What’s in my sea bag? Part III

Welcome to the third installment of “What’s in my sea bag?”  We are going to share with you what kind of things we would pack depending on what kind of trip and the location.  Up next, Kristen Berry.  As many of you know, Kristen and I share one brain, so I am looking forward to finding out what I should take to Key West.   So Kristen, What’s in the bag?


January is a funny time of year for me. I get excited to head to points south for J World Annapolis winter programs like Key West Race Week, St. Pete NOOD, and the BVI Alumni Flotilla, but inevitably some “arctic vortex” turns my palm tree paradise into a reptile freezer.

I swear I am not just being whiney that it might be the coldest night in Florida history (and that has nothing to do with Auburn) I will be plenty sun kissed by the time this adventure is over, but it can get downright cold. It IS winter after all.

What this means for me is that I have to be smart in what I pack for a month of sailing in the Florida Keys. A quick peek at this week’s high temperatures in Key West show a 24 degree range – and that is just in the high temps. All this means is that winter vortexes can create black holes out of luggage, and smart packing is the key to not bringing it all.

I think about my bag in two layers. The first is my sailing gear. What I will wear when I am on the water. Then I think about shoreside gear – I prefer not to look like I just came straight from the boat when I go out and about.

My sailing gear starts with base layers. I swear by my old Patagonia Cool Weather tights. They are the best lower base layer I’ve ever had. Recently, I purchased some Gill “Hydrophobe Trousers.” They are great too. The key is that they slide easily under foul weather bibs and can manage a wide range of temps while keeping me warm when wet. Both pieces do a great job. If I’m not wearing tights/foul weather bibs, then I swear by Patagonia capeline underwear. They dry quickly – which is crucial to all day comfort on a boat.

Up top, I spend most of my life wearing a Patagonia Capeline lightweight long sleeve shirt. From -15 to 115 these shirts do the job of wicking moisture away, protecting from the sun and just being comfortable. Mine usually have a J World Annapolis logo on them:)

I wear shoes or boots when I am sailing. Too many broken toes not too. Because of this (and because my feet get REALLY stinky if I don’t wear socks with my shoes/boots) I have become evangelical about SmartWool PHD socks.

Speaking of feet, I travel with three pairs of shoes. I have always worn Addidas shoes onboard. They used to be Stan Smith or Rod Lavers – and occasionally I would get called off the plane to explain what was dead in my sea bag. The relatively new Climacool shoes have the same look, exceptional performance and incredible washability. If you only wear them on the boat they stay super grippy too. I have looked for a replacement for my Duabarry Ultima Boots. There is none. They are the most bulletproof piece of gear I have ever owned and I put a few dollars in the jar everyday so I can replace them every five years or so. Finally, I have a pair of running shoes that I wear around the yard and around town. Keeping street grime off my sailing gear is a constant struggle.

If I’m not in foul weather bibs, then I’m in shorts. I don’t have a middle ground. It’s a well known fact is that I love to wear short shorts. It is true. But they don’t work well on a boat. So I have some Musto Evolution Shorts. They are ugly and cost more than a night on Duvall, but on the water I have found nothing that compares. Oh how I wish I could wear my 5 inch inseam stand-up shorts – but the truth is that the Musto’s rule.

For over my base layers I have packed a full zip Helley Hansen fleece that our coaches gave to Jeff and I this year as a gift. It is soft, and the full zip means it regulates temperature really well.

Finally, my foul weather kit. I love my Atlantis Aegis bibs and smock. They fit really well and have been bullet proof. I was dubious of their ability – but they haven’t failed me in three seasons – which is about all I can ask of any piece of gear. I hear they are being redesigned and trust they will be even better this year.

For going out and about, I pack one pair of jeans and a a couple of long sleeve button down shirts. Paired with a fleece or a cool vest purchased at the event vendor I am ready for a week of dinners and regatta parties.

I used to bring too many clothes. Almost a set for each day, but after years of sailing at each of our winter venues I have found the local cleaners or laundry. Fresh clothes are nice and they lighten the load substantially.

All of that packs into my trusty Patagonia (yeah – I am an addict… but the stuff just works) duffel. That’s it. That’s what I brought this year in my sea bag. With all that fleece – it will probably be 80 and light air:)

See you on the water!


Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV



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