Previously I wrote an article about the Best Parts of Life On A Sailing Boat. Today I want to share another article with you about the other side of the coin. I hope it will be useful for you.
Moving About The Boat is a Little Difficult
Be careful of each of your steps on board! Because the boat is always moving to all directions. You have to use handrails, shrouds, mast as handholds. If weather gets worse and the boat starts to swing more, it is better to clip your tether onto jack stays (safety lines) and hold on to the grab rail.
The most important skill on board is cooking. Don’t leave any sharp and unnecessary things on the counter. Otherwise you may see your onions or potatoes are rolling down to floor or sink. The pan clamps which hold pots and pans securely on the stove make your life easier.
Another skill you have to improve is taking a shower and going to toilet. While you lift the cover of the toilet seat on the other hand you have to take off / strip down your pants and hold yourself stable. During taking a shower or brushing your teeth water is not flowing in straight line and it is so funny to catch the water.
You have to fasten all stuff on board. While you stow all items into the lockers, you have to place them in non-slippery way and immobiled way. You have to store everything. If there is a space between items, they roll in the locker and make noises. You should use some special lock and strong adhesive tape for the closets and the cupboards to avoid scattering of the items.
Keeping Tidy is a Must
The boat is your home and you should rule over every inch of it. You have to know which things are in which closet and be quick to get things in any urgent situation. Unfortunately you will not have time to open and look at every closet on board and at the same time holding yourself stable. That’s why you have to note down where equipment and supplies are stored so you can find things easily without searching the boat.
Sleeping System Changes
Due to watches, wavy sea, storms, cold and hot weather, seasickness and so on your sleep system rhythm and duration of your sleep will change. Most of the time while I am sleeping on board, I feel myself as lying in a swing gondola or hammock. You can put some soft materials such as blankets, pillows or sleeping bags to minimize your movements on the berth’s bed. Don’t worry your body will adjust itself very quickly to the movements of boat.
Our bodies are get used to the life on land so they can react to the swings of a boat. It is caused by disturbance to the body’s balance mechanism. Either one day or forty years on sea, it may happen to anyone at anytime. The most seen symptoms are nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure and somnolence. If you feel one of these, sit outside of the boat, get some fresh air and keep your eyes on the horizon. This will help the sense of balance. Don’t go to the toilet to vomit, it may make you worse. If you vomit, stay on leeward side on board and bend over lifelines. For sure there is an anti-seasickness medication such as pills and bandages but they make you sleepy. Anyway after about 2 or 3 days your body will adjust the life on board and it will pass.
Know Some Repairs
There are always some maintenance and repairs on a boat that sails 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. All sailors should have essential boat maintenance skills. Of course most of the marinas have technical service companies but you may need to wait for an appointment and spare parts. Maybe the service or spare parts won’t be good enough and you may have some problems just after the repairs. It is better to stow some necessary spare parts such as filters, bulbs, oil and grease, rope, batteries and have maintenance logbook and tool kit. Be sure that you will face some repairing related problem while sailing.
There are many single handed sailors who sail around the world for years or continuously. For long crossing such as Atlantic crossing, they even need some crew on board to help them for watches and just company. Crew could be your wife/husband, family member, friends or just a stranger. You may have some conflicts or disagreements with them. I heard many stories about how the captain had problem with his wife or partner and left her on the first island. Therefore you have to be prepared for this kind of situations. A journey is the best way to get know each other, isn’t it?
All preparations on board is ready, your route is set up, you catch a good wind and it is time to sail. The weather changes in a few hours or days after you sail or you come across a strong wind, storm or stream. As it is, you have to redo your route planning and recalculate your arrival duration. Anything may happen on the sea that is totally out of your control. Your plans will never be accurate 100%. The mother nature rules are valid on sea. That’s why you should not plan too much, go with the flow and enjoy your sailing trip 🙂 Happy sailing.