Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Home Sailing Self-isolation hacks from offshore sailing

Self-isolation hacks from offshore sailing

Sailors are uniquely qualified to talk about extended periods of isolation and our very own team member Amory Ross gave us his list of key things to keep the mind and body in balance during times of confinement whether at home or out on the water

As the world around us slips into Coronavirus isolation the concept of confined spaces and limited freedoms can be daunting. I remember the first time I sailed across an ocean and the first time I had those same feelings. The reality is that, since then, isolation has become one of my biggest draws to the sea.

Since offshore sailing is about being stuck on a boat for long periods of time, and since we aren’t on a boat right now, it might be interesting to dig up some similarities and provide a few tips from enthusiastic isolators!

Disconnect and unplug

Our lives can be complex. One of my favorite things about weeks at sea is the forced freedom from the internet and Instagram. With so much time in the house, you could waste hours scrolling endlessly. Take some time to step away. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, pick up a book, build a model, learn to knit, draw – take a deep breath and tune out all the heavy news for a second. We survived without data for centuries, and you might find it as refreshing as I do.

Get some fresh air

Sure, your physical environment may be seriously restricted – and it’s no different on a 60-foot boat with almost no space to live – but that has always allowed me more than ample room to explore the world around us by simply sitting and staring. We spend a lot of time on deck looking at the ocean, the sky, the horizon – you’d be amazed at what you see that you’d otherwise miss. Sit on a porch or a patio or your front steps if that’s as far as you can go, look at the birds, clouds, stars and surroundings. I sometimes hit the bunk dreaming of Wikipedia – but observe and explore the world just outside your home, then use it.

Run a watch program

Onboard you are working all the time. Sleep-eat-sail-sleep, on repeat for one or two or three weeks at a time. Everyone always struggles with the first few days, but once you’re into a routine the time flies by. So maintain a degree of structure; it will help pass the days.

Try to wake up around the same time, be productive for a while, eat meals like you normally would, take a breather and relax, go to bed like you normally would. We call that a watch schedule, but it keeps you disciplined and honest. You’d be amazed how fast 14 days of isolation will fly by if each day is like the last.

Tackle some boat(house)work

We have periods of violent intensity onboard when things break but you don’t have the luxury of fixing them. The front passes, the breeze drops, and the tools come out. Offshore sailors have to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. Similarly, we all have things we’ve been meaning to fix or upgrade around the house. Use this time at home to tackle something meaningful. Figure out how to do it yourself, and with the added benefit of online tutorials that we don’t get at sea.

Connect with friends and family

I heavily advocate for alone time, but I also find it’s great when I’m offshore to connect with friends the old-fashioned way. Random, long letters of substance. What are you doing? How are you feeling? What is life like? My emails from sea are very different to my day to day ones that utilize maximum efficiency. Write a long note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Or better yet, maybe call them. A lot cheaper than the sat phone!

Embrace the lifestyle

It’s okay to wear the same clothes for days (or weeks) at a time, but make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and just like on the boat, always wear the right gear when you do go outside.

Learn something, share something

Most of us fill our iPods with fresh content before leaving the dock. It’s a nice way to zone out when you climb into your bunk after four hours of battle on deck. We’ve all watched a lot of great documentaries and listened to a lot of informative podcasts onboard, and once you’ve run through your own collection it’s easy to pass your iPod on to your bunkmate. I’ve learned a lot about a lot this way. So learn something new, then share it with someone else who may have run through their lineup of binges. Isolation is a great time to exercise the mind!

There’s no question this is an unprecedented time. The safety and health of our country are at stake and self-isolation is what is being asked of us. While routines have been upended and much of life has been either canceled or postponed, I know that I for one am treating it like an offshore leg. Stay structured, keep the brain sharp, take care of your house, enjoy the little things, connect with and support your teammates.

- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

LATEST ARTICLES

Tecnomar announces the launch of the new EVO120 motor yacht

 Tecnomar, brand of The Italian Sea Group, one of the most recognized international players in the luxury yachting sector active in the...

Another important achievement for Arcadia Yachts: Sherpa 80 xl

Italy is the undisputed home of world design and, every year, the Permanent Design Observatory chooses the best design products from our...

MD62ab on the road at The International Yacht & Aviation Awards

Also this year the Italian shipyard Maxi Dolphin is the official supplier of the “Sailor of the Year FIV” who assigns his...

IMA – Three to battle for 68th Rolex Giraglia line honors

Italy’s premier offshore race, the Rolex Giraglia sets sail tomorrow (Wednesday 16th June), the fourth event in the International Maxi Association's 2020-21...

Tomorrow will see the start of the 68th edition of the Rolex Giraglia

There will be 147 yachts in the ORC, IRC and X2 classes for the start of the 241 mile offshore race. The...

Cantiere delle Marche introduces Flexplorer 130 Aurelia

“The first Flexplorer is a game changer, there is no doubt bout it. It is actually already a trend-setter project if we...

New full electric Magonis Wave e-550 enchants the canals of Venice

Combining comfort, efficiency and respect for the environment, with a keen eye for the details that make a boat instantly recognizable: this...

The Italian Sea Group: beginning of the executive design catamaran

The catamaran, whose order was finalized in the course of the first quarter of 2021, will have unique characteristics and will be...

Trimaran Argo demolishes between Bermuda and Plymouth record

In her first outing since the beginning of the pandemic, Jason Carroll’s MOD70 trimaran Argo last week blew away the existing record...

The new Nemesis data display system is easy to operate and read

Mast-mounted instrument displays that are touch-screen and customisable; the appeal of B&G’s new product Nemesis is easy to see from any angle....