such a thing was possible.

I am grateful that most stingrays are small and don’t go around vacuuming up people. Covid 19 is bad enough, and giant stingrays would be even worse for those of us who are Real Ocean Cruisers.


Just when I thought things could not get any worse I found out about electric stingrays. According to wikipedia, “an average electric ray may electrocute larger prey with a current of up to 30 amperes and a voltage of 50 to 200 volts, a similar effect to dropping a mains-powered hairdryer (large appliance plug of 110/220 volts in North America) into a bathtub.”

The powerful effects of electric stingrays have been known for years according to wikipedia - “The electrogenic properties of electric rays have been known since antiquity. The ancient Greeks used electric rays to numb the pain of childbirth and operations. In his dialogue Meno, Plato has the character Meno accuse Socrates of "stunning" people with his puzzling questions, in a manner similar to the way the stingray fish stuns with electricity. Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician, recorded the use of torpedo fish for treatment of headaches and gout in his Compositiones Medicae of 46 AD. The torpedo fish, or electric ray, appears continuously in premodern natural histories as a magical creature, and its ability to numb fishermen without seeming to touch them was a significant source of evidence for the belief in occult qualities in nature during the ages before the discovery of electricity as an explanatory mode.”

So there you have it.

The shocking truth about stingrays. Now you know the rest of the story.

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.