Some would argue that another word for “boating” is “surviving.”
In a world where a pair of sunglasses or a headscarf can decide to go for a swim and never return, it is important to be prepared before getting out on the water. So whether you are embarking on a kayaking excursion or an early evening motorboat cruise, there are a few items that must not be left behind.
1. Brimmed-hat- Baseball caps and berets are just fine but not when you plan on spending your time on the water. The sun reflects off the water in all directions and also beams down on you from the sky so the best option for sun protection for your head and face (besides that SPF 30!) is a hat with a brim.
2. Dry box- This handy gadget looks like any old plastic container but the difference is it has even better sealing power than your Tubberware. The contents inside will remain dry and safe from beads of condensation. The possibilities of what can be stowed away in these boxes include cell phones, wallets, keys, tampons, that beautiful diamond ring your hubby bought you and assorted other jewels or precious items.
3. Boat shoes- Whether your style calls for Docksiders or Crocs, it is important to have a pair of boat shoes that you don’t have to be concerned about getting wet or salty. For ocean boating, I recommend investing in a pair of Sperries such as those in the picture. When the waves are choppy, these shoes will have enough grip to keep you in the upright standing position, wet deck or not.
4. Life vest- Yes, it may be bulky and, yes, it may be orange, but there is no boating necessity quite as important as a life vest when on a vessel. If, heaven forbid, your ship sinks, you will want a life vest so you don’t have to tread water until help arrives. Another reason it is important to have a life vest, is the fact that it is against the law if a vessel doesn’t have as many life vests as there are passengers.
5. Croakies- I wouldn’t have to mourn the loss of so many stylish shades had I simply bought a pair of croakies out on the boat with me. These handy neck straps are easy insurance for those sunglasses you love. You know, the ones that you bought because you forgot your favorite pair that you needed for vacation and ended up bumping said pair to second favorite? As long as you insert the temple tips into the ends of the neck straps, your sunglasses will remain snug on your head or snug on your chest when they’re off.
6. Cheap sunglasses- To avoid the risk of eye-injury due to the strong ultraviolet (UV) rays that seem especially blinding in Florida, it is important to wear a pair of sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection. I stress the importance of wearing “cheap” sunglasses because of all the beloved pairs of mine currently resting below the surface of the Indian River Lagoon where I grew up which also leads me to mention that it doesn’t hurt to have more than one pair. Luckily, the majority of cheap sunglasses these days, even the ones that random booths at malls and boat shows give out, have the protection needed to have a safe day, tear-free day… eyes and everyone.
7. Floating keychain- A keychain that will float if tossed overboard will save a water-faring woman tears caused by a marooning in the middle of a large waterway. Also, I like to put these floating keychains on the keys of whichever vehicle was used to transport the vessel I’m on. This way, I never have to call for assistance at the end of a tiring water day.
8. Sunscreen- SPF 45. SPF 50. SPF anything-over-30 is too much. I, along with many certified dermatologists, recommend using 30 SPF sunscreen and reapplying every 30 minutes. Simply applying sunscreen every time you don a bathing suit (or go outside at all) can save your skin from sun damage, cancer and an uncomfortable sunburn for the time being.
9. Bottled water- Not only is hydration important for skin and athletic training, but for being out on the water. You may not realize the moisture your body is losing while hanging out, in and around the water, but you’re sweating even when you’re already wet. On a daily basis, human beings need eight 8-ounce glasses of water but that number goes up once we step outside. I suggest taking water in a little lunchbox cooler because I prefer my cold but even warm water will keep you feeling cool.
10. WHAT would you NEVER leave behind on a boating trip? Let me know by commenting BELOW!