Being ill on a boat - by jellyby jelly

Item posted: Thursday 14th March , 2013

Being ill on a boat - by jelly

The other week, I was really quite ill. For two whole weeks. Yup, literally, two weeks. It sucked.

Thereís a lot of talk about being seasick on a boat - in fact, itís about one of the most commonly-discussed subjects. But what about being sick sick on a boat?

I managed to catch a virus that kept me awake coughing for those whole two weeks, gave me a really high fever, and generally made me feel absolutely exhausted and unable to do anything. I took two weeks off work, and stayed on a friendís boat whilst he looked after me.

My land-dwelling friendsí first reaction was that being sick on a boat must suck. This made me think about whether Iíd rather be in a house, and what would happen if you were actually sailing, potentially on a long passage, and got sick?

Either way, itís totally different if youíve got someone to look after you. If I had been on my boat by myself for those two weeks, it could have been awful. The diesel for the heating would have run out; the water would have run out; Bosun would have needed walking; Iíd need to buy food; the showers were a walk away in the cold; etc. However, being in a marina community means you are always going to be surrounded with people who can help you out if youíre ill; itís quicker and easier for someone to pop across the pontoon and deliver you a bag of shopping, than if they lived a 15 minute bus ride away.

But Iím not sure how I would have coped had we been at sea. I would have really struggled to have held a watch or done anything physical on deck, let alone been able to help out if the weather suddenly kicked up a gale or something like that. But maybe itís different when youíre thrown into that situation and just have to get on with it - and anyway, how can you catch the flu when youíre in the middle of an ocean?!

Hereís hoping I never have to find that answer out!


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Article by jelly

jelly shares insights into the life and loves of a liveaboard writer, sailor and young entrepreneur.

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