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Old 01-30-2007, 06:26 AM   #21
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A wise schooner captain once told me "eat something easy before you put to sea, oatmeal is good, avoid Jambalaya."

The problem with MS is that is really is in your head, it happens partly because the information coming from your inner ear (balance) disagrees with what your eyes see. That is why you tend to get sick when you no longer have something to look at on the horizon.

I did a delivery from the DR to San Juan some years ago on a schooner. We motored the first couple of days and those deep draft full keep boats really roll when there is no wind in the sails. I tossed my lunch, then my guts and eventually my stomach reached down grabbed my shoes and somehow pushed them up my throat in its desperate quest to convince me to commit suicide. I slept on deck, it was so bad I did not notice that my mattress was made of wood.

I am one of those people who gets worse if I go below, and worse if I am exposed to diesel. By day 5 I was helping change the engine oil. I also got one of the best rides of my life on the bowsprit while beating into the trades in the Mona Passage. Off shore has an opportunity for magic that happens nowhere else.

I find if I have nothing to do or think about I get sick more easily, and reading or being below decks makes it worse. If you must go below decks to lie down for goodness sakes close your eyes.

I think the advice from several of the other writers is all good. I will add that when I am the captain I do not take dramamine or anything else that clouds my judgement. I find that the drugs mess up my thinking more than the sea sickness. Your milage may vary, this is my personal experience.

Good luck, 8 weeks should be a lot of fun
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:07 AM   #22
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This business about MS is realy interesting.

I have seen my fair share of bad weather. The last ship I commanded (a 51 metre coast guard vessel)was sent to the area north of Iceland, between Greenland and Norway and for three days we had 17 metre waves. The wave height was measured by special buoys and not just guessed at. And yet none of us was sick. I turned the ship and ran slowly before the wind. Had it been worse, I might have been forced to heave to but as it was we survived very comfortably.

Many of us have been there and done that, although it seems that no one ever thought of buying the T-shirt. Not to worry. Many of us will be going back there and maybe we will get the T-shirt next time?

But in all seriousness, there must have been millions spent on research on this subject. After all, the navies of this world all want their seamen not to be sick and the military has always been wiling to spend money on research which can advance naval technology (not to be confused with the comfort of the common seaman).

One thing which appeared on the market a while ago was anti sea-sickness plasters which were fastned behind the ears. I tried them once but the weather remained calm so it was not a fair test...and no, I didn't get sick. It is a bit like taking an umbrela with you when you go out. it seems that there is less chance of rain if you have it with you than if you don't. Anyone got any experience of these plasters?

My first captain, the one who said, "I don't mind you writing your name in the wake but don't go back to dot the i's laddie" also said that, "there is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing an apprentice bringing his guts up". Things have changed. When I am in command of a ship or my yacht, then I am very concerned for the well being of the people on board and have been known to take quite large diversions round bad weather. I suppose that is about as close to "sitting under a coconut tree" as we can get. Incidentally, if you do sit under a coconut tree, wear a hard hat. Those nuts can make you feel far worse than MS.

The bottom line is that bad weather is a strain on the crew but also on the ship and should IMHO be avoided if possible.

Stephen

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Old 01-30-2007, 10:24 AM   #23
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How many sailors have never been sea sick?

I can honestly say that in my 30+ years of sailing, I have never been sea sick. I have been in situations in which everyone around me was sick and yet I felt just fine. I've even been in a hot diesel fume filled engine compartment in rough seas without any sensation of motion sickness. I am Dutch and have met several other sailors of Dutch descent who claim the same. I've often wondered if there is some genetic element to resistance to MS.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:21 PM   #24
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I can imagine how debilitating seasickness is, but I also have never suffered from it. I bought my first boat in 1972. My father who sailed on minesweepers in the North Sea during the latter part of WW2 also claimed to never have suffered from seasickness.

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Old 01-31-2007, 08:58 PM   #25
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Out of 5 years at the merchant navy, i was sick the first 11 months.

