YOU DON'T HAVE TO SEE FAR IN THE DISTANCE
There is a certain amount of comfort derived from planning your future.
A man with a plan usually goes the distance, and a man without a plan goes nowhere.
There's no doubt about it, you need a plan. But a plan is much different than a scheduled itinerary.
A plan is a general direction with possible stops along the way and suitable contingencies should problems arise.
Plans are great as long as you don't fall in love with them, and then get stressed out when things don't work out exactly as hoped.
The plan is there to get you going - it helps you overcome the inertia caused by fear, indecision, and ambivalence.
The plan also tells you where to take the next step. That's how you make dreams come true; you take a series of steps, and each step is in the right direction.
When you live your dreams, you don't need to see far into the distance. You only need to see where to take the next step. The same is true when you sail across an ocean.
While we were sitting in Gibraltar preparing to cross the Atlantic, we knew we had to take three giant steps.
The first was eight hundred miles southwest to the Canary Islands.
The second was seven-hundred and fifty miles southwest to the Cape Verde Islands.
The third was two-thousand one hundred miles west to Barbados in the Caribbean.
Each of these steps consisted of smaller ones that we took each day in the right direction - one day at a time, one step at a time.
The giant step from the Cape Verdes to Barbados required more than two weeks because there were no trade winds during the first half of the trip. It was mostly motoring or slow sailing in light northeasterly breezes.
We had a plan, and worked our plan. We carried twelve jerry cans of fuel because we knew this was a windless year in the eastern Atlantic. There was a high probability we would need a large amount of fuel to make it to longitude forty degrees west where reliable trade winds made their appearance.
That meant we needed to carry enough fuel to motor one-thousand windless miles.
People who didn't have enough fuel drifted west under spinnaker and light air sails making sixty miles a day toward their destination. One boat was at sea for nineteen days and still had one-thousand three hundred and fifty miles to go before arriving in the Caribbean.
If sailors could see into the future, they could always leave port with favorable winds that would continue all the way to their next port.
Sailing would be a waiting game in which they sailed only when conditions were perfect.
That's exactly what many sailors attempt to do; they take a trip to fantasyland downloading weather files that purport to predict wind direction and speed one week in advance. Actually these files should be called computer generated wind fantasies because the predicted winds frequently don't materialize.
It would be great if long range weather predictions were accurate.
Then crossing an ocean would be like catching a train on schedule and riding it to your destination.
But that's not the way you sail across oceans.
Weather predictions are generally accurate one or two days in advance, but beyond that they are a trip to fantasy land.
They make excellent fodder for feeding endless speculation regarding what your weather might be on passage. But highs and lows, fronts and troughs, and tropical waves and hurricanes are all chaotic in their behavior, and therefore, unpredictable.
Mariners must accept the chaotic nature of weather and set off with a sea chest full of contingencies - ready to deal with the meteorological mysteries that unfold along the way. After all, they are a sailboat, and sail they must.
Port tacks, starboard tacks, beating, reaching, and running are all in their bag of sailing tricks. And if they use their common sense, they will arrive at their destination earlier or later than planned, but they will arrive, and it will be an adventure. And that is why they sail. Adventure.
Arriving is a great reward giving a sense of accomplishment. But the voyage is even more important, because in the voyage lies the adventure.
When they are finally in safe harbor, the biggest part of the adventure is over.
They will enjoy their time in port, checking out the sights and renewing acquaintances with fellow cruisers for a week or two. There will be plenty of time to discuss their adventures with their friends until they pull up their anchors, raise their sails, and a new adventure begins.
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.
Join Team Maxingout as they sail through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea
See what it's like to cruise on a catamaran before you spend a bazillion dollars purchasing one
After watching the Red Sea Chronicles you will be able to see yourself sailing on the ocean of your dreams
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.