Blog Entries With Tag: sailboat

Posted: Jul 28, 2014

This past weekend we finally got the Mum of Jenna who our sailboat Jenna’s Journey (a Catalina 30) is named after onboard.  It's been something we've been planning for awhile, but with my friend losing her DH to cancer only a few years after Jenna, it's been a very difficult time for her.  Jenna, sadly died at the age of 17 after battling a form of cancer called aveaolor Rhabdomyoscarcoma .  Jenna lives on through our sailboat – she will never be forgotten.  And she looked over the two newbie sailors, her Mum and her boyfriend Billy, as we heeled over gently at 15 degrees in winds of 10-15 knots.  It was a great weekend of reliving memories of Jenna and the weather held out for us to perfection. 

Of course, preparing for visitors, especially the MUM of Jenna was nerve wracking.  I wanted this to be perfect for my friend of 25+ years.  So, between working during the week and trying to get things ready food wise, that would suit both “normal” people and myself as a diabetic.  It was abit of a challenge.

So of course, the Hypo Fairy came to visit me quite abit last week (and from other FB postings during the week – I was not alone – warm weather just makes our insulin work much better).  All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for Michael George aka my Animas 2020 insulin pump.  I was able to SUSPEND his delivery at times that we’re not convenient for me (e.g. going out for a quick grocery run WITHOUT any fast acting sugar … bad bad bad – even worse – not #BGNow meter – but I know when I’m going low / high still at least).  Also, with being able to lower your basal insulin, compared to my usual MDI (multiple dose injections) is VERY handy.

Artwork courtesy of

So, Friday rolls around, we are off to Jenna’s Journey.  Both my DH and I are trying to finish up work abit earlier (didn’t happen) – and then try to make sure the furball children are all settled in for a few days alone (I know – they’re cats – but still …. ).  Again, that day, the Hypo Fairy decides to play games with me earlier in the day.  We hit the road, for the 70 minute drive to where we keep our sailboat and then I realise my lips aren’t tingling because of the wind hitting my face (driving with the top down on the car).  And what seems to be a normal with diabetics that I've met over the years - I get an unusual hunger pang.  

I don’t like to broadcast to the world I’m having a low #BGNow .  So of course, the Tim Horton’s server is all chatty and so am I.  Meanwhile, my eyes start to go blinky, blinky and I’m trying to control my jerks/twitches (like I have Tourette’s Syndrome) and at that moment I think … “Why am I such a polite person in a mini-me crisis?”   When all I want to do is SCREAM out …

“Give me my Fing donut NOW”. 

If I had TS as my DH told me later, that’s probably how it would come out – and save me some time in getting what I need … NOW!

So I enhale my donut (below is EXACTLY what I had) - along with a coffee - and there goes my chance of ever shedding the 20 lbs I'm attempting to lose on my goal to one day being 40 lbs lighter. Urrhhh.  

Strawberry Shortcake Donut

The nice thing – it worked out fine – though I battled with the Hypo Fairy over the next few days with people who don’t really understand diabetes (e.g. “How often do you have to use your insulin pump?” or  “Where’s my food?” … this coming from the nondiabetic person whose NOT having a visit by the Hypo Fairy with a 2.2 /40 #BGNow  ).

As most of us do with people who don’t understand Type 1 diabetes – we are forever trying our best to educate them – and maybe one day – they’ll get it.

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Tags: cancer (1) coffee (1) donut (1) suspension (1) pump (1) insulin (1) bgnow (1) low (1) hypo (1) sailboat (1)
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Posted: Dec 20, 2013

Pirate Cat


Yes, I’m going on a sailing holiday again in the winter – I swore after the one I did with my DH back in February – I would never EVER do this again.  I became very sick during that holiday – stress with one of  the Admirals on board due to their demand of use of water / food.   Not good for any person – diabetic or not.  This time, the gang we’re with – they’ve either read my blog I wrote OR we’ve talked – and I’ve been up front with them – and they’ve all said – WE ARE ON HOLIDAY – IF WE SPEND $100 MORE ON YADDA, YADDA, YADDA – WE ALL SHALL WALK THE PLANK TOGETHER.  Okay, the plank bit they didn’t say – but I’m sure with abit of rum in them – we be doing double flip swan dives off the plank.

Last year on the charter we were on in the Bahamas, one of the couples on board is an RN.  She swears that she feels  due to taking COLD FX prior/during the holidays this is why they didn’t get ill like they had the previous year.   I figured, as an RN, who knows abit about diabetes, that it should be alright to take.  I went into the FAQ area to find out more – and it seemed to be alright for “diabetics” –but it did state that you should speak to your GP or pharmacist prior to taking. 

