5 Tips for (neurotic) Survival On a Boat

Last week I spent seven days on a boat and couldn’t stop thinking about the derelict barges in Orchid. Sure I was on a cruise to Bermuda and I drank a lot of Bud Lite Limes and mudslides and piña colada, but I was ever vigilant.

I’m not sure if I’d want to spend generations on a ship. No, I’m sure, I would not want it. See in Orchid there were Rape Gangs on the barges. And Cannibals. And the fun goes on. But the best part? You’re better off on the boat!

There were days where we couldn’t see land in any direction. What a frightening, tiny feeling.

Have you seen Prometheus? If no, do that and you’ll understand my unease.

Even though it was a vacation and a choice, I couldn’t help but see it as being stranded, trapped on a boat. I read the safety guides and noted the locations of life boats. And then I lost my glasses. Oh god, being on vacation and in a semi-scary location without the luxury of being able to see everything clearly is nerve wracking.

5 ways to make a week on a boat (cruise ship) easier on the mind:

1. A compass

A plain ole magnetic compass. the most disquieting thing about being on a cruise is that at some point you can’t see land in any direction, you have no cell signal, and you’re just trapped on a floating hotel with a bunch of drunks and geriatrics.

There’s something reassuring about the basics of a compass. It can be trusted. So, if at some point you get that tiny feeling and need to remind yourself which direction land is in, check your standard, no nonsense, no charging necessary compass and rest assured you’ll be back on dry land some day as long as you know where to find it.

2. Extended wear contact lenses

Not worrying about where your glasses are or if your expensive prescription sunglasses will fall off your face will save you a lot of time and woe. If you’re worried about needing to grab your stuff and go in a hurry or bob about in the water, you might want to invest in some contacts.

Keeping in mind that a bathroom on boat, even a cruise ship, is fairly small and hard to maneuver in, it makes sense to invest in some extended wear lenses for the week of the trip.

I’m not a eye doctor/care professional/ or anyone who knows the ins and out of eyeballs and vision. Check with your eye doctor and see if you can get some.

Even if you aren’t a contacts person I suggest it. I had a trial pair just for the day of my wedding and it was a great idea. I’m to chaotic to have them all the time but for one day (or one week) it worked for me.

Also, there are a lot of promotions intended for people who regularly wear contacts to wear try this brand or that and you could end up seeing clearly for free!

3. Knowing how to swim or how to admit you can’t

I’m not a strong swimmer. Actually, I’m really good at not drowning. Some might blame it on my blackness, others on my lack of coordination. Either way, I let people know. If you think I’m drowning, I very well might be, check in often. It’s okay to admit your weaknesses but more important to be able to compensate for them.

If there are life vests to be had, I find them and try them on or wear them if it’s suggested1.

I should just learn to swim but…

4. Bring some non-perishable food and your own water

Oh dear god the amount of food on a cruise is staggering. Upon my return I was excited to hear my stomach growling. The cruise line goes to great lengths to ensure the highest standards of food preparation on-board the ship, but what if…

Also, what if, what if the apocalypse hits or an EMP takes out your electronics when aliens send their first wave?

Whatever the case, you’ll want to be able to have a few options for food you know you can eat and you know won’t go bad and water you know is clean and free of alien microbes/parasites/hallucinogenics.

5. Pay attention to the safety guidelines

When the titanic hit that iceberg everyone ran for their lives. Well, on a ship, there’s only so far you can run until you have to try a new strategy. Fortunately for you, all the right moves have been outlined and diagrammed with pictures and the people working on the ship are required to be more that happy to explain them to you.

Unlike in the past, when poor people didn’t deserve to live, cruise ships today must have enough life-saving bells and bobs for every single person on-board and they’re required to make a honest and thoughtful effort to educate you on that life-saving what-have-you.

Some people will choose not to listen because they’d rather sun bathe by the pool. That’s  cool, you can die confused and sunburned while I climb into this life boat wearing my safety vest.

  1. Not at the beach like a tool bag

tavia.

My parents let me watch and read way too much science fiction and fantasy when I was a child. Now that I'm grown, I'm bored and I can't wait for SkyNet to awaken or the super-virus to cull the human population. I'll be safe because I've learned to reason with robots from Data and the Terminator franchise... and I eat gummy vitamins by the fist-full.

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