When we moved to New Zealand, I ended up getting a sunburn. This wasn't too out of the ordinary as I am very fair and rarely tan and when I don't burn, I generally just get freckly. But Scott, who never burns, even got a sunburn here and that's when I learned all about the giant Antarctic ozone hole which spreads over New Zealand and how dangerous it can be.
New Zealand is located at the bottom of the Southern Hemisphere and is very close to the Antarctica. In the 1980s, scientists discovered that there was a hole in the ozone over the South Pole which we humans caused with our bottles of hairspray and other chemicals. (Yes, I am responsible for this as well. It took a lot of hairspray to get my hair to create all those fabulous 1980s hairdos.) It is kind of like having hole in your hull - it lets water in which is not good at all. The hole in the ozone lets harmful UV rays from the sun in through the earth's natural sunscreen layer - that's not good either. The good news is that ozone hole may be shrinking - see here. New Zealand also has very clear skies and not a lot of pollution which increases the levels of UV radiation. Compared to similar latitudes in Europe, peak UV intensities in New Zealand are 40% higher.
We're heading into summer now in New Zealand and getting the boat ready to start cruising full-time on it, so its a good time to remind ourselves of how best to protect ourselves while out on the water.
- Put sunscreen on first thing in the morning. During daylight savings time in New Zealand (September to April), I try to remember to put on sunscreen as part of my morning routine. It reminds me of its importance and then I have a sort of base layer to start the day with.
- Reapply frequently. The sun is so strong here, I can feel myself start to burn after a couple of hours, so I need to reapply sunscreen all the time.
- The weather always changes here. We try to never leave the boat without a bottle of sunscreen in our bag so that we're prepared to slop some more on when the sun comes out.
- Wear a hat. Scott is really good about always wearing a hat, especially as he shaves his head. He'll wear any old hat with a brim and I think he only owns two. I have a fair few more than that (some of which are more fashionable than others), but my favorite for the boat has a strap on it so that it doesn't go flying off in the wind.
- Sunglasses. We try to look cool wearing sunglasses all the time. And it is quite practical as the sun can get so bright here reflecting off the water. You really can't do without.
- We nag each other. I was actually the worst offender with getting burned and my family and Scott were always nagging me to put more sunscreen on. What's fun now is that Scott has shown he can burn in the New Zealand sun so I have an excuse to put my hands on my hips and tell him, "I told you so! Now go put some sun screen on." Sometimes the power of nagging goes to my head. But like I tell Scott, I only nag those I love.
|Via New Zealand Sun Smart|
Visit The Monkey's Fist to find other posts on this topic:http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/2013/11/sun-safety.html
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