Heading North: Keeping Cool

One thing we didn’t really anticipate was how hot it would be on the trip home! Naturally, we didn’t give too much thought and planning to our trip back north because, “Boooooooooo!” That’s why :)

The weather in the Bahamas was pretty dang consistently 80 degrees with a perfect breeze and ZERO humidity. It just didn’t get nasty hot. But not the case here in Low Country!  Here’s how we’ve been keeping’ cool:

The Cabin

Our cabin stays relatively cool but there are a few things that help. The blackout curtains that I made are awesome. They definitely keep the hot sun rays out and I made a few hatch covers too. I made this one for the V-berth, but we use it in the salon because it is a little oversized and lets the breeze through (if there is one.)

Oversized hatch cover.

Oversized hatch cover.

Also we have 2 fans installed that draw very little power, so we run them all day to keep air circulating. If the sun is shining through the companionway, we usually cover it loosely with a sarong. I love sarongs and have way too many! The uses for them are ENDLESS.  If we can get away with it, we try not to use the stove or oven. Today we had cereal for breakfast, tuna sandwiches for lunch, and of course our little outdoor grill is our best friend when it’s hot, hot, hot!

The Crew

We have stripped down! Trotting around in bathing suits has been the pattern lately. Our bimini does a great job of keeping the sun off of us, but if it’s early in the morning, or pushing evening, the sun is low in the sky. We sometimes hang sarongs to block the sun, but if we’re underway, it blocks visibility as well.

A sarong to block the sun.  I stole this trick from Kimmy!  Butler Island, SC - June 2014

A sarong to block the sun. I stole this trick from Kimmy! Butler Island, SC – June 2014

Sometimes, I’ll wear one to cover up the spots that are exposed to the sun and JR finds creative places to sit to keep the sun off of him! I’ve also been using the heck out of some Shower to Shower powder.  JR keeps teasing me because I come out of the head all powdery and white, but it makes a heck of a difference, I tell ya!  I asked my lady friends on the Woman Who Sail Facebook page for some advice to beat the heat and got all sorts of great responses. Now, we’re also wrapping wet towels around our necks, we’re spraying ourselves (and each other) with squirt bottles, and drinking lots of chilled rum ;)  We have definitely been chilling our water bottles!  We also use our transom shower to cool off with, but that one is a bit of a water hog!

The Kitty

Not sure how it is possible, but Leo has become even more LAZY! The heat definitely affects him so we are paying close attention to make sure he stays safe and cool! He is, in fact, the king around here. He has those 2 fans I mentioned before, pointed at him at all times. He does most of his sleeping on our salon table (or dining room table) which really seems unacceptable, but since it’s the coolest spot in the boat (and Leo would never sleep on the floor!) and we don’t eat there any more, we allow it. A friend told us to try to keep his little pads cool, so I’ve been known to sneak attack his little feet with a wet paper towel. I’m pretty sure he hates it. But the coolest thing we’ve done for him, and it really seems to be working, is bringing along a ceramic tile! We put this little 12 x 12 cermaic tile in the fridge overnight, and when it gets really hot in the afternoon sun, I pull it out and slip it under Leo’s pink table sarong (I told you I use them everywhere!) He doesn’t really know it’s there, but he usually chooses to lay on it and it seems to cool him off! Not a bad idea, right?

Cool, sleeping kitty...

Cool, sleeping kitty…

Here's his special tile!  Shhhhh, don't tell him!

Here’s his special tile! Shhhhh, don’t tell him!

My friend Carolyn from The Boat Galley wrote a few posts about staying cool as well. You can find them here. Hope these tips help. Stay cool!