I tried everything, beer, rum, eating, no eating, lie down, looking for the center of gravity, staring at the horizon, medication, etc...... Nothing worked.

After 11 months on board i braced myself for another trip, leaving port to enjoy a 3 week period of seasickness..... but it was gone en never came back to me.

I was so happy that i drank to much beer and enjoyd an enormous hangover (wich is better than seasickness)...... I can't explain wy.. it was just gone........
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:12 PM   #26
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There Is now an Electronic wrist ban available for Sea sickness and Motion Sickness. Visit http://www.7knots.com/CGI/list_forum.pl?board=Cruising_Liveaboard&view=675&s croll=
Ocean Senior Sailor.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:20 AM   #27
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Get some juice or pop and salted crackers down your neck. But 8 weeks is a long trip to test yourself. What if you don't get over it?
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:39 PM   #28
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I swear by the wrist bands, although a few years ago, in the waters around the Galapagos Islands, (as passenger, not crew) I backed them up with some homeopathic medication (pills) containing the following.. Apomorph, Staphisagria, Cocculus, Theridion, Petroleum, Tabacum & Nux Vomica. all at dose 6c. - and I am glad to say that that worked. - I was determined not to have the trip spoilt by seasickness!!
I was also once told by a crew member on a ferry in rather fierce Bay of Biscay, to eat apples.
Best of luck.. !!
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #29
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I'm also a sufferer (hence the name!) and have tried Stugeron, Dramamine, Avamine, Scopolamine, wrist-bands (both pressure and electric), ginger, drinking water, not drinking water, drinking alcohol, not drinking alcohol, light breakfasts, fry-ups, steering or otherwise staying busy, going below and just about everything else you can think of. None of them work and most of the drugs send me to sleep. I once fell asleep at the wheel!
In my experience the only cure is to keep sailing. The experience doesn't have to be continuous: my relative acquired tolerance was built up over several years, but if you're on a long trip I should imagine you'll be OK after a few days.
Unfortunately I've been off the water for a couple of years so I shall have to start again :-(
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:21 PM   #30
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Sitting under a tree (species unspecified) was Nelson's idea; he was a suffrerer too (starting in the Solent at the age of 12). Never fails.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:18 AM   #31
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A few more points:

If you feel sick, don't puke in the head. Heads can easily get clogged and they need to be kept clean and working for the other crew.

Take several gallon size ziplock plastic bags and keep them on you and handy when you feel the urge. They can also be sealed and washed out and reused if needed.

Best is to puke outside, over the LEE side, not the windward side! I hope the reason is obvious.

Fresh air helps most people. Make sure the boat has good ventilation if possible.

Diesel fumes nauseate most. Be careful and avoid fuel spills (common during the last minute rush to depart).

If possible, spend one or more nights on the boat prior to departure. Try to get your inner ear used to the motion on water, especially by sleeping on board. The ocean conditions may be much rougher, but I believe having your inner ear accustomed to some boat motion prior to the voyage will help prevent early onset sickness.

Stay busy or help run the boat, such taking a turn at the wheel or tiller or tending the sheets. Avoid reading or looking down at things like charts. Try to keep your head up, not looking down!

If you feel the urge to puke, let it happen. As unpleasant as it is, you might feel completely better in minutes as soon as you have.

Don't drink alcohol the night before your voyage, if you are concerned about getting seasick.

Avoid greasy foods.

Remember, the Admiral, Lord Nelson, the greatest hero of the British navy was prone and known to get seasick.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:29 AM   #32
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And if you're going to barf, be sure not to lose your dentures.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:02 AM   #33
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Agree with all of that. I always give my specs to someone to hold before I throw up. And CLIP ON!

But when I'm skippering and somewhat seasick I neglect the navigation - don't want to go below and get my head down over the chart - not that it's always necessary to do much of it if I'm in familiar waters. But somewhere new it could be dangerous.

Nelson never made it to Admiral - he died as a Vice-Admiral at Trafalgar.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:12 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotrek View Post
I've fotgotten about one more thing. Singing.

