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Reader Comment: Working on Boats

from Chris in the Philippines

Working on boats that take tourists out to secluded beaches, I have to quickly go into the water fully clothed when we depart or arrive on a beach, no time to get changed into swimwear. Usually I swim in all my clothes, long beach pants and a sweatshirt or hoodie for sun protection, like the rest of our crew.

The boat is moored in a sheltered bay. Every morning all of us have to swim out fully clothed, set the sails and bring it to the beach. Then we move the boat into a secure position where our guests can come aboard in about one meter deep water. Some guests duck under to keep cool in wet clothes.

By the time the boat reaches the destination beach, my clothes are almost dry. We anchor it, and I have to jump into the sea, swim ashore and tie one of the mooring lines to a tree. With a waterproof camera which I use to photograph the tourists as they wade ashore, so they have a souvenir later.

When our guests go snorkeling, we advise them to wear clothes and avoid sunburn. Some find that odd but soon realise the wisdom. We always have spare clothes on board. With mask and snorkel we go into the water and accompany our guests.

New Swimsuit

After seeing some cool photos and reading about windshirts on this website, I decided to get a sun cape and a complete swimsuit consisting of a nylon windshirt and pants. When I tried it on, it felt soft and light when dry. Since I often work in the water, I wore them under the shower and found they fitted really well when wet.

The next morning I wore my new swimsuit to work. My colleagues looked at it with interest, touched it and wondered how it might perform at sea. They quickly threw me into the water to find out and then jumped in themselves.

This new suit was easier to swim in than our usual clothes. I was surprised how soft and lightweight it felt on land and in the water. I could swim faster than they could in their long pants and sweatshirts. When I came out it dried quickly. I wear nothing underneath which feels best and looks great, both wet and dry. Often my friends borrow my new swimwear while I swim in their casual clothes, like jeans and hoodies. We have great fun all day long.

swimming in clothes underwater


New Work Clothes

When our captain noticed how well my new swim clothes worked, he ordered new red work clothes and sun ponchos for the whole crew. We now swim a lot more in these clothes because they feel soft and pleasant in the water but are robust enough for everyday work on the boat. This is important because we often have to quickly go into the water, no time to get changed.

When our guests see us have so much fun, they often want to buy these swim clothes, so we now have another source of income.


Swimming every day is fun in our new work clothes.