I am currently in the market for a long sleeved, billowy linen shirt that will flow romantically in the breeze when we are in sunny locales. I want it to be long enough to wear as a short dress, be loose fitting, and do a good job of blocking a lot of sun. Maybe it will be turquoise? Lavender? Cream? I don’t get to shop for clothes much anymore, so I’m going to really enjoy this because this shirt is a need. Not a want.
Our skin is really coddled up here in the rainy, cloudy Pacific Northwest. Except for in the summer (and some weird days this month) we don’t have to think too much about UV damage to our skin. In the winter, most people are indoors most of the time, and when they are outdoors it is likely to be raining, or at least have a heavy cloud layer hanging so low you can touch it. The sun never gets far enough above the horizon in the winter to do much damage. That’s going to be changing as we head south in the boat.
In the summertime even this far north, Mike and I have to wear good layers of sun protection in order to keep from getting burned. I remember when we had Moonrise and that open cockpit, sun protection was really a priority and there were years we both did some damage to our skin. Here’s a blast from the past article (rather tongue in cheek) from 2012 where I wrote about a completely scientifically accurate survey I did regarding how men and women differ in their attitudes toward sunscreen on tender skin. Since the day I wrote that article Mike has been really good about putting his own sunscreen on. As a special treat for looking at that post, you’ll get to see a photo of me slathering sunscreen on Mike’s face. Is it a coincidence that he now slathers it on himself? I think not.
I’d like to say that my biggest worry in terms of sun damage is skin cancer. But it’s not. I already did enough damage to my skin long ago to put me in the risk category for skin cancers that need removing. We get our skin checked and so far, so good. No, my biggest concern is aging prematurely. I’m in my ’50s. Do you blame me? Say what you want, but I don’t want my skin to look like wrinkled leather. It’s bad enough as it is.
Here are some of the ways we’ll be protecting our skin as we travel.
- Hats. I have a hat I’ve been wearing for years when boating. That hat is so ubiqitous that another blogger recognized me at the marina in La Paz because I was wearing that blue hat. Weird. We’ll probably have a good selection of hats for both of us aboard.
- Long sleeved shirts, some with UV protection in them. If we can swim in them, that’s even better. I bought a couple of 50 SPF shirts from Lands End on sale this year. I’m stocking up. I’d like to have a couple of these with thumbholes so that the backs of my hands are covered. I’ve seen some swim leggings I want to check out as well. Got any favorites you can recommend?
- A parasol. That’s right. I am going to get a couple of nice ones. I have a paper one on board and used it this summer during some days with a lot of sun. It was quite pleasant. Portable shade wherever I go.
- Long sun dresses and pants. We’ll just need to get some for hot climates.
- We have that great hard dodger! Yay! Shade on the boat. We also have a full boat cover that hangs over the boom. We understand from the previous owner that it is a great addition in the South Pacific. It is, however, dark blue, and it’s unlikely we’d deploy something that big unless we are staying put for awhile.
- Sunglasses. Eyes need protecting from the sun, too. We’ll just have to spend the money on good prescription sunglasses.
- Sunscreen. Can you recommend a good sunscreen that won’t poison the coral reefs and will not run into our eyes? Are those two things mutually exclusive?
Did I miss anything? What recommendations do you have? We’ll both be going to our dermatologist in the next few months for a final skin check before we go. Got to take care of that skin!
Just joined us for the A to Z Challenge? The series on Anxiety starts here.