Thursday, December 11, 2014


Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

As I said here often, both Libby and I have excellent health.   One consequence of that is perhaps non-obvious; we learn about health issues late in life.   Libby's only allergy is pencillin. Until now, I never had any allergies.  At the doctor's office I always answer "none."

For the past year or two, I've been bothered by a runny nose every morning.   It comes and goes, but it doesn't go for long.   In the past 6 months, I've also been bothered by blurring and tearing that makes it impossible to read in the evening.   At this point, I'm sure many of you are slapping your foreheads, saying "Allergies idiot. Duh."   But my mind just didn't think along those lines.  It never occurred to me.

The epiphany happened this week when I came across a 4 year old bottle of anti-allergy eye drops in our medicine cabinet.   I put them in and found instant reliet.  AHA!

Next step is allergic to what?   Well, it seems to be something on the boat because I'm usually not bothered when ashore.  Without specific knowledge we need a broad brush approach.  

First we bought new hypoallergenic bed pillows.  Then new throw pillows.  Then we stripped all the covers on all the cushions and wash them.  We also aired out the foam rubber from the cushions.  Next was a spring cleaning of wooden surfaces with chlorine.   That is hard to do on a boat where all the cubbies are full of stuff.   Compare it to cleaning the upholstery in your car while speeding down the interstate with 4 people on board.

When the weather is nice enough, we leave the hatches and port windows open.

Now my nose and eye problems are much improved but not gone.    Next step will be to repaint the painted surfaces in the cabin with mildew resistant paint.

We would welcome any other suggestions.


  1. When you find a mildew-resistant paint, Dick, would you let me know what it is? I've tried one in the past, but mildew remains a constant problem inside Robin. I was planning to paint the entire interior in the spring with Brightsides polyurethane paint in the belief that a polyurethane surface would be easier to keep clean. but if there's a paint that genuinely will retard mildew growth, I'd try it.

  2. I haven't found a mildew resistant paint, but washing painted surfaces with chlorine does wonders. I put it in an empty Windex bottle 50% water. Spray it on, wipe it off any painted surface I can get to. And any suspect varnished surface, too. It needs to be done with large fans blowing and frequent breaks. But, it will do a number on the mildew.

    Since you guys are living aboard, I would pick a day with forecast of no rain for 3 days. Get her done, leave the boat open to air out with fans on and treat yourselves to a couple of nights in a hotel.

    Of course, being live aboards, you probably have stuff crammed into every nook and cranny. Good luck with that...

  3. Pam has allergies. I'm convinced she's allergic to cats, dogs, and horses. She say no. Pam wins.


Type your comments here.