For the past thirty years, I have had Trade Wind Dreams.  I'm not sure when they started.  Perhaps it all began when I was in college, and I read in National Geographic of the adventures of the sixteen year old circumnavigator Robin Lee Graham who took four years to sail single-handed around the world.  No doubt that started me thinking about sailing around the world - circumnavigating the globe in a yacht is one of the final frontiers still available and affordable to the common man.  It planted an idea in my mind requiring nearly half a life time to take root and fully blossom.


I started reading sailing magazines when I was in medical school, and that stoked the fire of desire, but as yet I had never gone sailing or even set my foot on a sailboat.  By the time I graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, I was ready for a major life change, and my internship gave me the opportunity to make that change.  I selected an internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.  This was the perfect place to fan the flames of sailing desire into a burning passion.  Every cruiser who sailed around the world had to pass through the Panama Canal unless they went south around Cape Horn to get around South America. 


During that internship year, I saw hundreds of cruisers transiting the canal, and I discovered that the majority of them were ordinary people with extraordinary dreams.  Although most of them lived on a tight budget, it didn't stop them from living their trade wind dreams.


It was there I went sailing for the first time with my good friend, Dr. Tom Walker and his wife Bette Lee.  There were relatively novice sailors at the time, but they had a boat and cruising dreams as well.  They took me out on their schooner, and I was hooked.  My trade wind dreams became a life long obsession.


In Panama I purchased my own small twenty-two foot sailboat and learned how to sail.  Unfortunately, my boat healed up to thirty degrees when I sailed to windward, and my wife and I discovered that sailing on an angle was tiring, wet, and sometimes scary.  At the same time, we met a new breed of sailors voyaging on homebuilt catamarans and trimarans. Some of these do it yourself multihulls looked like they were built by amateurs, but others were well designed and beautifully finished, and they sailed flat and fast, perfect for trade wind dreams.


Toward the end of my internship, I told my friend Tom that someday I would sail around the world on a multihull.  That is one of the few prophecies in my life that I got right, but then even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so I not going to get a big head over predicting a multihull circumnavigation that happened thirty years later.


From that point on, for the next three decades, trade wind dreams dominated my life.  Those dreams were put on hold while I was doing an ophthalmology residency and becoming a board certified ophthalmologist at the University of Kentucky.  Nevertheless, even in land-locked Kentucky, I had a twenty-two foot trailerable sailboat that I used on weekends, and that helped keep my trade wind dreams alive.


Once I was a fully qualified eye surgeon, I called up the Navy to see if they could help me with my trade wind dreams.  I told them if they gave me an assignment at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico, I would join the navy.  They agreed to the proposal, and I spent the next five years working and sailing in Puerto Rico.  I even purchased my dream ship, a Westsail 32 Colin Archer heavy displacement yacht.  It was built for the trades, and gave me the opportunity to gain more experience in trade wind voyaging.  When the Caribbean winds were cranked up and blowing hard, I could run downwind at eight knots in my dreamboat. My five years in Puerto Rico kept my trade winds dreams burning bright..


After those five years in the navy, I faced a major choice.  Go cruising with my wife and two young children, living and sailing on a shoestring, or shift gears and go to work in Saudi Arabia.  I put my cruising dreams on hold, performed a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery, and then spent the next eleven years working as a retinal surgeon at King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Eleven years in Riyadh did not snuff out my cruising dreams.  Instead, I used those years to increase my navigational skills while traveling in remote sections of the Arabian desert.  I used a bubble aircraft sextant to take star sights, noon sights, and moon sights out in the desert.  I became comfortable navigating through a sea of sand so that one day I could confidently navigate the seven seas as I lived my trade wind dreams.


In 1991, the Gulf War rearranged my life.  For the first ten days of the war, skud missles rained down on Riyadh every night as soon as the sun went down.  The thunder of exploding skuds made our windows rattle, and it seemed like a good time to take a six week vacation.  After ten nights of Riyadh roulette, we bailed out of town on an evacuation flight to Torrejon, Spain, and then on to the USA.  As serendipity would have it, the Miami boat show was in session, and we drove to Miami and attended the show.


I couldn't believe my eyes when I trooped the docks at the boat show.  Right before my eyes there were cruising catamarans on display, and it was love at first sight.  The biggest boat in the show was a Privilege 39 catamaran that was thirty-nine feet five inches long and twenty one feet wide.  It was a mind boggling trade wind dream machine, and  I could see myself sailing around the world in this powerful catamaran.


Now I knew what I had to do.  I flew back to Riyadh, saved my money, and ordered a Privilege 39 catamaran.  Two years later I put my family on board Exit Only and we started our sailing voyage around the world.  When I left Riyadh, I left with an exit only visa in my passport - an exit only visa is like a one way ticket.  It means you are leaving and not coming back because you are moving on to other things.  That's why we named our catamaran Exit Only.  We were exit only and we were sailing our trade wind dreams around the world.  And it's been an awesome adventure.


We visited more than thirty-two countries as we sailed on an eleven year circumnavigation of the globe.  We sailed in the trade winds across the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. 


The picture (above) shows our trade wind cruising rig.  It consists of  twin headsails poled out to port and starboard with eighteen foot spinnaker poles.  We can run our double headsail rig for weeks at a time.  Our autopilot steers the boat effortlessly day after day, and we get to enjoy the ride.  We sailed in the wake of Columbus, Magellan, and Captain Cook as we imagined what it was like to circle the globe hundreds of years ago in square riggers as they lived their trade wind dreams.


Trade wind dreams have been around for a long time.  The worked for me, and they will work for you.  Give it some thought.  Maybe you might get infected with the trade winds virus, and before you know it, you'll be on your way, sailing downwind around the world.  Trade wind dreams never die.


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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