Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-25-2006, 02:08 AM   #1
Ensign
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Default Sea sickness

I am going on my first long sail, 8 weeks and need some info on sea-sickness. I have sailed on a good couple of day trips and never suffer from sea-sickness, I did one overnighter and it was the first time experiencing that awful feeling. I discovered that I am fine as long as I can see the shore line or even another yachts sails but once we are alone and there is just ocean the nauseau hits me. Even rough seas and being below deck does not affect me as long as there is something for me to see in the distance. When I did get the dreadful sea-sickness I noticed that as soon as the shore came back into sight it was gone and I was as right as rain.

Firstly is this normal and secondly how do I prevent it happening again? Will it last the whole 8 weeks while we see no land or do you eventually adjust. I heard that after 3 days you don't get sick anymore. I got some STUGERON tablets, do they work and how often should I take them? Surely I can't take them for 8 weeks?

Help would be appreciated as I will be working crew and the last thing the skipper needs is me being sick for the whole trip.

Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
colton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2006, 01:43 PM   #2
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Default

Colton, congratulations on having the chance to crew for such a long period; you'll learn a lot, no doubt.

Some of the toughest questions to answer - like yours - are the easiest to state. Motion sickness (MS) has been with us forever and no absolute cure has been developed despite a huge amount of effort & expense. I'm sure others will offer their thoughts - different things work for different people - but here are a few to get you started:

1. NASA (in the USA) did a great deal of research on this during their initial Gemini & Apollo mission days, as they were finding half their astronaut corps - all seasoned test pilots - affected by MS. Their conclusions, fundamentally, were that each person responds uniquely to the various remedies (OTC, prescription and homeopathic - they tried them all), and therefore that you can't assume a relevant causal relationship between what works for the largest given percentage of subjects and therefore what will work for the next person. This is why some sailors swear by ginger, others find wrist bands their solution, others rave about Stugeron (or some other med), and yet none of these work satisfactorily on the next person.

2. Consequently, the best prep IMO that you can make for yourself is to experiment with the various remedies you (and perhaps your Doc) think are worth considering, and try to judge their effects in two dimensions: do they help you avoid MS and how do they affect you in other respects (alertness, physical symptoms, vision, etc.) This is difficult to do, I realize, yet it's the only way you can judge what might work for you.

3. Consider taking more than one MS remedy with you. E.g. Stugeron does have a loyal (almost fanatic) following among some sailors, but that doesn't mean you can't take a different class of med - OTC or otherwise - and/or ginger cookies and/or wrist bands, if they seem worth your use.

4. Pre-medicate. Don't wait until you leave the shoreline. Some people find they should begin their med dosage 24 hrs before departure.

5. This is not an either/or proposition. E.g. my wife finds that a wrist band helps her occasionally, and that one OTC med is also helpful - so she uses both.

6. The good news is that, yes, most folks do acclimate by the 3rd day at sea, +/-. And BTW that is one reason why some meds are preferred over others. Some will depress the body's ability to sense and adjust to motion, preventing acclimating to the motion environment, while others do not inhibit this (Stugeron appears to be one of the latter), and that shapes the choices others make. OTOH at sea and away from coastal waters (and your shoreline view) will generally also expose you to greater motion...so the research and planning you are trying to do are worth the effort.

7. Along with the use of any remedy(ies), there are a series of things that are good practices generally and also help with MS: rest when you can, keep up your fluid intake, be sensible in what you eat and ask your body to process, and maintain healthy body temperature.

Good luck to you and enjoy the passage.

Jack
__________________

__________________
Jack Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2006, 03:36 PM   #3
Ensign
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for the advice, I see from the amount of people reading this question that it seems to be something everyone needs the magic answer for, but by the amount of replies there doesn't seem to be one.

I was considering getting the band as well, just didn't know whether I could use both? Thanks for clearing that up! If after 3 days I seem to have settled and motion sickness is no longer a problem will it re-occur

if we stop at an island along the way for the day? Should I be safe and take the medication again before we leave that day?

From the rest of the crew and myself thank you ever so much. They are all seasoned sailors and so I think having a half working crew member aboard is not something they are looking forward too.
__________________
colton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

I so rarely get seasick that I have not taken any seasickness remedy.

What I discovered about myself is that anxiety is the only trigger for seasickness for me, and I've found that other people also find anxiety to be their trigger for nausea at sea. My solution is the "vapors": after we have left the anchorage, I bustle around getting things settled, sorted out, and then I lie down. This slows my heart, seems to ease my self-created anxiety, and then I'm good for the entire trip. Sometimes I need only lie down for 15 minutes or so, sometimes for an hour and a half.

Except. Very nasty weather has occasionally made me feel unwell when I couldn't lie down and relax due to the circumstances. I.e., we got hit with a nasty one within hours of leaving port.

I make sure that we have easy to digest foods for the start of every trip. Breakfast bars are good for energy and putting something in your stomach, though we prefer the least sweet ones available, and find we only eat them in these very rough circumstances. You will find that starches - biscuits, bread, pasta - are easier to digest, and place less of a burden on your system than fats and proteins. And of course keep hydrated. I drink no less than one, and often 2 liters of water per day.
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 02:28 PM   #5
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Default

Colton:

You really should tell us in which waters you'll be sailing; it might surface some additional thoughts from readers of your posts.

The good thing about experimenting with meds in advance is that you can weed out the ones that have noticeable/undesireable side-effects. Consequently, if having been at anchor for a day and knowing you'll have a boisterous passage tomorrow, it's not a big deal to consider remedicating yourself; essentially, there's no 'down side' to doing so. E.g. I find Stugeron has little effect on me (other than being a good anti-MS remedy) so I'm inclined to take it readily. Similarly, one used to be able to buy oral scopalomine OTC in the States (what normally is used in the form of a patch behind the ear) and I found this both effective and without side effects.

