I am a lucky man.  At least, that is what scientists tell me.  One astronomer, Peter Ward, speculated in his book "Rare Earth" that there are no more than a dozen places in the entire universe where it would be possible for humans and carbon based life to exist.  He points out that in the center of the universe, the radiation levels are too intense for life to survive.  Only at the outer edges of the universe would radiation be sufficiently reduced for a world like ours to develop.  He says we are lucky, because we are in the milky way galaxy on the outer rim of the universe, and as far as we know, this is the only planet where life definitely exists.  Billions of dollars have been spent on studying the far reaches of space, and as yet, we seem to be the only lucky ones.

Just how lucky are we?  Well, if our planet was any closer to the sun, it would burn up in searing heat, and if it were farther from the sun, earth would become a frozen planet - a ball of ice hurtling through space.  Just luck?  I don't think so.

We have an atmosphere that contains approximately twenty percent oxygen - just enough to support animal life, and we have plants that take in carbon dioxide, and regenerate it to form more oxygen for us to breathe which keeps us alive.  Just luck?  I don't think so.

We have an atmosphere just thick enough to protect us from harmful x-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation from the sun and outer space.  Just luck?  I don't think so.

Scientists tell me a small double helix of nucleic acids called DNA encodes the information that determines my genetic destiny.  That DNA packs a whopping punch.  It's a genetic cookie cutter that determines every physical characteristic of who I am.  Every cell in my body contains a complete set of genetic information in my chromosomes, and the dimensions of one complete set of chromosomes is so tiny it wouldn't even fill the space in the eye of a needle.  It's spectacular nanoengineering that boggles the mind.  Just luck?  I don't think so.

Neuroscientists tell me my brain has trillions of neurons wired together in such a manner that I have infinite capacity to store information in my brain, and most amazing of all, I have the gift of consciousness.  I am aware of myself, my place in the world and apart from the world.  I can actually think and create.  Just luck?  I don't think so.

So much for what scientists say about how lucky I am.  I have a different way of measuring whether I am a lucky person.  Let's go down my personal lucky list:

1.  I had the privilege of being born in a place and time in which I had the personal freedom to live my life as I pleased.  I didn't need to ask the king, the sheriff of Nottingham, the local warlord, or the dictator of the decade for permission to live my dreams.

2.  I had the privilege of receiving a college education.

3.  I had the privilege of going to medical school and become a physician.

4.  I had the privilege of becoming a board certified ophthalmologist.

5.  I had the privilege of becoming a retina vitreous surgeon, and was able to fight against blindness caused by cataracts, retinal detachment, diabetes, and ocular trauma.

6.  I had the privilege of living in a country which protects freedom of speech.

7.  I had the privilege of living in a country which protects freedom of religion.

8.  I had the privilege of serving my country for five years in the U.S. Navy.

9.  I had the privilege of living in Puerto Rico and sailing in the Caribbean for five years.

10.  I had the privilege of having a great wife.

11.  I had the privilege of having two great children.

12.  I had the privilege of working overseas in Panama, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Liberia, and Saudi Arabia.

13.  I had the privilege of learning to speak and read French, Spanish, English, and Arabic.

14.  I had the privilege of owning five Land Rover Defenders - dream machines that have taken me outback and beyond in the deserts of Arabia and Australia.

15.  I had the privilege of sailing around the world on my twelve meter catamaran Exit Only for the past eleven years.

16.  After a car accident, I had the privilege of receiving transfusions of seven units of blood, and I didn't get hepatitis or AIDS from the transfusions.

17.  After breaking five ribs, two legs, one shoulder blade, and puncturing one lung, I am still living my dreams ten years later.

18.  I had the privilege of studying tropical medicine and performing my internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.

19.  I had the privilege of surviving the largest tsunami of the last century, and neither I nor my yacht received a single scratch.

20.  I had the privilege of sailing the Singapore Straits without getting struck by lightning, while five other yachts were struck by lighting at the same time and place.

21.  I had the privilege of sailing under the noses of the pirates of the Malacca Straits and the Gulf of Aden without a problem.

22.  I had the privilege of visiting fifty countries around the world.

23.  I had the privilege of having sufficient financial resources to live many of my dreams.

24  I had the privilege of writing five books.

25.  I had the privilege of having twenty-eight web sites in all stages of development, called the positive web ring.  PositiveWebRing.com.

26.  I had the privilege of having a personal relationship with God based on love, and when I talk to God, I have the privilege of calling him Father.

This list is getting very long.

So what do you think?  Am I a lucky man?  My mother doesn't believe in luck.  She tells me I am blessed, and I'm inclined to agree with her.

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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This web site is a companion to Outback and Beyond.com.