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Old 23-06-2012, 11:07   #1
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Question About Being Really Sick at Sea

Recently, I came down with a really bad flu and Sinusitis combined. I was bedridden for about 5 days. High temp, body shakes, cold sweats, nausea, the whole 9 yards, I was down for the count. While in my state of distress, in moments of clarity, I thought about what this would be like if I were at sea, going solo. How would I deal????

Mind you, I don't sail or own a sailboat yet, but would like to start sailing in the next few months, with my eventual goal of doing some long term, long distance solo cruising if I really take to a shine to sailing and at sea living.

I guess my question is: Whether sailing solo or with crew, how do you, or have you, dealt with those occasions when you came down with a nasty bug and getting to a doctor wasn't feasable??? Did you just charge on through??? I'm not talking about really life threatening situations where help MUST be called, but those times when you're just sick as s*** and getting out of yer bunk, or even being at sea, is the very last thing you want to do, but you must.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 23-06-2012, 11:33   #2
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

Look at the thread,
The most difficult thing about single handing,

Cheers,
Brian,
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Old 23-06-2012, 11:34   #3
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

Read Ch. 4 of Joshua Slocum's Sailing Alone Around the World. He was so delirious (apparently from food poisoning) he thought the helmsman from Columbus' Pinta was in control of his boat.

Find a place to anchor, ride it out.
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Old 23-06-2012, 12:01   #4
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

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Read Ch. 4 of Joshua Slocum's Sailing Alone Around the World. He was so delirious (apparently from food poisoning) he thought the helmsman from Columbus' Pinta was in control of his boat.

Find a place to anchor, ride it out.
I'll have to check out that book.

And, yea, riding it out at achor in a safe location would probably be the best bet. Hopefully you're near the coast.

LOL, there were a couple days there where I was having some really weird waking dreams/nightmares. Since I've been obsessing on sailing lately, they included scenes from the Deadliest Catch TV show, the aliens from that Battleship movie that just came out recently, and old Victory At Sea war footage. All combined.....
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Old 23-06-2012, 12:42   #5
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

If you avoid people, and stay in the warm weather, you have a good chance of not getting the flu in the first place.

I just had a kidney stone this morning, and while it only took 6 hours to go away, it is a painful 6 hours. If you are all alone, it would be almost impossible to sail or navigate.
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Old 23-06-2012, 14:45   #6
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

About the only time I get sick on the boat is when someone new comes aboard and they bring something nasty with them.
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Old 23-06-2012, 14:58   #7
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

G'Day all,

As others have said, it is rare to come down with an infectious ailment at sea, but Ann & my most frightening experience in 25 years of full time cruising and lots of long passages came from just that. We had cleared from Auckland NZ headed for Tonga and when 3 days out, both came down with the Victoria A flu that was affecting NZ at the time. High fever, nausea, diarrhea, extreme weakness... pretty damn bad. Neither could stand watch, so we hove to, left the anchor light burning and no one went on deck for about 3 days. Scary and unpleasant. When I recovered my strength a bit we turned about and returned to the Bay of Islands for recuperation. 'Twas a fortnight before we felt good enough to head back.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-06-2012, 15:10   #8
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

land makes you sick the sea doesn't.

Dave
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Old 24-06-2012, 09:46   #9
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

Thanks, folks. I much appreciate the replies!!!
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Old 24-06-2012, 11:13   #10
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Re: Question about being really sick at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfzombo13 View Post

(...)

Mind you, I don't sail or own a sailboat yet,

(...)
There are very many things to take care off before any chance of your worries might become a reality. Why not concentrate on what there is rather than on what there could be, if ...

To indirectly address your question, there is an old sailing adage: "Navigare necesse est, ...". This basically explains the options.

Take care, enjoy sailing!
barnakiel
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