SAILING THROUGH THE GATE OF SORROWS
Everyone wants to be successful until they see what it takes.
This is a picture of Duetto bashing to windward in the southern Red Sea. Several days previously, Duetto, Balmacara, and Exit Only sailed through the Gate of Sorrows and into the Red Sea.
We sailed through the Bab al Mandeb into the teeth of a sandstorm that lasted several days. We got pummeled by fifty knot winds while anchored behind a headland at Ras Terma in Eritrea. By the time the sandstorm was over, our decks were covered with sandy grit and our halyards and sheets were tinted red by desert dust.
Sandstorms are messy and uncomfortable, but it’s much better than pirates, and once we were through the Bab al Mandeb, the pirates were in our rear view mirror.
Now all we had to do was sail 1500 miles up the Red Sea.
At least half of those miles would be sailed to windward.
The Red Sea proved to be an unforgettable adventure with uncharted reefs and remote anchorages in which self-sufficiency was the order of the day.
We made one misstep on Difnein Island in Eritrea strolling though an unmarked mine field, and fortunately no one got blown up. We were hunkered down for several days in Difnein recovering from Dengue Fever in half the crew. We did not know there were land mines on the island until after we took a stroll to look around. Someone came up on the radio and told us about the land mines, and that was the end of our Difnein walk about.
During our voyage up the Red Sea, we were pummeled two more times on the trip north.
In the Northern Red Sea, we had to turn around after encountering 40 knots headwinds at 1 oclock in the morning, and we gave up the all the miles we had made to the north during the previous day.
Our final pummeling happened in the Gulf of Suez fighting steep short seas for 200 miles to windward with 30 knot headwinds all night long trying to reach Port Suez.
I mention all of those stories for a single purpose.
Success is great when it’s easy, but in my experience, success comes with perseverence and hard work. Lots of people would like to have a Red Sea Adventure sailing from the Bab Al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, but they want it to be easy. When they see what it takes, they say, “No thank you,” and they ship their boat to a less challenging destination.
I was willing to do whatever it takes when I sailed up the Red Sea. I just hoped that Exit Only would be up to the challenges that lay ahead.
Every time I start a new adventure, I ask myself whether I am willing to do whatever it takes. If the answer is yes, I go for it. If the answer is no, I don’t waste my time.
Ambivalence has no place in my life. I do a quick check on my head, heart, and will, and if they all head in the same direction, then I move forward.
I know that I will be unstoppable, because I will not stop myself. I will not be the only unmovable obstacle that stands in my own way.
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.
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.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.