Frank Walks the Plank (I love cat pictures don't I?)

So, armed with this info – I spoke with my pharmacist yesterday – who told me NOT to take it due to my having Type 1 diabetes – where our autoimmune system has been compromised (this is what causes us to become insulin dependent ).  She said with Type 2 diabetics – its fine to take – as their diabetes is not the same (no kidding).  She said in taking this supplement (its main ingredient is North American ginsing) – that my autoimmune system would become abit whacky – and I’d be MORE prone to getting ill.  Phew – saved myself some $$$’s and potential harm.

What did she recommend instead? 

  • Get a flu shot (I did a few weeks ago);
  • Make sure I tried to avoid places where people are hacking away (this will be hard on the airplane);
  • Start taking a teaspoon of honey every day (local she said was best);
  • Wash your hands (soap / water are fine);
  • Avoid putting hands in eyes and/or mouth. 

Oh, and on the honey advise .... my Mum takes it – but mainly for seasonal allergies I believe.  She doesn’t even get a flu shot due to severe allergic reaction to it many years ago (and she’s never had the flu since I was a little girl – she’s very lucky).  Though when researching for this blog post I’ve come to the conclusion that due to mixed opinions (they say it doesn't work) -  I’ll just give it a go. Plus it does taste good on toast in the morning - right?

Winnie The Pooh

So, I’ll be looking to see when I arrive at my sunny destination – for local honey – to aid in my plan to not get sick like I did last year and pray I’m not sitting in the airplane with a person about to hack up their lungs (can you tell I love flying the friendly skies?).

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Tags: Type 1 (1) autoimmune (1) pharmacist (1) flu (1) honey (1) COLD FX (1) sailboat (1) pneumonia (1) sailing (1)
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Posted: Feb 17, 2013


I just came back from a holiday in the Bahamas, in a way, when looking back at it, much of the problems that occurred were due to my inability to speak out and tell the person who made myself and a few others – feel like we were at boot camp instead of it being on a 2 week holiday on the open seas on a 36 foot sailboat we’d all chartered together in the Exumas (the Bahamas’s outer islands which have yet to be over developed in tourism – thank goodness).

Boot camp you are saying to yourselves?  Well, let’s put it this way.  I was given the task of preparing evening meals for the crew – 6 of us in total.  The day we arrived in Nassau, we quickly sped off to one of the local grocery stores nearby the marina.  It should have been an easy task – but sadly – I started to discover that one of the members of our crew was a stickler for prices.  Sadly, you cannot compare Bahamian prices to what we pay here in North America – sometimes the prices are triple of what we pay here!  You just have to take a deep breath - maybe get something on sale – and pay what you have to for the foods you enjoy, but that wasn’t the case with us (tho’ we were allowed to purchase a few bags of precious chips).  The $300 USD in groceries that we all chipped in for (and we continued to split the costs 3 ways over the next few weeks)– was IMHO – a steal!  Even if we’d bought that tin of chicken or Spam (good for bacon) – or extra can of beans – it still would have been a pretty reasonable grocery bill! I mean, we’re on holidays, let’s enjoy ourselves – we only get to do this once a year - right?   On top of the grocery bill of course, you cannot forget the Bahamian rum and Kalik beer that totaled $90  - split amongst 3 couples - awesome - how penny pinching can that be for a 3 hour tour? . 

So, preparing meals with limited stock became a pretty stressful situation (I should have been popping happy pills thru’ the whole holidays if I'd been smart), when it came to figuring out how to spread a small can of beans/can of corn with 5 cups of cooked rice (I am so put off of rice now ) for 6 hungry people.  I would be the last to serve myself, so in away that was good as I got the smaller portion that suited me fine most of the time.  It was the lack of protein I usually have in my meal so my blood sugars don’t go wonky that really affected me the most.  They did in the beginning – e.g. HIGH – when I was eating the same portions as everyone – but after a week of eating this way – I ate frugally – in order to stretch out the supplies. Though on a few occassions when I was left alone on the boat due to my health circumstances - I felt like a guilty child again (sorry Mum) and would sneak a digestive biscuit (thanks Pete) and even broke open the forbidden tortilla chips (considered too costly at time of purchase sad to say).  It was heaven to have some sinful nibbles in my tummy (and yes - on this trip I lost weight).

