7 Dog Day Survival Tips

Survive August on the Bay? You Can DO This!

Hazy, hot, humid… and windy? Not really. But we sailors are stubborn, maybe a little crazy, and go sailing on the Chesapeake anyway. Before you leave the dock during the dog days, follow SpinSheet’s top tips to make it more comfortable and fun.

  1. Buy a bag of ice or two before you leave the dock. Does anyone ever regret that $2.50 purchase?
  2. Put ice in a soft cooler that’s easily stowable later. We like the American-made ones sold near our booth at the Annapolis Sailboat Show: Horizons. Spend the extra $10 to get one with a front pocket for coozies, bottle openers, and sporks.
  3. Don’t set sail without a reusable water bottle filled with cold water. Say “no” to single-use plastic bottles; they blow into the Bay. Having your own reusable bottle (or gifting one to the sailor in your life) is a vital, yet easy step to keep trash out of the water. Among top insulated bottle and tumbler brands are: Kleen Kanteen, Hydroflask, S’Well, Camelbak, and Yeti. 
  4. How many times have you been bobbing around waiting for wind, wishing you had a cold spray bottle or mister to cool off your face? How many times have you wished you had a Super Soaker to blast your top competitor on the race course? Treat yourself to both. 
  5. Cover up from the sun with SPF clothing, brimmed hats, buffs (aka neck gators), and sunglasses. As any Screwpile Regatta racer will tell you, if you don’t have good canvas coverage on the boat, rigging up a boom tent as sun cover may save your day. 
  6. Bring a towel you can soak in cold water to drape on your neck or a cooling neck wrap. If you get overheated, it’s a lifesaver. (Icing your wrists or inside of your elbows lowers your temperature, too.)
  7. When the wind dies, enhance the mood onboard with some summery music—reggae or Jimmy Buffett? The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is a SpinSheet-tested, portable, floating, waterproof Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree sound ($59 to $99). It’s the perfect companion to your phone in its waterproof case, or as the “case” may be for frugal sailors, in its Ziploc bag.