Once upon a time there was an eye surgeon who decided to live his dreams.  His particular dream was to practice medicine in underdeveloped countries and to sail around the world on a yacht.  Such a radical dream meant he would never become rich or famous.  Because this was such an important decision, the surgeon knew that he should spend a large amount of time looking into its pros and cons, and he should closely examine the impact it would have on his life.  Therefore, he totally dedicated five thought-filled minutes to this decision.  Those five liberating minutes were all he needed to start walking on the path to his dreams.

The surgeon now knew where he was going, and what was he was going to do with his life.  But there were still several important lessons he had to learn, and those lessons focused on security, survival, and stuff.

He learned that when you travel on the path to your dreams, there is no such thing as security.  It just doesnít exist, and it makes no sense to worship at the altar of security, because security is a false god.  Life is inherently risky, and the bigger your dreams, the more risk you have to take to make them come true. 

He also learned that in the long run, we are all dead.  Life has no survivors.  Since you only get one life which is far too short, he decided that he should make his life into what he wanted it to be, and that it should count for something good. 

Finally, he learned that no matter how much stuff you accumulate on your journey through life, you canít take any of it with you when you die.  Therefore, he decided to not spend a lot of time and effort in piling up a mountain of money and other acquisitions that would slip instantly from his grasp at the moment of his death.

Once he realized that there was no security, that there were no survivors, and that you canít take it with you, he became a free man.  He was liberated to live his dreams.

Deciding to live my dreams was one of the smartest things I ever did.  Hmm.  Perhaps it wouldnít be a bad idea for you to do the same.


Take a look at the wind and waves.  The wind is blowing forty knots and Duetto, Balmacara,  and Exit Only are anchored at Ras Terma in Eritrea.  There is a white out from blowing sand lifted  high into the air by a sandstorm.  But at least the anchors are down and holding, and we are no longer being hammered by the seas of the Bab Al Mandeb.

Two days earlier, we left Yemen and sailed through the Gulf of Aden until we arrived at the Bab Al Mandeb which is the southern entrance to the Red Sea.  The Bab has a ferocious reputation because the winds in that area frequently blow at fifty knots.  Everyone sailing up the Red Sea must run the boisterous gauntlet as they sail through the Bab.

When it was our turn to sail those treacherous waters, we experienced first hand why the the Bab al Mandeb is called the Gate of Sorrows.  We pointed our bows north, pushed open the Gate, and  before long, we running downwind in a fifty knot gale with turbulent steep seas crashing into our stern. 

We went through the Bab in the morning, and so we had plenty of daylight to work our way north at about eight to ten knots.  We hoped that if we got far enough north, the winds would moderate, and the seas would lose their punch, and we would have a more enjoyable and less risky sail up the Red Sea.  Unfortunately, the Bab showed us no mercy.  The wind persisted at fifty knots all day long, and it was apparent that it was going to be a long night at sea if we didnít find shelter.  We wanted to continue north as fast as possible, but we also wanted to do it safely.

We had talked on the radio with other people who had transited the Bab in similar conditions, and they reported strong winds for up to thirty six hours.  That was bad news, and we didnít want to take a beating for that long.  Our other option was to head for Ras Terma, which was a deserted anchorage behind a high headland in Eritrea about fifteen miles away.

We decided to go to Ras Terma and hopefully ride out the strong winds in a sheltered location.  We tacked over on to a beam reach and headed for land.  I turned off the autopilot and steered by hand.   I was afraid that the wild seas might overpower the autopilot and strip its gears.  Hand steering the yacht for half a day in rough conditions was inconvenient, but at least I would be sure to have an autopilot that was working when the weather moderated.  We needed the autopilot to comfortably steer Exit Only for 1700 miles up the Red Sea

It took three hours of extremely wet sailing to arrive at Ras Terma.  We were beam on to the steep seas, and the waves that struck the side of the yacht relentlessly dumped gallons of salt water over me as I steered at the unprotected helm.  Each new wave deposited more salt into my clothes until my shirt and pants became stiff from the accumulation of salt. My clothes turned into a pillar of salt.

Ras Terma proved to be a secure anchorage, but the winds still blew at thirty-five to forty knots for at least a day and a half before they abated.  We hunkered down and waited for conditions to improve.  While we were anchored there, a sandstorm came through and covered our boat with red desert dust.  We shut up the boat to keep sand from coming inside and creating a huge mess.

At least we had survived the Bab without damage.  Caked on salt spray mixed with desert dust is a small price to pay to escape from the clutches of the Bab Al Mandeb.  Once again, Exit Only had proven that it was a strong and seaworthy vessel.  It took a licking and kept on ticking.

While itís true that adversity had paid visit, it didnít move in and become a permanent member of our crew.  We are careful about such things.  When adversity pays a visit, we modify our plans, stick to our purpose, and never surrender our dreams.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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