Water consumption was another “issue” we were constantly reminded of.  Our 36' Beneteau sailboat holds quite a lot (70 gallons).  The result of this ended up with me getting a bladder infection (haven’t had one in over 20 years) due to not drinking enough since I was run down with a cold I devloped after a few days onboard – I was one sick puppy during the most of the holidays.  When I got back to Montreal and went to my GP – I have pneumonia - oh joy).  In the 2nd week when we decided to get some diesel fuel, we filled up with about 11 gallons of “extra” water – at the huge cost of $5 – we really broke the bank!  Like ….  SCREAM – why not just fill up the tank completely – even if it cost abit more?  Along with water consumption being restricted (no showers permitted), constipation was creating problems for a few of us (did you know white rice can cause this?).  Of course, stress/tension and change of life style can cause constipation as well, which some of us were all experiencing. 

In the end, when we did go to a few ports of call (very limited in the area of the Exumas we were sailing in) – we purchased extra foods – e.g. bread and more bread (Lorraine’s Mum’s coconut bread from Black Point, hot dogs (remember – we were splitting the costs of the food bill thru’ the whole trip).  On the outer islands, they only get food delivery once a week – sometimes less from the mainland, e.g. Nassau.  So, what you could find in the small stores was VERY limited, often no fresh meat could be found, and of course, the darn price that bugged one of the crew members so much, would mean, no purchasing.  Sigh.

On top of this, I was cooking  over the stove at night, with a head lamp on, so as not to drain the battery with the cabin lights being on.  Ehgads!!!  It only takes a few hours a day, since we had winds that were light, to charge up the batteries as we were “power sailing” (e.g. sail are up – with engine running – to give you abit more speed). 

So, our lesson on this trip?  Before sharing a holiday with your friends – before even booking  - plan to make sure that all members are on board with what they like to eat (one person had limited foods they liked to eat, and they suffered in a way with not having their usual foods which was sad).  Plan for the worst case scenario and provision from the home base (in our case, we never made it down to Georgetown due to weather conditions to get meat, etc.).   And if there is a control freak onboard with you – try to deal with it better then I did – speak up - be honest – and hopefully all will work out for the best of all partcipants.  

Lastly, I will always have fond memories of the pumping of the head.  A crew member was anal about flushing the head with LOTS of water (sea water) so that no floating bits/yellow mellow water remained in the bowl afterwards.  We’d flush aka pump our stuff down into the temporary holding tank (which eventually was dumped into the sea – sorry Nemo).  With the way I was feeling with fever, etc. it was exhausting work to PUMP IT UP!!!  Yes sir, we had mini-me issues with the head just like on the Carnival Victory (the whole cabin stunk like you know what).  Luckily in the 2nd week, the technical handyman crew fixed it (to none boaters – NEVER EVER put anything down in the head except for pee/poo (no toilet paper, no hair).  The previous folks on the boat had obviously not known how to use the head properly, it got clogged, what a stinky mess.  It didn’t help that Navtours who we chartered the boat from did a shoddy repair of the head prior to us leaving port – but they heard all about the probs not just with the head, but ripped main sail, etc.  when we got back from the Captain and the Admiral.  Luckily, Navtours they had a few days to fix things up for the next set of customers, as the next set of sailors weren't making their flight to Nassau due to the weather condtiions on the east coast further north (snow, snow and more snow).    

Stay tuned for more adventures on the high seas – except these will be happier ones – since the awesome sailing we all experienced was what we all came to do with this holiday – along with visiting beaches that for some reason seem to have no one else on them except us – and the occasional washed up debris from as far away as Africa!

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Tags: Nassau (2) Navtours (1) pneumonia (1) water (1) toilet (1) head (1) sailboat (1) Beneteau (1) sailing (1) Kalik (1) rum (1) groceries (1) Exumas (1) Black Point (1) white rice (1)
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Posted: Aug 27, 2010

Well, finally, holiday time is approaching once my hubby lands back in Canada after a trip to Isle of Man.  Over the next 3 weeks we are going to finally get to give our 1984 30' Catalina sailboat a test sail into the waters of Lake Ontario (the video link above is actually on Lake Ontario outside of Rochester, NY).  You would never know that a) I'm not a big lover of water; b) sink like a blob of lead in the water; c) get really scared when the winds are more then 20 knots.  I go out on the boat - putting those thoughts aside - and just DO IT (isn't that a Nike commercial?).

