Being seasick is a real problem for many including myself. Dave has never had an issue with motion sickness of any kind. He has a stomach made of iron so that is probably why.
Our club holds an event a couple times a year called, “First Sail” . The event is promoted by the American Sailing Association. Clubs put on these events where their members volunteer to take people out and introduce them to sailing.
It surprised me to find that when we take people out, the first question they ask isn’t, “How do you get the sails up?” The first question they ask is, “What about sea sickness?”
In my opinion it is more important to know how to put the sails up but, I understand their concern. I am one of those that suffers from motion sickness. I was terrified that sleeping on a boat would be torture for me. However, it doesn’t seem to bother me to sleep on the boat. The rocking motion has actually helped me sleep better.
There are many different opinions on what you can do about motion sickness. Some of them are old wives tales, such as, putting a penny in your belly button. Yes, I will admit to being desperate enough to try this. It didn’t work, at all! My daughter suffered terribly with car sickness. This one didn’t do a thing.
Seasick Cures Are Trial and Error
For me it wasn’t any one thing that worked. It was more a series of things. It is easier to find out what helps you and prevent motion sickness than it is to recover from it once you have it. Some options like motion sickness drugs don’t help as much once you already feel sick.
I love sailing along and watching deer drinking at the edge of the lake. Don’t miss out on that experience because you feel too sick to enjoy it.
- Stay hydrated, drink constantly. Putting a squirt of lemon in my water bottle makes me want to drink more. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally drink a sports drink. They replace your electrolytes and prevent that feeling of nausea and dizziness. Dehydration alone will start you down the slippery slope of motion sickness. When you are dehydrated you get that dizzy lightheaded feeling. That is caused by your brain shrinking. NOT A GOOD THING EVER!!!
- Snack constantly, do not let yourself get hungry. You want to snack all day. Once, I get hungry I get dizzy. Keep your blood sugar up and it keeps that feeling away. I keep carrots, grapes, bananas, and chips to snack on.
- When I start feeling sea sick , I have found a salty snack like chips seem to help more than say carrots. I think it is probably the potassium and iodine in the salt.
- First things first, when I wake up, I head for the cockpit to see the trees and horizon. If I sit around down below or stay in bed, I get sick. I need to see the outside as soon as I wake up. This is a great time to have a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy nature.
- It really helps to have breakfast right away. If I try to postpone breakfast, I get sick. Dave will make breakfast and we eat outside in the cockpit. Once we eat I am fine to go below and get dressed.
Ginger Has Been Proven
- Zevia Ginger Beer is my drink of choice when I start feeling light headed or nauseous. You can drink any ginger beer but Zevia is my choice because it contains Stevia instead of NutraSweet. Ginger is a natural cure for all things to do with upset stomachs. I personally think the carbonation helps me, but I have never found any research to suggest that carbonation helps. Ginger beer tastes like root beer with a little ginger zing. This one thing really helps calm down my nausea, whether it is from being seasick or the flu.
- Ginger capsules are something I haven’t personally tried. However, I saw a show on Myth Busters and they proved them to be areal solution.
- When you feel sick, DO NOT go lay down. It will be your first instinct, to go lay down and let it pass. Laying down works with the flu but, I am here to tell you motion sickness won’t pass that way. Get outside and look around.
- Do not go below.
- Fight that urge to lay down.
- Closing your eyes and putting your head back will only make it worse.
- Try not to get over tired. If you get plenty of sleep you are less likely to feel light headed and fuzzy.
- Don’t focus on the water. Keep looking out at the horizon. You are missing so much beautiful wildlife looking at the water anyway. Looking at the water moving by causes motion sickness.
Alcohol Wipes As A Quick Fix
I want to pass on a tip we learned while off shore fishing in Florida. We couldn’t see land at all while we were fishing. Sea sickness seemed to be in my future.
A few of the macho men onboard wouldn’t try it and they were the one throwing up over the side. It didn’t help that they were suffering from hangovers as well.
When we boarded the boat they passed out packets of alcohol wipes. Although, I thought it was strange, I took one. Before we left the dock they explained what they were for. They told us to keep them in our pockets. We were told to take them out and sniff them gently if we began to feel seasick. It worked like magic. I now keep a box of these alcohol wipes onboard. You can get them at Wal-Mart or any pharmacy in the diabetic section for about $3.00 a box. I found out this works because the strong scent confuses your brain.
There Are Drug and Electronic Options
There are drugs you can take like Bonine, I do keep a bottle of Bonine on the boat. For me, Bonine doesn’t work if taken after I start to feel seasick. That means I have to take before we go out sailing. I am just not willing to live on drugs to enjoy my life. So far I have been able to keep that seasick feeling at bay with these other methods.
I recently did a review of the Reliefband. This is a watch like electronic device. It works by sending electrical pulses that interrupt the signals to the brain that make you nauseous.
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Try different things and find what works for you. Just don’t let motion sickness ruin your sailing or cause you to give it up your dream.