I mean it. Somehow deep breathing during singing songs and intellectual work on lirycs helps. I know, that's just my personal observation, nothing like NASA tests, but not very expensive to try.

Have fun.

Piotrek
Yes -singing helps as well. But then singing helps most things!
Sons of the Sea - complete with actions of course - is one of my favourites - and gets everybody moving and hence warm as well. As long as the helmsman doesn't participate too enthusiastically and the lookout keeps doing his job!
I might post the words some time...
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasick Steve View Post
Agree with all of that. I always give my specs to someone to hold before I throw up. And CLIP ON!

But when I'm skippering and somewhat seasick I neglect the navigation - don't want to go below and get my head down over the chart - not that it's always necessary to do much of it if I'm in familiar waters. But somewhere new it could be dangerous.

Nelson never made it to Admiral - he died as a Vice-Admiral at Trafalgar.


It is always good advice to hold on, especially if ones head is over the lee side.

The glasses point is good too. I will add that to my own tips for future.

Also agree about the nav point you made. As I see it another good reason to have some kind of chart (such as a folded in clear waterproof case or photocopy etc) or display in cockpit for viewing with ones head up.

Also, thanks for adding the bit about Nelson, as I like some trivia like that.

As I recall Hornblower was also prone to mal de mare too.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:20 PM   #36
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As a rather belated addendum to the above, I was in some very nasty overfalls off Bolt Head this summer. The wind was only about F4 but there was a lumpy cross-sea running, and being reflected off the cliffs. The boat was rolling through 70 - 90 degrees, at a guess and I started to get worried that she'd go right over.

She didn't, of course, but the apprehension didn't help. But sailing alone, if I'd been seasick with a rocky shore a few cables under my lee, I'd have lost control of the boat and died. I told myself that; I quickly realised that the boat would look after me - and I sang, VERY loud!

Twenty minutes later I was through the overfalls and in the increasingly calm waters of Salcombe.

And yes - Hornblower was also a sufferer. He was modelled chiefly on Cochrane, though, who wasn't.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:01 AM   #37
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The most often repeated sentence of those who suffer seasickness for the first time is: "At first, I was afraid I was going to die. A little later, I was afraid that I wasn't going to die".

Thankfully, since my last post on this subject (2007) I have still not had a dose of mal-de-mer. My wife, however, came close and recovered only after the typical technicolour yawn, and a half hour on deck staring at the horizon astern.

That was a fun day!
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasick Steve View Post
Agree with all of that. I always give my specs to someone to hold before I throw up. And CLIP ON!

But when I'm skippering and somewhat seasick I neglect the navigation - don't want to go below and get my head down over the chart - not that it's always necessary to do much of it if I'm in familiar waters. But somewhere new it could be dangerous.

Nelson never made it to Admiral - he died as a Vice-Admiral at Trafalgar.

I have always took a pin, heated it, and burned a hole thru the back of the temples, on any specs I owned ,then ran a piece of mono fishing line thru them, and tied a knot in it. A bit of flame rounds off the end of the mono.Then, they can hang around my neck.

Then, I had laser surgery, which solved a lot of problems. I highly recommend it for cruisers.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:34 AM   #39
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Hmmm.


Yes. I normally have them tied on with a bit of string but they're liable to fall off when I'm chucking up over the side. They'd then hang just below my chin - which is definitely where I don't want them.


Anyway, one can't afford to be seasick when sailing alone. Earlier this year I went through the overfalls off Bolt Head, with a rocky shore under my lee. If I'd succumbed I'd have been wrecked. Concentrates the mind wonderfully, but not an experience I'd wish to repeat.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:45 PM   #40
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Dramamine did nothing for me. Stugeron works fine. The Mexican ones ,75 milligrams, as opposed to British ones , only 15 milligrams, too weak.

Scopolomine patches behind the ear work fine, but take 12 hours to take effect. I tested them, by taking one the night before a long bus ride, while reading .
Inconvenient ,when you may leave tomorrow ;or may not, in fickle weather .
Ginger helps a lot. Gravol works great, for me.
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