I do many things that perhaps if I didn't have diabetes I would not do.  Many of you are like myself, being told as youngsters that we wouldn't live past 40 - and for myself - being told this as a teenager after DKA episode - it made me pull up my socks and start to stock pile as many adventures into what I thought would be a short life span on the Big Blue Marble.  I'm still trying to try things that make me slightly scared, not sure why, but I do.

So, for those of you who have given me your cell numbers so that they can hopefully meet up with Jenna's Journey - come aboard perhaps for a drink - chat - a sail - it will be wonderful to finally get to meet you in person!  I think that's the one thing I'm looking forward to on this trip, meeting other diabetics that I've corresponded with over the years since I started to blog here at and other areas within D-OC.

And no, I'm still not connected back onto my pump. I may bring it along, but I'm still not sure.  MDI (multiple dosage injections) are still working out fine for me - " don't rock the boat baby " as the saying goes.

So, look out for this boat below - and you'll  know we're coming ashore to raid your town - arrrhh - parrot (I mean cat) on my shoulder - arrrhhh!!!

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Posted: Jul 20, 2009


I was talking to my neighbours out front just now.  They are Egyptian - such sweet little ladies. They always want to know what's going on it in our lives.  I think they live thru' us - which is kind of sweet.  One of the ladies is Type 2 - and her younger sister is always telling me how worried she is about her.  So, Mike and I watch out for her when her family doesn't come around to see her.  She is intrigued by my insulin pump - and between my splattering of French and her English - we have an interesting conversation.  She's not looking too well this a.m. - am hoping she's alright - so I may go over in abit with some fresh peppermint and make up some tea for us and see how she is doing.  I know her sister says she eats bad food (define bad that is my question  - I eat bad as well) - and she doesn't test her blood sugars enough.  Sigh, I want to save the world sometimes - only I'm not blond and I don't act on the show Heroes.

So, we went on a cruise on the w/e with a few of our friends from our yacht club to a quaint little town called Waddington, New York along the St. Lawrence Seaway.  This town has been around since the early 1800's - and if memory serves me - one of the churches that I took a picture of (beautiful stained glass windows) - is the oldest in North East section of the States.

I managed to not drink too much (I'm getting better with age - hangovers and a few hours of memory lost - nope) - and had a great time. Only had abit of a problem with my blood sugars the first night as I had to do an insulin correction before heading to beddy byes on Friday night.  I was fine in the morning - so the miracle legal drug insulin does its' wonderful things again! Of course,  I was munching on foods I don't usually eat, but man oh man, tasting chip flavours that I'd never heard of before, well, how could I deny my salivary glands!  As I've written before, the foods that Americans have that we don't have here is overwhelming.  I almost bought a jar of a sugary marshmallow substance called "Fluff".  Pure sugar, great for treating hypos was what went thru' my sponge brain!  A few of the sailors are Type 2's, so they talked me out of buying it - sigh.  Next time, I'll somehow manage to sneak it into my grocery bag!!!  I will find a way!!!

sailboatWe had such a great sail back on Sunday - winds coming from the south/west - so we just had the jib sheet out (front sail at the front of the boat for you non-boaters - and trust me - I'm still learning all the sailor lingo even 5 years later - so you may correct me if I'm wrong in my descriptions).  We were cruising along at an average speed of 5.5 knots (our hull is rated at 6 knots).  It was an awesome sail - not heeling over - just very nice and relaxing sail.  I managed to change my infusion set in-between the "pack of wolves" (power boaters from Quebec are on holidays - and they are always in a mad rush to get everywhere - just like on the roads - wait - I'm from Quebec - what am I saying?).  When alot of power boats go by - they set up alot of waves - and sailboats get the brunt of their waves.  As our boats get tossed around - this is when you know if you've got a demon child inside the boat or not - as things go flying around as the boat hits the water if they're not secured properly.  I am getting better with keeping that "child" from having a tantrum inside.

A few of us anchored in this little bay on the American side of the St. Lawrence on our way back - our 25' sailboat, a 27' and 45' (we call that one the Mothership). The 27' is the MiniMotherShip and ours is the EntertainmentShip, as we have all the good tunes blasting out.   We are in the planning stages for a rendezvous at "Skinny Dip Bay" for a Caribbean Island party (I just have to find a few floating palm trees to bob around all the boats).  I'll be looking for some Rasta style wigs for us to throw on our heads.  I know, sounds crazy but you only live once on this big blue marble. 

So, now it's back to regular programming - and we'll wait for Friday to come again - and hopefully head out for the wild blue yonder again (good thing is gas prices have gone down - amazing for the summer - as usually they go up!).

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