When I didn't know anything about sailing, I thought sailing across oceans was just plain dangerous.  After all, it's nearly three-thousand miles across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, and a lot of bad things can happen out there.  Your yacht can collide with whales, there are black squalls, white squalls, tropical depressions, tropical storms, hurricanes, and icebergs - lots of fearful things are found offshore.  At least that is what everyone tells me.


Once I went sailing, (sailed around the world)  I discovered that most yachting disasters befall cruisers when they are in the Danger Zone within one-hundred miles of land. 


Offshore, there aren't any rocks and reefs to threaten your yacht.  You do need to keep a good lookout so you don't get rundown by ships, but other than that, sailing offshore isn't nearly as risky as being close to land.  Water is a soft and relatively forgiving medium.  An incompetent sailor in a strong yacht can make stupid mistakes and still survive because water is soft.  Yachts are generally much tougher than the people who sail them.


Once you come near land, you enter the Danger Zone, because land is hard and unforgiving.  If you make a mistake and run into land, you have instant disaster with probable destruction of your yacht.  Take a look at the pictures of the yacht Endurance.  It was sailing from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands when it entered the Danger Zone.  The unfortunate skipper fell asleep, and the boat sailed straight onto the rocks of Graciosa Island in the Canaries.


You can fall asleep at sea while you are on watch, and autopilot takes care of the yacht.  But if you fall asleep in the Danger Zone close to shore, the autopilot will run your yacht up on a reef.  The pictures show the dents in the side of the aluminum hull, fortunately not puncturing the strong aluminum skin.  Unfortunately, both rudders and rudder shafts are destroyed, and the folding prop, prop shaft, and hull adjacent to the prop sustained significant damage.  You can't afford to fall asleep in the Danger Zone.


When we sailed up the Red Sea, a single-handed sailor fell asleep shortly after passing through the Bab Al Mandeb and entering the Red Sea.  The self-steering carried the sleeping sailor toward shore, and he didn't wake up until the boat was on the reef and destroyed.  Once again, you can't afford to fall asleep in the Danger Zone.


Another friend sailing up the Red Sea fell asleep on watch, but he was more lucky.  He woke up just in the nick of time and steered the boat out of harms way  before it was driven ashore by the self-steering.  If he had remained asleep in the Danger Zone for a few minutes longer, he would have lost his yacht.


We sailed twice from Fiji to New Zealand, and on both trips there were yachts lost in the Danger Zone.  In that last one-hundred miles before arriving in New Zealand people sometimes feel like they have it made and let their guard down.  During our trips south to New Zealand in the Danger Zone, boats have been run down by ships, people have fallen overboard, and boats have washed up on the rocky shore.


When we are sailing offshore, we keep a watch to look for squalls, ships, floating debris, whales, fishing boats, and fishing nets floating in the water.  But overall, we aren't too worried, because we are outside the Danger Zone, and there is usually room for error.


But once we enter the Danger Zone, we are especially careful.  Being one-hundred miles from safe port doesn't lull us into a false sense of security.  Instead it heightens our awareness and we raise our state of alert, because we know we are in the Danger Zone.  We want Exit Only to successfully complete the voyage, and want to live to see another day.


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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