When the sea state goes from smooth to slight, Mags generally starts to be “stomach aware” – the first stage of seasickness. For those fellow sufferers, you will be please to know that you do get your sea legs. Mags managed the entire trip round Britain without being seasick, though there was the odd time she did feel grim. When going round Britain we used Sturgeon and Scopoderm patches, the latter has the advantage of working even when you cant keep anything down. But with these she did feel drowsy. However, since then Mags sailing has been transformed with the Cattle Prodder as I call it or Relief Band to give it is full name. A drug free solution – what is not to like!
However, you still need to be sensible and here are Mags’ top tips to reduce the likelihood of seasickness:
Minimise the amount of time spent performing tasks down below:
- Prepare lunch in advance before leaving the harbour
Use food flasks, which can be filled with hot food if sailing overnight and it is likely to be rough
- Prior to a trip we would fill a flask with boiling water. Our flask dispenses water a push button top. It is safety too, when you are heeling you don’t need to defy gravity when filling a cup, as you can take the cup to the flask and not the flask or kettle to the cup. This is very useful even if you don’t suffer from sea sickness.
Perhaps the most important – pick your battles: if you know it is going to be rough stay in harbour. With any extended trip you have more time that your average 2 week holiday Cruiser. But do ensure you are planning to allow for time for non sailing days.
Keep a packet of ginger biscuits to nibble on when you become stomach aware
Have a spare battery for the cattle prodder ready to hand
Regular medicines: If you are taking medicines make you sure you take them as prescribed so have them handy
Set up your boat – part of the rational of putting the chart plotter in the cockpit by the companion way with both our boats was to enable Mags to ensure that we were safe even if she was not prepared to venture down below
Get horizontal: When venturing down below get horizontal as soon as possible.
The first fear with seasickness is you are going to die – the second fear is you aren’t.
Part of the fun of cruising is meeting other fellow yachties and hearing their stories and top tips for good places to visit. Whether it is on their boat, yours or ashore – it is a great, relaxing time of day. Whilst the name is indicative of the time of day to start sipping your favourite tipple… as the sun is setting over the yard arm….well unless you are in the Baltic and it will still be broad day light at 10pm….
When we were sailing around Britain, we always made a point of inviting other sailors, moored near to us, over for drinks. We had some great evenings and made some good friends. However, according to one seasoned sailor we met, it was, surprisingly rare to be invited over for drinks. On several occasions we pooled our food with neighbouring boats and had a slap up feast. We also invited local people on board for a drink if they were interested in our boat. Twice we were then invited back for a meal at their home. Further away from our shores inviting others onboard is far more normal amongst long term cruisers.
So you have been invited onboard what do you bring? Well the standard present is a bottle of wine or some cans of beer. But you can make it more interesting with some easy to make canapés or a dip. Also now that we have moved to boxed wine – it is a little more difficult if we have run out of bottles of wine. So we now bring either a plate of canapés or a jar of Carra High Seas Hummus. We have made up labels to make them unique. We save all our jars onboard and repurpose them.
Here you can find our favourite canapés and dips, recipes are linked:
- Caramelised onion or smoked salmon on blinis with crème fresh. You can make the caramelised onion in bulk and keep it in a jar ready for the next sundowners. With a high sugar content it keeps well.
- Cucumber islands
- Hummus or Tzatziki and a bowl of carrots/cucumber/peppers or crisps.
- Friends Gordon and Irene (SV Fereale) who when we met them in 2006, had been full time liveaboards for over 10 years brought a bottle of their Chateau Bilge – a wine bottle with their own label replacing the original label.
Are there any rules?
- It is polite to take your shoes off if going down below
- Don’t stand on cockpit cushion with your shoes.
- Don’t over stay your welcome!
If you are hosting then here are some here are some other drink options:
Yet another phrase I had assumed the wrong origin…
Sundowner and sun over the yard arm have nothing to do with sunset. The original meaning of sundowner was a bully on a ship and sun over the yard arm referred to “elevenses” when the sun in the northern hemisphere was over the foreyard and the officers would slip down for their first drink of the day.