Sun Safety

There is nothing that can sour a fun day in the sun than a nice, blistering burn. While some of us have been blessed with skin that browns beautifully without even a slight hint of pink (my captain, for instance), others of us (like myself) are blonde, pretty much as white as they come and covered in freckles. While the sun is not exactly my best friend, I don’t let it stand in the way of my dreams. As sailors and cruisers, spending significant amounts of time in the elements is part of the job description. When we are out sailing the sun’s rays get bounced off the water only amplifying their strength, and when we are out exploring it is often out discovering some beautiful outdoor wonder. Keeping ourselves properly protected is essential to the enjoyment of our journey. 

Below, cruisers’ share how they keep their crews safe and burn free. 

Topic Coordinator: Kelley (Sailing Chance)

A combination of sun screen and clothing with built in UPF is how Kelley and the crew of Sailing Chance stay protected.

Nine out of twelve women agree that most men are lousy when it comes to applying sunscreen according to Melissa of Little Cunning Plan. 

After a sobering reminder that just as many people die from melanoma in New Zealand as they do on the road, Ellen of The Cynical Sailor & His Salty Sidekick put together a good reminder of how to battle the intense New Zealand sun.

Genevieve of Its a Necessity shares her thoughts on the best sunscreen that pass the “does not run into our kid’s eyes” test and other sun protection options. 

Sailing Luna Sea shares how they make their own sunscreen that isn’t loaded with toxins and ingredients they cannot pronounce.

Behan of Sailing with Totem shares her seven steps of the things they do to keep her pasty crew as protected as possible.

Diane, Ceilydh Set Sail, reminds us that sun safety can be a life-or-death matter.

Hi, blogger! Do you have a blog post about your strategies for sun protection?  Please post your link with a brief description in the comment section below and we'll add it to this list. Already have a link on this page? Feel free to link back here so that your readers can find other posts on this topic. We have low-tech and high-tech instructions:

Low-tech instructions: Copy and paste this text onto to the bottom of your blog post:

Visit The Monkey's Fist to find other posts on this topic:

High-tech instructions: Copy the code below and paste it into the html at the bottom of your post to give your readers a link back to this page.

The Monkey's Fist


  1. Have to watch out for that sun. I wasn't thinking about it and went for a sail on a cold day. Only for a few hours but still got sunburned.

  2. Thanks for sharing our natural option!

  3. My husband grew up on the Gold Coast in Australia in the '60's, where every first hot sunny day all the kids went out and got sunburnt, blistered and peeled. For the rest of the summer they mainly only burnt, except for the really fair ones who blistered time and time again. In his fifties his face and bald head was what I lovingly called "crocodile skin". The skin specialist could not keep up with the "scaly bits" and other bits that needed to be burnt off & cut out. These are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, and can be just as life threatening as melanomas if left untreated. I know, as my father died from badly treated squamous cell carcinoma (before they realised how important it is to treat properly).
    Anyway my husband has had "the cream" treatment (Efudex) all over his head, face, ears and neck, which was hell for a few weeks, but at least the skin cancers are more manageable now. The one consequence is that he cannot stand being out in the sun with a hat, even for the 20 metre walk to his shed. He too hates sunblock and only tolerates it on his nose and ears, and maintains it is because he is so hairy (just not on his head).
    When we lived on our boat with our 3 young children the rule every day of the year, rain or shine was sunblock and a hat before they went into the cockpit. And no, they couldn't be trusted to do the sunblock themselves.