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Sailing health

Sailing health
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6 top tips for a healthy voyage by yacht

Are you prepared for your sailing holiday? Find out what steps you can take to keep you and your crew in the best of health.

1.       Organize your vaccinations

What travel shots do you need for your trip? It can be complicated to work out what shots you need for a voyage with many ports-of-call. Make an appointment with Canadian Travel Clinics eight to six weeks before you weigh anchor. If your travel plans change, seek further advice, from us before you go, or from local healthcare professionals en route. If you’re travelling to an area with a malaria risk, you’ll need anti-malarials and mosquito repellent too.

2.       Eat and drink for health

Gastro-intestinal infections are nasty at the best of times but the last place you’ll want to be sick is on a boat. Stay healthy by washing your hands properly and regularly, particularly before preparing food and after using the toilet. Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times, make sure you cook your food thoroughly and be careful about what you’re eating in port.

3.       Treat minor wounds

Clambering around on a yacht can lead to all sorts of cuts and scrapes and you should pay attention to even small abrasions. In hot and damp conditions, bacteria can bloom into something nasty if untreated. Apply a mild antiseptic, keep the wound covered in sea water and rinse in fresh water after a swim.

4.       Stop seasickness

The fear of seasickness could be putting you off sailing but there are steps you can take. For the first few hours, avoid going below deck for too long. Gaze at the horizon and give your brain time to adjust. Keep away from screens and don’t read. Get as much fresh air as possible, drink plenty of water and pack acupressure bands and ginger biscuits. Although it may feel like it, seasickness can’t kill you and usually passes within days.

5.       Avoid sunburn and sunstroke

The sun’s rays are stronger at sea, but you may be deceived by a breeze cooling your skin. Slap on a high SPF sunscreen, reapplying after every swim. Know when you’ve had enough sun and get into the shade at the hottest time of the day. Avoid dehydration and wear a hat at all times. For further information about sun safety, visit The Government of Canada.

6.       Be prepared

If you have an existing medical condition, it’s vital you bring an adequate supply of any medication you may need. Even a good first aid kit will have a limited supply of medication. Accidents can happen, too, and you’ll be a long way from help so it’s well worth getting some specialist first aid training. Always consult your doctor before travelling if you have a medical condition or a serious allergy. Talk to your insurance provider to ensure you are correctly covered for whatever you have planned.

Canadian Travel Clinics can offer double appointments for travel vaccinations in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Okotoks and Red Deer.