Diabetic Sailors


Diabetic Sailors

For sailors and cruisers who are diabetic (of any Type) and their friends and loved ones.

Members: 13
Latest Activity: Dec 1, 2014

Diabetes Forum

Keeping pump dry

Started by Nancy Dec 1, 2014. 0 Replies

I am thinking about taking sailing lessons after the first of the year. Just wondering how to keep pump dry if I end up in the water. Do they make some kind of dry pouch that would work??

Dinghy Sailing and Insulin

Started by bherrick. Last reply by YogaO Oct 8, 2011. 1 Reply

Hey sailors. Are either of you dinghy sailors? I race Lasers, but I also pump. This is problematic. For years I've just kinda winged it, but there has to be a better way. Waterproof pump cases? Shots…Continue

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Comment by YogaO on October 29, 2014 at 4:07am


A 65' MgGregor is a pretty narrow and fast boat! Sorry to hear about your Dex going on a walkabout. Hopefully, you will be able to use your meter (and you are storing it in a dry bag, right?).

Of course, on a point-to-point distance race, you may experience long periods of being on one tack. That should make it easier to test when you are not having exciting moments.

I am sincerely hoping you have winds from the right direction! North and East winds would make for a difficult ride, and from what I recall, the McGregor can be a bit challenging in rough seas.

Good Luck!

Comment by Yifat on October 28, 2014 at 8:17pm
Hello Lisa, you are way ahead of me on both sailing experience and diabetes experience. My family has been planning for years to buy a sailboat and travel internationally. Right now we have a little sailing experience but once we buy our boat we hope to learn quickly. We are in negotiations to buy a sailboat now but we'll see what happens.

I hope you have a wonderful race!
Comment by Lisa on October 28, 2014 at 7:52pm

Hi diabetic sailors! I'm so happy to have found you! I live in Miami, and I'm training for a race from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, on a 65' McGregor. Last week, during practice, my Dexcom continuous glucose meter flew over the side of the sailboat during a very exciting moment! Darn! I'll probably have to go on the race without it before I can get another one. All I can say is Uh-oh, and Rest in Peace my Dexcom.

Comment by Janet-G on May 21, 2014 at 7:30am
Check this out-Diabetic Sailors--> I know Erin only via social media!

Comment by LADA 2008 on May 21, 2014 at 6:14am

I love sailing - unfortunately my first hypo coma/epileptic seizures happened about 1 year after my diagnosis. I was with a crew of 5 others on a voyage around Corsica - they new I was diabetic and I always checked my BG's before we started sailing. One morning, I probably swam too long or didn't eat enough breakfast and boom I tested and was at 50 so I warned the crew, took some sugar and immediately lost consciousness and went into seizure - was out for about 5 hours. I'm still not sure why they didn't give me the glucagon shot but they had my doctor and others on the phone and I guess they figured the sugar I had eaten would eventually bring me up again. As you can imagine the "team" feeling of the crew was a bit messed up afterwards as one guy kept repeating to the others that they should never have let me come on the trip. I fortunately now have a CGM that warns me about 30 minutes before a hypo but still have to figure out a way to waterproof my Medtronic pump. Last summer I signed up for a course to get my sailing license and had to cancel as I was going hypo to often - I still have to look into whether they will even let me have a license due to the diabetes - one thing at a time.

Comment by YogaO on July 23, 2012 at 12:51pm


I lived on a sailboat for 5 years and had very little problem getting supplies. It did require some gymnastics, though. I would be happy to discuss further with you.

Where are you planning on cruising? How big will the boat be? How many on board? TDD? Will you have periodic trips back to the US and/or US-based visitors? etc, etc.

You are in for a wonderful experience!

Comment by Yifat on July 21, 2012 at 7:35pm

My son is T1 and 8yrs old. Our family is preparing to become full time cruisers on a monohull (yet to be purchased). We are planning to be away for two years exploring the world and home-schooling. Currently he is using a Medtronic Paradigm Revel pump and the Mio infusion sets. I'm trying to figure out the best way to ensure we will be able to get insulin and pump supplies. Does it work to have family back home mail it over or will it get stuck in customs or stolen? We are hoping to keep our current insurance coverage through COBRA, but I’m not sure how to keep the prescriptions filled and how to get them when we are overseas. Does anyone have experience with this challenge? Is it difficult and/or expensive to get Diabetes supplies outside the USA?

Comment by YogaO on November 30, 2011 at 8:49am


I would check with your doctor(s)/pharmacists to get them in synch. Next check with your pharmacy or pharmacy benefits manager and get a "vacation override". For me, I was able to get 6 - 9 months of supplies at once.

I also traveled to some "mail-unfriendly" places (like the Bahamas), so when I friends came to visit, I would have my prescriptions mailed to them and they would deliver my stuff. It took a bit of gymnastics to coordinate it all, for sure, but in the end, it worked out.

The loop should be relatively "easy" as I am sure there are total strangers along the way who will help and the Loop Association will put you in touch with these "angels".

Comment by Lee on November 30, 2011 at 8:30am

Thanks, Mike. I'm type 2 but I do take Byetta, an injectable. I wish that could be put in a pump but unfortunately not. I have other drugs as well. I currently have all my prescriptions in 90 day supply level but they are all out of synch with each other. If I could get them all in synch I would only need to see a pharmacist 4 times a year, very manageable. I was going to make sure I could do things via mail because you never know where you will be when traveling the loop.

Comment by YogaO on November 30, 2011 at 7:49am


Doing the loop should be a blast; talked with lots of trawler loopers when I was in the Bahamas - all raved about their experiences; meeting new people along the way, etc.

I second FatCatAnna's pump comments. I have the Accu-chek Spirit which also has the "waterproof" feature. That worked well, when I went in accidentally a few times (okay, once I just forgot to take it off). For me, the best part of the Spirit is having a back-up pump on hand, good for up to 6 months. That way, if/when the main pump dies, you swap out for the back-up. When you are moving every day or so to a new location, this really helps - no chance needed in managing the diabetes.

Overall, managing diabetes on a trawler will be almost identical to on land, you will just have to make sure you manage your supplies a bit differently.

Feel free to give me some questions (5 years on a boat, BTW)


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