By contrast, the OTC med that NASA found most effective (~50% of their population) was Dramamine, but it usually has noticeable side effects (drowsiness, lack of mental acuity) and having that as my 'med of choice', I'd be inclined NOT to take it unless I felt it had become necessary...by which point it probably would not have sufficient time to protect me.

Jeanne's comment about anxiety is a really good one, and it shows how broad and seemingly distant from motion sickness its causes can be. The same is true of me; anxiety can lead to a MS predisposition. It leads to a similar but different behavior in me than in Jeanne; I find I 'treat myself best' when NOT departing and then getting things put away/food readied/etc. but rather taking longer to depart and first rigging sea berths, laying out the night passage layers, rigging jacklines and so forth. If we leave *after* we can't think of another thing to do to prep the boat & ourselves, I find that reassuring and so calming. I'll have to point out to my wife that I'm really just experiencing the 'vapors' when I do that. <g>

Jack
__________________
Jack Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 08:50 PM   #6
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

But Jack, vapors must be approached with all the rituals! One first places the back of one's hand to one's forehead in the most dramatic manner. Then one sighs deeply and says, "I think that I MUST lie down." With that, one wafts down the companionway and into the berth.

Try it. It is a most satisfying drama.

:0)
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2006, 02:17 PM   #7
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Default

Jeanne:

I'm afraid I'm not up to the task, as no one has yet taught me how to suitably 'waft'.... <g>

Jack
__________________
Jack Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2006, 10:27 PM   #8
Ensign
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Default

For me the biggest causes of seasickness are three things:

Cold

Tired

Inactivity

They are also of course three syptoms of it. So it's kind of a vicous circle. Having sailed lots in scottish waters where keeping warm is an issue, just wearing lots of clothes makes me feel better. I dont like stugeron because they make me tired, and mean i dont actually enjoy the trip. Inactivity seems to make things worse too. For the first day on the water i try and keep warm, awake and busy. It generally keeps seasickness away, or at least keeps it's effects to a minimum.

Of course the great thing about looking at it this way is that sailing the caribbean can be considered an essential cure!
__________________
benduffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2006, 10:04 PM   #9
Ensign
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
Default

For me, staying outside helps fighting sea-sickness. This works for me, at least for shorter trips.

Magnus
__________________
johnrobot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2006, 11:09 PM   #10
Ensign
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to zymologist
Default

Take some Ginger chews along with you and when you start feeling quezy just pop a chew into your mouth and enjoy. It is a ginger candy that is normaly sold as gourmet grocery stores. They do help turn [xx(] into .
__________________
zymologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2006, 06:08 AM   #11
Ensign
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Default

As a retired civil, military & airline instructor pilot I found that the more my students worried about motion sickness, the worse they did. It was almost as if they talked themselves into it. Most also had the mistaken assumption that one should go up with an empty stomach, just in case. That turned out to be the worst thing to do.

As you are aware, motion sickness is a result of your eyes not agreeing with your ears. That is why having the horizon as a reference usually works. When below and you start feeling queasy, go top sides and make your senses agree.

Ginger snap cookies, ginger ale, or ginger candy seem to work well too. I do not prefer medications. As mentioned, they make you drowsy, and affect quick thinking.

I have yet tried JeanneP's "wafting" maneuver. Sounds dramatic, but, hey, whatever works.

Good luck, relax, and enjoy your good fortune.
__________________
primowon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2007, 10:39 PM   #12
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Default

just wanted to mention some helpful advice that was passed onto me by a long time captain. He said if you are seasick one of the worst things to do if you keep vomiting it to just drink water every time you vomit, he said that your electrolyte balance gets messed up to the point where your system starts adjusting for it in the wrong concentrations which could leadc you to a coma or even a heart attack. He had an experience of a crew memeber once passing out because thats what he kept doing. make sure you keep electrolytic drink mix on board just in case.
__________________
foksy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2007, 11:34 PM   #13
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 48
Default

Hi. My advice is not to be affraid to puke. MS is at least 30% psychological, so the more stressed you are the more you suffer. Try to stay busy (people rarelly vomit on their hands), stay on deck, eat and drink. Have a good sleep. If you feel that it's comming quickly drink as much water as you can. It'll dissolve your gastric acid, so vomiting won't be so bad. Try to think about it as you're at a good party

Be prepered. If you feel bad, take a bucket with you to your bunk. Less stress - less suffering.

Friendly jokes usually help, like "I see you don't like breakfast". This helps to accept it as a part of the game. And if you're not affraid of it you will be cured much faster. The worst thing is to ridicule someone who suffer. If he/she feels, it's not ok to have MS, it will be worse. Tough sailor is not the one who feels fine, but the one who feels bad, but stays cheerful and works.

Usually after good puke people feel better, that's why going with empty stomach will make it worse. You don't have stuff to throw out.

For me, the first sleep at sea is usually the end of MS. I've seen only one guy who suffered all two weeks and never accustomed to boats movement. Also if you sail much (at least once a year, but long enough to accustom to the motion) and in bad weather, your resistance will build up.
__________________
Piotrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #14
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 48
Default

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
__________________

__________________
Piotrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yacht Passage From The Black Sea To The North Sea 1Aaron General Cruising Forum 10 08-20-2014 01:58 PM
North Sea To Black Sea graeme_caesar Regional Discussions 7 01-12-2010 08:27 AM
Hello To Those Who Know Her, The Sea. dooleyman The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 2 09-08-2009 12:12 AM
The Superstitions Of The Sea Wahoo The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 7 05-05-2008 09:57 PM
The Sea Is Calling xescuy The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 4 07-27-2007 12:33 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0